The Firebirds brought home their first ever winner's banner from Hatboro-Horsham this past weekend! We had so much fun competing with our alliance partners, Peddie and the Krypton Cougars! We can't wait to compete again this coming weekend at Springside Chestnut Hill! Hope to see you all there!
24 hours until our first competition of the season, it really is crunch time now! The team has been hard at work in the shop this week finishing up the last of replacement parts, final rehearsing of our impact presentation, and last minute pit tower touch-ups. With the whole team excited for competition this weekend, we are going to bring the team spirit!
Follow us on TikTok and YouTube at @firebirds433 for more updates on competition!!
Welcome back to the blog! Thank you so much for coming back and reading up on our events. So much has happened over the past three months. Our seniors graduated, new officers were elected, and we ran our week long summer program, Camp Innovate.
Read on to find out where our seniors are flying to in the Fall.
Paige V. is headed to flying to High Point University
Gwen D. is soaring to Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Grace G. is flying to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Brynn L. is soaring at Drexel University
Anna G. is flying to University of Pittsburg
Gabbi C. is headed to Elizabethtown College
Livia N. is headed to Ursinus College
Justine L. is soaring to Indiana University
Julia Norton is headed to Northeastern University
Maddie Lostrocco is flying to College of Charleston
Update for our 2021 -2022 Season: We have elected our officers for our upcoming school year!
We are pleased to announce the following girls as leaders for the 2021-2022 season:
President: Sophia Balaratna
Technical VP : Nora Blatney
Administrative VP : Sarah Farrell
HUGE congratulations to our new officers, we know they will do an outstanding job!
Update: Camp Innovate
We were so grateful to be able to run our week long STEM program, Camp Innovate. The campers were all amazing and we had SO much watching them participate in STEM Challenges, solve puzzles in escape rooms, launch rockets and build and a EDU-V2 Rev robot. It was amazing and we hope that all of our campers come back in 2022.
If you would like to see more of the fun we had at camp, watch our camp video.
Hello alumni, sponsors, and fellow robot enthusiasts! If you are looking for an update on what the Firebirds have been up to, look no further. The Firebirds have been very busy over the past few months adjusting to a hybrid learning system and starting on our fun offseason activities!
First things first, a message from our Vice President of Business on this years Quizzo:
Even though 2020 has looked different than we imagined, Quizzo 2021 is going to happen! This year, Quizzo takes place, virtually, on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 7 pm. It is going to be live: scored by current Firebirds and MC’ed by one of Mount’s Chemistry teachers, Mr. Jerkerwicz. And of course, we are still going to have raffle baskets! A benefit to this new virtual model of Quizzo is that you can bid on baskets in advance by using the website, OneCause. This website along with the registration will be published at the end of January and continue to be updated until the night of Quizzo!
Your team members can be people in your “pod” or you can social distance with friends or family! We wanted to make Quizzo as fun (and semi-normal) as possible while still being safe. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you there!"
Through the generosity of our sponsors and the dedication of our girls, we have been able to start two FTC teams this year!
We are proud to present FTC team 18436, Basan, and team 18437, The Valkyries. Each team is made up of girls in the purple and gold cohorts respectively, due to the hybrid system the Mount has adopted. All girls on each team have less than two years of robotics experience. Lets see what both teams have been up to!
Basan has been hard at work prototyping mechanisms for the intake, indexer, and outtake. I asked some of the girls to describe the prototypes they have been working on.
The Valkyries have also been in the prototyping process developing an intake, indexer, and two outtakes.
This year, some of the juniors and seniors on the team are working together to create a real life BB-8! Two of our builders, Sophia and Nora, are currently using CAD to map out a robot design and determine the parts best suited for the robot. Our senior programmers have decided to use a Raspberry Pi and a Servo Hat to control the bot. So far, we have setup the raspberry pi to receive values from an xbox controller, started research on using beam break sensors with the Raspberry Pi, and begun developing an object avoidance program using a Raspberry Pi Camera and a Pi Zero.
Senior Brynn Lintner decided to make a new type of robot controller: an electronic glove! The idea began with using a gyro in a glove so that when the user turns their hand the robot would move. Then, the idea expanded into flex sensors in the gloves’ fingers to allow control of other mechanisms. The sensors would allow the programmers to use different bends of the users fingers to control a multitude of the robot’s functionality. With this in mind, the parts were ordered and Brynn has begun working with an Arduino board, the flex sensors, and gyro to put it all together and create the gloves.
Ivy Hill Equestrian Society:
Before winter break, one of our girls, Sarah Farrell, was designing tags for the horses at the Ivy Hill Equestrian Society. When we return to school, she will use the X-carve to engrave the tags!
Thank you so much to our sponsors for making this happen! Check back soon for more updates on the weekly happenings of the Firebirds. See you soon!
Hello Dearies! Welcome back to the blog! It is officially the end of Week 4!! As everyone knows, Week 4 gets pretty rough, the way we combat that is with dancing! If you check out our vlog (hint hint go watch the vlog!) you'll just how much dancing we've done! Though we dance a lot, we work even more! Soooo let's get to the week recap!
The Chairman's girls worked suuuuuper hard this week! They have did amazing work with scripting out the presentation, figuring out important topics, and dividing the points between the girls. They edited the essay. And edited. And edited some more.... and guess what. THEY FINISHED THE ESSAY AND SUBMITTED IT! WE ARE OFFICIALLY ELIGIBLE TO COMPETE FOR CHAIRMANS! We are so so proud of these girls and are so thankful for everything they've done to get ready for this.
Our Business Plan have also been underway this week! We are currently in the editing process of our business plan and hope to have most of it down by the end of this week! Thanks to Kristen for making it look GORGEOUS
For Scouting, the grind never ends! Our Scout Master, Liz has been working on new more user-friendly scouting sheets. We are sticking with our paper handouts this year because it is very successful for our team and are using more visual aids to help the freshmen scout!
And since I can never do K-Dawg justice her she is again:
"This week, the programmers finally got their hands on the robot! The sophomores and freshmen designed, built, and mounted an electronics panel (it has two levels, is very fancy, and has been named Jimmy John due to its sandwich-like appearance). They also wrote code for the robot’s main mechanism controls. The junior and senior programmers continued to work on vision processing and spent approximately four hours mounting retroreflective tape (special shoutout to any other poor souls who spent their Saturday trying to angle tape at ~precisely~ 14.5 degrees). They also wrote code for some of the processes that our team will be automating during the season, such as the endgame climb and a few specific positions for the cargo and hatch mechanisms."
So that is all for Week 4! We sadly had two days where we weren't allowed to be in shop, but we still made some amazing strides towards the end of this build season! As they say in Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again! See you in Week 5!
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This past week, our school community has grieved the loss of Sister Kathleen Brabson, our school president. We have come together as a community to remember her legacy, her love, and her compassion. One of our favorite stories of her was, every year, while sitting in our chapel, she would tell each and every one of us to look at the ceiling. To look at the many stars painted in chapel. And pick one. Keep it in your head. Your heart. Your soul. That we are forever imprinted in that chapel as our star will be there to represent us.
We feel as though this story is a sign for us. That even in Deep Space, we can look for our star, and know we are home. And look around and see all the stars around us and know we are not alone and our sisterhood will forever stand beside us.
With this news, we are also announcing that we will be dedicating this season to the memory of Sister Kathleen. Her love for the education of women, and STEM education is a passion embedded in our team, and encouraged by her support. We know that will her watching over us, no matter our season's outcome, that we are loved and supported by her every step of the way. Spes Messise in Semine, The Hope of the Harvest is in the Seed.
With that being said, Sister Kathleen's dedicated to hard work has allowed us to continue on and get back to work as Week 3 has come to a close. So we'll start off with our normal quick roundups!
*You will be getting another bulleted list like last week #sorrynotsorry*
Now like always I didn't write this section, but the text conversation that happened between Kate (Head Programmer and President) and I was too great not to include so enjoy:
Ellie: "hey k-dawg could you give me a brief overview of what happened in programmy land last week?"
Kate: "absolutely e-money:
This week, the sophomore and freshmen programming team built a whole electronic board! They wired up a roboRIO, radio, VRM, and a few Talons to get some practice before wiring the electronics 2019 robot, which they will be doing in the next few weeks. They also successfully got the gyro function of the navX working, which will be essential for any programs to be run autonomously during the sandstorm period. The Raspberry Pi subteam have managed to get images streaming from the Pi to the SmartDashboard and are now working towards finetuning GRIP programs in order to automate a hatch placement program."
Ellie: "I hate us"
The Chairman's team is making aamaaaaaaazing progress! They have finished a working essay that could be submitted right NOW! That being said they believe they can sharpen it up a little, plus we want to add a few things! They have also made a concrete decision on what they want this year's theme to be and how they'll implement it! It's extremely cool and fits this year's aesthetic perfectlyyyyyy! Dariya and Lex have also started doing Dance Brainstorm Sessions where they express what topics they would like to include while showing off their best moves! These girls are ahead of year's previous and they're on track to making this season reach the stars!
*More bullet points, yay!
Now that's all for this week, see you all next time! We're the 433 Firebirds and you're watching Disney Cha--. Whoops, wrong place, sorry! We're the 433 Firebirds and we're blasting off into DEEP SPACE!
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Hello blog! Welcome to Deep Space Week 2! I'll keep this intro short as we go into what we've been up to this week! Also keep an eye out for our new Build Season Vlog which will be coming out soon!
Sadly, we had final exams this week so our shop was closed from last Saturday to this Thursday. We've been sure to make up lost time by getting right back into shop though!
This Friday we had our annual Quizzo event, a trivia night we host. We not only do 10 rounds of trivia, but we raffle off baskets and do 50/50! This year our very own Mr. Palac won the 50/50! We thank everyone who made this night through donating baskets and sponsoring the event. Also, a huge shout out to our school, the Mount Saint Joseph Academy, who always allow us to hold this event and to Mrs. Gregori who is the main reason this night runs so smoothly!
Our builders have made A LOT of progressive this past week. We have:
Though I could update you all on Chairman's in long winded bullet points, our amazing Business Vice President and head Chairman's girl Dariya best explains it, "Hard at work this week, the Chairman's team finished the first draft of the essay! (This is the fastest they've finished it in a couple of years, so they're very excited). Also they began planning their theme, let's just say, stars are aligning for this to be a perfect presentation. *winky emoji & star emoji*"
Since we discovered other people write much better paragraphs than I do, we now have our lovely President and Head Programmer Kate talk a little bit more about the work on the programming side, "For the past two years, our programming team has been functioning under a philosophy we like to call, 'Type now, research (maybe) later.' This year, our programmers are taking a different route. With the new challenges of the Sandstorm Period and vision processing, Junior and Senior Programmers have been researching extensively and have succeeded in getting their Raspberry Pi up and running. Now they are working toward both displaying image streams on the SmartDashboard and processing images using GRIP. The sophomores and Freshman Programmers this week upgraded a past robot to run with 2019 FRC code. They now have that robot running basic autonomous program with two cameras for our drivers to use when simulating the sandstorm period. They have also begun to experiment with a few different types of sensors to determine which ones we want to use on our 2019 robot. Gooo Programming!"
Important Media Update!!!
STARTING TODAY WE ARE DOING A 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL! We will be posting every Monday through Friday a throwback photo starting from 1999 all the way to 2019! So make sure to keep an eye on our Instagram (@firebirds433) and share it with all your friends!
So that is all my birdies! We hope to see you next week! Keep building and don't go crazy as we start Week 3!
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Heeeellllooooooooo! Welcome back to the happiest place on earth! Since Week 1 is officially over, we NEED to fill you guys in on what we’ve done this year! So let’s start!
Since we’ve covered girlPOWER and most of September we’ll start with October!
This is just the beginning of the amazing things that happened since we’ve been gone! Now that Week 1 is at a close, we sadly will not be in shop for a little while due to Finals being this week, BUT we will be back on Thursday! And meanwhile, we are prepping for our annual Quizzo Fundraiser which is this Friday! If you haven’t gotten a table there’s still time left or if you would like to make a donation to the event feel free to reach out!
Good luck to all the other teams and we can’t wait to Blast Off into DEEP SPACE!
*Remember to watch our new vlog!*
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Hi Blog! It's been awhile! Don't worry we're back once again!
We've done quite a bit this summer, but that's a story for another time! Today, we're here to talk about one of our favorite events—girlPOWER! For those that don’t know girlPOWER is an annual offseason event we run, POWER stands for Preparing Outstanding Women Engineers through Robotics. What makes this competition so unique is the drive teams are required to be made 100% of women! This event helps encourage girls to get more involved on their team and give them a chance to show off their skills! Like always, this year was so much fun and a huge success!
First, we would like to thank our sponsor Penn Community Bank for making this event possible and to all the volunteers who made the day so special!
This year we got to watch girls from 15 teams have the chance to POWER UP once again! Experienced and new girls all got the amazing chance to try and drive their robot (some for the very first time ever!). “GirlPOWER is an amazing event because it gives a whole new set opportunities to team members who normally would not get the chance to drive or be in the pit.”
Though many girls are often slightly timid to drive their robot for the first time, the President of the Firebirds, Kate, said it best herself, “Through these opportunities, girls are able to become more confident both within their teams and within FRC as a whole.” The experience level doesn’t matter but the chance for these girls to put themselves out there is the most important part.
Not only do girls get to drive their own robot, they sometimes get the chance to help with others! Our drive team leader, Bridget, was actually able to coach Team 423 during some of their matches. When asked about the experience she said, “This year I especially loved girlPOWER because I got the chance to coach 423 Simple Machines. Doing this gave me the opportunity to see first hand how all girl drive teams really benefit girls interested in becoming a part of robotics, but might not get the chance to do so with male mentors and a team in which the majority members are boys.”
GirlPOWER also fosters friendships between teams and emphasizes the Gracious Professionalism in FRC, 433 drive team member, Gabbi said, “Another part that I love is the camaraderie among teams. Everyone cheers on the other teams and i am so happy to be apart of a wonderful community.”
This event is designed to introduce the public to robotics as well. Many members from our community and all around come to girlPOWER as their first introduction to FIRST and FRC. Though confusing for some at first, the community of amazing FRC families are always willing to sit down and explain what is happening to each other. To see the growth of such an amazing program is always an extra perk of hosting this event.
Congrats to all the teams for doing amazing this year, as well as all the girls who put themselves out there to try something new. We hoped all that could attend had an amazing time and we hope to see you next year! And don’t forget to POOOOOOWER UP!
P.S. CHECK OUT OUR GIRLPOWER 2018 VLOG (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hJoGam8lsg)
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Hi! Nice to see you again, it's been a while. Yes, it’s true. Our birdies did graduate, yes they are leaving the nest. No, this is not our last goodbye because once a Firebird always a Firebird (you are a honorary Firebird if you get that High School Musical reference).
Down below you’ll find some amazing little snippets about each of our senior birdies from this year written by the girls on the team! They talk a little bit about where they will be heading, but also look back and see just how they’ve impacted our team!
Jess Jha -
Jess has been a Firebird since her freshman year. She has worked tirelessly on the business team for her four years here. Jess will be attending Drexel University as a Software Engineering Major this year.
Alexann Konyk -
Alex has been on the team since her freshman year and has been contributing to the team ever since. As human player and button maker, she kept our team spirit and the scores high. Alex was nominated as a Dean’s List semifinalist in her junior year. She will be attending Villanova University as an Engineering Major.
Alex Reyes -
Alex has been part of the team since freshman year. She was our first driver . Alex has played a big part on our team from head programming to head of our drive team. Her sense of humor helps our team get through the build season. Alex plans volunteer at our future competitions and will be attending William and Mary majoring in Chemistry and Psychology.
Annie Fowler -
Annie joined the Firebirds in her freshman year and has been on the Chairman’s Award Subteam for three years, working with outreach. Annie served as the Vice President of Social Affairs as a sophomore, Executive Vice President as a junior, and President as a senior. She will attend Eckerd College and major in Marine Biology.
*Now as a quick update for our 2018-2019 season: We have elected our officers for next our upcoming season! As a change for this year, we have actually created 2 Vice President positions: a Technical VP (who deals with more with the physical robot) and a Business VP (who will deal more with the business and behind-the-scenes work). Together they will be able to cover more of our team and help us run it more efficiently!
Now we are honored to announce the following girls as leader for the 2018-2019 season:
President: Kate Przydzial
Technical VP: Brigid O’Neill
Business VP: Dariya Brann
HUGE congrats to our birdies, we know they’ll help make our next season an amazing one!
As always, keep up to date with what we are doing on our social medias which are linked below! And keep an eye out for an end of the summer update that will talk about everything we’ve done this summer! Again, our birdies are leaving the nest, but they will always be able to come visit their second home: the shop. We love you girls so much and we know you’ll go on to do amazing things!
(PS: For any FRC Teams, girlPOWER registration is open! If you haven’t registered yet, feel free to use the link below and register your team’s spot before it’s too late! https://www.firstfirebirds433.com/girlpower.html)