16 August 2016, Austin, TX - Another great fundraising event at Raising Cane's comes to an end. Gabe, Jace, Aaron and Brandon are taking down the tent. And the boss showed up!

"WHEN I OPENED THE FIRST LOCATION OF RAISING CANE'S, I HAD A VISION THAT THE RESTAURANT WOULD PROVIDE A PLACE IN THE COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE COULD RECEIVE HIGH QUALITY FOOD SERVED BY A FRIENDLY AND FUN CREW IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WAS CLEAN, SAFE AND FUN. I also wanted to provide people in the community a great place to work, where they had a lot of fun while working hard. The community response was overwhelming and I wanted to make sure Cane's gave back to the community that was supporting my dream. I started to explore ways to accomplish that and found so many opportunities in the community to support. This began our commitment to giving back to our communities by becoming involved in the community." - Todd Graves

8 July 2016, Rockwall, TX - Aaron is stylin' in camo pants and the team shirt! We are at Wal-Mart selling raffle tickets to win a new 2017 Mustang from North Central Ford! The tickets are $25 each, no more than 2500 to be sold. The proceeds help the Full Metal Jackets subsidize student travel to out-of-district competitions and help younger roboteers in greater Rockwall County.

"Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community." - Sam Walton

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28 July 2016, Austin, TX - One of our alumni (Kathleen Casstevens) has a sister, Jeanne, who graduated from RHS as valedictorian and a National Merit Finalist. Dr. Stachowiak went on to study at Stanford and UC-Berkeley. Dr. Stachowiak is now a professor of biomedical engineering at UT-Austin. Her team is synthesizing cellular structures to be used as building blocks for things like drug carriers. She gave us a great tour of her lab!

Thank you UT Biomedical Engineering and Dr. Stachowiak! #JFND

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15 April 2016, Rockwall, TX -

30 April 2016, St Louis, MO -

26 March 2016, Irving TX - We competed at the Dallas Regional in Dallas, Texas. At the end of the qualification matches, our robot was seeded fourth and we paired up with Team 3005 (the 2nd Seed) and Team 4192. We fought hard and sadly lost the last match of the semi-finals. However, we still left with a trophy and a ticket to the World Championship due to the amazing accomplishment of winning the prestigious Chairman's Award. Check out the award winning video!

St. Louis, here we come!

21 February 2016, Rockwall, TX -

27 February 2017, Myrtle Beach, SC - We competed in the Week 0.5 Palmetto Regional. We were ranked 2nd after qualfication rounds and competed very well until the 2nd romund of the semi-finals when our robot stalled during the autonomous mode. This caused Mitten's motors to overheat. Sadly, this caused irreparable damage and we were not able to replace the motors in time. However, our team had a great time. Since then, we have revamped our design in order to prevent smoking motors from happening again. Check out our own Emma Beatty singing the National Anthem.

10 January 2016, Rockwall, TX -

8 January 2016, Rockwall TX - Today we held a pre-Kick-Off mixer with Team 3310 and Team 148. We were able to celebrate the start of the season as well as promote unity between local FIRST teams. It was a great success and we hope to continue these get-togethers in the future. #TeamIFI

26 December 2015, Rockwall TX - The neighboring towns of Rowlett and Garland, Texas got hit by an EF4 Tornado. Nine people were killed and almost 600 families were displaced. Nearly every member on our team knew someone affected by the storm; in fact, a few members of our team live in the affected communities. In the days following the disaster, Team 1296 sprang into action by doing whatever we could to help. Most notably, we offered our shop and practice facility as a distribution center and helped to sort 4,000 square feet of items that were donated to the victims. After the items were sorted, student team members packed up boxes in moving vans, as well as their own vehicles, and brought them to a larger distribution center closer to the affected area. In this difficult time, Team 1296 did whatever possible to mitigate the effects of this disaster.

24 September 2015, Rockwall TX - We are playing in the 2016 Palmetto Regional on 26-28 February 2016. The event is held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center - 2101 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, SC. Check for early details at the Palmetto FIRST Site. Check for travel details on the Full Metal Jackets Calendar as the event date approaches.

22 September 2015, Rockwall TX - FRC Team 1296 mentors and IFI Hexbug designers stopped by Dorothy Pullen Elementary on Tuesday. Mrs Woodard is sponsoring the robotics club this year and they are off to a great start. Thanks to #TeamIFI for promoting robotics to these students!

12 September 2015, Rockwall TX - FRC Team 1296 students volunteered at the local Hanna4Hope event.

Hanna4Hope, Inc. is a non-profit foundation established to bring teenage suicide, one of the leading causes of death among today’s youth, to the forefront of communities. Their mission is to educate families and community leaders on the possible signs of suicide and to provide a variety of resources for parents, teens, and community organizations. Through charitable donations, fundraisers and other community-based events, Hanna4Hope endeavors to reduce suicide’s devastating effects on the lives of our youth, their families, friends, and loved ones.

7 August 2015, Rockwall TX - The Full Metal Jackets helped Rockwall Jr Robotics put on a camp at the Rockwall YMCA.

"Your aspiring engineer (age 9 to 14) will join a team mentored by a current RHS Robotics student to build and program a robot that will compete in the last day of the camp in a robotics competition with awards. Young engineers will learn mechanical and programming concepts while having fun! No prior experience required."

Five teams of students (The Things, That Team, Robots Of The Future, Ultimate Inventors and Half Metal Jackets) spent the week building robots, learning technical skills and team dynamics. Friday afternoon featured a friendly "battle" among the five teams, a good time had by all! Thanks to the volunteer 1296 students for sharing your expertise and experience all week.

7 August 2015, Rockwall TX - The Full Metal Jackets helped Rockwall Jr Robotics put on a camp at the Rockwall YMCA.

"Your aspiring engineer (age 9 to 14) will join a team mentored by a current RHS Robotics student to build and program a robot that will compete in the last day of the camp in a robotics competition with awards. Young engineers will learn mechanical and programming concepts while having fun! No prior experience required."

Five teams of students (The Things, That Team, Robots Of The Future, Ultimate Inventors and Half Metal Jackets) spent the week building robots, learning technical skills and team dynamics. Friday afternoon featured a friendly "battle" among the five teams, a good time had by all! Thanks to the volunteer 1296 students for sharing your expertise and experience all week.

1 August 2015, Austin TX - The Full Metal Jackets finished 3rd after the qualifying rounds. Brandon and Gabe were the newest drivers, getting better every match. During alliance selections, first place (reigning world champion) paired up with second place (3-time 2015 regional winner) so we picked second. We picked Black Hawk Robotics and KleinBots. Doug and the students came up with a brilliant strategy - have the awesome Black Hawks machine pull cans from the center and put them on our extra stacks and the KleinBots stack. We gave them our best, and a good scare, but finished second at the Texas Robot Roundup to a great winning alliance.

1 August 2015, Austin TX - The Full Metal Jackets finished 3rd after the qualifying rounds. Brandon and Gabe were the newest drivers, getting better every match. During alliance selections, first place (reigning world champion) paired up with second place (3-time 2015 regional winner) so we picked second. We picked Black Hawk Robotics and KleinBots. Doug and the students came up with a brilliant strategy - have the awesome Black Hawks machine pull cans from the center and put them on our extra stacks and the KleinBots stack. We gave them our best, and a good scare, but finished second at the Texas Robot Roundup to a great winning alliance.

27 June 2015, Fort Worth TX - The Full Metal Jackets finished 1st after the qualifying rounds and ran the table in the elimination rounds with our partners 4364 - Metal Jackets and 2723 - Atomic Shock. Eric perfected his driving skillz and put up all 30 bins (available to the human players) in two different matches. The Blues Brothers is the only robot IN THE WORLD to do this in competition. We are proud of Eric, Michael (who did this in practice a few times), all members of the drive teams and the students who built the robot. This is the second year in a row that we won RoboReboot.

27 June 2015, Fort Worth TX - The Full Metal Jackets finished 1st after the qualifying rounds and ran the table in the elimination rounds with our partners 4364 - Metal Jackets and 2723 - Atomic Shock. Eric perfected his driving skillz and put up all 30 bins (available to the human players) in two different matches. The Blues Brothers is the only robot IN THE WORLD to do this in competition. We are proud of Eric, Michael (who did this in practice a few times), all members of the drive teams and the students who built the robot. This is the second year in a row that we won RoboReboot.

20 June 2015, Houston TX - The Full Metal Jackets finished 5th after the qualifying rounds and outplayed alliances two through four with our partners 457 - Grease Monkeys and Team 3735 - Klein Bots to get into the finals. Eric, our rookie driver of the summer, put up four six-stacks with can and litter in the finals at TRI, awesome but not enough to top the Cryptonite alliance! Great teamwork this weekend!

20 June 2015, Houston TX - The Full Metal Jackets finished 5th after the qualifying rounds and outplayed alliances two through four with our partners 457 - Grease Monkeys and Team 3735 - Klein Bots to get into the finals. Eric, our rookie driver of the summer, put up four six-stacks with can and litter in the finals at TRI, awesome but not enough to top the Cryptonite alliance! Great teamwork this weekend!

27 May 2015, Rockwall TX - Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Student Officers! Emma Beaty - President, Cody Mattson - Executive Vice President Robot Operations, Ashleigh Letlow - Executive Vice President Public Relations, Harrison Smith - Executive Vice President Business Operations, Gabe Colmanares - Vice President Robotics Construction, Patrick Green - Vice President Non-Robotics Construction, Jacob Weaver - Vice President Software, Nadia Whitehouse - Vice President Marketing, Noah Heitbrink - Head Scout, Erik Kocienski - Program Manager, Rian Flowers - Treasurer.

Good luck in the new season!

17 May 2015, Fayetteville AR - Congratulations to the Stevenson Rockin Robotics team. They finished with the 9th highest score (548!) and received the first inspiration award at the FLL RazorBack Invitational, an international invitation-only FLL event. Our own Harrison Smith received the student mentor award!

30 April 2015, Rockwall TX - The Full Metal Jackets and the RoboHawks, FRC Team 3310 from Rockwall Heath High School, demonstrate our 2015 robots at the RISD Digital Media Fair. Scores of elementary and middle school students inspected and drove both robots - a good time was had by all!

28 April 2015, St Louis, MO - Paul Smith (author) includes The Blues Brothers robot in a top 10 list of Robotics in Top 10 Most Inspiring Moments From Robotics in 2015.

"#6 Creativity – One of the rules of FRC competition is that if it isn’t explicitly against the rules, it’s allowed. That not only leaves room for creativity and innovation, but practically begs for it. Nowhere was that more evident than watching Texas FRC teams 148 from Greenville and 1296 from Rockwall. Each followed a similar design strategy. I watched in shock and dismay as each robot separated into two independent units like a Russian nesting doll opening up all by itself. One unit stacked totes from the feeder station while the other unit found a can to cap the stack with and deliver it to the scoring platform.

Nobody told these teams they weren’t allowed to split a slow process up into two parts and work them in parallel . . . so they did.

Einstein once famously said “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” These teams are showing the kind of outside-the-box thinking that will help the next generation solve the problems we’re creating for them now.""

25 April 2015, St Louis MO - The World Championships were a great experience for students, mentors and teachers alike! The competition was fierce, both fun to participate and to watch on the Einstein field. Thanks to the Texas Workforce Commission for sponsoring our admission and to Dr Gober and Rockwall High School for sponsoring travel and per diem costs. Prior to the event we modified the robot yet again, this time to do stacks of 6, and had some trouble getting going. 1296 finished 35th out of 72 in the Carson division and did not play in the elimination rounds. We'll be back next year!

28 March 2015, Oklahoma City OK - We had a tough Friday at the OKC Regional. We changed the robot to feed faster and that disrupted the operation of the stacking cube. But the students ground through Friday, stiffened up the cube frame and fashioned a new tote stop mechanism, then came out swinging on Saturday morning. We put up several of the highest scores of the tournament Saturday morning and finished seeded third. Our alliance with 3507 (Ubotics) and 1775 (TigerBytes) took the champions to a best of three 3rd match in the finals and lost in the last few seconds. We also won the "Excellence in Engineering" award!

14 March 2015, San Antonio TX - Hard work and persistence pays off! We worked hard making improvements to build on the performance in Dallas. We led the qualification rounds, finishing seeded #1 for the first time ever. Then we held off excellent competition to win the Alamo Regional! Along the way the students embraced the "Blues Brothers" look, check out the hats, glasses and expressions in the picture. It is 90 miles to Chicago, it is dark out and we are wearing sunglasses - hit it! Three weeks into the season Jake & Elwood are the 15th best performing robot in FRC (not counting coopertition points) and an online poll voted us the 7th best robot. And we are not done improving yet! We also won the "Excellence in Engineering" award!

28 February 2015, Irving TX - After a long Thursday integrating improvements to the robot, play began on Friday morning. The first few matches were a little rough. We had communications, logistics and human error that put us in the back of the pack through lunch. But the team hit a good stride on Friday afternoon and played well Saturday morning. This was our first weather-delayed competition. Snow and ice resulted in closing the arena at 3:30 on Friday and opening late Saturday morning. Thanks so much to the parents who helped us through the transition! Without parent help we might have forfeited several matches Friday afternoon because the bus had to leave! We ended up in the 6th seeded alliance but out played a couple alliances ahead of us and got into the semi-finals. We finished 4th for the weekend! And Mr Buchanan received the "Woodie Flowers" Award!

14 February 2015, Dallas TX - Congratulations to Rockin' Robotics for the Third Champion Award at the North Texas FLL Championships. Their success resulted in an invitation to The FLL Razorback Invitational where they will celebrate the end of the season competing against teams from USA, New Zealand, Australia, Alberta, Benelux, India, Chile, Japan, Ontario, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, and United Kingdom! How cool is that! Help a worthy group of students raise money for the trip! Stop by the University of Arkansas-Fayettville on May 14-17 to watch the tournament!

3 January 2015, Dallas TX - It is build season once again! Twenty-eight students attended the kickoff at Texas Instruments Headquarters. The game this year is "RECYCLE RUSH", a recycling-themed game. It is played by two Alliances of three teams each. Alliances compete simultaneously to score points by stacking Totes on Scoring Platforms, capping those stacks with Recycling Containers, and properly disposing of Litter, represented by pool noodles, in designated locations. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all scoring elements used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season. Ready, set, analyze, design, build, practice and iterate!

6 December 2014, Richardson TX - Congratulations to the Stevenson Rockin Robotics team. Stevenson's robot placed FIRST with 342 points and won the Champions Award at the UTD FLL competitions! Thanks to the awesome Stevenson Rockin Robotics coaches Kevin Fisher and Ryan Montgomery. And thanks to our own fearless leader Bruce Charbonneau and Full Metal Jackets officers Emma Beaty and Harrison Smith for their generous volunteer efforts.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Mahatma Gandhi

23 November 2014, Rockwall TX - Both Cyber Patriot Teams qualified for the State Competition Rounds in the Platinum Division! This division is reserved for teams scoring in the top 30% of the 1200 plus teams from around the country who participated in Rounds 1 and 2. Congratulations to the following students: From Team 07-1077: Jacob Weaver, Taylor Smith, Justin Tauzin, Benjamin Leal, Austin Mares and Harrison Smith. From Team Team 07-1191: Brooke Grossman, Julia Kim, Eric Kocienski, Kevin Demars, Noah Hietbrink and Gunner Avenetti. Thanks to Vance and the Air Force for sponsoring our teams! State Competition is on Dec 5th from noon to 6 in room 1407. You can follow the scoring here during the entire weekend of the competition.

13 November 2014, Rockwall TX -For the first time in our history the booster club is a charitable corporation chartered in the state of Texas. The booster club has federal 501(c)(3) tax status allowing the team fund-raising flexibility and the status to pursue national grant programs! Congratulations to the first suite of booster club officers: Bill Bricker - President, Lance Smith - Vice President, Lou Flowers - Treasurer and Dave Smith - Secretary. Additional directors include Steve Orr, Doug Gault, Melissa Heitbrink and Eileen MacNaughton. The four students holding President and Executive Vice President offices, the lead teacher and lead mentor are non-voting directors. Members of the corporation include one parent or guardian for every student in good standing, all mentors in good standing and the teacher/sponsors. This is a huge step forward for the Full Metal Jackets! Thanks so much to those who choose to serve!

 

 

11 November 2014, Rockwall TX - Welcome to a new corporate sponsor! The Exxon Mobil Corporation. ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company. They hold an industry-leading inventory of global oil and gas resources. They are the world’s largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, and their chemical company ranks among the world’s largest. They apply science and innovation to find better, safer and cleaner ways to deliver the energy the world needs. As a science and knowledge-based company, ExxonMobil contributes to educational programs worldwide. Particular focus areas are science and math and the education of women and girls.

23 October 2014, Rockwall TX - We are off the wait list and playing in the 2015 Oklahoma City Regional on 26-28 March 2015. The event is held at the Cox Convention Center, One Myriad Gardens Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Teams attending include 31, 932, 1209, 1448, 1561, 1742, 1750, 1775, 1806, 2004, 2165, 2333, 2341, 2352, 2354, 2359, 2373, 2382, 2388, 2395, 2398, 2424, 2461, 2723, 2765, 2773, 2795, 2950, 2986, 3152, 3160, 3163, 3169, 3172, 3179, 3247, 3457, 3465, 3498, 3507, 3593, 3660, 3798, 3931, 4005, 4298, 4522, 4523, 4612, 4933, 5001, 5098, 5548, 5550, 5578, 5611, 5621 and 5730. Check for early details at the OKC FIRST Site. Check for travel details on the Full Metal Jackets Calendar as the event date approaches.

23 October 2014, Rockwall TX - We signed up to play in the 2015 Alamo Regional on 12-14 March 2015. The event is held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on 200 East Market Street in San Antonio, Texas. Teams signed up for this event include 231, 233, 457, 499, 653, 1726, 1868, 2158, 2415, 2468, 2583, 2721, 2789, 2805, 2833, 2881, 3029, 3035, 3043, 3103, 3240, 3305, 3320, 3335, 3366, 3481, 3561, 3679, 3700, 3743, 3961, 3997, 3999, 4063, 4335, 4378, 4597, 4610, 4641, 4721, 4734, 4747, 4989, 5047, 5052, 5103, 5241 and 5639. Check for early details at Alamo FIRST Site. Check for travel details on the Full Metal Jackets Calendar as the event date approaches.

17 October 2014, Rockwall TX - Thanks to our wonderful sponsors and the dedicated players who showed up to play in the annual RISD Robotics Golf Tournament. Blake Buchanan's team won with a smooth 57 on a beautiful fall afternoon. Hole and game sponsors included Park Place, American National Bank, Smile Makers, SPM, Jackson Automotive Specialist, A/C Parts Warehouse, Clarior Technical Solutions, CORE Construction, CHRYSO, Family of Rick Kaiser, Binkley & Barfield, Alliance Bank, Heritage Buick GMC, Farmers Electric and the Sterling Dental Center. Severgy Inc was our generous Title Sponsor. Please patronize these great local businesses!

25 September 2014, Rockwall TX - We signed up to play in the 2015 Dallas Regional on 26-28 February 2015. The event filled up on the first day of registration! So far the following teams are competing: 57, 118, 148, 457, 624, 647, 704, 932, 987, 1296, 1477, 2468, 2613, 2848, 2950, 3005, 3037, 3310, 3350, 3370, 3735, 3961, 4206, 4300, 4301, 4364, 4641, 4721, 5002, 5411, 5417, 5431 - lots of friends and some tough competition to include three world champions. The event is held at the Irving Convention Center on 500 West Las Colinas Boulevard in Irving, Texas. Check for early details at Dallas FIRST Site. Check for travel details on the Full Metal Jackets Calendar as the event date approaches.

24 September 2014, Rockwall TX - Congratulations to the Robotics Club Sweetheart Adisyn Joplin, the Robotics Club Spirit Captain, and her Escort Michael Bricker, President of the Robotics Club. Looking good!

On September 26 Club Sweethearts and Escorts are recognized at the RISD PAC Center (6:00 pm) followed by the RHS Homecoming Queen and King Coronation (7:00 pm) and RHS vs Lakeview Centennial (7:30 pm) at Wilkerson Sanders Football Stadium. The Homecoming Dance is September 27th,(8:30-11:30 PM) at South Fork Ranch. Be safe!

11 September 2014, Rockwall TX - We have a generous Title Sponsor for the golf tournament! The company is Servergy. Servergy is a technology solutions integration company focused on data security. Servergy is able to secure appliances, data storage, and the network while simplifying data security management by offering cloud-based and standalone unified threat management solutions. Servergy's extensive expertise in the engineering of high-security software and hardware platforms ranges from embedded edge systems to scale-out server solutions for the data center.

Please patronize Servergy and all our generous sponsors!

19 August 2014, Rockwall TX - Thanks to our generous sponsor Special Products Manufacturing (SPM) for some new (to us) equipment. We have a nice assembly bench, table top drill press, free standing drill press and a couple foot presses. SPM is located in the Rockwall Industrial Park at 2625 Discovery Boulevard. SPM is a contract manufacturing company specializing in electro-mechanical assembly, precision metal fabrication, machining, welding and powder coating. Please patronize SPM and all our generous sponsors!

11 August 2014, Rockwall TX - FISH Camp was great success! Harrison created a nice brochure, we handed out 50+ to prospective new members. Will adapted an Arduino-based control system to a great old robot. Oscar rides again! Micheal, Eric and others put 'Gunny' on display during the afternoon. Gunny was a big hit! Our booth had Gunny (2103), Buzz(2012) and Nessie(2010), a few awards, some new FIRST posters and brochures. Emma and Eric put the posters throughout the school. We are a little scared that all these freshman may show up and double the size of the club!

1 August 2014, Austin TX - The Full Metal Jackets competed at the Texas Robot Roundup. The two drive teams split time in the qualification rounds. It took a heroic effort to keep Gunny running. We ended up as the captain of the #7 alliance working with The RoboChargers(FRC 3005) and The ausTIN CANs(FRC 2158), won the quarter finals against the #2 alliance but lost in the third match of the semi-finals against the #3 alliance. A good time was had by all!

28 June 2014, Fort Worth TX - The Full Metal Jackets (FRC 1296), working with the BulahBots (FRC 3753) and KnightVision (FRC 3991), won the First Annual RoboReboot. The Full Metal jackets entered two robots finishing as the captains of the #2 and #6 alliance. The #6 alliance, with Gunny, won the competition. The #2 alliance, with Incognito, lost a close semi-final match. It was a lot of work keeping both robots running - the students swapped out a broken drive shaft in 10 minutes! And we must have change 5-6 belts - arghhh. Attending an off season event in the DFW area was nice! We had a great time and will be back next year!

10 April 2014, Rockwall TX - Congratulations to the 2014-2015 Student Officers! Michael Bricker - President, Will Orr - Executive Vice President Robot Operations, Ashleigh Letlow - Executive Vice President Public Relations, Harrison Smith - Executive Vice President Business Operations, Eric Bray - Vice President Robotics Construction, Logan Godsey - Vice President Non-Robotics Construction, Taylor Smith - Vice President Software, Emma Beaty - Vice President Marketing, Noah Heitbrink - Head Scout, Adisyn Joplin - Spirit Captain, James Bovenkerk - Program Manager, Dev Amin - Treasurer and Niklas Marquis - Rules Monitor. Ready, set, go!