About Team Author

Hi, we are Team Major Trouble! We are an all-girl robotics team (Girl Powered). This is our 6th year as a team, hence Charlie 6.0... Anyways I hope you enjoy our website.

Michigan Turning Point Complete

Our 2018-19 Michigan season is done. This past weekend Major Trouble was in the Michigan State Middle School Championships where we finished 14th overall against the top 32 teams from across the state of Michigan, and were captains of the 8th seed finalist alliance. We finished 3-3, with 2 autonomous wins and were 19th ranked in skills. Not too bad considering this is the best of the best in the state. And although we didn’t get an invite for Vex Worlds, we did end up with a Judges award, specifically recognizing the efforts in programming (17 selectable autonomous programs!) and our work in teaching elementary students STEM fundamentals. Both of those are something we are very proud of.

Overall for the season, we finished with a record of 39-21-1 (65%) In the last 4 events of the year, we finished 17-7-0 (81%). Not too shabby. For autonomous we won 38 of 61 (62%), and for the last 4 events we won 17 of 24 (71%). Again, not too shabby. For the season, we won an Excellence award, two Judges awards and a Design award. We brought in 3 new members and will send off two more Major Trouble alumni to future robotics events. I’m sure there was some learning for the other members in there too… All this, plus our past 4 seasons puts us further along for an even better 2019-2020 season!

We are still not done with this season, as we have 3 finalists in the Vex online challenges, with up to $1550 in Vex gift certificates and one of two spots for Vex Worlds (Its pretty cool!) to be judged yet. We also have a second post season trip, this one to the Create US Open in Council Bluffs Iowa. This will be our 5th trip to the US open in 5 years.

To all of you supporting us, we thank you for helping make this a successful Michigan competitive season! But please, don’t stop cheering us… the Trouble is just beginning!

Its National Engineers Week!

In celebration of some of those who change the world, here are a few videos of what its like to be an engineer. Its an incredibly rewarding career, with many twists and turns. Many days can be completely unexpected. But to actually see something you worked so hard on become a reality, something that works well, does what its supposed to do, and changes someones life… that’s pretty special.

Among the other videos, this first one hits close. I worked in this lab during my time at MSU, constructing these and other augmentative communication aids to help give a voice to those who couldn’t otherwise speak. Being a part of something that allowed a child who couldn’t talk to say “I love you” to her parents for the first time, or allowing someone to give a special address to congress on assistive technology is an incredible thing.

So many times we think of the thing, the gadget, the lights and sounds that they make. But the IMPACT of the device has a much greater meaning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umNfDhi0kB0

12 point auton swing

Since January we have a qualifier record of 24-9-1 and have won the autonomous bonus 26 times. That’s a huge advantage for our team as it sets a large deficit for the opponents to overcome. A large part of this winning is from our current far tile autonomous. In it we flip the top flag (flip score for us), take the ball from under one cap (scoring it for us), flip another cap (flipping to score for us), go flip the top center flag (scoring it for us) and, if needed based on our partner and their abilities, park. In 15 seconds. Thats a raw score of 9 points for us, and a 12 point swing (descoring an opponents flag and cap).

As described above, our auton is selectable. We currently have 4 selectable programs, one for each tile location, and each is selectable for using the park or not. This gives us lots of flexibility in working with the capabilities and levels of our partners. All this, plus our skills programs are selected using the VEX LCD and our menuing programs.

We have been working on all this this since the beginning of the year and its getting pretty good. This past weekend, it was successful twice. Sometimes we hit a field element when executing and that takes our path off location. We will continue to refine prior to states and the US Open in August to get the path clear and working more reliable.

Check out the video on our YouTube Page. Needless to say, we are quite excited to show you, and hopefully you are on our alliance when you see it!

Four-Four-Four

What a day! We finished in 4th place, played and won 4 matches and won 4 autonomous bonuses. So, after the 3rd and final league qualifying event, we are 9-4-1, with 19 win points, 40 auton bonus points (10 of 14 autons won!), and 152 SP.

In addition to great matches today, we moved up in skills rankings. Our new skills programs got us 8 points for programming skills while we got 16 points for driver skills. This places us 2nd overall in league skills with 24 points. In Vex World Skills rankings, this places us in 65 place of 1608 middle school teams globally, 37th place of 1356 in the US and 10th place of 98 in Michigan.

Whew! We keep improving!

Event #5 – UPDATED – January 12th – Carman-Ainsworth VRC HS/MS Turning Point Tournament

This is a combined middle school/high school event (event page).  This will be held at Carman Ainsworth Middle School at 1409 W Maple Ave here in Flint (directions).  The event has been expanded and now includes 50 terams.  We have seen many of these teams before – Notre Dame, Cranbrook, Carman Ainsworth, Monroe/Virus, Grand Blanc West, Grand Blanc East, Van Hoosen, Oakland Christian, so the gym will look very familiar.  This event has been good to us in the past.  Hopefully the things learned from the past competitions, our tweaks, and time spent on our rebel field will pay dividends here. Agenda
  • 7:15 – Doors open, setup and inspection
  • 8:30 – Drivers meeting
  • 8:45 – Opening Ceremonies
  • 9:00 – Qualifying matches begin/Skills field opens
  • 12:00 – Lunch (send the lunch form to Jenn)
  • 3:30 – Alliance Selection and Eliminations beign
  • 4:30 – Awards
  • 5:00 – Cleanup
If you have family and friends coming for our cheering section (hopefully we will have the boards this time…) they can come any time (free event!!!) but after 9 they will be able to see the matches. Awards at this event are as follows:  Excellence (States, US Open), Tournament Champions (States, US Open) , Design (States, US Open) , Judges, Volunteer of the year, Skills Champion (US Open).

EngineerGirl Writing Contest

The 2019 EngineerGirl writing contest is open!

Prizes!
Winners in each grade category will receive the prizes listed below:
First-place winners will be awarded $500.
Second-place entries will be awarded $250.
Third-place entries will be awarded $100.

From engineergirl.org – 
Write a story that celebrates engineering design and problem solving.

The EngineerGirl writing contest is, for the first time, asking students to submit works of creative fiction.

We want stories about women and girls saving the day with their wits, skill, and whatever resources they can find to solve the problem. Maybe they are working alone, maybe they are part of an elite team. Maybe they just find themselves in an unusual situation that requires some innovative thinking.

We want stories that inspire EngineerGirl readers to think, “I want to be able to do that” or  “I can do that.”

To enter the contest:

Write an original, fictional story in which the main character is a female who uses engineering skills to solve a problem.

There are three basic rules:

  1. Your main character must be female.
  2. Your main character must use engineering design principles to solve a problem – she cannot use or rely on magic or supernatural powers.
  3. Your story must be under the word limit for your grade level, which is listed below.
    Elementary (grades 3-5): 800 words.
    Middle School (grades 6-8): 1100 words.
  4. All stories must be original work. Any evidence of plagiarism will immediately disqualify an entry.
  5. Be sure to read the full Rules & Requirements.
  6. Submit your essay via the Online Submission Form by February 1, 2019 at 11:59pm EST. 

Event #4 – Nissan VRC HS/MS Turning Point League

Our first League event is coming up on December 3rd at the Nissan North America Technical Center, located in Farmington Hills MI (event page). This league meets 4 times, December 16, 2018, January 13 2019, January 27, 2019 all at the technical center and will have a final event on February 3, 2019 at Cranbrook.  I have not received much info about this event, but as I do, I will pass it along to the group.  The only thing I know is as of now, there are 6 open spots of 24, the events are on Sunday afternoons from 2-5 (championship agenda is not determined yet).  When I get more info on the event we will determine what is needed for support personnel at the events. 

Mark the dates on your calendar.

Special event – MathWorks Robot Autonomy and Control Webinar

This event came up on robotevents and I wanted to pass it along to the group.  This is  a webinar for programming autonomous and working with sensors.  Its a hands on lecture and demonstration for programming autonomous for VEX robotics.  Its a FREE online event intended to help teams get started and perfect their programming skills, explaining and demonstrating how to use simulation and programming for

  • Avoiding Obstacles
  • Moving For Time
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Navigating With Sensors
  • Determining Position
  • Controlling Position
  • etecting Objects

There are two sessions – one on December 5th and the second on January 30th.  Both are from 5-7.  Info to connect to the program stream will come after registration. 

If any of you are interested, please let Scott Barrett know.