Rocking WPI with Robotics

Friday, April 10th, the BHS Robotics Team DevilBotz went to WPI to compete in the NE First District Championship Event. We competed against the top 60 teams from all over New England for 34 slots to the World Championship in St. Louis. This was the furthest the team has gotten within the new district model. After some great and not so great qualification rounds we were ranked 33rd in the competition in Avg. Score of Match and 49th in the region in qualification points. The long version of the scoring requirements and qualification requirements can be found on www.nefirst.org.

Despite not being picked for an alliance for the final matches, we as a team are very proud of what we accomplished. We sit currently four slots away from St. Louis and look forward to qualifying next year. Please see a video below of the second highest scoring match from the regional championship. We helped out some awesome teams in this match. I look forward to next year where I can mentor my friends into becoming an unstoppable force of a team. As BayMax would say, “I cannot deactivate unless you say you are satisfied with your care.” (inside joke)

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Week 2: School is “Cool” and the Source of Laughter is Dongle

Hello everyone and welcome from Antarctica; well not really. The air conditioning vents in our new space make our room great for CPU efficiency. Computer builders will get that joke. However with the cold comes a burning passion for technology. Yeah, I know it sounds quite tacky, but hear me out. That warm fuzzy feeling inside one gets after helping out a students can fight back any cold. That and a sweatshirt or two. It is a nice thing being able to help students and teachers throughout the school. Whenever I am in a class other than Help Desk and a student or teacher is having a problem, they ask me for help. I was in AP Psychology with the awesome Dr. Rachel Gould, PhD, not MD. Her projector was not working with her Mac. I always keep a spare Thunderbolt to VGA dongle with me. Yes, I just used a funny word. I swapped out her broken part with my temporary fix and then proceeded to grab her a new from from the IT department. I know what you are thinking, why do to IT when there is HD. In rebuttal I say that Mrs. Scheffer had her hands tied with two classes going on simultaneously. When she is the the “zone” there is no getting her out of it. This is how we got a pair of Google Glass, but that is another story. But back to the story, when I came back from my short excursion I see my friend in tears due to the use of the word dongle in everyday conversation. A PSA, please teach your students that words may not physically hurt them but it may cause tears. Tears of laughter that is.

Week 1: We’re Back and Better Than Ever

Wow. Senior year is here. It has come full circle from being a small fish in a big lake to being a big fish in a small lake. With a new year comes new challenges as well as changes to the way we run Help Desk. The class of 2019 is now required to use a world proxy in order to view websites on their iPads. Students are not allowed to remove this setting from their iPads due to the enrollment into Mobile Device Management system supported by Apple.  This has given us at the Help Desk a few headaches. Students are required to login with their district assigned identification number sequence and their password. Trying to explain this new system to incoming students was tricky. To distinguish between which students get what instruction was hard. Freshmen get one set of instructions while the rest of the school is given other directives. Once the first few weeks pass we should see a drop in the number of tickets related to this issue. With a new school year comes new faces in the administration as well as teaching staff. We are the first line at Burlington High School. New teachers are looking for help with their new devices and how to integrate them into the classroom setting. This is where being self sufficient comes into play. Our advisor and fearless leader Jenn Scheffer is a Student Technology Integration Specialist. She assists educators in getting more tech into the classroom. In order to do this she travels around the district and meets with teachers in their classrooms. On top of all that new students from other countries and towns join Burlington Public Schools. We as a team assist them in acclimating to the new school setting. Some students have never seen an “iBlank” before and we train them on the usage. Overall the first week has had its ups and downs but in the end its where I want to be.