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The LigerBots have been featured in a variety of publications since their formation. Many of those articles are reproduced here.
By Charles Hurwitz
Last weekend, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) held a Regional Robotics Competition for 53 teams at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. High school students were challenged with the opportunity to test themselves as engineers and problem solvers. The game, called LOGO Motion, pits alliances of three robots against each other and awards points for placing each balloon, which is in the shape of a triangle, circle, or square on an appropriate peg to form the FIRST logo.
By Rodney Brown
Teams from Bridgewater, Newport County, R.I., and Brookfield, Conn., allied to win the 2011 Boston regional FIRST Robotics Competition held this weekend.
The Boston regional competition – called Logo Motion – took place at Boston University’s Agannis Arena, and 53 teams from as far afield as Ontario, Canada and Turkey, and as close as Cambridge and Lynn, sought to be one of the three teams on the winning alliance that would go on to the national championships in St. Louis.
Congratulations to the Newton Ligerbots, who have won for the Newton Public Schools an award for Progressive Manufacturing Training & Education Mastery in the 2011 Progressive Manufacturing 100 awards. You can see the Ligerbots competing at the following events — free and open to the public:
- March 11 and 12 at the FIRST Regional Competition at Worcester Polytech Institute
- April 8-9 at the Boston regional First Competition at BU’s Agganis arena. Supt. David Fleishman plans to be there on April 9.
NewtonSTEM, March 8th 2011 via http://newtonstem.org/
While manufacturing workers worry that robots will push them out of a job, others are leveraging robotics to get kids interested in engineering and technology careers.
Robots are beginning to get a bad rap. Stories of robots replacing people on the factory floor and in the warehouse are triggering fear and confusion among those worried about ending up in the unemployment line. Between the processing power, mobility, and even the sensory capabilities of today’s robots, they are becoming more human-like. What have we done?
FIRST (www.usfirst.org) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math.
By working with business and industry mentors, students in the FIRST program learn engineering, physics, programming and science; in addition to other life skills such as self confidence, critical thinking, public speaking, creativity and time management. FIRST offers a range of programs for kids ages 6-18. These programs vary by accessibility, scalability and scope of the challenge. All FIRST programs provide real-world engineering and business experience and rely on volunteer professional (technical and business) mentors to lend their time and talents to guide each team. FIRST Lego League (FLL) introduces students ages 6-14 students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface.
By Geoff Epstein
In the last 18 months a remarkable project in the Newton Public Schools went from a Newton parent’s suggestion to successful implementation, fostering student involvement in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
It was the launch of our joint high school rookie robotics team, the Ligerbots (www.ligerbots.com) by a unique collaboration, comprising the community, school administration, teachers, 60 students from both high schools, Northeastern University Nutrons (www.nutrons.neu.edu), NEMO (www.firstnemo.org), the Newton Schools Foundation, NASA, and a number of local corporations: PTC, Boston Engineering, Raytheon and Textron.
While there are many evil robots, like HAL from “2001” or the
Terminiator-battling T-1000, the robot built by Newton high schoolers
definitely qualifies as a force for good.
At their first FIRST Robotics competition, a regional tournament in
Boston last weekend, the Newton Ligerbots and their automaton collected
the Highest Rookie Seed trophy for best score by a new team and the
Rookie All Star Trophy for best new team overall. The performance
earned them an invite to the competition finals in Atlanta next month.
The team is also competing in another regional tournament in Hartford
in two weeks.
By Eric Kutz
I’m a Boston University alum, so Saturday wasn’t the first time I’ve witnessed two teams battling it out on Agganis Arena’s court, shooting with finesse and aggressively blocking, as fans cheered loudly from the stands.
Well, it was a little different than what I had previously witnessed, to be completely honest. The members of said teams were actually robots, and I was checking out the FIRST Robotics Boston regional competition, not a basketball game. And they were shooting soccer balls.
By Sarah Thomas
The Newton South Lions and the Newton North Tigers are rivals when it comes to most team events. But what do you get when you cross a lion and a tiger? A liger, the favorite animal of members of the Ligerbots, the schools’ combined robotics team, who are gearing up to compete in the year’s first regional robotics tournament. “I’m very excited,” said Evan Nitkin, a freshman at Newton North. He and his older brother Benji, a junior, are team members; Benji takes care of the robot’s wiring and Evan will be on the pit crew. “We have only six weeks to machine the parts and build it ourselves, and I can’t wait to compete.” The unnamed robot will compete at the Agganis Arena in Boston March 25-27 against 52 other student-built bots. Successful robots will advance to the next level in competition, the World Championships in Atlanta. The Ligerbots attended last year, with their robot coming in 74th. The tournament is sponsored by FIRST, a New Hampshire-based nonprofit that promotes science and engineering in the classroom. Winning teams can qualify for over $12 million in college scholarships. For more information visit ligerbots.com.
Boston Globe, March 14th via http://www.boston.com/
By Janet Porcano
On March 6, Newton teens will be competing in Boston’s largest Robotics competition.
The competition is the regional event of the FIRST (For
Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics program
designed for high school students.
The name of the competition is Lunacy, in honor of the
forty-year anniversary of the lunar launch in 1969. Though the object
of the game is simple — to get more of your balls in the opponents’
trailers — the rulebook is long and complicated.
A robotics competition from the US points the way to inspiring kids with STEM, with a little help from PLM
This week I attended a media and analyst day at the Boston headquarters of software company PTC. We witnessed a compelling full-day presentation of Windchill, PTC‘s product lifecycle management (PLM) software. PLM software enables products to be designed,
simulated and simultaneously viewed by multiple departments of companies and through supply chain partners, so the effect of product variants can be tested simultaneously by all parties in collaboration, and their effect at stages through the product lifecycle measured. PLM is a growth market and more SME businesses are seeing its value: in the UK alone, PTC reports a 52% increase in year-on-year sales of Windchill products.
In about six weeks, students from Newton North and Newton South will start to build a robot.
A team composed of students from both high schools, called the Ligerbots, is back this year for a second go-round at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics challenge this year, after coming in 19th in a competition of 36 schools in the state last year.