What is Magic? Is it a show? Is it fooling people? Or something else?

In this video Mario “The Magician” Marchese describes what he thinks of as magic. He uses several programmed Arduino microcontrollers in his act to create a magical experience for children in New York City. I think the faces on the kids is as close to magic as anything I’ve seen.

Source: Make Magazine

Passion and Ingenuity

Take something that you really enjoy, mix it in with a little ingenuity, and you can really create something special.

That’s exactly what Mark Baldridge did when he took pinball, Raspberry Pi, and a YouTube comedy show, mixed them all and made his own pinball machine.

Check out this video of Mark showing off his machine:

Creating a passion project involves a lot of time, effort, trial, and error. I’m sure a lot of what Mark put together didn’t come out as planned. If you watch the video, you’ll notice that a few things don’t work the way they’re supposed to. He takes note of it and says he’s going to fix it.

When we’re bringing our ideas out into the world, it’s about choosing something we’re passionate about and having creative solutions to the problems that stand in our way.

Source: Make Magazine

NASA Satellite Built by High School Students

Did you guys know that NASA launched a satellite made by high school students today? The small satellite, named TJ3Sat, made by students at Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia “helps accomplish our primary mission objective by giving students and other amateur radio users the opportunity to send and receive data from the satellite.” To make it happen, it took more than 7 years and 50 students working on it. I’m sure it wasn’t easy and full of roadblocks. But all that hard work, effort, and teamwork paid off to make something really cool.

If you could launch a satellite into space, what would you make it do?

Watch the launch here:

Learn more here:

2013 Scholarships

College Scholarships: Seniors, if you’re planning to apply to college, we want to make sure you also apply for scholarships. Being a FIRST competitor there are lots of scholarships available only to you, but you have to apply first!

Deadlines are coming up fast, let us know if you are interested!

Scholarships available at:
ITT Technical Institute
Southern Methodist University
UT – San Antonio
UT – Austin
UT – Arlington
Texas A&M – College Station

For women: Society of Women Engineers Scholarship anywhere in Texas.

More info and more scholarship to schools outside of Texas:

Ethics in Engineering

To be an engineer is to carry lots of responsibility. When engineers design and approve construction, it’s essential that they do their work with integrity. A good engineer doesn’t cut corners, fudge the numbers, or speak dishonestly. If they do, it’s possible that a lot of people could get seriously hurt.

In 2012, a mall collapsed in Ontario, Canada, killing two women and injuring others because an engineers working on the mall decided to shortcut safety procedures. The news story is below.

Here’s the story.

Everything that I said about engineers applies to any career. All professionals must act truthfully and responsibly. Whether you’re a doctor, a welder, an engineer, an artist, or a scientist, the actions you take during your career are representative of your character.

College Applications for Makers

Colleges are starting to recognize that Makers spend a lot of their time developing practical and valuable skills in order to create new and exciting things. If you can create your own weather station with Arduino or your robotics team implements magnetic levitation with Legos, you’ve got the talent to excel when studying science, technology, or engineering in college.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will soon start accepting unique supplements to college applications, including a Maker Portfolio. Assistant Director of Admissions, Dr. Dawn Wendell states that MIT is looking for young Makers that are “already solving problems and building, playing and creating, engaging in projects that they love doing.” News like this suggests colleges and universities want students who can do more than pass tests and get good grades.

Team 4346, how are you creatively solving problems and working on projects you love?


Importance of Makers

Make Magazine runs a program called Maker Camp, a virtual Summer camp for teens. Makers are inventors and creators who use technology to solve problems in a classic do-it-yourself model. Makers regularly learn new skills and teach themselves how to use new tools so that they can create interesting and practical things. So many people are taking this approach that they are calling this the “Maker Movement.”

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan understands the importance of the Maker Movement in creating the future of engineers and scientists for our country. Check out this message he sent to the Maker Camp below:

As a member of FRC 4346, you are a Maker. You take raw materials and create a robot. You are the future of what’s possible in science and technology.