On the weekend of April 29-30th, RamTech 59 traveled to Troy, New York to compete in the Ten80 National STEM League Finals. The team took an early bird flight in order to arrive at the event at 2 PM. Our first day was focused on pit setup, practice, and business pitches. They returned to the hotel to discuss strategy and plans for the races on the following day. The next day, the team arrived at the event with a confident mentality on what was to happen throughout the next few hours. Once the first set of races began, it became obvious some of the cars were running faster than others. With a bit of scouting, it was discovered some teams were using a special type of tire that allowed them to make their cars much faster than the rest of the competition. RamTech's fastest lap was still half a second behind these teams. The team quickly realized that first place was likely not going to happen and began set their hopes for a podium finish. Hopes were high near the end of the first endurance race as it seemed like second place was a likely outcome. RamTech managed to tie in the amount of laps with one of these dominating cars. Unfortunately, the tie breaker was resolved when lap times were compared, putting the team behind. Spirits were raised now that it was shown that they could compete with these cars that seemed untouchable. Maybe they couldn't keep up with them when it came to lap times, but it was possible to defeat them in the long endurance race. Everything looked promising half-way through the race as RamTech had been in second place until that time. It was then that the car in first place began to have mechanical problems. This was the opportunity that RamTech had been hoping for. It became a dogfight for first place between RamTech and Rippin' Racing. With ten minutes left, both teams began to have mechanical problems with their cars. After a quick diagnosis by the pit crew, it was determined that the steering servo on the car had shattered and left the car damaged. A last ditch effort was made by the team by putting leaving the car to run with limited steering potential. All the time that was used in the pit allowed other cars in the race to catch up to the leaders and eventually overtake them in lap count. RamTech ended up taking 7th place overall in the final endurance race. The team went on to take 4th place overall at Nationals, becoming the highest placing rookie team at the event. Individual event scores are as follows: 6th in Racing Events, 1st in Aerodynamic Design, 2nd in Drag Racing, 7th in Data Driven Design, 14th in Enterprise, 3rd in Graphic Design, 5th in Community Outreach, and 3rd in Energy Challenge. Even though the team was sad about not being able to take a trophy home, they used this as a learning experience, given that this was their first year. We are extremely grateful to have been able to participate in this amazing competition and are even more grateful to the sponsors that helped make all of this possible. Be sure to watch out for Ramtech 59 in the 2017-2018 Ten80 National STEM League!
RamTech took a trip to the school board meeting to showcase its famous engineering program. We showed numerous projects which ranged from our VEX IQ Summer Camps to our legacy of performance in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Our participation in events such as the Miami Heat STEAM day and the county fair were also presented. In exchange for diffusing our enlightenment in the areas of STEM, we received a proclamation for our magnet that recognised our efforts in this endeavour. Alberto Carvalho was in attendance as well as many important representatives, which we hope will extend our efforts into implementation throughout the county and beyond.
On Wednesday, December 21st, RamTech participated in the Dadeschools Book Fair at Miami Coral Park. While we were there we presented the different activities and competitions that we compete in to the other schools and parents that were in attendance at the book fair. We were greeted by school board members Dr. Marta Perez and Dr. Lawrence Feldman. We are so thankful that we were given the opportunity to interact with the kids and parents in attendance.
Water Tower Competition
RamTech students place top 3 at Dade-County Water and Sewer Water Tower Competition. The students designed, built, and tested their water towers throughout the past several weeks and took them to competition this past Saturday, December 2nd, 2016. Needless to say, their towers performed above all, taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Congratulations!
On November 6th, 2016, RamTech 59 attended Barnes and Noble West Kendall to take place in the Barnes and Noble Mini Maker Faire.
A yearly event held by Barnes and Noble, the Mini Maker Faire is a chance for children of a young age to visualize and interact with activities within the STEAM field, whether it be building VEX Robotics Structures or seeing the science behind Drones. On November 6th, RamTech 59 took to the stage and demonstrated their engineering marvels for the patrons to marvel at. From their VEX IQ Clawbot, used to demonstrate principles of engineering and technology, to the massive FIRST Robot that stole the show at the center of the book store, RamTech 59 left their mark on the future generations of future engineers and scientists.
On Saturday, October 22nd, RamTech competed at the offseason event, Mission Mayhem. At this offseason event, we brought rookies who had only just begun to practice with the robot. To prepare them for this competition, we put the drivers and operators through extensive driving courses, some taken out different course books such as Ten-80 or police driving manuals. We were able to test how they were able to drive for a set amount
On Wednesday, October 19th, RamTech's ACE Mentor Program hosted a parent meeting to explain what the ACE Program entailed. This meeting was held by students, alumni, and mentors from Turner Construction. The RamTech ACE Mentor Program is so thankful for the alumni and mentors that are willing to donate their time to help our students.
On Monday, October 17th, we started holding driver tryouts and training for those who were interested in driving for the offseason event. This is able to give our underclassmen who normally wouldn't be able to drive the robot, the ability to drive and compete in an offseason event. Depending on how they compete at this offseason event could count as a factor in choosing our drivers for the 2017 FRC Challenge.
On Sunday, October 2nd, RamTech and Miami Coral Park hosted the Second Annual VEX Robotics Tournament at Coral Park. For the second year of the tournament, we opened it up to VEX IQ in addition to VEX EDR. At our tournament, we hosted over 45 VEX EDR Teams and over 15 VEX IQ Teams from around Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Though we were met with over 60 Teams, we were thankful that we had both RamTech Students and volunteers from different schools who were attending the event help out in the coordination of the event. It also gave us an amazing opportunity to spread the knowledge of STEAM to the parents and visitors who didn't really completely understand the power of it.
The funds from the Miami Coral Park VEX Robotics Tournament will help fund future competitions and demonstrations for the entire RamTech Team. It will also help with lowering the total cost of parts for both FRC and VEX Robotics in the future.
One of our head mentors, Marcos Vila and our President, Giovanni Balboa, went to FAU for the South Florida Mentor meeting to evaluate how the South Florida Regional went. We spoke on what we were going to improve for next year as well as what went well. We found that all Floridian teams are being sponsored $2000 towards registration provided by the State of Florida. As well as plenty of information on how to help by giving volunteers and judges to the regional.