LigerBots Headed to FRC World Champs!
April 15, 2018

The LigerBots are going to the FRC World Championship!

The LigerBots flag is waved by the FIRST announcer before we compete

After three great days cheering on our team at the New England District Championship at Boston University the LigerBots were excited to learn that we qualify for the World Championship in Detroit, April 25-28!

At the District Championship we built a reputation for quick and reliable delivery of Power Cubes to the Scale, and were ranked 17 out of 64 teams at the end of the qualifying matches.

The LigerBots drive team during a match. Left to right: Spencer, Cam, and Gil
The LigerBots compete on the Power Up playing field at the NE District Championship

We competed in the quarter finals on the fifth alliance along with alliance captain The Outliers from Portland Maine (FRC team 5687) and TJ (Squared) from Bridgewater, MA, (FRC team 88.) The LigerBots finished the event as the 24th ranked team in New England out of 209 teams.

Spencer, Arushi and Misha work with Coach Igor to fix Chronos on the practice field

At the event we had the chance to talk about our team with several VIPs. FIRST founding chairman and Chairman’s Award namesake John Abele stopped by our pit along with Mark Greenlaw, FIRST’s VP for Strategy and Impact, and AVID Technology, Inc. director Nancy Hawthorne. And, our own Newton South principal, Joel Stembridge, had a chat with several of our team members.

Vivek talks about the LigerBots with VIPs John Abele, (l) Mark Greenlaw (r) and Nancy Hawthorne
Newton South principal Joel Stembridge talks to Vivek in the LigerBots pit

Two team-wide awards  won at District events, as well as our robot’s high ranking, propelled us to the World Championship. At the North Shore District Event the LigerBots won the Imagery Award for attractiveness in engineering and for outstanding integration of our robot and team appearance. At the Greater Boston District Event we won the Engineering Inspiration Award for our outstanding success in spreading STEM excitement. Coach Igor was a semi-finalist for the Woodie Flowers Award for excellent coaching, and CMO Doug was a semifinalist for the Dean’s List Award for outstanding student leadership. And, the team won the world-wide Safety Animation competition back in January, resulting in our safety animation video being shown at every FRC event this season.

The LigerBots cheer on our team

The LigerBots are now known as a team with outstanding STEM outreach, enthusiastic FIRST promotion, and a dependable robot built by talented Newton students with help from dedicated volunteer mentors. We are well on the way to fulfilling our goal of being the leader of project-based learning in Newton.

Attending the FIRST World Championship is an excellent opportunity for the LigerBots to level up our team’s success in FIRST and Newton’s reputation in the world of STEM. In Detroit we will meet many people with similar passions and STEM positivity, and our team members will get to compete along with 400 high-ranked FRC teams from all over the world.

We could not have made this progress and had this opportunity without the help of our amazing team supporters. Thank you to you all!

Now we need to ask for even more help. Our trip to the World Championship will be a bit of a bank buster. Competition registration is $5000 with another $15,000 to pay for the bus (this year we can manage to get one) and that’s why the team is undertaking a major, short-term fundraising effort. We don’t get to go to the World Championship every year, and we want to make sure that every LigerBot who wants to come with us can make the trip.

If you’d like to help out, visit https://ligerbots.org/sponsor – or message us on Facebook or email [email protected] if you are a corporate sponsor.

The LigerBots at the NE District Championship

We are Headed to the World Championships in Detroit!

We had a great 3 days at the New England District Championship and are super excited that we qualified for the World Championships in Detroit April 25-28th! We rank 24th in New England out of 209 teams http://frc-districtrankings.firstinspires.org/2018/NE

Thank you to Newton Public Schools, Newton Schools Foundation and our amazing sponsors, mentors and team members for helping us make this possible.

No rest for the weary. This is exciting, but an expensive proposition. We don’t want to leave anyone behind who is able to join us as we can’t count on going every year. First we need $5,000 for our competition registration fee, and are hoping we can fundraise the $15,000 for a bus (2 days each way to Detroit). We will have to do a hard lean on team parents for hotels, meals and whatever we can’t raise, so we are off to put together a plan. Stay tuned! And we would love your help.

And we don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell you how you can donate: https://ligerbots.org/sponsor – or message us on Facebook or email [email protected] if you are a corporate sponsor.


LigerBots Parent Meeting about World Champs 4/10, 7:00
April 10, 2018

A very important meeting about possible travel to the FRC World Championship in Detroit (April 24-29) will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, at the Newton South engineering room (our regular meeting room). Each student who might want to travel to Detroit must have a parent attend this meeting.If you have a conflict, you must contact [email protected]. There will also will also be a regular team meeting from 3-9, which will continue in parallel for students once the the parent meeting starts.


LigerBots Are Big Winners at Revere Competition!

The LigerBots had a great weekend at the FIRST Robotics Greater Boston Event at Revere High School where we ranked sixth in regular competition play and advanced to the finals as part of the second alliance, captained by Fusion (team 6763). We were eliminated in the final match by the first alliance, led by team 125, the Nutrons. A lovely twist of fate brought the Gryphons (team 5347) onto our alliance during the finals, after the Firebirds (team 1965), became disabled and were unable to continue play. By coincidence, our team members had helped to repair the intake on the Gryphons’ robot during qualifying matches the previous day, so they were able to continue competing. 

Chronos pushes a Power Cube into the Exchange
The LigerBots drive team in our pit with Chronos

In addition to our success on the playing field we also took home the event’s Engineering Inspiration Award and CMO Doug moved forward as a semi-finalist for the Dean’s List Award.

The Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school or organization and community. The judges were very complimentary about us, saying, “[The LigerBots exemplify] coopertition. With 30 outreach events this year alone, this team sets the standard for not only getting STEM into their local community, but worldwide. From science fairs to 3D printing, fixing school equipment to creating their own internal grant system, this team is truly an inspiration. On top of all that, this team taught us all how to be safe this year with their award-winning animation video.” We will be eligible to compete for this award at the next level April 13-14 at the New England District Championship at Boston University.

The LigerBots are congratulated by FIRST judges for winning the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Greater Boston Event

In addition to the team-wide awards, Newton North sophomore and LigerBots CMO Douglas was named a Dean’s List Award semi-finalist. The Dean’s List Award celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary. Doug, and Coach Igor, who was advanced as a Woodie Flowers semi-finalist at the North Shore Event, are eligible to be finalists in their award categories at the District Championship.

Doug is congratulated by the FIRST judges for being a Dean’s List Award semi-finalist

We had special guests with us in the stands during the tournament–representatives of an ed-tech startup in China who are looking at FIRST as a model for bringing project-based learning concepts to Shanghai. Our team members who were fluent in Mandarin conversed with our guests and explained the game to them.

LigerBot Jiaming (front) explains the Power Up game to our guests from Shanghai

As soon as the Greater Boston competition was over, members of the LigerBots Chairman’s Award group visited the Day Dragons, a Newton FIRST LEGO League team we have been mentoring, which is based at Day Middle School. Our team members acted as guest judges, listening and giving advice to the Day Dragons as they practiced their presentation for the upcoming FLL World Championship in Detroit. It was a great bonding experience for us all, and the Day Dragons even asked for the LigerBots’ autographs!

LigerBots Lauren, Doug and AJ guest judge the Day Dragons FLL robot design

The LigerBots qualify for the New England District Championships at Boston University next weekend by virtue of our robot’s success on the Power Up playing field and our garnering of the Engineering Inspiration, Finalist and Imagery awards at district-level events.

The New England District Championship, like all FRC events, is free and open to the public and will be live streamed on The Blue Alliance. All LigerBots supporters are invited to sit and cheer with the team in the stands and be escorted by a LigerBot on a “pit tour” of all the competing FRC robots.

If all goes well at the District Championship the team will qualify for the FRC World Championship in Detroit, on April 25-28, and will immediately need to raise the $5,000 competition fee and significant dollars for travel expenses. The LigerBots raise all of their own funds from corporate sponsors and individual donors. If you’d like to help the team, you can donate via Paypal, or visit the sponsor page of our website, at https://ligerbots.org/sponsor, which also contains information about donating via check.


Watch the LigerBots Compete in Revere April 7-8!
March 29, 2018

On April 7 from 10:30 a.m. to about 7:00 p.m. and April 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the LigerBots will compete with our robot, “Chronos,” in the Greater Boston District Event at Revere High School, 101 School. St., Revere, MA 02151. The event is free and open to the public and will be live streamed here or here.  All of our supporters are invited to come to sit and cheer with us in the stands and be escorted by a LigerBot on a “pit tour” of all the competing FRC robots.