We, the Teens ‘Nto Technology, are a group of Isanti County 4-H high school students that aspires to improve our community and our lives. We are working hard to organize our team by delegating areas of responsibility to each member. Our team was founded by Andrew Diers because he heard about FIRST and wanted our local community to have their very own team and to give local high school student the opportunity to make friends, learn more about robotics, and make some terrific memories. In the past season we have learned, practiced, and developed many mechanical, electronic, and communication skills, but will need to develop more.
Zachary K, Senior, Build Lead
"Two steps forward one step back"
I am in 12th grade at Cambridge Isanti High School and eighteen years old. I have many interests including the 4-H Robotics team, Welding team, Machining, making 3-D printers, and an active church volunteer. My hobbies include restoring tractors and doing mechanical maintenance of our sheep/cattle farm. It was a busy year. I have a small engine business and work for the neighbor doing farm/lawn machine maintenance. I like doing lawn care, snowplowing, and work at the John Deere Store. Next year for college, I am attending the John Deere Technician program in Iowa. I have been an Isanti County 4-H member with Wild River Pioneers club for thirteen years. My favorite 4-H project areas are Small Engines and Robotics. At age 11, I joined the 4-H TNT Robotics Junior Discovery team when it began.
What I Have Learned:
This is my fifth year building a robot with the FRC robotics. This year I took a class called Solid Works that taught CAD modeling and 3D modeling software. I learned how to mechanically design the robot and make assemblies for construction. I also expanded my machining capabilities, TIG welding, fabrication, and engineering skills in the process of building the robot. The year included teaching an Electrical class at the jumpstart training workshop, several demonstrations in the community including a county fair booth where kids get to drive the robots, assisting with monthly 4-H youth engineering classes, and helped at the 4-H Engineer workshop. Besides programming, electrical, and mechanical skills, I have learned teamwork, leadership, and public speaking skills. I really have enjoyed being a part of the team this year.
Jacob D, Junior, Programming Lead
"God is great, robots are cool, and build season is crazy"
I am 17 and in 11th grade, I am currently taking PSEO classes at Anoka Ramsey Community College, and a few classes at St. Francis High School. This is my third year on the team. I enjoy finding out what the new competition is each year and designing a robot to compete in the competition. I enjoy fixing bicycles, small engines, and other things. My family built most of our own house. While working on the house I have learned a lot about building, and using tools and equipment. I am also very active in Boy Scouts and I am currently the rank of Life Scout with only a few merit badges left to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. I have also been in karate for the past eight years and have just earned my black belt. I like to spend free time going camping, fishing, hiking, biking, hunting, and being outside.
What I have learned:
My first year I learned a lot about all the mechanical aspects of the robot. Last season I also worked on the mechanical things, but I learned a lot more about the robot’s electronics and electrical wiring. Last year I learned how to calculate how much a motor could lift and how fast it could lift it, and what gearbox it should be paired with to lift the required amount of weight. This year I learned how to calculate an ideal gearbox for our robots drive train. I also learned how to program a working drive train for a robot as well as simple buttons and commands for actuators.
Cecelia B, Junior, A little Bit Of Everything
"Zach, what did you do!?"
I'm in 11th grade at Cambridge Isanti High School. I joined this team because I wanted to learn how to make robots and it looked fun. I enjoy to make crafts and to garden. I love theater. I've been in 4-H for 4 years and am in the Shooting Starz 4-H club. This is my second year on the team. Before this I did Lego League for 2 years. This is a fun program and I love it.
What I have learned:
I learned how to accurately cut with a band saw. I learned what all the pieces on the electrical board are and what they do. I learned wiring. I learned how to properly make a prototype. I also had to learn to work with other people and work well on a team.
Josh D, Freshman, Electrical Trainee
"Seeing the finished product compete in a competition is what makes robotics worth it."
I am 15 and I am currently homeschooled. I live in Stanford Township. I am also in boy scouts and I am at the rank of Star. I am the Senior Patrol Leader of my troop which means I lead meetings and planning. I am in karate and I am one belt away from achieving black belt. I enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, biking, and canoeing.
What I have learned:
This is my second year on the team, so far I have learned the importance of component placement on the electrical board how to effectively run wires and detailed electrical techniques. I have learned to trace problems when things go wrong and how to fix my mistakes. I have learned also to mentor new students to the best of my ability and to just have fun.
Shelby G, Sophomore, Rookie
“Building the robot was a challenging but fun experience.”
My name is Shelby Glissmeyer. I am 15 years old and this is my first year ever of robotics. I am a sophomore at St. Francis high school but i am part homeschooled. I joined the team because I wanted to try something new and it seemed really interesting. I am going to work with the electrical part of the robot the most this year I think. I also am working on new team shirts. Outside of robotics, I love to play volleyball and basketball and was on JV for both this year. I am going to continue playing next year. I hope I can learn lots of new things this year as a part of this team and I’m excited to start building!
What I have learned:
This season I have learned many electrical terms and processes. I learned how to solder LED lights, crimp and ferrule wires, among many other things. I also learned what it takes to build a robot and how satisfying it is to see it finished.
Morgan G, Cadet, Fabricator Trainee
"I loved helping build the robot this year!"
Hi! My name is Morgan. I am in the eighth grade and new to robotics. I enjoy reading, writing, camping, and all types of sports. I am excited to learn about all the different aspects of making, programming, and designing a robot. I hope to learn a lot of things and do some stuff during the build season.
What I have learned:
how to drill holes, cut metal, measure things, and how important communication and organization are to making things run. I loved helping build the robot this year!
Nathan Z, Cadet, Programming Trainee
"Alone we are one, together we are dynamite. We are TNT."
I am 13 and live and go to school in the Saint Francis area. This is my first year on the team as a cadet member and I hope to learn a lot in this upcoming season. Some of my other interests besides robotics is the Boys Scouts where I am currently the rank of First Class and the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader in my troop. I also enjoy hunting, fishing, swimming, campingand single track mountain biking. I like to read in my spare time and play with my dog Brody.
What I have learned:
I have learned some basic electrical mechanical and programming concepts while attending team meetings and seminar events like Jumpstart. I have developed public speaking skills through meeting with sponsors. At an off-season competition called Minne Mini I have learned how a robotics team brings together contributions from each member to prepare the robot; support the drive team and develop a winning strategy.
Andrew Diers, Founder and College Mentor
"When I was a boy, my mother made me wear safety glasses and I didn't like it. Now I am drive coach and I still don't like it."
I have always been interested in building things and figuring out how things work. I even dabbled in a little computer programming at the age of 14. I first heard about this program through a very interesting Popular Science article. My reactions to this article were like, "Wow, I wish I could do something like that." The next encounter that I had with FIRST was at an exhibit at the State Fair. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the 2:00 demonstration, or I probably would have started that year. The final experience before my decision to join a team was the result of a Facebook message from one of my friends about a robotics competition at the U of M. It didn't take much thinking to realize that this was the same program. A couple of friends and I went down to this competition and I came to the conclusion that this was something I definitely wanted to get involved in. I started researching about FIRST and realized that there wasn't a team in our area, so I came to the decision to start my own. How hard could it be? Well, I started by making a poster about FIRST and displaying it at the County Fair as an opportunity to recruit more members. I also took this poster and did demonstrations at the various 4-H clubs in our area. I recruited 6 members that year and the team was able to take 17th out of 40 teams at a regional competition. The next year started out with two kids on the team. We weren't expecting to do too well that year, however we were able to place 6th out of 66. Since then, I have graduated and become a mentor for the team. This team has been good for me and I am currently studying to be a computer engineer.
Kim Diers, Administrator
"Ask not what FIRST can do for you, but what you can do for FIRST."
I bring to the team business management and planning skills. My work history includes accounting and tax preparation. Currently, a stay at home mom I have homeschooled our two boys since the fall of 2003 through Andrew’s graduation in 2012. Even before jumping into the world of homeschooling, I have enjoyed teaching my boys and watching them learn. For example, every trip to the grocery store was a math and economics lesson. Our son, Andrew is the founder of this team. We have been a 4-H family since the fall of 1999 and I have been an approved leader since 2008. I have enjoyed watching my two boys learn about various projects, community service, themselves, and others through 4-H and have been involved in such projects as food and nutrition, shooting sports, photography, aerospace, gardening, and now robotics. As a parent of a child who started an invention notebook when he was 9, I was destined to become the leader of the Isanti County 4-H Robotics Team 8 years later. It is wonderful to watch the team discuss and pull ideas together. The satisfaction that is felt when a plan works out or when a month of fund raising nets the team $2,500 is indescribable. There are pitfalls to be sure, but the joy and fulfillment far outweighs the disappointments. Even the pitfalls are something to learn from and another opportunity to teach our youth. Setting this team up as a senior team mentoring a junior team was a way to pass some of the satisfaction of teaching others and watching them learn onto the senior team, helping them to learn valuable leadership skills they are bound to use in the future. It was exciting to see our team recognized as a leader when asked to teach electronics at the Jumpstart event. This year we added a monthly STEM program in which we have a hands activity geared towards 4th-12th graders and invite guest speakers come and share the different aspects of engineering with us. We look forward to seeing our FRC team grow in the future from the youth we have reached through this program.
Dean Diers, Mechanical Mentor
"We choose to make a removable electric board. We choose this not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
I grew up watching my dad construct amazing things, and I have always been a builder myself, so I guess you could say creativity runs in the family. It just seemed natural when my son, Andrew, wanted to start a robotics team. I have been a machinist/tool and die maker for the first 18 years of my professional life. During this time I have enjoyed various opportunities to train/mentor others in the industry. When new economic realities forced a change in direction, I became a piano tuner/technician. I am currently head technician at Carlson’s Piano World, as well as operate my own tuning business. As someone who has spent many years in the precision metalworking industry, I have sadly watched the decline of the manufacturing base of this country. To say that I am passionate about teaching the next generation to build things and work with their hands would be an understatement. Now, as our son graduated years since the team began, I ask myself, “Why am I still doing this?” As we place a high emphasis on service and “giving back” to FIRST we are often seen volunteering at FIRST Events. I, along with most of our mentors, are certified inspectors, and I have also become the “official” choir director of MN FIRST. It is thrilling to see how many students we have gotten to know through the years grown up and are now adult volunteers. We love getting back together with our “volunteer family”, and the positive energy that exists there is priceless. We do more than build robots, we are building young people to take on a challenging new world by pushing them out of their comfort zone and exploring new things. I have been “accused” of being a professional. We simply do this because we love it, and believe in the FIRST program.
Todd Kruse, Programming Mentor
"Come on gentlemen, we need to prioritize."
As a 4-H member growing up, I loved participating in the electrical, livestock, computer, aerospace and small engine projects. My parents were very involved as leaders in 4-H. Now as a parent of three children who are active 4-H members and an Engineer, I have greatly enjoyed giving back through the years to an organization that has helped me so much. I have an Associate Degree in Laser Electro Technology and a Bachelor in Computer Science. I worked for 5 years in the Laser Industry, but wanted to design and program machines. I pursued my dream by going back to school and have been Engineering in Automation equipment for over 20 years now. This was my third season as a mentor with the Isanti County 4-H FRC Robotics Team 3840 through the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organization. The program promotes technology through creativity with a new task each year. The teams learn a variety of individual skills, team problem solving, sportsmanship, and marketing, just to name a few. I think it's important to mentor young people. They are the next generation of Engineers. The FRC (FIRST Robotics Challenge Competition) builds a solid foundation in Industrial Technology. The FRC competition is an excellent experience where the students learn how the everyday Engineer solves industry demands. It was encouraging to mentor young people that share the same passion for the industry that I do. At work, I train newly hired graduates through the concept, design, and build process. As a mentor for the FRC during the build season, I was impressed with the skills and knowledge the team members had already gained through the program in the previous year. We focused on concept, design documentation, making schematics, and proper wiring this year. It would be a pleasure to hire any of these team members after college someday.
Daniel Lee, Mechanical/Electrical Mentor, Website Manager
"The other teams said our intake motors were small and that may equate to something else. There is no problem, I assure you, there is no problem."
I have been into machines, computers and robots for my whole life. When I was really young I would make articulating mechanisms with paper and tape. When I was 5-7 I would try to make toys like cranes and amphibious boats with homemade electric motors using anything I had access to. None of my purchased electric toys survived very long because I dismembered them to figure out how they worked and use their parts. The older I got the faster my skills caught up with my imagination as I learned circuit design principles and soldering, got into DIY 3D printing in 2012, took welding classes, worked on FIRST teams, and anything else I could find time for.
When I was 11 (6th grade) I joined a 4H FLL team which I stayed on for 4 years. I then joined FIRST team 3840. I went in with the expectation to improve team building skills, but learned so much more. It taught me prioritizing and scheduling of projects in order to finish them on time. I also learned a lot about fabrication from Dean and trial and error during my 3 years as a student on the team. It was difficult to be part of FRC and take PSEO at the same time, but it was worth it. I finished about 12 years in 4H and am currently going to college for engineering. I help mentor the team part time, as well as maintaining and designing the website. Going to school, I have come to realize that many aspiring engineers have little to no experience with actual fabrication and application of principals. FIRST teaches practical skills, and I’m proud to be a part of that.
Tony Deshenes, Mechanical Mentor
I am a mechanical engineer. I work at BAE Systems. I have worked on a variety of products using a variety of mechanical engineering disciplines. This is my first year as a mentor. I have enjoyed helping team 3840 on their robot this year.