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!!