Hi my name is Tyler Chaulk. I am a senior on team 157 and this will be my fourth year with the team. In my experiences I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of our FIRST team. From spinning robots (too soon?) to semifinals to even building robots at 12am to meet deadlines, I have (almost) seen it all. However, even with all the 19 years of experience we have much to catch up on! We are currently taking the baby steps to make our program stand out and become the superpower we can be.

Led by three amazing class of 1999 graduates, we are starting to reach out to not just the community but other FIRST teams as well. Since the beginning of the year we have attempted to outdo ourselves to show off our program even more than ever before.

It all began on August 28, at the freshman activities fair. This is a day when the class of 2016 goes around to every room to see all the different extracurricular activities Assabet has to offer. Armed with a small room, 5 minutes, a small group of kids, flyers for the mixer we planned, and a mind full of things to say, we did our best to advertise our program with the time given. We tried our hardest to turn some heads towards our program to get the incoming freshman interested in robotics. We made sure of it when the freshmen saw us in the auditorium with our robot armed and ready for them to play around with. We let the kids operate our shooter and get a hands on experience of what it was like to operate a robot as well as get a Rebound Rumble t-shirt. Surprisingly enough, the next day people were wearing the robotics shirts which was awesome! Overall it was a fun experience for everybody and it will be something we plan on doing for many years to come.

Next up was the Marlborough Labor Day parade. We teamed up with one of our biggest sponsors, Raytheon, who was celebrating their 90th anniversary and we marched in the parade with two big banners and a humvee, which was pretty awesome! We got to get to know some of the great people who work there as well. The parade was a success and we hope to be there again for next year with our robot armed and ready to make us stand out even more. I would also like to thank Raytheon on behalf of the team for giving us the amazing jackets that everyone was baffled by.

And then there was the Northborough Applefest! So much was going on it was great. We got to talk it up with Team 1100, the T-Hawks, who we took pictures with in the spirit of gracious professionalism and even saw how they were advertising their program and vice versa. We had practically hundreds of young kids looking at the robot to see what it does and having fun manipulating many of its systems by hand. We saw family, friends, and even teachers at the event. One thing we also found out was the importance of elevator points and how much easier it is to talk about the robot to hundreds of people with a memorized minute long speech of how everything worked. Next year we hope to work together with the T-Hawks in order to be able to actually operate our robot and to get the word out that teams 157 and 1100 are awesome!

Now the moment we were all waiting for, the moment to see how many freshmen wanted to try robotics and how well our hard work paid off. It was a success; we got 17 kids interested in the program! We even got two students from the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) to come as well. We decided to let the kids have fun with the robot and give them a hands on experience of what it is like to operate it. Kids were scoring and balancing the robot everywhere! Everyone was having a blast, new students and veterans alike. We hope to see everyone again during the build season to tackle the new challenge that FIRST throws at us this year.

A couple of weeks later we got ready for the Marlborough Heritage Fair. Unfortunately it rained so we were not able to bring the robot. However even without the robot, we were able to be even more successful than at Applefest. We recruited two new kids, one from Marlborough as well as another from AMSA. We also got a mentor from a company called Saint Gobain as well as some potential sponsorships and mentors from the Society of American Military Engineers. We hope to see them hop on board the Aztech train and stick around for the ride!

The most recent meeting we had was very productive as well, with cleaning, organizing spirit stuff or creating designs we had people all over the place doing stuff. We had people working hard on all the spirit stuff we had. We had a group of students working on the base for the mobile white board we are going to create. We also had one of the most productive cleaning days we have ever had as far as I have been here. We still have much to do to the room but we hope to get it all prepped for the 2013 build season that we will be able to take on with a head full of steam.

Everything besides the cleaning meeting has been new stuff that we have not done in a couple years. The Assabet Valley Aztechs are a force to be reckoned with, we are taking the baby steps to become the team we should be both on and off the competition field. We hope to be the team that other teams look up to and can see what they should be like in the years to come. We hope this to be one of the best years ever in Aztech history (that is a lot to live up to but we will do it). This is Tyler Chaulk saying have a wonderful day and to the other FIRST teams reading this we hope to see you at the competition.