Even though the competitive robotics season is long finished, the LigerBots have been as busy as ever.
On the Wednesday before Memorial Day, a couple of LigerBots joined the Girl Scouts and veterans from the Vietnam War in flag-planting in the Newton ceremony. We placed American flags on the graves of those who served our country to honor their service.
That Sunday, May 27th, we proudly marched in the Memorial Day Parade with our robot and our banner, representing both our community and FIRST.
On June 3rd, we hosted our annual Awards Night at Newton South from 6-9pm. The event originated as an opportunity to thank our sponsors but has evolved into a night to commemorate and honor not just sponsors, but also mentors, coaches, parents, and, most importantly, students. All of the students on the team received hand-written thank-you letters from execs. All of the mentors and coaches got a mention, and we also honored Diane Levy, our graphics coach who retired this year. We also thanked all of the parents for their support and acknowledged the seniors for all their work in the past four years. Overall, we had a wonderful, fun night.
Newton North hosted its annual Step-Up Day in which eighth-graders visit the high school. This year, for the first time, the school included a “Mini-Club Day,” so we set up our booth and talked to prospective team members, asking them about their interests and discussing STEM at Newton North.
Newton Highlands Village Day was on June 9th. The street was full of happy kids clutching snow cones and happy parents visiting the many tents of local businesses. Along with a table with information about our team and FIRST, we also had a table with ingredients for slime, which we made with the kids to teach them scientific skills and information. Though we were stationed right next to the bouncy houses, we were able to talk to a lot of kids and get them excited about robotics and our FLL Info Night.
Later that week, the Newton North Science Team challenged us to a soccer game. Although we tragically lost, we had a really good time and made new friends.
The next day, we had our annual pool party at a Coach’s house. It’s a great way to have some fun with the team and celebrate the year’s accomplishments.
It was back to work on Monday the 17th. Maggie, AJ, Carolyn, and Samy visited our State Representative Kay Khan at the State House in Boston. We advocated for writing a bill that would set up a need-based grant program for competitive STEM teams. We have her support but there’s a lot of work still to be done.
That evening, we had our annual FLL Info Night. FLL, or FIRST Lego League, is the robotics league for students from 4th through 8th grade. Teams are typically much smaller than FRC (high-school) teams and are started by parents. We created the Info Night to guide parents through the process of starting and supporting an FLL team. While the parents watched a presentation done by AJ and a coach, we set up hands-on STEM activities for their children. The kids made spaghetti and marshmallow towers, calculated the best paper plane technique, and commanded a human PB& J robot to learn about the principles of coding. Overall, a very successful night!
Our final meeting of the school year was this Thursday, June 20th. We packed up our materials, made thank-yous for sponsors, planned for the summer, and had cake to celebrate the occasion!
Thanks to all the blog-readers for supporting our team this year. We’ll be back in the fall, but until then, have a nice summer!