Workshop Resources

About our Summer Workshops

In summer 2015, we’re holding almost two dozen informative workshops covering every aspect of being a FIRST team.  Our student-led  workshops include hands-on demonstrations and innovative activities to teach the basics of robotics.  Completing these workshops will help prepare students to join our FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) team, start their own FRC team, or join other (FIRST Tech Challenge) teams.  Additionally, the presentations from workshops are available for other teams to use online! To view these presentations click here.

Descriptions of Summer Workshops

“Be ASAP (As Safe as Possible)” (Safetyneering and Organization)

It’s engineering – but without the risk of grievous bodily harm.  Learn how to stay safe as you carry out your plans for world domination!

“Talk nerdy and rule the world” (Inter-team Communication and Leadership)

Discover what it takes to be a great leader. It’s a known fact that geeks and nerds are going to run the world, as many already do. But in order to rule the world, you need to be a strong, capable leader, which exactly what this workshop teaches you to be.

“Get it in Writing” (Intro to Documentation)

Think documenting is boring? Think again. Documentation covers everything from initial designs to ordering parts and expenses. If you didn’t write it, it didn’t happen.

“How to Win” (Game Theory)

Who doesn’t like winning? Sometimes the easiest way to win isn’t obvious at first, but some number-crunching and creative thinking will teach you how to find winning strategies and loopholes.

“Design a Winning Bot” (Strategy and Design)

Use your imagination and creative-thinking skills to design the most robust, functional, and eye-catching robot that will bring home the winner’s blue banner!

“This Better Work” (Prototyping)

Bring your designs to life! After you’ve finally come up with a design, test it to see if it will work. This is funnest part of the design process! Create and play with your ideas to create the basis of your growing robot.

“Make it Move” (Motors and Gearing (including Motor Theory))

Learn all about what makes your robot move. Your math skills finally have a fun, applicable purpose as you learn about gear ratios, motor speeds, and motor theory.

“The bot’s got the Power” (Electronics/Pneumatics/Stored Energy)

Throughout this workshop you will learn about the platform of all activity: power. Learning about how to manage, store and conserve energy will be key to a successful robot. When working electronics, pneumatics and stored energy, it’s you who has the power.

“Fix it in CAD” (Concept Evaluation and CAD)

Dig out your robots flaws and take them back to the drawing board. Learn the importance of using CAD (computer-aided design) to modify the robot design and bring it to (near) perfection.

“The THING” (Engineering Notebook)

Do you ever make something and then forget how you made it? The Engineering Notebook (also known as “the THING”) prevents this problem. Learn the importance of documenting the design process, and how it comes in handy after you break the robot.

“Build it. Test it. Break it. Repeat.” (Reading Drawings and Fab Fundamentals)

Never used a wrench or a screwdriver before? Intimidated by a band saw or drill press? Not to worry! We’ll teach you the basics of using tools and machinery to bring design drawings to life.

“All about the Money” (Professional Communication, Sponsors, Fundraising, and Budgeting)

Building amazing, powerful robots isn’t cheap. Until we can finally figure out how to build sentient robots that can handle our finances for us, learn how sponsors, fundraisers, and donations fund our team.

“More than Robots” (Team Imagery and Presentation (including Outreach))

Our team strives to build more than robots; We want to build a reputation in the community as science and technology leaders. Discover how outreach events inspire young minds, and how our impact on the community is appreciated by the most prestigious award at competition: the Chairman’s Award.

“Connect with the World” (Media)

Contrary to popular belief, us robot-lovers don’t shy away from social media. We use our website and social media to showcase our progress, our accomplishments, and our events in the community. Learn how taking selfies, using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Vine can help you engage with other robot-lovers!

“The Forgotten Parts” (Design Review, Bill of Materials, and Ordering Parts)

The most important parts of a project also tend to be the most despised. Not to fear, we show you how the overlooked parts of the team can be very excited. Learn how design review prevents fabrication failures, how the bill of materials prevents financial disaster, and how ordering parts isn’t as easy as it seems.

“Fix it in Software” (Software and Sensors)

Making your robot move – with style!  Learn everything from the basics to using sensors to improve the functionality of your robot.

“Talk to the bot” (Human Interface)

Amaze your friends and family with your skills in communicating to your robot of your own design. Discover how the human interface is the link between robots and humans. This is a great way to see software at work!

“How Not to Drive the Bot into a Wall” (Driving)

Still don’t have your license? Driving a robot is much more interesting (and fun). Students taking this course will learn how to maneuver a competition robot and score maximum points.

“What to expect at Competitions” (Competitions)

After six labor-intensive weeks, all your hard work is rewarded at a competition that rivals that of sports championship. The energy, enthusiasm, and gracious professionalism displayed a competition is an experience you will never forget. Learn how attending a FIRST competition can forever change your perspective of science and technology.

“Finding Winning Alliance Partners” (Scouting)

Winning a competition takes more than having a good robot. You need to be able to find robots that work well with your strategy. Discover how a well organized scouting system can help you find hidden gems and develop strong relations with powerhouse teams.

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Des Moines Area FRC Team