The LigerBots Inspire kids to learn STEM!
July 6, 2024

On Saturday, June 22, we hosted our largest FLL Info Session ever at WPS with over 57 families in attendance to listen in to our speakers and engage with our original STEAM activities as well as our 2022 robot.

Overhead view of the FLL fields and crowd

The event lasted from 3 pm to 4:30 pm with crowds of people bustling through the hallways, excited to see all the different activities going on at the event. While the parents were listening in on our info session, the children would be exploring their options of STEAM activities and much more.

LigerBot demonstrating origami and guiding a kid through the process

“A STEAM activity that was particularly popular with the kids was the slime.” said CMO, Felicia J. “The kids would make their own slime at the table and many were asking if they could make seconds or thirds, sometimes fourths.”

LigerBot reaching over to assist in the slime-making process

Slime wasn’t the activity to engage in at the info session, seven FLL teams attended and participated in FLL matches to show attendees what a FLL match is like and the amazing lego robots the members of FLL team built. While the FLL teams weren’t in matches, some were taking questions from curious families.

LigerBot explaining the FLL game and field to a parent

Some time towards the middle of the event, after attendees finished checking in and going around to see what we had to offer and display, we began our info session.

Front view from behind of the presentation

Our info session provides information necessary when starting an FLL team and the event itself would help attendees make connections as they begin to form FLL teams. One of our presenters is a head coach of LigerBots and actually is a previous FLL coach!

Coach Fitz speaking on coach responsibilities at the info session

This year’s FLL info session was a blast, for both the LigerBots and our attendees. We hope to see some familiar faces at the FLL competitions we’ll be hosting in the fall and early winter as well as to continue inspiring younger kids in the field of STEM.

Speaking of continuing to inspire younger kids…

Before the end of school, the LigerBots had step-up days at our respective high schools, Newton North and Newton South. At these events we would bring one of our robots, Calliope (2024) at North and Prometheus (2022) at South, to drive and display for in-coming 9th graders, in hopes of sparking interest in robotics. We hope to see many of them next year on the team!

Rainy Days and Sundays..

On Sunday, June 9, 2024, the skies opened up with a deluge of rain, but that didn’t stop the LigerBots from participating in TWO events that day!

We love being a part of all the villages of Newton and Highlands Village Day is probably the longest standing village day in which we’ve participated since our inception in 2008.

Our robot, Prometheus, trying to stay dry

Meanwhile in Cambridge, 23 LigerBots and 18 of our classmates and friends, came together and fielded TWO full boats to race along the Charles River representing two of the youngest boats on the river at the 45th Annual Boston Dragonboat Festival.

A team picture of both the A and O boats

Dragonboat racing has been a tradition in Boston since the 1980s and involves 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer maneuvering a 40 foot long boat for 500 meters. A fun WET activity that truly tests a team’s ability to work as a team.

LigerBoat O before a race

Competition weekend actually started on Saturday, June 8: when the LigerBots along with our other teammates (collectively calling ourselves the LigerBoat) competed in the morning time trials with the other 66 teams from the North East region.

The trial times would not only determine in which division we would race on Sunday, but also placed us for the specialty Youth Division competition. We fielded two teams this year – LigerBoat A and LigerBoat O and there was one other youth boat that combined high schoolers from both Boston and New York City.

The time trials featured two heats of 200M paddles, taking the average of the two times. While a youth boat is allowed to have adults as drummer and steerer, LigerBoat A was the only team that was comprised of all high school students as the A team had a student steerer and drummer.

The Ligerboat A won both of their first two heats!

They finished their trial with a time of 1:07.20, while the O team ended with a time of 1:16.31 resulting in us taking home silver and bronze medals respectively.

Sunday, June 9th, was the official 500M race and LigerBoat A qualified for Division E and LigerBoat O qualified for Division F. Of the six Divisions that competed on Sunday, the teams that made it to the Majors of Division A also moved on to compete in the Nationals.

The finalists would go to Hong Kong to represent the US in the 2025 Hong Kong International Dragonboat Competition. However, we just compete for the fun and thrill of racing and receiving medals.

LigerBoat A during their race in the rain

There was some heavy rain at moments, but that didn’t stop the Ligerboats from having fun! Apart from boating, there were games, food, and socializing!

LigerBoats’ graduated seniors posing for a selfie

LigerBots Let Out a BattleCry at WPI!
June 30, 2024
Group photo with our alliance partners

On the weekend of June 1 through June 2, we attended BattleCry at W.P.I (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), an off-season robotics competition we attend every year.

A look into our driver station with our drive team

We ran new drive teams, who placed 39th place after seven qualifiers. During off-season competitions such as BattleCry and N.E.R.D. (New England Robotics Derby), we often run different drive teams than our competition drive team to give rookies a chance to learn and gain experience.

Team member inspecting the robot

Alliance 16 chose the LigerBots as their first pick. Our alliance captain was the DevilBots (2876) and teamed up with second pick, Gompei and the Herd (190) and third pick, GUS (228)!

Our first match and loss in the playoffs was against Alliance 1, we continued on strong after moving down to the lower bracket with three consecutive victories! Our streak broke when we lost in our match against alliance 3.

Putting up posters for FRC Robocon NE!

Throughout the competition we have been hanging up posters for FRC Robocon NE, the first FRC conference we’ll be hosting which will be taking place in September.

Team members on the field doing a fist bump

We had an amazing time at BattleCry this year! We can’t wait to attend BattleCry again in upcoming years!

Ligerbots Attend Nonantum Village Day
June 28, 2024

Next stop on the LigerBots road trip, Nonantum!

LigerBot member helps a future engineer catch them all!

On Sunday, June 2nd, the LigerBots attended Nonantum Village Day. We brought our 2022 robot Prometheus, which grabbed the attention of many kids who delighted in catching the foam balls launched out of the shooter.

Making origami double pyramids- this activity teaches kids how geometry meets engineering!

We also brought various STEAM activities like origami double pyramids and binary beads, and even tested a new invisible ink activity created by students on our graphics team.

We had a blast at Nonantum Village Day sharing our robot with the community and leading kids in various STEAM activities. We look forward to events like this in the future!

Supporting the Carroll Center for the Blind
June 19, 2024
LigerBots with, Greg Donnelly, the President and CEO of the Carroll Center!

The LigerBots attended the Carroll Center Walk for Independence on a sunny Saturday on June 1st at the UMass Amherst Newton Campus. This is an annual fundraiser event to raise awareness and support for the important work that the Carroll Center does providing vision rehabilitation services for individuals confronted by the challenges of vision loss.

LigerBot guiding a visually impaired visitor through, our 2022 robot

Our robot was an attraction for young and old, seeing and unseeing. Displayed at table height, Prometheus was a tactile curiosity for all.

Visitors at the LigerBots booth

Since the Walk’s inception 12 years ago, the Carroll Center has been celebrating and promoting regaining independence for those who have lost partial or all of their sight. As new clients are often told upon their arrival, they may have lost their sight, but they haven’t lost their vision.

LigerBots at the end of the walk
LigerBots Demonstrating the Robot’s Functions

“That we would do is ask to take the person’s hand and gently lead their hand to touch various parts of the robot,” said Felicia, CMO. “While we guide their hand, we explain the parts of the robot they’re currently touching and how it would move if the robot was on.”

LigerBot explaining the robot to a girl

As people stopped by, they would ask questions about what our robot was and what it could do as well. While gaining the attention and interest of many, we were also able to promote FLL to the younger kids visiting.