We are a High School Engineering and FIRST Robotics Competition Team from St. Agnes Academy and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory located in Houston, Texas. Spectrum focuses on introducing students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) while enriching our members, schools, community, and the world. Thank you to our Sponsors for your support.

We are a High School Engineering and FIRST Robotics Competition Team from St. Agnes Academy and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory located in Houston, Texas. Spectrum focuses on introducing students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) while enriching our members, schools, community, and the world. Thank you to our Sponsors for your support.

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Gamma Ray 2021: Week 3 & 4

 This has been a much slower build. We are only meeting in person on weekends and CAD development has slowed as students prepare for AP tests.In Week 3 we were able to get our new router setup to drill hole patterns in tubes and used our laser cutter to cut our belly pan.With rails cut and a belly pan, we were able to assemble the chassis for our practice drive train.In Week 4 we were able to add electronics and mounting to our practice drive train and get it wired up.We also mounted some temporary bumper corners to the chassis so we can easily use this for programming and driver testing.The competition chassis was also advanced to the belly pan and rails. We have one of the swerve modules for the competition robot assembled and should get more of the other 3 done this week. [Read More]

Gamma Ray 2021: Week 2

AwardsSpectrum was recognized as one of the FIRST in Texas District Chairman’s Award teams. We had one of our students from 3847 and one of our students from 8515 advance to the District Champions Dean’s List round. Congratulations to all the teamsSubsystem UpdatesOnShape Feature ScriptsHere are some of the feature scripts we have been using on this robot to help us generate parts faster.Laser JointCreates the finger joints that we often use with laser cut partsVideoT-Slot JointAdds nut slots and holes to Laser JointsDescription, VideoAdvanced GearCreates Spur, Helix, and Double Helix gearsShaped FlangeAllows you to make a flange from a sketch profile, and can also offset the flange easily so you can make “Bend Outside” parts nicely. [Read More]

Gamma Ray 2021: Build Blog

With the bulk of the FRC at Home challenge work completed, we have begun work on designing a new robot for 2021 off-season events: Gamma Ray 2021. It is still in the early stages of its design, but we wanted to allow people to follow its progress.OnShape LinkPhoto & Slide GalleryIn the fall of 2020, we decided to register a 2nd FRC team at our schools, Photon FRC#8515. This team will be the "Development Team" for Spectrum. The general plan is new students will be on Photon but will also be members of Spectrum at the same time. The plan is for this new robot to compete under the banner of Photon at The Texas Cup event.We have been kicking around the ideas for this robot since March 2020, but the actual CAD didn't get started until last week. We didn't build or modify our 2020 robot for the skills challenges; we just used it as is.Spectrum has switched from Solidworks to OnShape, so it will be easier for anyone to view the robot's progress.Most of the build blog updates for this will be the design slides our team uses to organize our thoughts and keep everyone updated. The full design slide set will be uploaded to our photo gallery.One of the major goals of this robot was to design and build a full swerve robot before the 2022 season. If you haven't heard, there will likely be a lot of new swerve teams in 2022.- Spectrum [Read More]

FRC Resources of the Month - Jan 2021 - OnShape

There are numerous resources for FRC teams published all the time. So much so it's hard to keep track of them all. We keep a nice collection of them on our website resources.spectrum3847.org and maintain it as much as possible, but it's still a lot to process, and it's not easy to see when new items get added or old items removed. We wanted to start a new series to highlight resources that we find useful. For the next few months, we will highlight a few broad categories of resources, and then hopefully, we can use this platform to highlight new resources as they come out in the future. Our Resources of the Month for January 2021 will be those created to help the FRC community better use the OnShape CAD software.We need to thank PTC and the developers of OnShape for sponsoring FIRST and allowing every FRC student and mentor access to OnShape for free. OnShape is a 3D modeling CAD (Computer-Aided Design) program that runs entirely in the browser. It's been perfect for many teams who are meeting remotely as it can run on nearly any computer or tablet.Our FRC community has created a host of resources that allow teams to quickly and easily get started using OnShape to help their team.OnShape4FRCwww.OnShape4FRC.com was created by Max Westwater, Dave Powers, Jack Tervay, and FRC#6328.This website makes getting started with OnShape super simple for teams and is one of the sites we link to our beginning students. With an excellent getting started page and links… [Read More]

2021 Survey Results & Plans

 We surveyed the team to see which activities and events they prioritized. From that data, we started laying out a plan for how we will progress with the season. As you can see there is a lot of work to do and fewer hours than ever to do it. - Spectrum"If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get to other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own."  -  Henry Ford [Read More]

Spectrum's 2021 Season Activities

Today we presented a variety of options to the entire team and are getting feedback from each member about which activities they are most interested in doing this season. The options include the challenges that are given to us as part of the 2021 FRC seasons and activities that we can to internal to our team. Here the slides that were presented today.https://photos.spectrum3847.org/2021-FRC/2021-Activity-Plans/- Spectrum“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.” - Brené Brown [Read More]

Virtual Pit Dec 5th or Zoom with Spectrum

Virtual PitWe will be holding our last Virtual Pit session of the year on Saturday, December 5th from 11am to 1pm.Our Virtual Pit is a time to come learn about our team, ask us any questions you have, or just hang out and chat about robots, FIRST, or anything else. Our virtual pit is now on Discord, so you can chat in text or voice channels.Discord: https://discord.gg/xHmSSM3Head to VirtualPit.Spectrum3847.org for more informationZoom with SpectrumIf you can't make the Virtual Pit time, we are happy to set up a video conference session for another time for our teams to meet. We have met virtually with several FRC teams on zoom, so far we have discussed topics like robot mechanisms, team organization, and outreach. If there is anything your team wants to discuss, we would love to meet with your team! Send us an email at Team@spectrum3847.org and we can schedule a time with your team.Please let us know if you are interested, Spectrum [Read More]

P.J. Lewalski - This is How I Work

We are revisiting with P.J. who we interviewed in 2014. You can find P.J.'s original interview here. Since 2014, P.J. has received his Master's in Clinical Counseling and now mentors FRC Team 3538 the RoboJackets. Read more about P.J. and his goal to build a more positive mental health culture within FRC teams![responses from 7/3/2020]Name: PJ LewalskiCD Username: P.J.Current Job: Counseling Intern at the Stonecrest Center Alma Mater/Degree: Bachelor’s Degrees in English and History from Wayne State University, Master’s in Clinical Counseling from Wayne State UniversityCurrent Team(s): 3538 (2020-Present)Former Team(s): 910 (07-10 Student, 11-17 Mentor)Location: MichiganWhat inspired you to do what you do professionally? Tell us a story. I have always wanted to help people, and that has led me down a few different paths. I initially spent my undergrad thinking I wanted to be a high school teacher, even going so far as to get about 90 percent of a Master’s Degree in Education. Then I started student teaching as my last semester to get my degree, and I realized that it was not what I wanted to do with my life. So I left the program and spent a lot of time reflecting, and realized that in order to truly have the impact that I want to have on others the job that was calling to me was becoming a therapist focused on youth and adolescent counseling. So I entered a new Master’s program and over the years it only reaffirmed my choice. So what I always tell people… [Read More]

Virtual Pit

VirtualPit.Spectrum3847.orgWhat is a Virtual Pit?A virtual pit is an online meeting session for members of the robotics community to come talk to a robotics team about their team and their robots. Virtual pits attempt to emulate the interactions that would normally happen during a competition at the team’s pit. Virtual pits give more people the opportunity to learn from teams around the world.Spectrum’s Virtual Pit Meeting InformationDate: First Saturday of every monthTime: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Houston - US Central Time Zone)Other Virtual PitsChiefDelphi ThreadNASA Alliance Project Virtual Pits PageThank you to the Robonauts FRC#118 for developing and modeling this idea. [Read More]

Spectrum Robot Design Review Videos

While we moved our meeting to virtual sessions, we have been doing design reviews or design overviews of all of our past robots. Today we finished the series by doing a design review of our 2020 robot. Below we will link to the full youtube playlist and to each of the videos for our 2012-2020 robot. (While 3847 existed in 2011 we weren't Spectrum until 2012 and we don't have any CAD for the 2011 season).Playlist - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTocT0DivsNnpLQTUjilKfViGwg69PSW3Ultraviolet 2012Gamma Ray 2013Infrared 2014X-Ray 2015Ultraviolet 2016Gamma Ray 2017Infrared 2018X-Ray 2019Ultraviolet 2020We have also added a few other videos to our youtube channel and will continue to do so while meeting virtually. If you want to be notified of new content to subscribe to our youtube channel or follow us on Twitter.- Spectrum [Read More]