LC3 Thunderbirds are looking for sponsors, mentors and partners | Daily Democrat
In the LC3 Thunderbirds robotics team, everyone involved is a piece of the puzzle and is needed to complete the picture.
That was the point made by Thunderbirds members on Thursday night, when the group invited current and potential sponsors, partners and mentors to visit and learn more about the organization.
Students from three Lee County school districts – Fort Madison, Central Lee and Keokuk – make up the LC3 team. Team members gave robot demonstrations, followed by a presentation.
Crew member Jed Brewer said this was his second year with the Thunderbirds and he was on the programming crew.
“Programming is what we use to give the robot the commands to do what it needs to do. We use Java to code through WPI, which is a coding platform,” he said. need a lot of coding help because coding is a harder thing to learn without any mentor. We had to learn a lot from the internet and other people.
Brewer said the robotics team is “one of the only places in Lee County where you can actually learn to code or do anything with coding, gaining coding experience.”
The programming team’s piece of the puzzle is needed because without the coding, the robot wouldn’t be able to move.
Michael Hollister has been on the team for two years and co-leads the construction team, which builds the robot.
“We have to design the robot, so we use CAD and physical prototypes to design the robot. We also need to create wiring diagrams and pneumatic diagrams for our robot,” he said. “So we have to use hand tools and power tools, all of this, we have to teach each other how to use and how to use it safely.”
Hollister said the construction team fits into the puzzle of the different teams because to compete, a robot must have been built.
Aurora Edens is in her first year with LC3 robotics and is part of the commercial team.
“You might be wondering what companies are doing with robotics. Well, we keep track of records, notes, budget and website. We do most of the events like fundraisers and, well, the sponsorship night you’re attending right now,” she said. “We also stay in touch with the community and our sponsors.”
The team website, www.lc3robotics.comis the place to see what the Thunderbirds are up to, including upcoming events, announcements and future plans.
“It also recognizes all of our sponsors and partners. The community around us is a very big part of LC3 Robotics,” said Edens. “We stay in touch with our communities through our social media platforms, which include Instagram, Facebook and, of course, our website.”
Without the help of the sales team, she said, the community wouldn’t know much about LC3 robotics.
Brewer also talked about the driving team, which includes two drivers, a trainer and a scout. Drivers control the robot in the field. The coach communicates with the other coaches, watches the clock and thinks on the spot.
The scouts, Brewer said, are in the stands to watch other teams play each other and help strategize.
“We fit into the LC3 Thunderbirds puzzle because without the driving team,” he said, “we wouldn’t be able to compete because nobody’s driving it.”
Noah Wright is in his second year with LC3 Thunderbirds and is part of the safety team.
“The security team makes sure everyone is safe and everything is safe,” he said. “One thing we have is an acronym for the basic ideals of safety, which is CPR, which stands for common sense, protection/prevention and rules.”
Without the security team, Wright said, people could be hurt.
“And we have to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.
Edens was also part of the fundraising team.
“Burning question: Why do we need money? Well, without money, we can’t build our robot. We can’t get the equipment we need to build. And we can’t go either. at competitions,” she said. “Our goal is $20,000 by December 31. But we want the first half ($10,000) by October 31 in order to register for competitions.”
Edens said some things the team needs to buy are more computers and robot parts.
“We fit into the puzzle because without money we can’t do anything,” she said. “We couldn’t build our robot, we couldn’t compete.”
So far, approximately $3,000 has been raised. Brewer said events like Sponsorship Night are a way to reach out to raise funds.
Edens said the group is planning a quiz night in November and donations are still being accepted.
“But if you want to be a sponsor and have your name on anything,” she said, “you can go to the website and look at the sponsorship packages and that will tell you everything you get for the amount you donate.”
The team’s co-coaches, Joe and Shalisse Johnstun, said the group is also seeking grants and received a $2,000 FIRST Robotics grant, thanks to the Thunderbirds’ achievements.
In April, the LC3 Thunderbirds competed in international competition in Texas and achieved the second-highest rookie ranking in the world.