The LigerBots kick off postseason!
May 1, 2023

Following our successful end to the season—we won the Imagery Award at the New England District Championship, our CTO was named a Dean’s List Finalist, and our robot finished in the top 10% worldwide—we are now looking to have a strong start to the postseason! Specifically, we are now focusing on community events and off-season projects. 

The LigerBots visited the Carroll Center for the Blind, a rehabilitation center in Newton that provides innovative services for those with vision impairment, on April 18. There, we talked about our team, and showcased Prometheus, our 2022 robot, for residents. In return, we learned about the fascinating innovations residents use, such as a live demonstration showing how they navigate phones and laptops through specific hand movements. Residents also gave us a tour of their workshop, where they work with wood and clay. This visit continues a wonderful relationship between the LigerBots and the Carroll center, and we hope to continue working with them in the future.

A resident of the Carroll Center learns about our robot with help from Davis.
Residents at the Carroll Center demonstrate their pottery and wood crafts.

On Saturday, April 22, several LigerBots students visited the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, which exhibits a rich collection of printing, typesetting, and graphic arts technology. Students learned about the transition from hand-setting individual sorts of foundry type to mechanized hot-metal typesetting and the incredibly complex mechanisms behind the Linotype, Monotype, and Ludlow line casting machines. Students also met museum president Frank Romano, an industry expert and professor emeritus at RIT who has written over 80 books related to the graphic arts. We’re incredibly grateful for the experience and insights we gained from our visit!

A Museum of Printing volunteer shows LigerBots students the complex mechanisms behind the Linotype machine, which cast lines of metal type for printing during the 19th and 20th centuries.
LigerBots members with museum president Frank Romano.

The LigerBots also attended Newton’s Earth Day celebration on April 23. Newton’s annual Earth Day Festival features local organizations that promote sustainability. Despite the rainy weather, we proudly displayed Prometheus on the front steps of Newton City Hall, where students explained the robot and our team to passersby. Inside, students led a STEAM activity booth, where they guided children to create DIY solar ovens and learn about the scientific applications of solar energy.

LigerBots members run a DIY solar oven booth during Newton Earth Day.

During a team meeting on April 26, coaches Igor and Diane ran a fun team-building activity—dancing! The activity came about from an agreement during the District Championships, where Coach Igor agreed to wear our Liger mascot costume in exchange for students agreeing to take a swing dance lesson from him. Students had a lot of fun during this unique team-bonding event, and we hope Igor and Diane can continue to give more lessons in the future!

Coach Igor guides a pair of students through the basics of ballroom dance.

To continue our efforts in community outreach, the LigerBots also attended the Lincoln Eliot Elementary School Science Fair on April 27. LigerBots members ran multiple booths featuring engaging STEAM activities involving solar ovens and using origami to build DNA helices and double pyramids. We also unveiled our new LEGO robot for outreach events, built by students Isaac S. and Dennis L., which is capable of self-navigating a simple course.

During the Lincoln Eliot Science Fair, Dennis shows off the LEGO robot, which is programmed to follow the black tape, to children.

We will be participating in many outreach events in the near future. Please join us this Saturday, May 6, at the Healthy Kids Event at the Newton YMCA, which aims to inspire children and families to maintain their physical and mental health. On Sunday, May 7, we will also be volunteering at the third annual Bike Rodeo at Newton South High School, where children can navigate biking obstacle courses and improve their biking skills. 

Our student engineers are also beginning preparations for BattleCry, an annual off-season competition held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The event, featuring 64 teams, will be held the weekend of June 3. We hope that you can all join us then!

With the competition season being completed, we will begin our selection process for the new executive board. Over the next few weeks, promising students will make a pitch to be chosen by coaches for various leadership positions on the LigerBots, such as CTO, CMO, COO, and more. The new executives will be announced on Awards Night on May 17. We can’t wait to see how our new leaders will shape the team!

Many thanks to our sponsors Rotary Club of Newton, Honda Village, Teradyne, PTC, Village Bank, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Newton Schools Foundation, Newton Public Schools, Rockwell Automation, as well as the Cao, Chaudhury Karim, Franklin, King, Preston, Saitz, Sangiolio, Wang Ji, Schwartz, Nedeljkovic, and Housman families. Your support is greatly appreciated!