Category Archives: Accomplishments

High-School Interns at Unbound Commerce Build Mobile App for NSHS Athletics

Student interns at Unbound Commerce (clockwise from lower left): Gianni Thompson, Rishab Chakravarthy, Emma Barake, Alexus Garcia, Luther Evans, Jay Garg and Maria Kuznetsova

Student interns at Unbound Commerce (clockwise from lower left): Gianni Thompson, Rishab Chakravarthy, Emma Barake, Alexus Garcia, Luther Evans, Jay Garg, and Maria Kuznetsova

This summer, as part of the Mayor’s Summer Internship Program, six high-school students worked at local e-commerce software company Unbound Commerce to build a mobile app for the Newton South HS Athletics Booster Club.  Their app presents sports schedules and scores, sells and displays season passes, accepts donations for the NSHS Athletics Booster Club, and displays tweets from the Athletics Department.

NSHS Athletic Director, Patricia Gonzalez said, “I was impressed by the students’ attention to detail, their willingness to listen and take suggestions. The students were very professional and delivered a great product.”

This was by far the largest internship team of this summer’s program, which had 38 interns at 24 sites.  In addition to this project, the interns received training in career effectiveness and financial literacy.  In its first year in Newton, Unbound Commerce was generous to accept six interns and was thrilled with the results.  Keith Lietzke, Co-founder & CMO of Unbound Commerce said, “We were really delighted with our interns’ enthusiasm and dedication.  And their ability.  They worked hard to produce a great app that people will really like.  With help from our team at Unbound, the interns did all the coding themselves.  Very impressive!”

Once testing is complete and the app is registered, you’ll be able to find a link to it on the NSHS Booster Club site.

Envirothon: Newton North HS Places 1st in State, 7th in North America

Newton North High School’s Envirothon Team placed 7th overall in a field of 52 teams at the North American Environthon held during the last week in July in Ontario.  The 52 teams were champions of their respective state and provincial competitions, where they competed on knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management as well as environmental problem solving.  The NNHS team — captain Iris Liao, Bowen He, Amy Huang, Gregory Brumberg, and Lucy Lu, coached by NNHS science teacher Anndy Dannenberg — finished second in Aquatics and third in Forestry at the North American event.  Here’s the full team that won the Massachusetts competition in May, among 36 high schools competing:NNHS-Envirothon-2016

LigerBots Finish First — and Second — in Beantown Blitz

Yesterday, the LigerBots entered two robots — their competition robot and their backup robot — in the Beantown Blitz, a greater-Boston, post-season competition hosted annually by the Northeastern University Nutrons.  This year it was held at Revere High School.  Both Ligerbots robots ended up in competing alliances, adding an extra dimension to FIRST’s core value of coopertition as LigerBots competed against LigerBots.  Both alliances made easy work of the competition through the Quarter Final and Semi-Final rounds, and ended up facing off against each other in the Final round.  The alliance containing the LigerBots backup robot beat the LigerBots primary robot in the Finals, due to a mechanical problem with the primary robot, and the LigerBots ended up taking first and second places in the competition.  And for the record, the LigerBots won the Sweet Caroline award.

The team continues its extensive efforts in community service by participating in today’s Tour de Newton and hosting an introduction to FIRST Lego League — open to all parents, potential coaches and students — this Wednesday, June 22, at Newton North HS.

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!