Monday, February 17, 2014

Photos from Las Cruces

Here is a smattering of the day in photos. Thanks to Steve for these pics and to our other amazing chaperones: Debra, Vicente, Ken, Kim, and Juba. We couldn't have done it without you!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Las Cruces!

To our devoted fans,

Sorry we did not live blog as promised yesterday while at the State Championship in Las Cruces. We were not able to access the wifi and without that, it was incredibly challenging to use our technology. Besides, with 13 teams competing and each of our teams in 6 matches, we were really running around without much time for keeping you updated--sorry!

The Octobots and Syntax Errors were phenomenal yesterday, well beyond their point-scoring capabilities. As in all competitions, they overcame robot and programming malfunctions to really be their best selves on and off the playing field.

Each team played 6 qualifying matches and in the last two, we were opposing each other! After the qualifying round, the Syntax Errors advanced to 3rd place and were geared up for the quarterfinals. The Octobots were not in the top 6 but were chosen to participate in the quarterfinals with another charter team from Gallup,NM.  The final scores for the day can be found here.

We know that VEX competitions are about so much more than numbers on a scoreboard. Our students were amazing in meeting other teams, finding out about their robots and cheering on everyone. One Las Cruces team arrived with all of their components still boxed up. Our students rushed to their aid and ultimately Aidan, Morgan, Kabira and Sara worked with them to have a functioning robot just about when matches began--kudos to them! Competitions also provide students opportunities to advocate for themselves and others. During one of the Syntax Errors' final matches we felt a rule had been violated. Sara, Kabira and Eden were able to look up the official rule and boldly strode up to the head official to use evidence to support their claim. He heard them and was sure to tell the other officials about the rule for the remaining matches.

The awards ceremony was a bit tense, with all of the excitement about sending two teams to Worlds this year. Alas, we were not selected, but our friends at ASK Academy in Rio Rancho were as well as a kind team from Carlsbad. Best of luck to those teams as they head off on their adventure.

Although the competition was full of excitement, lunch may have been the most joyous.  NMSU supported the event by providing a meal ticket to all of our students and our adult chaperones. If you want to encourage middle and high school students to attend university, take them to an all-you-can-eat cafeteria with fresh ingredients and a waffle bar! We were all well-fed, courtesy of the University, and for that we were very grateful.

While photos are forthcoming from the day's events, you can actually see some of our students in the Las Cruces Sun! Check out Aidan B and Liam (and Aidan's dad, Kent) in a still photo and Reina, Sevilla and Jack in the last video.

Keep checking back, or subscribe through your email using the button to the right. Photos are coming as will be information on how the end of our season unfolds.

Thank you to all of you for your support this season!
~The Syntax Errors & The Octobots

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We've Got Spirit, How 'bout You?!

Today in practice we created our own team cheer. Here it is:

1,2,3,4… robots rock, let's play some more!

5,6,7,8… everyone let's go play great!

Syntax Errors, Octobots, we build robots lots and lots!

 We are cheerful we are proud come on people let's be loud!

 39-69 our robots are looking fine!

 73-52 we got game, how about you?!

Syntax errors t shirts!

T shirts!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Programming "in action"

She tirelessly works and reworks the programming. 

State Championships Are One Week from Today!

Exactly one week from today we will be at the New Mexico State Championships! Two teams from this event will qualify for the World Championships in Anaheim, CA in April. Last year with only 5 competitors we had the good fortune to win the Excellence Award which entitled us to go to Worlds. This year the event will host 15 teams! It is so exciting to see the growth in our state over the course of just one year. We have our work cut out for us this week making final programming and building changes as well as getting in some drive time.

If you are in Las Cruces next weekend, check out the event-we'd love to see our supporters there, especially after the 4am departure time from Albuquerque. We'll need all of the energy we can muster!
~The Octobots & The Syntax Errors

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Random photo

lots of progress

herroooooooooooo. Today is thursday february 6th and a ton of progress is getting made, sending thank you cards, programming, construction, deconstruction, the whole kazoo. State championships are coming up soon, feeling pretty confident in the two teams. There is alot of "re-modeling" for the two robots so we can do better in the state competition witch decides who goes to worlds.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Follow us on Twitter!

Working on the robot

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Wednesday's practice

Hellooƶoooo. Today were making alot of progress. first of all, Octobots are voting for who's gonna be team captain and deciding drive teams. The Syntax Errors are struggling to finish there robot considering that we have two more practices until the competition at UNM. Check our twitter to see who wins the election of the Octobots!  

Friday, January 24, 2014


Today we are starting a twitter account! Were still gonna stay updated on blogger.

January 24th Practice

Today the Octobots are putting the finishing touches on their robot. The Syntax Errors are working on their intake system and waiting for some rush delivery parts to complete the 'bot. The programing team is programing the robot's autonomous modes. The pr team is securing donations and making excellent posters to show off our team spirit at the competition.

The Octobots are changing the three wheel design, to four wheels due to base falling apart. The Syntax Errors are making significant progress in building the base and attaching the wheels.

Now that both teams are wrapping up their robots, we should be creating drive teams soon. We'll let you know when we do.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January Update

Total concentration

We are just a few weeks away from our first competition of the season at UNM. We are trying to finish up our robots so we can squeak in some practice time before the event. Of our two teams, one nearly has their robot completed. The other is working on the intake system. We're all keeping our fingers crossed that they will work!

This extra effort equals a need for extra energy and we're so grateful that Luigi's is just up the road. Their pizza is the highlight of practice and gives us a much-needed break.

Luigi's keeps us fueled up for the hours of practice ahead!

School Life as Real Life--Here is our math for the cost comparison per square inch of a slice of pizza. 
Some of the highlights from this week's practices include:

  • near completion of one robot
  • T-shirt design ideas for each team (The Syntax Errors and the Octobots)
  • Seeing great teamwork and cooperation
  • Securing food donations for the UNM event (way to go Ms. S!)
  • Beginning the programming for the autonomous period--thanks Mr. Brian, Ms. S and Ms. K!
  • Watching video of matches around the world for strategy and design ideas
  • Having a whole lot of fun!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter Break Practices

With our first competition of the season less than a month away and no running 'bot, we are in need of some serious extra time to prepare. Over Winter Break we held 2, 3-hour practices so we could do our best to finish our robots. Team A experienced some scissor lift difficulties yet made much progress. Team B walked away from Friday's practice with a rolling robot that has the scissor lift and holding area attached. Both teams need to complete their intake systems and attach all the necessary motors before programming can begin.

We'll get there, but we're going to need to burn the midnight oil!

Here are some photos of our work:

Sideways Millie--look at how tall that scissor lift is!

Staying organized!

Working on the scissor lift--again!

Battery and Cortex for the B Team are attached and ready for motors

B-Team Chassis--still needs to be modified

B-Team Chassis-With the scissor lift attached it is too long. We'll need to modify the front wheel.

We're ready to roll!