Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Power Up and Game On!!!

The 2018 season has started!  The AZTECHS Robotics team is fully charged and getting ready for these 6 weeks of energy Vampires.

 We just finished hosting our very own Kick Off here at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. We were honored to host more than 25 teams - three of those teams being original sustaining teams. <Put an explanation of what makes an original sustaining team>

 Starting at 9:00 am we had classes that many absolutely wonderful and talented volunteers held for everyone in attendance. While we waited for the count down to this season, many ran around trying to get answers to the scavenger hunt we had put together for all the students. The scavenger hunt consisted of fourteen questions about the different teams in attendance at KickOff. In order to get the answers, students had to go around to the different teams. This was a great opportunity to get to know each other and some fun facts about the different teams!  We had three winners - Brianna Williams from our very own AZTECHS 157, and Grace Audette and Zoe Saldana both from team Andromeda One 4905.

 We all gathered in the auditorium and anxiously counted down along with the live stream from FIRST in Manchester, NH. Not a peep could be heard as the game reveal went on!  After the game reveal yon you heard people saying “HOW?!?!” and “WHAT?!?!” as the FIRST people went through the game.

 As the video ended you could see the power surge of people move quickly down the hallway to the cafeteria where there were mock-ups of the game elements. We quickly realized that they were a lot larger than we all would've guessed from the reveal. The teams were also able to pick up their Kit of Parts that they’ll need to start building their robots.

The very next day AZTECHS 157 started doing strategy sessions and this week are all ready prototyping parts of the robot. We are hoping to be 90% done by February 6th, so the programmers can start to program the robot and not rush to reach the time limit with only seconds to spare.  This will give us time to practice with the robot and prepare for our competitions.  In our next blog, we will provide an update on the build process!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

AZTECHS Robotics - November/December 2017

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
This is the time of year where giving back to others in our community is especially important to us. Recently we had many events that provided us with the opportunity to give back to the community. First, on November 12th we held our annual food drive at Stop and Shop in Hudson MA. We collected 1,845 pounds of food as well as $550.00 dollars for Worcester County Food Bank.
Fast forward to December 2nd where we hosted our third FIRST Lego League (FLL) Competition.  At this event, we had 36 local FLL teams ages 9-14 years of age in attendance. We faced some challenges with regards to space for the event but we managed to persevere and had a very successful event.  We were so impressed with the imaginative solutions and had such a blast hosting all of the great teams!
The first weekend of December was a very busy one for us!  As we cleaned up and tried to recover from the FLL competition, night shifted to day and bright and early on December 3rd we loaded a bus and headed out to Newton MA to attend the Dana Farber Christmas Party.  This event was very well attended by many children and their families who are currently hospitalized or were recently hospitalized.  We brought our 2017 robot as well as our remote controlled car and the kids all had so much fun playing with them.
On December 9th and 10th, we held our annual Toys for Tots event in conjunction with our own Assabet Valley RTHS JROTC at Walmart in Hudson MA. Despite the very cold and snowy weather we collected lots of toys, bikes, games and stuffed animals for children in need.  Our final event of the month was on December 15th was a robotics demo for Maynard, MA Cub Scouts.
             We hope to have seen you at one of these events but if we didn't, we wish you a warm, healthy, safe and Happy Holidays. And we can't wait to see you all at Kick Off on January 6th!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Steaming Along during Build Time

The Aztechs 157 have been hard at work this past week we have our robot frame. In the shop, there is testing of prototypes for other mechanisms going on as well as testing of the final designs of some units. Safety team is on the lookout to make sure we are safe as we STEAM along. They wish we had the AIRSHIP element built to get a better view.  The programmers are hard at work; on the vision tracking to make sure it’s a clear shot every time. Spirit team member are in GEAR getting the props ready for our competitions. We also have members putting the final touches on the FIRST award submissions. As we start week 4, we have the Aztechs fundraising calendar coming out on Tuesday, so be on the lookout for it, more on that in another blog post.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Starting build season by prototype making

*tune of 12 days of Christmas* “

On the seventh day of build season, The Aztechs said to me 27 meetings left…”

This past week we have done some prototyping. Three groups of about 3-5 team members for each group. We sat down with some of the members who are taking the lead in some of the prototyping to talk about their progress.

Zachary, First year on the team
What inspired you to make your prototype? “I looked at past years designs and I thought that our robot from 2012 could be adapted to this year's game.”
How do you bring your concepts to life? “I took our robot design from 2012 and adapted it to this year's robot and I sketched out what I thought would work best and then I made a wooden prototype.”

Isaac, Second year on the team
What inspired you to make your prototype? “What inspired me to make my prototype was an idea I’ve adapted from last year’s ball intake.”
How do you bring your concepts to life? “I bring my concept to life by making clear drawings and explaining exactly what I want to do and then bringing it into existence by using materials and my designs.”

Jacob, Three years on the team
What inspired you to make your prototype? “I was inspired by wheeled softball shooters, as well as from my previous experience with wheel based shooters.”
How do you bring your concepts to life? “I bring my concepts to life by first making a drawing of them, often with CAD software, then building them to ensure they have the intended functionality.”

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year and recap of some fall events

Aztechs 157 FIRST Robotics team wishes all of you Happy and healthy New year. 
Aztechs are saying “Full steam ahead” for the 2017 Build Season! We are gearing up and getting pumped up for our 3rd annual FRC Kickoff. This event on Saturday, January 7th, 2017, will be held at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High school. This event is opened to the public, we recommend all robotic enthusiast's to attend! 
We held our 5th annual food drive at Stop and Shop in Hudson, MA. We raised 1377 pounds of donated food and $160 dollars. Additionally, we recently held our second annual FIRST Lego League competition for an amazing 23 teams. We also held our 4th annual Toys for Tots drive with Hudson Police and Assabet Valley MCJROTC held at Walmart in Hudson, MA, we raised about $7,000 worth of toys and 24 bikes!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Community Outreach

Just as an update from our team's community out reach, we completed another successful calendar drive during the month of November. Here are the winners. We will be completing another one this month.

Also, on November 9th we held a Food Drive at Stop and Shop to donate to our local Community Food Pantry. Many students came to help load boxes, and hold signs. The school's principal, Mr. Mark Hollick showed his support of his school and donated to the drive as well as many other faculty that were shopping that day.

On December 14th, we did a Toys for Tots drive along with the school's JROTC program and it was very successful. We were able to get many donations both monetary and tangible, and it was fun singing Christmas carols and helping out the community.

Nov. 1Christy Stine
Nov. 2Mr. Snyder
Nov. 3Karen Pringle
Nov. 4Cindy Sorokes
Nov. 5Jennifer Labbe
Nov. 6Josh Bir
Nov. 7Debbie Sanford
Nov. 8Wanda Dwyer Power
Nov. 9Steve Ferrecchia
Nov. 10Jillian Fricault
Nov.11Mrs. Faria
Nov. 12Elaine Moreira
Nov. 13Brandi Shaw
Nov. 14Bob Anderson
Nov. 15Steve Ferrecchia
Nov. 16Rob Messick
Nov. 17Verginia Theropp
Nov. 18Cindy Sorokes
Nov. 19Jennifer Labbe
Nov. 20 Judy Vedder
Nov. 21Terry LeFrancios
Nov. 22Seth Duncan
Nov. 23Chris Rucho
Nov. 24Becky Hackett
Nov. 25Angela Roach
Nov. 26Bob Messick
Nov. 27Kristi Rublesky
Nov. 28Mrs. Zomar
Nov. 29Sandra Fryc
Nov. 30Jillian Fricault

FRC Kick-Off 2015

Hello FIRST advocates! What an exciting day it has been. Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, home of the Aztechs 157 team hosted this year's Kick-Off festivities. 18 teams came from around Massachusetts and New England in general.
The JROTC, the high school's chartered Junior Reserve Operative Training Corps joined the team in guiding teams and members into the auditorium for the video screening. This was a wonderful joining of forces, and the Kick-off was so much fun.
The Game was finally revealed after much suspense during the annual kick-off video. We are competing in a game called Recycle Rush, working with our own alliances and there were indeed many changes to the game.
You can rewatch the Game Reveal and Game Animation here:

All of the tides have turned in FIRST Robotics, and as always, good luck in competition.