The LigerBots Continue an Awesome Preseason!
October 21, 2022
During Newton Green Expo, a group of children catches balls shot from the LigerBots 2020 robot, “Perses.”

Thanks to our successful recruitment efforts, training is now underway for more than 60 first-years! Group leads across all subgroups have been working hard to train new students. 

 

In the shop, Eddie helps a student safely maneuver the drill press.

In the mechanical subgroup, first-years disassembled the 2016 robot to learn more about its structure. CTO Kevin, comparing the first-years’ enthusiasm to gruesome decomposition, commented that “they took apart the robot like maggots.” First-years also explored prototyping by designing pumpkin-smashing mechanisms, a great preparation for the Newton Pumpkin Smash on November 5. 

First-years interested in CAD explored Onshape, a software system dedicated to CAD (computer-aided design) by using different tools to create simple 3D objects, like a star and a book. 

New programming group members learned the workflow of programming by writing “pseudocode” or plain language descriptions of real-life problems involving yearly population increases or how many prime numbers there are between 20 and 999.

Graphics students work on display case designs for the Newton Free Library.

And, in the graphics group, new Graphics members explored InDesign, a page-layout program. They also assisted in the design of displays for the display cases at the Newton Free Library, where we will be featured during the month of November. 

Besides training, the LigerBots attended Newton Green Expo at the Newton Centre Green on October 17. Featuring local companies and organizations focused on sustainable practices and products, Newton Green Expo draws more than a thousand people every year by encouraging climate action. Our booth featured our 2020 robot, “Perses,” as well as several STEAM activities. Children had tons of fun creating balloon cars, solar ovens, and origami!

During Green Expo, a child catches a ball shot from our robot, “Perses.”
Team member Parker helps a child create origami pyramids during Green Expo.

This Saturday, October 22, the LigerBots will compete in the first annual New England Robotics Derby (N.E.R.D.), an off-season competition held at Billerica Memorial High School. More information can be found here. Come see us! 

We’d like to acknowledge our sponsors for making possible what we’ve accomplished so far. Great thanks to Newton Schools Foundation, Newton Public Schools, Eastern Bank, MathWorks, Paytronix, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Rockwell Automation, Teradyne, Village Bank, Honda Village, Rotary Club of Newton, IvyMath, the Willins, and the Schwartzes. Your support is greatly appreciated!


A Crazy Week for the LigerBots!
October 11, 2022

Alongside ongoing team projects, the LigerBots have had four major events in rapid succession: our team open house, RoboBoston, Newton Upper Falls Village Day, and a STEAM activity workshop at the Saint John School in Wellesley.

On September 29, the LigerBots hosted an open house for potential team members. The last open house we hosted was back in 2018, so this event was a new experience for everyone, including veteran members.

The open house introduced potential members to our team and FIRST through eleven fun and hands-on challenges, including building LEGO towers and directing a human “robot” through a maze! At the end of the meeting, students ate cake and cookies while entering a raffle to win fun LigerBots goodies.

After the open house activities, students enjoy cake together.

The open house was a huge success, with more than 70 students attending. If even a fraction of attendees join the team, the LigerBots will not only be the largest it’s ever been, but also be one of the largest teams in FIRST! We are excited to welcome new members to the team and can’t wait to launch into preseason training.

On October 1, the LigerBots attended RoboBoston, a large event celebrating robots and robotics in the Boston Seaport. Alongside displaying our robot to numerous children and parents, students interacted with robotics powerhouses like Boston Dynamics, Motional, iRobot, and more. Students learned about fascinating robotics developments like self-driving cars, robotic arms, 3D printing, and even robotic jellyfish. More than forty companies attended the event!

A child picks up a ball shot by our robot during RoboBoston.
Team member Juliana nerds out about our robot to an onlooker during RoboBoston.

On October 2, the LigerBots hosted a booth at Newton Upper Falls Village Day, an event featuring dozens of local businesses and performers. At our booth, we featured our robot, Prometheus, along with multiple STEAM activities. Children loved interacting with our robot, as usual!

Newton North TV (Newton North’s media broadcasting group) interviews LigerBots members during Newton Upper Falls Village Day.

And, on October 5, the LigerBots hosted a STEAM workshop for students at the Saint John School in Wellesley. In addition to showcasing our robot, we guided the 36 third graders in building origami double pyramids and binary bracelets, both of which are STEAM activities designed by the LigerBots.

As always, we’d like to acknowledge our sponsors for making possible what we’ve accomplished this year. Thank you to our newest sponsor, Rockwell Automation, and to our current sponsors: Newton Schools Foundation, Newton Public Schools, Eastern Bank, MathWorks, Paytronix, Raytheon Missiles & Defence, Teradyne, Village Bank, Honda Village, Rotary Club of Newton, IvyMath, the Willins, and the Schwartzes. Your support is greatly appreciated!


Join us at our open house for prospective team members!
September 20, 2022
Former LigerBots member Samy helps a student learn to solder.

The LigerBots will host an open house for prospective team members on Sept. 29, 2022, from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. in the Tech Ed room at Newton South High School. All Newton North and Newton South students are invited. This exciting event will include an introductory presentation about the team and hands-on challenges in many of the skill areas that we learn on our team, like mechanical and electrical engineering, programming, driving robots, CAD (Computer Aided Design), marketing, graphics, photography, and public speaking.  Masks are required at all LigerBots meetings.


The LigerBots at Newtonville Village Day!
A child catches a ball shot from the LigerBots 2022 robot, “Prometheus.”

On Sunday, September 18, the LigerBots attended Newtonville Village day on Walnut Street, an event featuring dozens of vendor booths, performers, and crafts from local talent and businesses. Our booth featured our 2022 robot, Prometheus, and multiple STEAM activities, such as our “binary bracelets” activity, in which children craft bracelets based on Morse code. Kids really enjoyed creating bracelets encoding their own special messages!

Charlotte and Eddie help children create bracelets using Morse code.

More outreach events are coming up soon! On October 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. we will be showing off our robot at RoboBoston, an event celebrating robotics, featuring companies such as Boston Dynamics and Vecna Robotics. And, on October 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., we will be hosting a booth at Newton Upper Falls Village Day. Come check us out!

Our open house for new members is happening on September 29,
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. in the tech ed room at Newton South High School. New members will learn about the team and the FIRST Challenge through fun, hands-on activities! More information about the Open House is here.

And, as always, we’d like to acknowledge our sponsors for making possible what we’ve accomplished this year. Thank you to our newest sponsor, Rockwell Automation, and to our current sponsors: Newton Schools Foundation, Newton Public Schools, Eastern Bank, MathWorks, Paytronix, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Teradyne, Village Bank, Honda Village, Rotary Club of Newton, IvyMath, the Willins, and the Schwartzes. Your support is greatly appreciated!


Join us at Newtonville Village Day this Sunday!
September 15, 2022

This Sunday, September 18, from 12 to 4 p.m. is Newtonville Village Day on Walnut Street. Come check out our booth to drive our robot and have fun STEAM activities! You can find more information about the event here.