Boston Regional March 22-23, 2012

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So, I’m a bit behind here with catching up from the season! Sorry about that! We had an impressive showing at the Boston Regional in March and we seeded into the final rounds! Unfortunately, we got knocked out before the final match (and only lost by 1 point because 3 robots got onto the bridge!) but the kids were so proud of what they’d accomplished and we the mentors were so proud of them. I have to tell you, this is my first year as a FIRST Mentor and its so gratifying to see how excited the kids get when they do something well.

Anyway, onto the photos!


In the stands – Nicole, Kerrie, Chris, Carmen and Zak


Josh showing off the Aztech gear with Guille looking on.


Carmen, our scouting mistress, hard at work.


Robot in action on the field!


In the pit


Josh and Logan waiting to drive.


Cheering on the team during a match!


Nicole with the Robot Head wandering the halls.


Josh in the lobby.


Eric the MC rocking a SWEET jacket for awards. That all came in the form of poems.

All of my photos from the event are here!


Media Post – BAE Granite State Regional 3.2-3.3.11

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We’ve got one competition under our belt and are looking forward to Boston in 2 weeks! The team drove well, but unfortunately didn’t qualify for the final rounds. It was a fun time though! More words to come later, but until then, enjoy some photos!

Shawn, Mr. Chaulk, Tyler, Patrick

Robot in the pit!

Our pit!

A bird's eye view of the pits.

Kiana hanging our banner


Josh and Logan driving with Shamus looking on.

Robots on the field!

All of my photos can be found here! Keep an eye out for a recap of the weekend to come soon.

A First Year Perspective, Part 1

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By Carmen Wise, Class of 2015

Being a freshman in FIRST Robotics at first is terrifying. For someone who had never been involved with robotics before, it was a completely new experience. If it wasn’t for the few friends I had involved that were sophomores, I probably never would have joined to begin with.

I remember the first week I was really scared. I’m not in a shop where you use your hands a lot. I’m not in Precision Machining, or Metal Fabrication, or Carpentry. I’m in Business Technology. I was entering a world full of nothing I knew with what I thought as skills that were not going to help me at all. Typing fast doesn’t build a robot.

Not to mention, I knew maybe four people, total in FIRST. In our team of 32 people, that’s not a lot. Besides, I couldn’t latch onto my friends all the time. My first week was very awkward, very scary, and very unproductive on my part.

It got better though. Once we got into teams, I found the one team seemed to suit me. Web site building. I enjoy HTML and set to work in that. The mentors were helpful, I got a lot done, and even now seeing the Web site launch was incredibly rewarding.

On the way to the launching of the website and in those weeks, my job on the Web site team forced me to break my shell and become better friends with people at FIRST robotics. For instance, I had to create profiles for all the students and take their pictures. Hard to do if you don’t know people. And even harder to match pictures to names if you don’t know who anyone is.

After the website was done, I had to talk to even more people I didn’t know, because I wanted to do something daring. Actually work on the robot. I asked people for work, whoever I could, because I wanted to get work done and not waste time. That lead to team work with a lot of different people in a lot of areas as we struggled to get each area of the robot done.

Therefore as the weeks went on, I got to make more and more friends, with juniors, sophomores, and even those really scary seniors, some of which I’m really good friends now.

My hard work also lead me to getting on Pit Crew for Boston, which I’m very excited for. In conclusion, work hard, you’ll make friends and get rewarded.  🙂

Part 2 to come after the competitions…..

In the Home Stretch

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We’re getting closer to the build deadline and our first competition and if that doesn’t inspire harder, more effective work, I don’t know what does. We’re in the home stretch with one full work week left before the February 21 ship date and the BAE Regional in Manchester, New Hampshire is shortly thereafter the first weekend in March.

The big news this week is that our new web site is up and running, with a few minor things yet to be finished.  Check it out here! The spirit team has constructed a mascot head – our very own robot Aztec and a design for our pit has also been completed. The goal is to tie everything together from the t-shirts to the buttons, to the web site and the pit to brand ourselves and show our spirit.

Mechanically, the final assembly of the drive is just about complete. We’re finishing the assessment of the chains and finishing integrating with the other systems. We have begun to think about where the electronic components will be placed. The parts for our pickup system have been machined, and we’re in the process of assembling. Our arena is completely built and we’ve marked up floor and backboards. Their goal at this time is to support other teams in their final building efforts.

All in all, in these final weeks, our robot and team is really coming together. We’re approaching the final design and will begin to test in the near future. Remember to wish the Aztechs FIRST Team 157 luck at the upcoming BAE Regional, on March 2 and 3 with the Boston Regional following on March 22 and 23. Come cheer us on!


Media Post – Build Photos

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Here are some more photos from the last couple of build weeks!

Checking out the specs

Testing old rollers

Cutting wood for the arena

Seeing if the ball will fit with the rollers

Figuring it out

Getting some help on the drive system

Having some fun with yarn

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.

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