Aztech Kickoff 2013!

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By Kayleigh Stevens
Class of 2015

Assabet’s FIRST Robotics team had its kick off meeting Sunday, January sixth, and unveiled to the team the challenge for this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition. The Aztechs were super-excited to finally begin the new challenge of 2013. They hadn’t known what the challenge was, and were antsy to get on topic. They were expecting hard work, and were anxious to begin. Long days, weekends, trips around New England, and more are expected of them, and they take it all as fun. The Aztechs love their team and couldn’t wait to get started on the season!

The challenge this year is called “Ultimate Ascent”. The challenge is to build a robot that can score disks into four different kinds of slots to gain different numbers of points. There are also pyramids that are also part of the challenge. To gain maximum pyramid points you can design a robot that can climb to the top of the pyramid. All of this was unveiled at the Aztechs kickoff meeting.

The energy in the room was excited and wondering. Some students hadn’t yet seen the animation of the challenge and were excited to see what was going on. Once the animation was shown and the students understood the challenge, the meeting moved on to rules. How big the robot can be, how tall, what it must fit into, where it must start, and more. Restrictions, restrictions! Rules, rules! We focused on what goals we wanted to achieve. The students and adults worked together to figure out where the most work was going to be needed. We worked on distribution of resources and ideas. We also focused on other rules and solutions to the problem.

I know that as an Aztech myself, I cannot wait to begin thinking of ways to achieve our goals and score maximum points. Designing, building and testing designs are always a thrill and doing it with friends, new and old, is an exceptional gift. The Aztechs are a very lucky group, and are excited for the new season.

Many students were eager to start the design process and begin thinking of ideas, but this meeting was all about goals. The students and adults broke into two groups to decide what they wanted to do and how many points they wanted to make. Schedules were also planned and rules set as to conduct, with a few students at the end taking their safety test. Resources are a concern in where to apply them and what else we may need to achieve our goal.  This meeting put insight into the desires and goals of the students. Weekdays, weekends, night and mornings are all anticipated and waited for; all for one spectacular, working, disk-throwing, climbing and point-scoring robot.


Marcus and Josh talking about the goals


Listening to the presentation.


Discussing ideas


Kim, Kayleigh, Ava and Jenn enjoying the presentation.



Bowling Tournament & Fundraiser 10.14.12

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We had a great time at our first annual Bowling Tournament, held October 14 at the AMF Lanes in Shrewsbury. We got lots of support from our team, families, and friends, as well as Team 467 – Shrewsbury Robotics! Everyone had a blast, and we raised a fair amount of money. Thanks to everyone who came and can’t wait to see you all at the next one! Check out our photos below! All photos taken by Marcus Fletcher and Kim Berry.

Jarred showing good form













A cool panoramic view





Team 467, Shrewsbury Robotics






















Nicole Bowling in Style




















Our full group




Applefest 9.15.12

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This weekend was Applefest – a local fall festival that our school always participates in. This year we asked if we could join them and they were happy to have us! We even got to hang out with Team 1100 – The T-Hawks. It was fun to see them and see their setup. They actually had a fun remote control car (think old big wheels) that they drove around the festival. Oh and we couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. Even thought we didn’t have our robot running (no power, and not in a great location – had we tried, we would have ruined the wheels to the point that we could no longer run it in our gym or cafeteria), the kids did a great job in explaining how our robot worked and we got some nice foot traffic. We have 3 more festivals coming up this fall and we’re excited!

Here’s our day in photos!

All set up, first thing in the morning.










Zak explaining how the robot works.












We even had plenty of adults interested in our robot!











Practicing Gracious Professionalism with the T-Hawks











The T-Hawks talking to Tyler and Zak about our robot.












Shawn and Tyler chatting.










Tyler helping kids pull the ball up through the rollers.












Tyler explaining to the kids.











It was a great day – all our photos are on our Facebook page!

Labor Day Parade 9.3.12

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We were fortunate to be invited to participate in the Labor Day Parade in Marlboro today by Raytheon, one of our major sponsors. They are celebrating their 90th anniversary this year, and asked us if we’d like to join them – and while it was last minute, the answer was a resounding YES! We had a fantastic turnout and a lot of fun – not to mention fabulous weather.  We’re already talking about the thought of possibly doing a float next year so we can have the robot in the parade with us too!

Check out the photos!

Waiting for the shuttle to take us to the start










Ava & Melanie












Kerrie and Kiana showing off the new banner








Chatting with Jim McGrath from Raytheon










The girls posing with one of the clowns










All wrapped up in Robotics












With the Humvee









Walking in the parade










More parading










Vigs, Kerrie and Tyler carrying our awesome banner!











Thanks for having us, Raytheon!

Freshmen Activities Day 8.28.12

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Last Tuesday was the first day of orientation for incoming freshman at Assabet, and we were on hand to help out! For the morning, our students had a room where the freshmen circulated in and out of and we gave about a 5 minute presentation about our team and handed out fliers for the upcoming mixer on the 18th. Later that afternoon we got to do a full demonstration in the auditorium, and even had some of the freshmen come up and take a turn shooting the robot, which earned them t-shirts! Lo and behold, some of them wore the t-shirts to school the next day! Hope this bodes well for recruiting – I guess we’ll see!

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story. 🙂

Dan, Amy, Melanie & Ava










Presenting to a group of freshmen










Watching the short film about our team









Setting up for the demo in the auditorium.










Shawn rocking the cape.












Photos from the following day – wearing our shirts!
































We’re hoping to see many of these freshmen at our mixer on September 18 and hoping they’ll join us for the 2012-2013 build season!