Saturday, October 5th, about ten members of our team participated in the third annual OSMOCES conference in the IIT Rice Campus in Wheaton. (OSMOCES stands for Open Source Mechatronics Outreach and Creative Exchange Symposium, and is run by the Fox Valley Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers). The conference had four sequences of lectures and presentations that a participant could follow: General Interest, Robotics, Electrical, and Programming. There were also workshops on arduinos and soldering, among other topics like animating in Blender.

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Attending one of the presentations

All of the team members attended a few of the lectures, but some actually presented as well. Mr. Schmit gave a presentation on computational modeling with vPython and its applications in education. Mr. Rowzee led a discussion and presentation of underwater robotics, featuring the ROV built by the school’s Marine Engineering Team.  James Zhu, a sophomore programmer, gave a presentation on GIT, describing how it had helped manage and organize the team and its code. We also set up a table where people could learn more about FIRST Robotics and our team.

Showing off Sally

Showing off Sally

During the afternoon portion of the event, we took Sally out to the back of the building and shot Frisbees with a few interested elementary and middle school students. We answered their questions, had a lot of fun, and hopefully inspired future participation in FIRST!

An impromptu Q&A with a few people who were interested

An impromptu Q&A with a few people who were interested

The conference was a great opportunity for our team, both to share our knowledge and experiences and to gain new insight into different parts of the world of STEM. It might not be a common way for teenagers to spend their Saturdays, but OSMOCES was interesting and fun. Thanks for participating, team 3061!

–Anushka