LigerBots Annual Awards Night, June 3
May 28, 2019

LigerBots students, families, alumni, and sponsors are invited to join us for our Annual Awards Night and end of year wrap-up. This year, it will be at Newton South cafeteria on Monday, June 3, starting at 6PM. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

LigerBots help raise money for new FTC team
May 25, 2019
Amanda and Sebastian help students learn to drive our 2016 robot.

On Friday, May 17, LigerBots team members supported Student Artists for Science at a fundraiser for a new FTC team. The team demo-ed the robot and talked to the crowd about FIRST programs, while handing out our new 3D- Printed Keychains.

Student Artists for Science put on a music and dance performance to help Excel Academy Charter Schools raise funds for an FTC Team. At the event, Newton North’s stellar a capella group the Melocotones, a Newton South jazz quartet, a guitarist and singer from Newton North, dancers from the Boston Ballet School and All That Jazz, and a world-class violinist all performed.

We are also prepping for FLL Info Night by planning fun, engaging STEM activities. This year, FLL Info Night is on June 17th, from 7-9. This is a presentation about FIRST and opportunities children from K-8 can get involved, learning hands-on skills including programming and robot design, but at the same time, learning soft communication skills such as teamwork and collaboration. If you have any questions, please email [email protected], or see our website:

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Information Night for Parents June 17th
May 15, 2019

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 17th 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.

Our CTO Is a Dean’s List Finalist!
April 17, 2019

The LigerBots competed at the New England District Championship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute this weekend, and our CTO is a Dean’s List Finalist! We finished the season with an offensive power ranking of 29 out of more than 200 teams in New England.

Samy with the other Dean’s List finalists at the New England District Championship. FIRST founder Dean Kamen, for whom the award is named, is fourth from left.

Samy, the team’s chief technical officer and a junior at Newton South High School, won a Dean’s List Finalist Award, given to student leaders who have led their teams and communities to increased awareness for the FIRST Robotics program and its mission to inspire students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and math, all while achieving technical expertise and accomplishment. She will compete for the Dean’s List Award at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit during the weekend of April 24-27.

Mark and an alliance team member place Thanos onto the field.
The LigerBots drive team plays a match.

LigerBots alumni and current WPI students Nick Hollander and Kayla Swiston volunteered as practice field monitors and competition field resetters at the event.

LigerBots alum Nick Hollander at the practice field.

LigerBots programmer David and software mentor Paul Rensing gave a 30-minute seminar on robot vision to about 40 FRC team members during the newly introduced NE District Championship lecture series. If you would like to read the white paper that was the basis for his talk, you can find it on our website, here.

David presents his talk on robot vision.

LigerBots Welcome State Rep. Kay Khan to Our Workspace
April 10, 2019

We’re going to the New England District Championship! We learned this week that our ranking at our two district events and our points for winning the Entrepreneurship Award at the Central Mass. District Event at Shrewsbury have moved us on to the next level of competition. Our robot, Thanos, will accompany our entire team to the athletic center at WPI to compete with and against 63 other teams from around New England. All of our supporters are invited to join us in the stands to cheer on our team! Here is the schedule of events.

Much of our attention this week went to improving the code for our robot, planning a visit by one of Newton’s state representatives, and doing outreach at a local elementary school science fair.

The LigerBots with Massachusetts state representative Kay Khan.

On Monday, we hosted Massachusetts state representative Kay Khan, who represents Newton, at our Newton South workspace. We showed her our 2019 robot and our ongoing technical and marketing projects, including button making, brush bot repairs, and robot CAD, and we talked with her about the importance of FIRST programs as project-based learning. Team members ran a video of one of our matches from the SE Mass. District event at Bridgewater, while explaining the Destination: Deep Space robot game. We are eager to continue our relationship with Rep. Khan, and hope that she will be able to advocate for FIRST programs in the state legislature.

AJ and Samy show Massachusetts state representative Kay Khan our brushbots.
Gideon explains our robot CAD to Rep. Khan.
Amanda explains the 2019 FRC robot game to Rep. Khan.

Later that same meeting we held an informational session for parents about what our plans are if we do well at the New England District Championship and qualify for the FIRST World Championship, April 24-27. Our head coaches gave a presentation about last year’s experience, and described the next steps in the logistical and fundraising process for getting our team to Detroit.

Co-head coaches Noa Rensing and John Fitzpatrick present information to LigerBots parents about the process for getting our team to the World Championship.

Last weekend LigerBots did outreach at the Bowen Elementary School science fair, which was mobbed with people on a warm spring day. We brought our 2016 (demo) robot, which sported a new ball-throwing arm designed and manufactured by our students. We also brought the ingredients to make neon-colored slime, one of our standard STEAM outreach activities for kids. Bowen’s students eagerly ran up to our table, excited to get their hands dirty. They followed the recipe we provided and modified it to achieve the perfect level of stickiness. We included the science behind slime on our recipe sheet, and the kids took a copy home with them so they could fully understand the slime process.

Carolyn helps visitors at the Bowen Elementary School science fair make slime.

In addition to our STEAM activity, we also showcased our 2016 robot. We taught kids how to drive the robot and make it shoot a soft orange ball into the air. A crowd of children formed to see who could catch the ball when the robot shot it. The ball often went over their heads, and they laughed loudly as a result. Their parents showed interested in our team, and we gave them handouts about the LigerBots and FIRST programs.