2017 Spring Camp Eureka is OPEN!

Registration for our 2017 Spring Camp Eureka is open!

This fall, Camp Eureka will be held March 20th-24th.  There will be two sessions:

  • In the morning, from 8am-12pm, there will be a programming-based Lego NXT session.  Students will program their robot to successfully navigate through a maze, use touch and distance sensors to traverse through a continuously changing maze, and picking up balls at rapid speed.
  • In the afternoon, from 1 pm-5pm, there will be a Vex IQ session.  Throughout the week, students will be building robots for this year’s Vex IQ game, Crossover.  In this game, robots need to score “hexballs” into low and elevated goals.

This camp, both sessions will be held at the Hilo High School Cafeteria. Tuition is $175 per student for each session.

To register, please either:

Print and fill out the registration form available here.  Mail, scan, drop off at the Hilo High School office, or come to camp with the form and tuition enclosed in an envelope.
Fill out the form online on Google Forms, available here!  Mail, drop off, or come to camp with tuition enclosed in an envelope.

Thank you for reading! To keep updated and for more information about Camp Eureka, check our website!

2017 Onizuka Day

This past Saturday, January 28th, we had a booth at the annual Onizuka Day! Onizuka Day is held every January at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, held for the local community with workshops and displays related to STEM and Astronomy.  It is an awesome opportunity for today’s youth to learn more about STEM and STEM opportunities throughout Hilo!   

At our booth, we had two of this year’s vex robots, 1378X and 1378B.  We set up an area to show people of all ages what Vex robotics is like.  Many students had the opportunity to compete against their friends, moving stars and cubes across a fence, just like in this year’s Vex game, Starstruck.  In addition, we set a Vex IQ field and game for others to drive!  

One of the Vex IQ teams we mentor at Hilo Intermediate, 45533X, participated in the Vex IQ competition that was also held at Onizuka Day!  They did an excellent job this competition and we look forward to several of them joining us next year!

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SW Build Blog: Week Four

Here’s the fourth week of the Steamworks build blog! If you missed Week Three, you can find that here. In this post, updates will be added daily as we go throughout Week Four (1/30 through 1/4). 

Day 19 (1/30/17)

It is week four! On the fabrication team, Caleb has started making the gear pouch out of Plexiglas and will be riveted on with L-brackets. Dustin has drilled the correct size holes onto pieces that were cut week three. While this happened documentation team has started on the flow for the Chairmen’s video while the awards team started to put together the papers.

FRC 2017 1/30/17

Day 20 (1/31/17)

Our fabrication team got to work on Galahad. The drive had to be adjusted manually and would go into neutral a while after it worked and the gear pouch would become looser and looser after each use but the drivers got to practice collecting and setting the gear. While this happened, Chenoa and Josh continued to work on the outtake so that the fuel would go into the low goal with more accuracy and efficiency. The documentation and awards team continued to do their thing.

Day 21 (2/1/17)

The adviser’s desk has been moved! After that happened the sub teams went straight to work. The fabrication team made the outtake prototype so that it looked like the CAD. While some of the fabrication team did that, the others continued to fine tune fuel intake. The documentation team looked through the team’s google account to find footage of outreach events for the Chairmen’s video while the awards team continued to write the essays.

Day 22 (2/2/17)

The fabrication team continues to work the chassis by placing pieces before welding while we also work on the accuracy and efficiency of the outtake. The awards team has made the rough drafts for Chairmen’s awards as well as peer and teacher edit. The documentation team continued to make the flow of the Chairmen’s video.


Day 23 (2/3/17)

The fuel system prototype is finished! It has been fine tuned and added an anti slip mat to keep the fuel from slipping. The awards team continued to work on the Chairman’s essay. While these FIRST activities happened, the mill was drilled to the floor and the club’s budget was looked over.


Day 24 (2/4/17)

We finally started to weld the chassis together as well as finish the final gear pouch! We also added a backboard to the gear pouch so there would be less of a chance for the gear to fall out. Caleb noticed if the gear pouch is pushed against the airship, the gear pouch will bend so we have to be careful when placing the gear on the dowel. The awards team continued to work on the chairman’s essay.

Pictures coming soon!

Weekly Conclusion

Coming Soon!

SW Build Blog: Week Three

Here’s the third week of the Steamworks build blog! If you missed Week Two, you can find that here. In this post, updates will be added daily as we go throughout Week Three (1/23 through 1/28). Pictures are coming soon!

Day 13 (1/23/17)

The CAD team has made and printed ten parts for the new chassis! Ara and Steve discussed the whereabouts of the electric board on the chassis. Later that session Matt, Josh, Dustin, Steve and Ara discussed the specifics of where the fuel system was to be on the robot and sketched it out. The fabrication team started cutting the pieces from this blue print and in the process, our newer members have learned how to cut and drill pieces. They also decided the spool of the rope will be 4″ long and the prongs for the spool will be 1.5″ from each side with a 1″ gap in the middle. Besides taking pictures, videos, updating the website, and making videos, the documentation team has started looking for inspiration for this year’s Chairman’s video.


Day 14 (1/24/17)

Today was a day of discussion and preparation for Onizuka Day. The CAD team just about finished designing the electronics board and started designing the intake, storage, and outtake for the fuel system on the robot. There was more discussion as to where each component would go on the robot. We found out the intake system would be too big on the chassis so we are going to change it to a conveyor belt intake. The electronics and programming team tested the two ultra sonic sensors and found out the older sensor worked.

Day 15 (1/25/17)

Today we found some problems with the placement of the fuel intake design on the robot. Steve had started on the positioning of the intake when we realized the 6″ sprocket, didn’t fit in the chassis. The sprocket is too tall to fit under the gear and gear pouch, and too deep to fit in front of the drive gear boxes. The total height of the sprocket would be 11″ plus extra for the expansion of the surgical tubing so Caleb, Ara, and Steve started a new, smaller design with the help of our mentors, Koa and Matt. The design was limited up to 7.5″ high, and 12″ deep in the chassis (not including the bumper). We played with some different ideas, including a low L-shoes conveyor system, 2 smaller sprockets, and a multi-function out/intake using a rotating version of the current outtake. By 7 we decided on a 2/3 sprocket system. Caleb and Dustin were able to get that prototype working by 9, and the one sprocket at 6″ high on the barrier of the box seems to work well for shuttling the fuel into the box. The programming team worked on sustainability of the club by teaching the freshmen how to program with LabView.

Day 16 (1/26/17)

Today was another slow day for FIRST. The CAD team continued to design and refine the fuel system and robot. The documentation team continued to go over winning Chairmen’s videos while the programming team taught the freshmen more about LabView. Most of the fabrication team was not able to be here so we worked on preparing for Onizuka Day which includes fixing up the VEX and VEX IQ Robots.


Day 17 (1/27/17)

The mill has finally come! It took about an hour and a half to move it from one place to another because the moving people did not place it in the area we expected. The new intake prototype was worked on so that it could take in the fuel cells without a hitch.   The surgical tubing on sprockets (fuel intake) needed some improvement so we attached zip ties to make sure the surgical tubing would not expand and snap. We also added a curved sheet of metal to direct the fuel up. We had more problems with the intake because the fuel would get stuck if there was an overload so we plan on fixing this tomorrow. We continued to prepare for Onizuka Day which is this week Saturday.


Day 18 (1/28/17)

It has been a long day from helping at Onizuka Day at 8 A.M. to staying at the auto shop until 9 P.M. We headed to the University of Hilo Hawaii to help spread STEM education at Onizuka Day with Vex IQ robots. We also got to referee Vex IQ matches to Vex IQ teams around the island including our intermediate school, Hilo Spartan Robotics. When we got back up to the auto shop, Caleb started on the final gear intake.

Weekly Conclusion

We have started the fabrication of the robot, made final edits to the prototypes and CADs, and prepared and helped at Onizuka Day a STEM event.

SW Build Blog: Week Two

Here’s the Second week of the Steamworks build blog! If you missed Week One, you can find that here. In this post, updates will be added daily as we go throughout Week Two (1/16 through 1/21). Pictures are coming soon!

Day 07 (1/16/17)

Today was a slow day because there was a lack of members on this Monday holiday but we continued to work on the robot. Caleb continued to tweak the pneumatic gear claw and added two 6″ wide C-channels, one on top and the other on the bottom. Josh made a roller fuel shooter that could hold at least 10 balls. The roller used rubber bands to push the fuel up but the rubber bands would snap from the speed the mini CIM (motor) would go so we have to buy surgical tubing. The hanging mechanism was worked on and two circular Plexiglas sheets were used as a guide for the rope.

Day 08 (1/17/17)

Today we continued to attach and adjust the gear pouch and hanging mechanism while Caleb continued to improve the pneumatic gear claw. Later that day, the fabrication team and the field elements team had a discussion to go over the needs, wants, and wishes as well as what needs to be finalized prototype wise. The hanging prototype needs to be completed and finalized, the hopper and low goal prototype needs to be fine tuned, and for a high goal shooter to be last priority. The files of CADs on Google Drive did not sync so the CAD team did not make much progress. The programming team tried to get the camera running on Lab View but was unsuccessful. Overall, today was a little slow but we got our priorities straight.

Pictures coming soon!

Day 09 (1/18/17)

The fabrication team has made a ratchet system that can hold over 170 lbs! We plan to change motors to increase efficiency on the robot. We decided to use chain and sprockets for the drive instead of using belts and pulleys.  The hanger was finished with an axle instead of an aluminum spool and we got to test out the hanging mechanism on Galahad several different times with two different ropes. The first rope we used was an inch, but the robot went up too far within one revolution so we used another rope that was an eighth of an inch which kept the robot from slipping.  Our google drive was having multiple issues that we were able to figure out with the help of our mentors.  The building and programming sub teams made a list of the supplies that will be needed, which we will be ordering tomorrow.  The fine tuning of the cad for the chassis is almost done and now we have to start drawing the chassis so that fabrication can begin as soon as possible.  The documentation sub team needs to work on keeping the website up to date and a work shop for the website is possibly going to be planned.  The programming sub team continued to work on PID as well as planning out the sensors we will be using.  As a team we need to work on staying organized and keeping up with deadlines.

Pictures coming soon!

Day 10 (1/19/17)

The programming team got the camera to work! This means we can use Vision Tracker to shoot low goals and possibly high goals. The fabrication team worked on the low goal intake and hanging mechanism. On the low goal intake surgical tubing was used, but the tubing would stretch past its limit and break. On the hanging mechanism, long hex screws were used to make sure the rope would stay within them. This is to make sure the robot will be balanced while hanging.  The fuel scoring mechanism was set up for testing and worked well with the use of a voltage regulator that adjusted the speed of the motors.  The newer members were assigned the task of re configuring Galahad, our robot from last first season.  They learned about gearboxes as well while working on Galahad.  The fine tuning of the CAD was also finished today!

Pictures coming soon!

Day 11 (1/20/17)

We ended the second week of FRC season with a productive day!  The fabrication sub team was able to mount the gear boxes onto our practice drivetrain A.K.A Galahad (last year’s FRC robot).  They also improved the intake’s consistency and worked on designing a mechanism to make low goals.   The CAD team began making drawings for the fabrication sub team to begin parts for the chassis, and continued making edits to the chassis.  In programming, a preliminary code in Java was made for the final version of the robot!  This will be edited as the season continues.  They also worked on vision tracking and tested out the ultrasonic sensor with our practice drivetrain.

Day 12 (1/21/17)

It is the end of week two! The fabrication team continued to work on the high goal shooter. A problem on the fly wheel was the amount of energy it took for the fuel ball to be launched so the wheel was switched out from a 4″ traction wheel to an 8″ pneumatic wheel. Now we need to to fix the accuracy and fix the amount of momentum lost after each shot. The electronics team continued to work with the ultra sonic sensor and discovered the sensor from FIRST Choice (which happened to be cheaper) could sense up to 16′ while the one we ordered could only sense up to 5″.

Weekly Conclusion

It has been another productive week! We have finished prototypes for the high and low goal shooter, gear pouch and pneumatic claw, and hanging mechanism. The CAD of the chassis has been fine tuned and ready to be used! We will start the fabrication of our new chassis next week!

SW Build Blog: Week One

Here’s the first week of the Steamworks build blog! If you missed kickoff, you can find that here. In this post, updates will be added daily as we go throughout Week One (1/9 through 1/14). Currently, this post contains Day 01 through Day 06. Pictures and weekly videos are coming soon!

Day 01 (1/9/17)

Today we had a discussion on setting reasonable deadlines for each sub-team and checked inventory from the new Kit of Parts. We had another discussion about the robot and decided to us a west coast drive. We also had to choose robot dimensions, and after much deliberation, we picked the wider volume, 36 in. by 40 in. by 24 in. tall rather than the 30 in. by 32 in. by 36 in. tall to allow easier access to the gear feeder station as well as placing the gear onto the peg. This would also have better ground fuel pickup and more room for the electronics. Once finished, builders Kenny and Corbin made a cardboard prototype to collect gears. It was a pouch with a partially open front and back so the peg could easily go through the holes within the gears. Dustin started to prototype the hanging mechanism using an old kit bot. The programming sub-team installed Lab View onto the club laptops while the electronics team organized wires onto a newly-made shelf.



Day 03 (1/11/17)

The fabrication team finished the revised version of the gear collector as well as getting the old kit bot to hang higher than 4′ 10″! The gear collector was in the shape of a trapezoid. Silas and Kenny designed it to open and close with a piston. The hanging mechanism was the same design but with a ratchet mechanism to the axle would only spin one way but that turned into a problem when taking the robot down. Another big accomplishment was made within the team today! Within the field elements team, the Loading Station was completed. Within the programming team Dennis, the head of programming taught Sonja, Brandon, and Kimo more about programming. Sonja said she learned a basic drive programming using Begin.vi and Finish.vi sections of the program. The electronics team taught some of the members from other sub teams how to solder and crimp.


Day 04 (1/12/17)

Much was started and learned today. The one thing completed today was the gear collector prototype. Pistons and PVC was added, pistons to open and close the it and PVC to keep the gear from slipping out. We also started mounting the gear collector and hanging mechanism on Galahad. The CAD team finished the bumpers. The programming team downloaded Java Eclipse IDE and experimented with it.


Day 05 (1/13/17)

The CADing team gathered the measurements for the chassis and bumpers and coordinated them. Almost the whole entire chassis was completed today. There are still a few touches to add, but plans are to finish it tomorrow. The field elements team created a hook on a peg with touch sensor simulators and began construction of the hopper. The team plans on completing the construction of the hopper. The fabrication team mounted the gear manipulator onto Galahad. With it mounted, accurate experiments can be conducted to test its reliability and consistency. The wiring team rewired Galahad to test Dennis’ LabVIEW program as well as the gear pocket prototype. As soon as Galahad is driving tomorrow then an official test can be done onto Galahad. 


Day 06 (1/14/17)

Now that we have Galahad (prototype drive) driving and the gear collector working, Caleb started to make a new gear collector so that we could pick them up from off the floor. The collector is a pneumatic claw that opens and closes with a linear slider. When the claw is mounted, we plan to hinge it. The problem was that there was a lack of pressure when the plexiglass closed around the gear so small sheets must be added to the top and bottom to keep the gear from slipping out. Our president, Ara, mentor, Matt, and senior member, Josh had a small discussion on the hopper (fuel collector). They concluded 10 in. by 25 in. would be the minimum size hopper 50 wiggle balls (fuel). We plan to have the group discussion on Monday. The programming team got the programming up and running and set up the drive as well as three double acting solenoids to run the drive dear shift, gear collector, and one to possibly for fuel collection.


Weekly Conclusion

This week, we have gotten Galahad (prototype drive) to work, make two prototype gear collectors, and two field elements! 

Video coming soon!

You can find Week Two, here!

Day 02 (1/10/17)

We began the day with the fabrication team making a metal prototype to collect gears going off of the cardboard pouch and performing a rough test with the gear. As Ara held up a sheet of metal at a 20 degree angle, she slid the gear into the gear system. This was repeated multiple times, then revised because the gear was not consistently falling inside (i.e. aligned correctly). We made the sides of gear system a little loose to open and close around the gear and plan to use piston actuators to open and close around the gear as well as angle it to be more consistent. Dustin got the hanging mechanism to work with the old kit bot. The robot had three little pegs in a triangular shape around a cylindrical object that was connected to a battery. The three pegs would catch the rope which would have a loop at the end of it and the robot would reel itself up. Although it was a rough test, this prototype worked with the kit bot. Within the programming team, Dennis taught Sonja Lab View. Within the CAD team, Steve and Ina began Solidworks files of the chassis and bumpers. Overall, the entire team felt productive this work session.

SW Build Blog: Kickoff!

Kickoff (1/7/17)

It was the day every robotics member was excited for… FRC kickoff! For those of you who don’t know, kickoff is when the game for FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) is revealed. The game is released at 5:30 A.M. in Hawaii so our most dedicated members wake up early on a weekend to watch the game reveal live. Our admin team gathered to do just that. Later that morning, the whole team gathered at the Autoshop to go over the game, our sub teams, robot priorities, and deadlines!




IMG_5052This is one of our seven progress logs for the 2017 FIRST season featuring Steamworks. Updates will be added onto the post daily. FIRST is an intense competition that has robotics teams worldwide designing, fabricating, programming, and troubleshooting their robots in 6 weeks! More information on FIRST can be found here.

Clicking on the pictures will open the album from flickr with all the pictures from that day.

Keaau VEX State Championship

This year the Hawaii VEX State Championship was held here, on the Big Island of Hawaii at Kea’au High School! 38 of the best teams from around the state participated in the competition, including two HVR teams, 1378B and 1378X.  Team 1378B started out the day strong, the 1st ranked team for the first three rounds of the qualifications matches.  They were able to make it to quarter-finals in an alliance with 3880S from Kealakehe and 4208B from Kamehameha!  1378X won the teamwork award for effective communication, building, and programming between all members of the team!  In addition, our beloved mentor Matthew Wung was nominated as the Hawaii State Vex Mentor of the Year!  Thank you for all you have done for us, Matt.  This was an awesome Vex season, and we look forward to the new game later this year.  Best wishes to Pearl City, Wailua, Kohala, Mililani in worlds!

Winter 2016 Camp Eureka Blog

Day 1 (12/27/2016)

VEX IQ Robotics Session

Today the students were  introduced to Kukini! Kukini means foot races and in ancient Hawaii the top runners competed and were later recruited by chiefs to be messengers or spies. Similar to drag races, robots drive to specific mark (12ft) in the shortest amount of time. By working on these robots students learned simple drive trains, drag and gear ratios!

Engineering Session

To start off the engineering fun, students worked on mini Hawaiian wa’a (canoe) designs! This little activity helped teach students how concepts like buoyancy and water displacement need to be considered to design a watercraft that will support “x” of weight! Infact, the students competed to win the “Strongest Wa’a” Award, which was awarded to the wa’a that could hold the most weight.


Day 2 (12/28/2016)

VEX IQ Robotics Session

Ulu maika (Hawaiian bowling) is similar to American bowling, except it uses two stakes and a disc shaped stone. The object of the game is to roll the stone between the stakes from a certain distance away. We put a twist on this fun activity by creating a course of “stakes” and exchanging the disc shaped stone for a VEX IQ robot carrying a VEX IQ tire! We encouraged students to build a robot with a simple lift that could pick up an object (tire), carry it through a series of stakes created with vex IQ parts. The area between the stakes progressively got smaller as the students went through the course, requiring the students to limit the size of their robot (only using resources needed) and learn precise driving skills! We were pleased to see everyone working hard on their robot, incorporating gear ratios, lifts, and simple programming in their new robots!

Engineering Session

Inspired by ohia trees, we focused on how to support a weight in the air! Students learned the basics of building a miniature “tree” (tower) that can hold weights on its uppermost “branches”. Here, they had to use strong shapes to support the tree and it’s weight with out it toppling over or breaking.


Day 3 (12/29/2016)

VEX IQ Robotics Session

This morning we finished up on Ulu Maika, and started on the final game, the Animal Reservation! This game combined all the skills the kids learned throughout the week as the teams rushed through the 3 minute matches to collect endangered animal (Hawaiian Monk Seal and Green Sea Turtle) cubes and bring them to their “reservations” according to animal. It was great to see students using speed gear ratios, incorporating simple and complex cube capture designs  in their robots and practicing the driving skills that they learned in Ulu Maika!

Engineering Session

To start the session off, we finished the Strongest Ohia Trees and tested how much weight each tree could hold. Once we finished that activity, we moved on to the Hawaiian Structure Building! With that theme in mind, students were taught about how to use different engineering principles to create a small building model that could withstand the stimulated natural elements – high wind, earthquakes, and heavy rain.


Day 4 (12/30/2016)

VEX IQ Robotics Session

The first half of the session today was dedicated to finishing the Animal Reservation robots so that the kids could have a robotics competition when the parents came! We noticed that many students had gone through several designs throughout the week, and especially during the short build period for the Animal Reservation game. Each time they re-evaluated their designs – adding this, taking away that – they grew more attached and excited about their robots! The final competition was truly exciting, with more than a few close matches, especially in the finals. We hope that the students and their parents enjoyed their VEX IQ robot experience!

Engineering Session

Today we had a day full of exciting activities, starting with a water balloon drop! Students were challenged to protect a water balloon from a 3 story high drop. Plus, they had two sub-challenges with in the main one – with a parachute and without! Now students had to think about the mechanical and physical properties of the different materials available while building the “capsule” for the water balloon. In addition, the students took a walk around campus to go on a Structural Principles Scavenger Hunt! They looked at different aspects of the Hilo High Buildings and pointed out specific examples of structural principles, like structural members and materials with certain mechanical properties. To finish the day off, we dove into Water Balloon Catapults! Each group worked on creating a catapult that could successfully launch small water balloons. By the end we were all tired by the full but fun day!