Keepin’ It Busy on the LigerBots!
January 24, 2020

We’ve done a lot this week! Prototyping continued and many groups have finalized their designs. Groups like the shooter and climber have both had successfully  tested their prototypes. 

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This was a huge week for the Computer Aided Design team. The whole robot has been designed through CAD, but still needs a few modifications and edits. Once the design is complete, each team can start to assemble their mechanisms.

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The Chairman’s team has been busy with a team survey to gather information on team members for the presentation at our first competition. Chairman’s is a FIRST award that judges teams on how well they inspire their community through FIRST learning! We have also started the essay they will use for the presentation.

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The mechanical team has been adjusting the shooter and other mechanisms to improve their accuracy and have also started building and assembling arms for the intake. 

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The strategy team has finished their Offensive Power Rating spreadsheet, which is a system to tell how a robot will perform during competitions. They will use it to see how our robot compares to others in our area. 

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The team also has a couple outreach events in the coming weeks. We are going to be participating in the MIT Blueprint Hackathon on Saturday, February 8th and the science fair at Bowen Elementary School on Sunday, February 9th. At these events, we’ll present our robot and pass out flyers with information about FIRST programs and the Ligerbots. Outreach events are a great way to interact with the community and get people excited about STEM! 

 

This week has been a super productive one: groups have completed essential projects and tasks, but there are many more to come. The season is just getting started and we still have a lot on our plate!




LigerBots in a Furor of Design and Build!
January 17, 2020

This week was the first week of prototyping! With our designs decided upon, we have started to build prototypes of the different components of our robot.

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The mechanical design team has started work on prototypes for all the major parts of our new robot, such as the ball shooter, climbing mechanism, and the ball intake and storage mechanism. Once the prototypes are all finished and tested, we will decide which version of each system we want to use on the final robot.

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The design team has also started making computer aided design, or CAD, versions of the components, so we have a blueprint for how the mechanisms should be built and how they will look like when they are finished.

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Our strategy team has started a series of data projects to determine how we should build our robot. For example, strategy is researching if powder coated robots perform better than uncoated robots. Powder coating is a metal tinting technique used to change the color of metal so that it looks better and shinier.

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The marketing team has been busy as well. The graphics group finished the t-shirt design and the fundraising team is finalizing our sponsorship agreements. The team is also planning for a pair of sleepovers over the weekend, one for boys and one for girls.

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Build season is really starting to ramp up! Lots of projects are underway and many more are going to start in the near future. Things are going to get very busy very fast as we continue through build season. We hope you will be with us the whole way!


LigerBots Kick Off the 2020 Season!
January 9, 2020

January 4th marked the beginning of build season! The LigerBots drove to New Hampshire to see the game reveal in person. It was incredible to be there in person: we were the largest team at the principal site of 178 kickoffs all over the world. 

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We had been anxiously waiting for the kickoff of the 2020 game, the Star-Wars themed Infinite Recharge. During the kickoff, FIRST released the unencrypted game manual, so on the drive home we looked over the rules and begin creating plans for our robot.

This game is very exciting: it’s played three robots versus three robots who compete to score the most points by the end of a three-minute match. Teams score points by throwing small balls into a receptor on the other side of the field, spinning a lazy Susan device, and, at the end of the game, climbing and hanging on a pole! 

The next day, the team broke up into design groups. On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, the groups deliberated and designed, creating a number of designs and mechanisms for the team to consider. 

On Tuesday, a group of LigerBots attended the Just Think expo at Newton North. We demonstrated our robot to students and parents throughout Newton. Thanks to Just Think for having us– it was such an educational and positive night! 

Later on Tuesday, we reconvened in order for the design groups to display their designs. We used a method called “Six Hats,” introduced to us by a mentor, where we laid out all the designs and commented on them using six different modes of thinking. For example, the “red hat” represented your emotional response, while the “yellow hat” was positive thinking.  

After build leader deliberation on Wednesday, we switched over into our build groups on Thursday. Each group was assigned a different prototype to build. Once they are finished, we will test the prototypes to determine which design for each mechanism works best. 

Things are ramping up as build season begins, but there is still a long way to go before our first competition. We hope you’ll be with us all the way!


LigerBots Host an Inspiring and Fun FLL Competition!
December 17, 2019

On Saturday, December 14, the LigerBots hosted the Eastern Massachusetts regional championship for FLL! There were 48 FLL teams, (9-14 year olds), 10 FLL Jr. Teams (5-8 year olds), as well as 91 girl scouts (ranging in age from 5-12 years old) attending either to compete or interact with our STEAM Expo. 

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We were also excited to  be visited by local city councilor elect, Julia Malakie, and candidates for US Congress, Jesse Mermell , and Ihssane Leckey.

 

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 FLL is FIRST’s lego robotics competition where teams are composed of elementary and middle school students. The students attempt to design and build the most efficient robot possible to play the game. Every year, FIRST releases a new game for the robots to compete in. This years game was city themed, to teach kids about the future of urban planning. 

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This championship ended with the Waring School Brickwolves from Beverly taking first place. Not only did they win, but they achieved a world record with a score of 600 in the game! This amazing score earned the team a spot in the FLL world championship which will take place in Detroit in April 2020. 

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 In addition to the robotics competition, there was also a STEAM expo where the LigerBots and STEAM organizations from the area set up tables with interactive activities. Ninety-one Girl Scouts as well as FLL team members and their families biked an electricity-generating bike from Students for a Greener World, made solar oven s’mores, experimented with slime, engineered with the Society of Women Engineers Boston, and so much more! 

 


The LigerBots Host FLL Competition in November!
December 5, 2019

On Saturday November 23rd, the LigerBots hosted First Lego League Eastern Massachusetts Qualifying Tournament at Newton North High School. Thirty-four teams, including eight teams from Newton, attended the tournament.

 

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The teams were judged on their independent themed projects over the course of the day in addition to their robot’s performance. The theme this year was “City Shaper.” 

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Based on their combined robot and independent projects, eleven of the teams were awarded a “golden ticket” to advance to the state championship in December. 

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The LigerBots also hosted a STEAM Fair at the competition which gave young students the chance to see and interact with LigerBots members through hands-on STEAM activities. Participants made slime as a scientific experiment, designed the best paper airplane, and drove our 2016 robot, among other activities!  

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This event was a cool full circle, because some of our own members of Ligerbots had participated in FLL in their youth. The student director of FLL, Matthew, was on a team. In addition, former Day Dragon members who are now part of the LigerBots were happy to see their FLL team continue and do well! 

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Many motivated volunteers, ranging from past FLL participants, mentors, and parents, helped immensely with the organization of this event. Whether they judged, refereed, or sold concessions, we thank all of our volunteers! 

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The Eastern Massachusetts FLL Championship will be hosted at Newton North on the 14th of December, featuring the return of fourty-eight teams and a bigger, more exciting STEAM Expo that is open to the public! Be sure to stop by between 9 AM and 2 PM. In addition, we’ll be hosting the Girl Scouts in a STEAM Patch Workshop at our STEAM Expo from 10 AM to 12 PM.