Weekly Wins 5-13-2022

It’s an unlucky day, so let’s share things that sent well.

For me - two things:

One - today went substantially better than the last Friday the 13th I remember which I spent the whole day in the ER… So at least today was productive at work.

Two - I got some feedback from folks on an approach to a problem and was able to incorporate it in another project. It felt nice to be building things again. Nothing important, just toy projects to try new techniques.


Started working at my new job.
Had our end of year team celebration and senior send off.
Began moving our team out of the basement we’ve been renting and into one of the schools extra spaces.

Bonus–> Deployable ramps are cool and I don’t care who knows.
Ramp Gif


I have been in two megacities this week - New York City for a gala - I’ve never been to such a thing before - that was cool, and home to İstanbul finally. I went for a really nice walk to the water near the old city and hung out with a friend yesterday all day.

I think this was the first time I’ve been to NYC when there were leaves on trees. I’ve always been there in the winter, and… it kinda isn’t great in the winter. But with green trees it’s a different world. Also, they’ve like redone the surface transportation in Manhattan since the last time I went (2019 I think) - there’s bus lanes and bike lanes everywhere, so that was cool to see.

Me at the Metropolitan Museum for the Gala

Leaves on trees!

More leaves on trees, but at night with the moon

Down by the water in İstanbul

No place like home on the balcony :heart:


now make a tiny torus for an opponent robot to push in front of one ramp

And the final “exam” (quiz) has been taken, with reckless abandon, because I could get a 0 here and still get 4 GPA points from the course.

The economist inside of me is disappointed by the cost-benefit analysis.


Something I’m sure is shared with many other students: AP’S ARE OVER LETS GOOOOO


Just casually drops “Burchard, Alex Burchard” photo from The Met Gala! Nicely done.


Hahaha not THE Met Gala, but a gala at the Met :slight_smile:
Turkish Philanthropy Funds gala :slight_smile:


The first year of Gradschool is oveeeerrrrr!!! Woop woop! (It’s a little lonely, not going to lie)

I also just got (conditionally) hired on as a Mountaineering Ranger for the Summer at Philmont Scout Ranch! It’s like mentoring robots, but with nature and mountain lions!!!


Busy week…

  • Managed to get my housing sorted out for PhD program in the fall (that was a very long and arduous process this time around)

  • Meeting with my advisor for said program went exceedingly well

  • Spent Friday afternoon fixing the wiring on a bench grinder. Definitely a W considering i haven’t had a lot of time to tinker up until this week

  • Played around with the control system on my little diff swerve prototype… Just because it is fun to tinker :grin:


Team 342 had our “End-of-Season” party on Friday.
We installed the new Member Leadership.
I was asked by a fellow teacher, “End of season party, when does the new season begin?”
"The next day…12 hours after the past ends.":smirk:


My wife and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary on May 13th.


Team 5675 had their end of year celebration on the 12th.
Getting a little ahead but…, got to see several local teams in the Holland, MI Tulip Festival Parade on the 14th. Awesome to see such great representation! Teams 74, 85, 141, and at least one other that I couldn’t quite see. Fun!


My rocketry team’s liquid bi-propellant engine breathed its first fire!



@aidanm Wow! Building your own solid-fueled rocket engine is serious stuff. Building your own liquid-fueled rocket is at another level. Is your team going to participate at one of the launch events in Black Rock Desert?

@AlexBurchard you take such beautiful photographs. They always make me want to visit the places you show.


I highly highly recommend doing so. :slight_smile: They’re really cool places. Megacities are way fun places.

In 1978-1979 I was stationed at Incirlick CDI outside Adana Turkey. I have some great pictures of Snake Castle.
There was a mountain range north of the base, but until it rained, in December, I didn’t know they were there because of the cement factory, near the base, put out so much dust.
The people were very nice.

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Turkiye was a wholly different world in 2001, the first time I visited, I can’t imagine what it was like in 1978. It’s come a looooonnnngggg ways :slight_smile:

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We made HUGE progress on cleaning out our workspace this weekend! We’ve finally thrown out enough things that next time we can start actually organizing and putting things away.

For context, about a year ago the school granted us exclusive use of our workspace (classes are no longer taught in there). We tried to execute a remodeling plan in the summer and fall, but failed to finish it before January, and had to live through a build season where things were more of a mess than usual because so many things didn’t have a dedicated place to be put away yet. We’ve had about a dozen all-day cleaning extravaganzas over the past year (going through 20 years worth of junk!) and we are SO CLOSE NOW!


Thanks! It’s certainly an honor to be working on this project and achieving these milestones that very few student teams can lay claim to. The skills I developed in FIRST have served me well!

After progressing through a series of longer-duration static fires and integrating the engine and propellant feed system into a vehicle, we’ll be competing in the Friends of Amateur Rocketry DPF Challenge, launching from their range in the Mojave Desert, and attempting to break the altitude world record for collegiate, liquid-fueled flight.


That’s really cool. I looked at the rules and it looks like they incentivize coopertition like the FRC Open-Alliance. Best of luck and please let us know how it goes.

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