Category Archives: Accomplishments

Newton LigerBots Host Their FIRST-Ever Worldwide 3D-Printed-Parts Competition and Announce Winners

The LigerBots — Newton’s high-school FIRST robotics team — ran its first-ever worldwide competition, team1965in which other FIRST teams from around the globe submitted 3D-printed parts that they had created for use in their robots in the last two years.  A panel of LigerBots judged the entries on three criteria: creativity in how teams solved a problem, elegance of the solution, and overall complexity.

First Place:  FRC Team #1965 FireBirds from Boston created team4613a full tread drive, including treads, sprockets, and axles.

Second Place:  FRC Team #4613 Barker Redbacks from Sydney, Australia created a low-cost and lightweight gearbox — and offered to help other teams worldwide by sending them a gearbox.team868

Third Place: FRC Team #868 – TechHOUNDS from Carmel, Indiana created a pair of two-inch Mecanum wheels that were not available otherwise.

And huge congratulations to the LigerBots for creating and running this contest!

NSHS TechnoLIONS Honored at State House

TechnLIONS-at-State-House2Four members of the Newton South TechnoLIONS — Maya Modi, Gretchen Zhang, Isabel Bulman, and Hannah Cole –were recognized by the Massachusetts House and Senate this week for leadership in technology and entrepreneurship and their success in this year’s Technovation Challenge.  The team placed among the top two in Massachusetts and among the top 30 of nearly 1000 teams nationwide

LigerBots Make it to Semi-Finals in Post-Season BattleCry@WPI

The Newton LigerBots competed this weekend in the 17th BattleCry@WPI — an event outside of the formal FIRST robotics season — making it to the semi-finals after a 7-1-0 record in the qualifying rounds.  (See video of a qualifying round.)

NSHS Technovation Team — TechnoLIONS — Wins Awards

TechnoLIONS Hannah Cole, Maya Modi, Isabel Bulman, and Gretchen Zhang

NSHS TechnoLIONS Hannah Cole, Maya Modi, Isabel Bulman, and Gretchen Zhang

The Technovation Challenge is a worldwide, technology computer-science entrepreneurship competition for teams of middle- or high-school girls.  This year, sparked by a notice in NewtonSTEM, two Technovation teams were formed at Newton South HS, and one of those teams — the TechnoLIONS — entered the global competition.  Last week, at a pitch session at MicrosoftNERD, the TechnoLIONS won the second-place award among 50 teams competing statewide.  The TechnoLIONS will now take their app, Homework Helper, to compete in the national finals in San Francisco in July.

Inspired by another notice in NewtonSTEM, the TechnoLIONS also competed in the Dream It. Code It. Win It. competition at Cooper Union in New York City, where they won the High School Student Competition, the FIVERR Career Award, and a Career Day with Jocelyn Scherer, Founder and CEO of Bionolux Labs — who is, coincidentally, a Newton resident.  Congratulations, TechnoLIONS!

LigerBots Win Award at Hartford District Championship

At the FIRST New England District Championships in Hartford this weekend, the Newton Ligerbots again won the Innovation in Control award, as they did in a similar event in Boston recently.  The award is sponsored by Rockwell Automation to celebrate “an innovative control system or application of control components – electrical, mechanical, or software – to provide unique machine functions.”

Mass. Science Olympiad Results: NSHS #2, NNSH #4 Statewide

Congratulations to the Newton South HS Science Team and the Newton North HS Science Team for placing second and fourth, respectively, among 61 high schools in the Massachusetts Science Olympiad at Framingham State University on March 19.  Each team competed in 26 events throughout the all-day event.

NSHS: U.S. Semi-Finalists in 1st Time in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

In its first-ever participation in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, Newton South HS’s team (Bhavik Nagda, James Rao, Ayush Upneja, Erik Uhlmann, and Yifan Xu) achieved the semi-finals, ranking between 7th and 12th place overall among 1,084 entries nationwide.  In this challenge, each team did research, analysis, mathematical modeling, and writing over a single 14-hour period to produce a 20-page research paper for grading by a panel of judges.  The task this year was to create a mathematical model to help determine the best business model for a car-sharing service in a given region/city/town.  The NSHS team’s work won $1500 in scholarship funds.   The team’s faculty coach, Steven Rattendi, noted that the students took the initiative in starting and leading this endeavor.  Congratulations to all!

NSHS/NNHS Students Awarded Statewide NCWIT Honors in Computer Science

Students from Newton North HS and Newton South HS have won statewide recognition in the annual Aspirations in Computing program of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).   In a ceremony at Wellesley College last weekend, Newton South sophomore Hannah Cole was named a Massachusetts winner and national runner-up, and Newton North junior Winnie Chan was named a Massachusetts runner-up.  NCWIT recognizes high-school women for achievements, aptitude, dedication, and leadership in computer science.  Read about the trajectories of these stars: Continue reading

LigerBots Win Entrepreneurship Award and Reach Quarter-Finals at WPI District Competition

The Newton LigerBots robotics team competed this weekend in its first FIRST district qualifying event for the season, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, reaching the quarter-final rounds and winning the coveted Entrepreneurship Award.  This award recognizes a team that has “developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan to scope, manage, and achieve team objectives.”  The LigerBots team wrote and executed its full business plan, winning the admiration of the judges.

The LigerBots were ranked 11 overall in this district qualifying event, and its robot was the highest-scoring robot for the autonomous (pre-programmed) part of the competition.  This competition revealed some mechanical issues with the robot’s design, and the team knows what it needs to work on before its next competition, on April 2-3 at Boston University (Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston — see schedule).


NewtonSTEM at 5 Years: Your Feedback and Suggestions?

NewtonSTEM was launched five years ago as a clearinghouse of information about STEM-related achievements, events, opportunities, and resources that are relevant to the Newton community.  Now with over 800 posts, almost 1,000 on the email list, and over 600 Twitter followers, it’s as good time as any to ask:  What’s most helpful?  What’s not?  What should be added?  What suggestions do you have?  Please send comments to