The robotic track meets are coming up!
We have a little under two months until the first one in South Portland and it is time to get in gear so to speak. Early registration ends March 22, 2013 ! After that the price goes up by $5 a student, so please get your team's registrations in. It will save you money and it will save us a lot of planning headaches.
It's not too late for new teams to form up, don't put it off! Great for teams of one or twenty!
You can register online HERE or print out the form found HERE and mail it to:
167 Bennoch Rd
Orono, ME 04473
Payment can be done online HERE or you may mail us a check/purchase order.
The track meets will be at the following locations and dates
Portsmouth has been canceled for this year do to scheduling conflicts. For more information on our robotic track meets please visit our Track Meet Webpage.
Today a large object entered the Earth’s atmosphere above the Chelyabinsk region within Russia's Ural Mountains. The object left a streak across the sky as it burned through the atmosphere and eventually exploded. The force of the explosion, thousands of feet above the Earth's surface, was Some of the pieces landed on Earth and left small craters.
Did you know that some 30,000,000 pounds of space “stuff” come to Earth each year? A lot of that is in tiny objects that we don’t see or even know about. Every once in a while there is a larger object that comes down. Today’s object has been described as a “large” object and I even heard one report that the object was bus size.
First question, was it an asteroid or a meteoroid? Well, the difference in space has to do with the size. Meteoroids are defined as space objects up to 1 meter in diameter and Asteroids are those that are larger than one meter in diameter and within the orbit of Jupiter (closer to the sun than Jupiter). So my guess is that it was an asteroid. There are tens of thousands of asteroids and uncountable meteoroids in the solar system.
So why did they call it a meteor today if it was big enough to be an asteroid? Well, there are different names for the different locations that these live. When the objects are in space, they are either asteroids or meteoroids. But once they enter Earth’s atmosphere and start burning up (that’s what causes the smoke trail in the day or the burning line of light across the sky at night) then they become meteors. And once they land, they are generally referred to as meteorites.
How fast are these objects going when they hit the Earth? Well, they are travelling through space at anywhere from 20,000 miles per hour to as much as 100,000 miles per hour. When they hit our atmosphere the speed of the object compresses the air in front of it until the air has been compressed to such an extent that the gases in our atmosphere are heated to over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Many of you will have stuck a hand out a car window in the summer and felt the air going by at 60 miles per hour. Well, if you were to speed up really fast, then the air gets thicker where it hits your hand and before it has a chance to move around the sides. Now imagine going 20,000 miles an hour, that air gets compressed (squished) so much that it heats up to the thousands of degrees, which is hot enough to burn the material of most meteors.
To learn more about all things space, try checking out some of these websites:
Jordan Planetarium at UMaine in Orono http://www.galaxymaine.com/
Southworth Planetarium at USM in Portland http://www.usm.maine.edu/planet
National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) http://www.nasa.gov/
We were watching the SuperBowl on Sunday and when the power went out at the Superdome. For the next 34 minutes the sportscasters talked about the game, the players, with occasional references to the power, mostly just to note that they'd been told it would be back on in so many minutes.
But I realized I was far more interested in knowing things like... Why did the power go out? and How many people where in the stadium? and How much power does it take to run the SuperBowl, it's bigger than many cities. Or maybe How many engineers and technicians are working on the problem? What kind of lights are they that need so long to turn back on? Was it a substation that blew?
We commented that they really needed an engineer to be on the set with the sportscasters so they could discuss all of these details. Bring in the specialists who could discuss the theories behind the issue. Where were the diagrams and graphics to help us understand?
But I guess us engineers just have to take a back seat and read about it online the next day (which I did).
There are 10 granting schools or organizations that are available for members of FIRST teams that are heading off to college here in Maine. Most of these are for Seniors, and the deadlines are coming up soon. Most are for team members of either FIRST Tech Challenge teams or FIRST Robotics Competition teams.
We recommend that high school FIRST team members visit the website and either enter "Maine" if you are planning on attending a college in Maine, or put in the state you are going for. Not all of these scholarships will be given out because not all are applied for... don't let that happen.
Some of the scholarships and grants are for any school, others are for specific schools. For instance here in Maine, the College of the Atlantic will give out up to 4 scholarships for any major, so check it out: