LigerBots Hold Annual Awards Night
June 14, 2018

Last Monday, the LigerBots held our annual awards night to celebrate the team’s year. Parents and sponsors were invited to a potluck dinner in a beautifully decorated Newton South cafeteria. During the after-dinner ceremonies, the mentors got a standing ovation, and students were given unique awards based on their year-long contribution. Everybody got their medals for making it to finals in the Greater Boston District Event last April.

The Newton South High School cafeteria during awards night

The distinguished students (and their respective awards) were, in no particular order, Mark: “Stepping Up” for most improvement; Samy: “Wizard of Wiring,” for all her work on the electrical component of the robot, Matthew H.: “For the Good of the Order,” for organizing scouting at competitions: Jiaming: “Outstanding Player,” for all his work fixing machines in our wood and metal shop; Misha: “Stepping Up,” for most improvement; Arushi: “Exceptional Leadership,” for being a fantastic technical leader; Ali: “Rookie Inspiration,” for his hard work on many projects;  Douglas: “Gracious Professionalism” for his work on the Chairman’s Award submission, Ian: “Lifetime Achievement,” for his four years of contributions to the team: Vivek: “Cooperation,” for being a good team player, Jordan Y.: “For the Good of the Order” for organizing scouting, Sophia: “Recruitment” for her success in bringing new team members onboard; Asa: “Outstanding Leadership,” for his willingness to work on any project, and AJ: “Rookie All-Star,” for doing so much work her first year.

Sophia receives her award certificate for Excellence in Recruiting

Cameron, Ian, and Doug were also honored for their service as team executives during  2017/18.

The 2017/18 execs with the newly-elected 2018/19 execs: Samy (2018/19 CTO) Doug (2017/18 CMO), Meredith (2018/19 CMO), Jordan (2018/19 COO), Cam (2017/18 CTO) and Ian (2018/19 COO).

Mentors Greer and Pam were given awards for their outstanding work with the team this past year. Thanks to coach Kraus for organizing our awards night!

Greer Swiston shows off the Star Wars Monopoly game she received as a mentor award

Even though we are in the middle of final exams, the LigerBots have two outreach events during the week coming up. On Sunday, June 17 we will be at a station near Newton City Hall from 9:00-12:00 during the Tour de Newton bicycling event. On Wednesday, June 20, we will host an information night for parents and children interested in joining the FIRST LEGO League program for children in grades 4-8. This will be held in the Newton North High School Film Lecture Hall from 7:00-8:30. There will be lots of information for parents about how to start an FLL team, and there will be fun activities for their children. Please join us at these events!

LigerBots March in Parade, Meet with our Mayor
June 8, 2018

During late May the LigerBots marched in Newton’s Memorial Day parade, met with our mayor, and attended several outreach events, all while wrapping up the school year.

We walked in the Newton Memorial Day parade in the cold rain, with our 2016 and 2018 robots covered in plastic bags when it drizzled, to protect their electronic components. Our team crossed the finish line at Magni-Coletti Park, tossing a ball into Mayor Fuller’s hands with our 2016 robot and collecting our Cabot’s ice-cream reward. It was cool to see all the people who came out in support of the veterans, even with the terrible New England weather!

Newton mayor Ruthanne Fuller joins the LigerBots at the start of the Newton Memorial Day parade
The LIgerBots march in the parade while driving the 2016 robot down the street and shooting the ball to the crowd

We had another opportunity to meet with Mayor Fuller a week later when more than fifteen LigerBots students met with her in her office at Newton City Hall so she could congratulate us on our achievements this season. She also encouraged the girls on our team to run for leadership positions. She wore an orange dress to advocate for gun violence awareness, which coincidentally coordinated very well with our orange tie-dye t-shirts! We thanked Mayor Fuller for her generous contributions to the team, both personal and city-wide, and gave her a packet of information about the LigerBots.

Mayor Fuller talks with LigerBots team members in her office in City Hall
The LigerBots with Mayor Fuller in her office

During post-season we do a lot of outreach events. This week we attended the ECIA Conference and Newton South Science Day. We brought our 2016 robot to the ECIA (Electronic Components Industry Association) conference at the Westin Waltham Boston hotel and spoke about the FIRST organization with about 80 people in the robotics and electronic manufacturing industries, some of which were from companies that supply parts we have on our robot. They enjoyed driving the robot and catching the ball it throws.

Spencer shows features of the 2016 robot to an attendee at the ECIA conference
Lauren talks about the LigerBots with ECIA conference attendees

At Newton South Science Day, a fair that showcases student science projects, we demonstrated our robot for our fellow students at Newton South High School. The students were very eager to take photos of our robot!

Please look for us in June when we do more outreach in our community: at the Weston Field School on June 9 in a demo for elementary school students, at Newton Highlands Village Day on June 10 from 11a.m. -4 p.m., at the Tour de Newton bicycling event on June 17 from 9 a.m. -1 p.m., and at our own FIRST LEGO League Info Night, at Newton North High School on June 20 from 7-9 p.m.

We recently held annual elections for the three general leadership positions on our team: the chief operating officer (COO), the chief technical officer (CTO), and the chief marketing officer (CMO). Eleven people made speeches advocating their strengths and responded to questions from the team about how they would handle the the tasks that would come with the positions. From among these the team chose three students that we know will do a great job of helping to run our team next school year.

Candidates for COO give election speeches to the team

We wished farewell to our seniors as they graduated from Newton North on Wednesday and from South on Thursday. We will miss them dearly and wish them the best in their college careers. It was a treat to have Mayor Fuller make a generous acknowledgment of the LigerBots in her speech at the graduation, saying we were a team she had learned a lot from.

All in all, May has been a wonderful month for us!

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Information Night for Parents June 20th
June 1, 2018

The LigerBots are hosting a FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) information night at the Newton North Film Lecture Hall at Newton North High School (457 Walnut Street) on June 20th from 7 – 9 pm.

The event will include a talk for parents, and activities for children.

Newton’s Day Dragon’s FLL team will be demonstrating their robot.

Any questions email [email protected]. FLL immerses teams of up to 10 students, ages 9 – 14 (grades 4 – 8), in real-world scientific and technological problems such as food safety or recycling. See our website FLL page for more information. Free and open to the public.

LigerBots Awards Night June 11
May 30, 2018

The annual LigerBots Awards Night is coming up Monday June 11 at 6PM in the Newton South Cafeteria. This will include a potluck dinner for all LigerBots and their families. Please sign up here:
with the food you will be bringing.

All LigerBots and their families are encouraged to attend. LigerBots Alumni are definitely invited.

LigerBots to March in Newton Memorial Day Parade
May 26, 2018

The LigerBots will be bringing one – probably two – robots to march with our team during the Newton Memorial Day Parade tomorrow, Sunday May 27, 2018.   The parade starts at 3pm at Newton North High School – the team will be lining up on Elm St. at 2:30 pm – and ends at Colletti Park (at Bridge St. and Watertown St.) Here is the event poster  and similar information in the Newton Patch article.   There is NO parking on Elm St. or in the NNHS parking lot as these areas are needed to organize the parade participants.