Halfway Gone….

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Time is flying!

Team 157 is making good progress wrapping up the third week of build. With the February 21 deadline looming, the team has really buckled down and is getting a lot done at every meeting. Fundraising is well underway for our annual calendar sale/raffle, with the goal to meet or exceed $13,000– if we do, our Project Leader will wear a dress at the Boston competition! We’ve done it before and we’d love for it to happen again. Many local companies have been extremely generous with their donations for the calendar as well as financially, and we thank them for it! Our other non-mechanical teams have been busy as well, from making spirit braids for all team members to wear at competition to working on the design for our pit to finalizing the web site and much more while our safety team is making sure everyone is staying safe around the machines and in the arena.

Mechanically, the teams are making good progress as well! Parts that need to be made have been drafted and pretty much everyone is finished prototyping. The frame itself has been put together and the drive system is in the assembly stage.  As parts arrive and more pieces of the puzzle (and robot) come together the kids are getting more excited about seeing their work come to fruition while the mentors are enjoying watching the students realize what they’re capable of. Our mechanical teams are working well with each other making sure each has enough space to do what they want and need for their part of the robot to function while still working collaboratively together.

PS- One word… weight.


Video Update!

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Check out the video first part of our documentary about FIRST Robotics at Assabet Valley, done by sophomore FIRST student Rachel Hooper in collaboration with 2 seniors and one of the Design/Visual teachers.

Part 1: Kick off with Project Leader Marcus Fletcher and learn about what this years competition is going to be!

Aztechs 157 FIRST Robotics (Part 1) from Assabet Valley on Vimeo.

T-shirt Design Finalized!

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One of our most recent accomplishments as we wrap up the third build week was finalizing the t-shirt design! We’re excited about it and can’t wait to see the shirts done! Many of our talented students made designs to present to the team as a whole and the final design came from a combination of a few ideas.

Here it is, what do you think?


Capturing a Moment in Time at Competition

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This was written by one of our mentors when he was a student to capture a moment in time at a competition.

From the stands…

“Aztechs, Aztechs, Aztechs…,” the chant fills the crowd. We have made many friends, but we have made no enemies. The competition is a show of friendship and camaraderie. It is a show of ingenuity and triumph. Yet with triumph can come failure but being here means that none of us have truly failed.

Being in the stands gave me a chance to observe the competition… to observe the festivities… to be part of the festivities. We chanted and we screamed; we fell silent at the incredible triumphs of ourselves and other teams, and mourned in the bad luck of those less fortunate.

We are a family, strong and well knit, but we are also competitors, on the field battling for the points, and off the field fighting hard to be heard over the roar of the crowd.

We all cheered for ourselves, of course, but we all also cheered for everyone else, which is strange in the heat of such a rigorous competition. In reflection, it is impossible to compare the atmosphere of FIRST to the atmosphere of any other competition. In sports you have the home and the away teams, and in war you have both allies and enemies, but at a FIRST competition, all you have are friends playing with friends. You don’t really win or lose; you either get more points and congratulate your opponent on a job well done, or you get fewer points and get congratulated for your efforts.       

The thrill is not in the win but in the game, the experience not in the destination but in the journey.

Shawn Prashaw
Team 157


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Congratulations to our Team 157 Members who made honor roll for term 1! We’re proud of the hard work you do in the classroom as well as in the FIRST program.

Highest Honors: Wyatt Doyle • Ava Rule • Rachel Hooper • Carmen Wise • Guillermo Vincentelli • Gary Petrie

High Honors: Ryan Doyle • Joe Casey

Honor Roll: Nicole Chaulk • Tyler Chaulk • Logan Dunnigan • Peter Fortin • Chris Potter • Zak Supernor • Claritza Taylor • Michael Villani


Build Update!

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On Sunday January 8th 2012 the Aztechs Team 157 met for their kickoff to introduce and discuss this year’s game ‘Rebound Rumble.’ The meeting followed the refined and time-tested formula of presentation, question and answer, and then small group discussion.  The room was silent as the game animation was presented the first time and the usual murmurs rose from the group during the second showing as people discussed with their neighbors their initial ideas and impressions.  Everyone had questions on their mind and they were discussed amongst the group.  Rules were discussed and solutions tossed around to solve this year’s challenges.  The team then segued into the group discussion of the strategies we would like to use to play the game (shhhhh, it’s a secret).

Then the crux of the idea period was reached and the students broke up into smaller groups to begin thinking about possible mechanisms that would solve the challenges in the way that the team had decided to play them.  The groups came together at the end of the meeting and presented their ideas for everyone to consider before the next meeting.

Based upon their interests, the students divided up into the teams that they will participate with throughout the build and excitedly started brainstorming with the adult mentors, trying to decide how they wanted to proceed.  More mechanically inclined students gravitated towards the robot and game-specific challenge teams, while more creatively inclined students elected to work with other aspects of the Aztech vision, including the spirit and web design teams. Ideas were collectively shared in the design groups and with the team as a whole, as the excitement that is the FIRST season got underway.  This year’s team involves students from all shops and grades. Many are returning from previous years, as are many of the mentors. Of the returning mentors there are 10 that are Team 157 alumni.

We continue to push towards our February 21 deadline, which seems like plenty of time, but in reality, it’s about 4 weeks away!

Media Post: Photos from Build Week 1

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Here’s a glimpse into our first build week – we’re well underway towards our deadline of February 21!

Measuring for Parts

Calculating needed measurements

Presenting to the group

Getting some help from one of the mentors with a gear box

Taking an opportunity to learn

Presenting an idea to fellow students

Keep an eye out through our season for more!