This postcard summarizes several key facts for our first season, the most important of which are the benefits of being one of our sponsored teams.
Helping us co-host an FTC meet may sound more like work, and less like a benefit, but we are planning our meets to be big community events, and your team's participation will provide a great outreach opportunity.
Likewise, the Murmuration Festival in September is going to be a large community event, with streets closed for several blocks around the Cortex campus to provide space for all the happenings. The Maker Expo is one of the free parts of the festival, and will feature some 20 booths containing a variety of maker activity. In the SLSRA booth, we will have exhibition space to run FLL robots and other small robots, as well as a pile of TETRIX Prime parts for visitors to build their own robots. How is that going to work? Join us and help us figure it out, then on September 24 or 25, bring your team's banner to the booth and it's your booth for a shift.
Next on the list is discounted Tech Shop memberships. We have arranged with Tech Shop for a handful of quarterly memberships, and we plan to make them available at a discounted rate to members of our sponsored teams. For student members using the equipment at Tech Shop, the best arrangement is to have a parent or guardian present who is also a member, so we are recommending two memberships per team: one adult and one student. With this arrangement, a team's CAD specialist and a parent or mentor can make unlimited visits to the Tech Shop to develop custom parts for the team's robot, and I understand that you can arrange with Tech Shop to bring more of the team along as observers, as long as only the members operate the equipment. Further, once each quarter we can transfer the memberships to different team members.
Now, if you've read this far without googling to see what Tech Shop is, let me tell you it's none other than the premier open-access workshop in the world, and there are by my count 13 locations in the world, with the lucky 13th opening this month in St. Louis, in the Cortex district. Check out the Tech Shop website and their FAQ to get a flavor of it, but you have to see it to appreciate it. Fortunately there's an open house this Saturday from 1 to 5!
This is me at the high-pressure waterjet cutter, one of the more expensive and awesome pieces of equipment at Tech Shop. A blurb from the course catalog:
Precisely cut almost any flat material with a very thin, high pressure stream of water and abrasive garnet. Work with everything from the thinnest sheet metal to 8 inches of granite, as well as wood, glass, tile, marble, and more. This extremely versatile, easy-to-program, and low-waste machine works without the risk of heat damage. The large bed accommodates full sheets of material.
I know some robot parts are going to be made on this thing in the coming months. I hope they can be for your robot!