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Teacher-Mentor Workshop August 7, 2013 New London-Spicer High School.

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Presentation on theme: "Teacher-Mentor Workshop August 7, 2013 New London-Spicer High School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teacher-Mentor Workshop August 7, 2013 New London-Spicer High School

2 Workshop Presenters Nancy Rossland Bison BEST & Northern Plains BEST, Hub Director College Relations and Outreach College of Engineering North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND Alan Kallmeyer Bison BEST & Northern Plains BEST, Game Coordinator Professor and Chair Mechanical Engineering Department North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND

3 Minnesota BEST Team Paul CarlsonHub Director – Peg PetersonSchool Coordinator James KlevenGame Coordinator Guy ChetritHub Director/Judging Coordinator Mike OBrienAwards Coordinator Keith BangasserFinance Director Elliot EidKit Coordinator Jean SpauldingVolunteer/Marketing Coordinator Email contacts available through Hub Director

4 Agenda Introduction to BEST Robotics The BEST Program…how it all works Awards and Judging Policies & Procedures Robot Kits VEX Control System Robot Demonstration

5 Warning!!

6 Video A Vision of K-12 Students Today

7 The Mission of BEST To inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and math through participation in a sports-like science- and engineering-based robotics competition.

8 BEST Robotics Non-profit, all-volunteer organization 46 hubs in 18 states (2012)…and growing! Winning teams at local hubs advance to one of four regional championships: Frontier Trails BEST at University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Souths BEST at Auburn University Texas BEST at University of Texas at Dallas Northern Plains BEST at NDSU

9 BEST Locations

10 Regional Advancement Minnesota BEST teams advance to the Northern Plains BEST regional at NDSU in Fargo, ND. Minnesota BEST will likely advance 4 teams: BEST Award winner 1 st place game winner BEST Award runner up 2 nd place game winner

11 BEST History BEST concept conceived by Texas Instruments engineers Ted Mahler and Steve Marum. The first contest was held in 1993 with 14 schools and 221 students participating. This fall, over 1,000 schools and more than 18,000 students will compete!

12 Program Philosophy There is no registration fee for schools Students perform all of the work! Mentors – engineers and other technical professionals from local companies – guide the students through the design & construction phase

13 BEST Participation Middle School and High School students (6-12 grade) One team per school…no limit to the number of students who can be on the team Open to Home Schools and similar associations… but all teams must be affiliated with an educational institution

14 BEST Timeline Fall competition starts in September and concludes six weeks later in October. The Kick-Off is always one of the first 3 Saturdays in September. Teams that win at the local level advance to a regional championship.

15 Our Core Objectives Provide students with a real world engineering experience that incorporates the practical application of math and science Prepare students to be technologically literate and thus better prepared to enter the workforce Help students develop leadership, project management, teamwork, and organizational skills Develop students confidence and competence through self directed learning, decision making, abstract thinking, and problem solving

16 What Teachers Are Saying … Students from art, speech, FFA, video and computer classes all worked together for a common goal. I had "technical" kids giving a speech, I had "art" kids using machines and I had students actually writing papers and documenting without receiving a grade for it. Brian Stuvland, teacher Pelican Rapids High School

17 What Teachers Are Saying … We brought the robot to the elementary school and kids were in awe. I have students that don't even like school spending evenings and weekends working on the project. Brian Stuvland, teacher Pelican Rapids High School

18 What Teachers Are Saying… Students begged us to have practice. Because it was not a part of any curriculum, our practices were held at night, after sports practices and on Saturdays. Kim Jones, teacher Kittson Central High School

19 What Teachers Are Saying… It is what I needed to bring my Robotics curriculum to the next level. The entire project was a continuum of design – manufacture – problem solve. The ideas, enthusiasm and creativity of the students made this a truly enjoyable experience. Lee Weigle, teacher Waubun High School

20 They learned to think outside the box and that their ideas could be really good and respected by their classmates. They lost their reluctance to just let an idea hang out there. Gail Ringey, teacher Sullivan Middle School What Teachers Are Saying…

21 Competition Overview Two components : Robotics (the thematic game/engineering challenge) - Includes a required Project Engineering Notebook The BEST Award (optional for schools) - Robotics, Project Engineering Notebook, plus: Marketing Presentation Team Exhibit & Interview Spirit & Sportsmanship

22 The Robotics Game New educational theme/challenge and field each year Challenge and field kept secret until Kick Off Day unveiling Playing field is usually a 24 x 24 configuration Points awarded for successful completion of tasks 4 teams compete per 3-minute match Each team competes in 5-8 matches in a seeding round Two students participate in each match, a driver and a spotter

23 Drivers & Spotters Only one person per match is allowed to operate robot (driver). Prior to the competition, each team submits a driver list. –Multiple drivers required for each school. (REF: Generic Game Rules) The spotter assists the driver in directing the robot. The spotter may be any student from the team. Allowable communication techniques between the driver and the spotter vary depending on the game specific rules. Only one adult teacher or coach is allowed in the pit area at any time. –Students may adjust or repair robots in the pit area between matches.

24 Rules, Rules, Rules… The contest rules (and interpretation) come from these sources: – Generic Game Rules – core set of rules that remain (nearly) constant from year-to-year – Game Specific Rules – rules that define the unique requirements for the years game – Generic Kit Notes – general guidance on proper use of the return kit items – Returnable/Consumable Kit List(s) – define the only legal parts that can be used – Q&A (BRI web site) – the ONLY official source of rules clarifications and interpretations – All teams have access to this site after kick-off

25 2013 Contest

26 2013 BEST Events Kick-Off Day - September 7 th Mall Day – October 12 th Game Day - October 18 th and 19 th Northern Plains BEST – December 5 th - 7 th

27 Kick-Off Day September 7 th, 2013 New London-Spicer High School Gym Kick-Off activities will be held from approximately 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

28 Kick-Off Day Unveiling of playing field and game rules Distribution of Kits (all teams receive the same materials) –Returnables – equipment to make robot run Motors, servos, batteries, VEX Control system Pulleys, battery charger, fuses, switches –Consumables – raw materials for building robot Longest items are 4 x 5 PVC tubes Includes 4 - 2 x 4 plywood pieces Miscellaneous hardware components Q & A about game rules BEST Award workshops The clock starts ticking…

29 Kick-Off Day




33 Teams should study complexities of game field Teams should identify and discuss offensive/ defensive strategies Teams should photo/video game field The veteran teams start discussing potential designs while still at Kick-Off Day! Some teams (parents/mentors) build a portion of the game field for practice –Schematics are provided on the CD in the Kick- Off packet of materials.

34 Playing Field Examples








42 Kick-Off Day Expectations All teams MUST have at least one team representative at the Kick-Off! (recommend more…) All teams MUST pick up and inventory their kit of parts before leaving the Kick-Off.

43 Mall Day Saturday, October 12 th, 2013 Kandi Mall in Willmar Mall Day activities will take place from approximately 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

44 Mall Day Mall Day is optional for teams…but highly recommended! Purpose: Practice competitive driving Define/refine teams strategy Test/troubleshoot robot Size up the competition Build school spirit Promote BEST to the community Pre-compliance check

45 Mall Day



48 Game Day 2012 Friday, October 18 th (1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) & Saturday, October 19 th (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Location: New London-Spicer High School

49 (Pre)Game Day Project Engineering Notebook judging: –Every team in the competition MUST submit a notebook –Notebooks must be mailed/delivered to hub by a specified day and time the week prior to Game Day (ref. Awards & Judging Part 2) –Typically judged on the Friday of Game Day and returned to teams on Saturday

50 Game Day (Friday) Team registration BEST Award Team Exhibit (set-up & judging) BEST Award Marketing Presentations Compliance Check-in (robots) Mandatory Pit Meeting Practice driving sessions

51 Game Day (Saturday) Robot matches Preliminary rounds (5-8 matches per team) Semi-final rounds (top 8 teams) Championship rounds (top 4 teams) Awards ceremony Returnables Kit check-in/return Brief meeting for advancing teams

52 Game Day Arena





57 Pit Area Each team is provided one 8-foot table Each team is allowed 4 students and 1 teacher/mentor in the pit area at a time Teams may bring hand tools, cordless drills, and spare parts into pit area (no power provided to each table) Technical assistance station provided with power tools, soldering irons, etc. Battery charging station provided

58 Game Day Arena

59 Awards & Judging

60 Competition Awards The following will be awarded trophies: 1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd Place Robotics Competition 1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd Place BEST Award The following awards will receive plaques: Robotics Finalist Founders Award for Creative Design Most Robust Robot Award

61 Competition Awards Special Awards Best Project Engineering Notebook Award Best Marketing Presentation Award Best Team Exhibit & Interview Award Best Spirit & Sportsmanship Award Top Gun (most points scored in a single match) Rookie (best first-year team) Teamwork

62 BEST Award The BEST Award is the most prized of all awards. It is presented to the team that best embodies the attributes associated with Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology

63 BEST Award Categories All teams are eligible for the BEST Award Judging is based on five categories (100 points possible): –Project Engineering Notebook (25 points) –Marketing Presentation (25 points) –Team Exhibit and Interviews (20 points) –Spirit and Sportsmanship (15 points) –Robot Performance (15 points)

64 BEST Award Guidelines In order for a team to be eligible to compete for the BEST Award at the Regional event, the team must have competed for the BEST Award at their local hub competition.

65 Judging Procedure As each team completes a category, it will receive a category score that is the average of individual scores of the judges reviewing it. A normalization procedure is applied to reduce discrepancies in scoring between judges. Teams should know in advance that scores among many teams frequently differ by only fractions of a point.

66 Category I: Project Engineering Notebook (25 Points) The notebook will be judged on the documentation of the teams: –Implementation of the Engineering Design Process –Research Paper –Brainstorming Approaches –Analytical Evaluation of Design Alternatives –Offensive and Defensive Evaluation (Strategy) –Design Creativity –Support Documentation –Overall Quality and Completeness of Notebook

67 Purpose: To document the process used to design, build, and test the robot (25 Points) Possible Points Score DESIGN PROCESS (15 Points) Implementation of the Engineering Design Process Evidence that the engineering process was effectively used. 25 Comments: Brainstorming Approaches How well organized and productive was the brainstorming approach used and documented 25 Comments: Analytical Evaluation of Design Alternatives Use of analytical and mathematical skills in deciding upon and implementing design alternatives 25 Comments: Offensive and Defensive Evaluation Analysis of gaming strategies and design elements to achieve goals 25 Comments: Safety Evidence that safety training occurred and safe practices were followed to prevent students misuse of tools and other devices/equipment that may result in personal injury or damage to property 25 Comments: Support Documentation CAD/other drawings, photos, team organization, meeting minutes, test results, etc. that support the main document 25 RESEARCH PAPER (4 Points) Correlation between game and how the science/technology is being used at a company/industry/research lab in the teams state or region 10 Comments: Any related information of game theme, such as history, famous inventor(s), or major milestones. 10 Comments: Creativity in linking game theme to appropriately related science content 10 Comments: Proper use of grammar and composition throughout paper, citations of sources used to gather information for paper, stayed within 2-5 page limit 10 Comments: OVERALL QUALITY AND COMPLETENESS OF NOTEBOOK (6 Points) Submission of completed Team Demographics Form 15 Organization and appearance Table of contents, summary, page numbers, discussion of evaluation points, linkage to appendices. 15 Comments: Adherence to specifications Standard binder, business font no smaller than 12 pt., double-spaced (single spaced ok in tables and outlines), 30 one-sided page limit for main section, 20 double-sided page limit for appendices, 1 margins, required cover information. 15 Comments: Quality of content Well written descriptions, clear photo labels, lack of extraneous material, etc. 15 Comments: Total250 ÷10 Final score:25 Project Engineering Notebook Score Sheet

68 Category II: Marketing Presentation (25 Points) –Company Information –Design and Manufacturing Process (Engineering Process) –Use of Available Technology –Marketing Strategies –Team Demographics and Operations –Quality of Presentation

69 BEST Award Marketing Presentation

70 Purpose: To present information and respond to questions concerning the teams experience in the BEST process. (25 pts.) Possible Points Score COMPANY INFORMATION (2 Points) Well-defined roles as company employees/owners/managers 10 Comments: Organization of company departments for product development 10 Comments: DESIGN & MANUFACTURING PROCESS (ENGINEERING PROCESS) (4 Points) Brainstorming approaches 10 Comments: Analytical evaluation of design alternatives 10 Comments: Offensive & Defensive strategy evaluation 10 Comments: Effective Implementation of process 10 Comments: MARKETING STRATEGIES (3 Points) Publicity efforts to inform school and community of their effort (e.g. school newsletters, presentations to community and/or school groups, fliers/brochures, posters, press releases, etc. 30 Comments: USE OF AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY (4 Points) CAD or other drawings/other examples 20 Comments: WEB page development/computer simulations 20 Marketing Presentation Score Sheet TEAM DEMOGRAPHICS & OPERATIONS (2 Points) Company team-building (team-building activities, representation and percentage of team involved in robot development, methods of team decision- making, etc.) 10 Comments: Company team demographics (evidence of team diversity – male, female, variety of grades represented, minority involvement).... 10 Comments: QUALITY OF PRESENTATION (10 Points) Communication skills and professionalism of presenters. Understandable, well organized, prepared. 40 Comments: Met specifications for presentations (time limit, minimum 4 presenters, maximum 8 presenters, set-up and break-down by students) 10 Comments: Achieved goal of marketing the teams product 10 Comments: Creativity of format 20 Comments: Q&A quality in responses to judges 20 Comments: Overall Comments: Total250 ÷10 Final score:25 max

71 Category III: Team Exhibit & Interviews (20 Points) The purpose of the table display and interviews category is to: –Communicate, through a display and through discussion with judges, information about the teams efforts to promote BEST in the community and schools –Foster BEST spirit, camaraderie, and participation –Give evidence of sportsmanship

72 Purpose: To creatively a) communicate an understanding of the game theme, and b) demonstrate how the team has promoted BEST in the school and community (20 pts.) Possible Points Score EXHIBIT: LEVEL & QUALITY OF INFORMATION PRESENTED ON PROMOTION OF BEST CONCEPT (13 points) Sharing information and/or technology resources, and mentoring other schools, including other BEST teams 15 Comments: Presentations & robot demonstrations to other schools & community groups 15 Comments: Publicity (print materials, media/press) generated within the school and within the community about BEST 15 Comments: Fund raising and/or sponsorship efforts (strategies used to recruit sponsors, team fund raisers, description of how funds were allocated to support team, team budget information available for review) 15 Comments: Use of technology, display models or boards, or multi-media at exhibit in promotion of BEST 20 Comments: Creativity in incorporating game theme into design and presentation of this exhibit 40 Comments: Compliance with specifications (did not exceed space allocation) 10 Comments: Team Exhibit & Interviews Score Sheet Comments: INTERVIEWS AT EXHIBIT, IN PIT, AND IN STANDS (7 points) Evidence of students enthusiasm, learning experience, and understanding of the game theme 20 Comments: Evidence that recruitment efforts for this team included multiple grade levels and students from a cross-section of the school population 10 Comments: Evidence that students were the primary designers and builders of robot 40 Comments: Total 200 ÷10 Final score: 20 max Additional Comments:

73 Team Exhibit Examples







80 Category IV: Spirit and Sportsmanship (15 Points) Judges and hub personnel evaluate this category throughout the competition They observe the spirit promoted by the team during the competition as well as the teams conduct in the seating area, team exhibit area, game floor, and pit area Toward the end of the competition, teams also submit a Team Ballot to vote for the team(s) they believe are exhibiting the best spirit and sportsmanship.

81 Purpose: To display team spirit & sportsmanship at the Competition (15 points) Possible Points Score SPIRIT ! (7 points) Exhibit vigor and enthusiasm throughout competition event. 20 Comments: Use of signs, posters, props, costumes, t-shirts, etc. 20 Comments: Cheerleaders, mascots, bands, organized noise-makers, etc. 15 Comments: Number of supporters with school (other than students) 15 Comments: SPORTSMANSHIP (8 points) Outward display of sportsmanship.(e.g. helping other teams in need) 30 Comments: Conduct an attitude considered befitting participation in sports (e.g., grace in winning or losing). 20 Comments: Evidence that students are the primary pit crew (robot repairs and adjustments during competition) 30 Comments: Total 150 ÷ 10 Final Score 15 max Spirit and Sportsmanship Score Sheet

82 Creative Gimmicks Team hats Team t-shirts with game theme design Costumes Buttons Theme music Banners Posters School Band Cheerleaders Aesthetic robot designs Accessorized robot Team cheers Spirit songs Attendance by student body, staff, parents Freebies (with logo) Picture give-aways Team/robot fact sheets

83 BEST Award Spirit & Sportsmanship

84 Creative Gimmicks




88 Team T-Shirt Examples

89 Category V: Robot Performance (15 Points) These 15 points will be based on the total game points earned during the preliminary rounds according to the following scale: –Team finishes in top 20% of all teams competing at hub - 15 Points –Team finishes in top 40% of all teams competing at hub - 12 Points –Team finishes in top 60% of all teams competing at hub - 9 Points –Team finishes in top 80% of all teams competing at hub - 6 Points –Team finishes in top 100% of all teams competing at hub - 3 Point –Team is unable to score any points during the competition - 0 Points Up to 15 Robot Performance points will be added to the total BEST Award points.

90 BEST Award Robot Performance

91 Results Each advancing team will be mailed a copy of their score sheets following the local competition. Score sheets of non-advancing teams will be mailed upon request. Judges will provide as much feedback as possible to the teams. Teams advancing to the Regional competitions can use judges comments to make improvements as they wish.

92 Robot Kits

93 Two kits supplied by hub: –Returnables kit Expensive items Do not modify Return at end of competition –Consumables kit Miscellaneous building supplies Can modify any items (REF: Returnable & Consumable Kit lists) Do not use any items not contained in the kits!

94 Safety Safety glasses Hearing protection Dust mask Buddy system Keep work area clean Supervise students at all times

95 Only use the parts supplied in the kit. The robot must fit into a two foot cube and cannot weigh over 24 pounds. Equipment included in the Returnable kit MUST be returned at the conclusion of the competition…do not modify*! All machines will be inspected for compliance with rules before the contest. *Exceptions: servo horns, open stock belt Some Basics

96 Servos Controller Analog Motors/ Servos Battery Digital i/o WiFi key USB/Tether Serial Joystick (2) Servo Mount H/W Servo Horns* (2) Servo Extensions (2) USB A-A cable (16) AAA Battery Charger (4) Returnable Kit Items

97 (2) Motors Drive Components* Motor Controller (4) Screw Terminal Motor i/f Cable (4) Screw Terminal Sensor i/f Cable (8) 7.2V Battery 7.2V Battery Charger Battery Adapter (2)

98 Motors Four motors are supplied: Two large Two small Motors are used to power: Drive wheels Lifting mechanisms Grippers Motors may be mounted using the brackets and screws supplied in the consumable kit (although not required)

99 Servos Four servos are supplied. Servos can be used to operate various mechanisms on the robot (e.g., grippers). Servos can rotate up to 120 degrees (+/- 60 degrees). Servo horns CAN be modified.

100 Batteries Primary source of power for robot. Two 7.2 Volt NiMH batteries included in kit. Capacity: 3000 mAhr Only 1 battery on the machine at a time!

101 Manage your batteries carefully! Team-owned batteries not allowed on the field on game day. Batteries can overheat if overcharged –No excuse for a battery meltdown! –Monitor batteries during charging Batteries

102 VEXnet Cortex M3 Controller System Status Indicators WiFi 802.11g Communications 8 Analog Inputs 12 Digital Inputs/Outputs 10 Motor/Servo Ports Standard Serial Interfaces (UART, I2C) Speaker Output

103 VEXnet Cortex M3 Controller Backup Battery Port for WiFi Communications (9V) 75 MHz Crystal Interface Ports (not used by BEST) On/Off Switch Main Battery Port (7.2V) Configuration Switch (used for special procedures)

104 VEX Cortex Microcontroller VEXnet 802.11g WiFi communication 32-bit dual ARM CPUs 8 analog inputs 12 digital input/output 10 motor/servo ports DAC speaker output 2 UART serial ports 1 I2C port (sensors) Programmable controller easyC, ROBOTC, MATLAB software licenses included

105 VEXnet Joystick 2 XY Analog Joysticks 8 Buttons on Top Plug-in USB/WiFi Key 4 Buttons on Front Programming Interface Playstation Game-Style Controller 3-Axis Accelerometer (XY Tilt, XYZ Accel, Shake) Power Switch 6 AAA Rechargeable Batteries

106 Example Hookup Servo Motor Controller DC Motors Battery Motor Screw Terminal Cortex Controller

107 VEXnet Communications Microcontroller and joystick communicate through matching pair of VEXnet 802.11g WiFi keys (proprietary communication). Operation in tethered mode possible using USB cable between controller and joystick.

108 Default Configuration VEX controller pre-installed with default program Allows a team to hook up the Cortex and have it work without having to program it. This is NOT the only configuration for the Cortex! Good for initial checkout, but we want teams to load a unique configuration.

109 VEX Programming Software Three Programming Software Options: easyC (intelitek) Graphical-like drag-n-drop programming Full C language support (allows direct C programming option) ROBOTC (Carnegie Mellon University) C-based programming language Supports several robotics platforms (LEGO Mindstorms) MATLAB/SIMULINK (Mathworks) Graphical programming/modeling environment Simulation capability

110 easyC Software Preferred option for new users Autonomous or joystick (WiFi) control capabilities Graphical drag-n-drop programming Dialog boxes simplify programming tasks C code generated as program is built Knowledge of C programming language not required Code can be edited directly through text editor Intuitive GUI allows easy programming of motors, servos, sensors, etc. to joysticks or buttons

111 easyC Software Interface

112 Configuration Motors, servos, and sensors can be plugged into any port on the microcontroller and configured using the software. Components can be activated using joysticks or buttons.

113 Programming Steps Create program in easyC using function blocks and dialog boxes Compile and build program using C- compiler Download program to VEX controller using USB cable

114 Creating a Program Dialog boxes open to set parameters. Drag and drop function blocks into the main program. C code is written and can be edited directly.

115 Downloading a Program Direct USB Download Tethered Download

116 Consumable Kit Items Plywood/lumber Sheet aluminum, steel, polypropylene, polycarbonate PVC pipe and fittings (various sizes) Wire, terminals, switches Hardware (screws, nuts, bolts, washers, rods, etc) Tape, glue, epoxy Twine, rubber bands, paper clips, inner tube, etc. Additional list of team-supplied items

117 Robot Examples






123 Resources Online documentation (BRI Site) –File Manager –http://www.bestinc.org Official BRI Q&A –Use Official Q&A page during contest for rules specific questions VEX Forum – –Technical questions about VEX equipment, including easyC and ROBOTC Robot Events –http://admin.robotevents.com –Team registration and demographics collection –Contact Greg Young to set up account (

124 Enough already… Dr. Kallmeyer, may I be excused? My head is full.

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