Category Archives: Accomplishments

LigerBots Compete and Receive Awards at North Shore Event

The Newton LigerBots participated in their first 2018 district competition this weekend, the North Shore District Event at Reading Memorial HS.  During the opening ceremonies, the team’s award-winning Safety Award Animation was shown, and on the second day of competition team CTO Cam played the national anthem on his trumpet. The LigerBots participated in competitions for FIRST awards as well as the FIRST Power Up competition. At the end of regular competition matches, the team was ranked 10th.  The LigerBots were selected by the Bionics from Billerica to be on Alliance 6, joined by Terminal Velocity from Burlington. The LigerBots also scored a record-setting high score of 861 for this game.

The LigerBots were recognized with several awards:

  • The team received recognition for winning the 2018 FIRST Safety Animation Award, sponsored by UL, for the team’s Safety Animation video, which will be played at 160 FRC competitions worldwide this year.
  • Team mentor Igor Tepermeister was named a Woody Flowers Nominee at this competition, advancing to the next level of competition. This award recognizes an outstanding individual motivator for excellence in communicating and challenging students to communicate clearly and succinctly.
  • The team received the Imagery Award, given in honor of Jack Kamen, Dean’s father, for his dedication to art and illustration and his devotion to FIRST. This award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance. The judges said, “This award rewards [the LigerBots’] ability to do hard work, great design, and agility. Their planning is professional, and their presence is essential. For these reasons and their elegant bots, the Imagery Award goes to Team 2877, the LigerBots.”

The LigerBots’ next competition will be at the Greater Boston District Event on April 7-8 at Revere HS (101 School St., Revere), and the events on the final day are free, open to the public, and a blast to see.

Cabot Elementary Celebrates 18th Annual Invention Invasion!

Last Friday evening, students — as teams and individuals — displayed their inventions and results of scientific inquiry at Cabot Elementary School’s 18th annual Invention Invasion — an event sponsored by the Cabot PTO and faculty. This year, the event also featured Night Skies’ Starlab inflatable planetarium for shows every 20 minutes. 

NNHS Ecology Trip to Nicaragua

For the second year in a row, Newton North HS students visited Nicaragua over February vacation to study tropical ecology and sustainable living through the NNHS Global Education Program’s Nicaragua Ecology Trip.  Led by North North HS biology teacher Anndy Dannenberg and Brandeis University ecologist Dr. Eric Olson, the group of 11 students spent two nights on an organic farm (where even human waste is expertly composted), visited an ecolodge (that uses photovoltaics and wind for power and captures rainwater for irrigation and clothes washing), and then spent several days in “community tourism,” boarding with four host families in a small coastal fishing village. The group sighted all three species of monkeys found in Nicaragua, including the elusive spider monkey. A key focus of the trip was studying spiders, to the dismay of some arachnophobes in the group. Other topics of study included:

  • How to recognize and survey for jumping spiders (family Salticidae)?
  • How do hummingbird and “buzz” pollination syndromes work?
  • What allows mangrove trees to thrive in low-oxygen salty mud?
  • How can we access the forest canopy using a mix of caving and rock climbing techniques?
  • How can a non-native invasive tree become an employment opportunity for underemployed fishermen?
  • How many meals of rice and beans can be eaten before one longs for dietary diversity?

Here’s Chronos, the LigerBots’ 2018 Robot

The LigerBots — Newton’s citywide high-school robotics team — has completed the design and construction of Chronos, the robot that the team has created for the upcoming 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition season. You’ll be able to see Chronos in action at these competitive events (which are part of the full schedule of full schedule of FRC competitions, all open to the public):

With sufficient skill and luck, the LigerBots may qualify for the New England District Championship, as well.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, here’s a short introductory video:

Bigelow’s Mary Buttiglieri in Massachusetts Hall of Fame for Science Educators

Congratulations to Bigelow Middle School science teacher Mary Buttiglieri, who is one of three educators statewide inducted into the Massachusetts Hall of Fame for Science Educators this year. As noted in the Newton TAB, achievements of this inspired and inspiring teacher include initiating the school’s Science Night and an after-school Girls in Science club.

NNHS Science Team Wins 1st Place at Harvard Invitational Tournament

Congratulations to Newton North HS’s Science Team for winning first place last Sunday in the first annual Harvard Science Olympiad Invitational, among 34 high-school teams competing. The NNHS team placed first in 6 of the tournament’s 23 events.

LigerBots Win Worldwide Recognition for Safety Video

Congratulations to the LigerBots — Newton’s robotics team spanning both high schools — for placing first in a worldwide competition to create a short animated video explaining and supporting safety guidelines of FIRST robotics competitions.  Winning the 2018 FIRST Safety Animation Award, sponsored by UL, is a highly visible achievement, as the team’s safety video will be seen by about 500,000 spectators at various FIRST robotics competitions worldwide throughout the 2018 season. On the LigerBots blog, the team describes the inspiration and challenges of creating this engaging, informative video based on the theme of this year’s competition, Power Up.

Correction: Winning FLL Team is from F.A. Day Middle AND Peirce Elementary

In last week’s FIRST LEGO League Eastern Massachusetts Championship, hosted by the LigerBots, the Day Dragons — the team that won the event’s top honor (the Champions’ Award for the best overall performance in each aspect of the competition) — consisted of four 7th graders from F. A. Day Middle School and two 5th graders from Peirce Elementary School.  Last Sunday’s NewtonSTEM post lauded the Day students, and we now heartily congratulate the award-winning students from Peirce, as well!

7 Newton FLL Teams Compete at Eastern Mass. Championship; 4 Win Awards

Seven Newton-based FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics teams competed in the Eastern Massachusetts FLL State Championship, hosted by the Ligerbots at Newton North HS yesterday, and four of them won awards.  The event drew a crowd of over 1,000 FLL team participants, coaches, mentors, volunteers, and spectators.

  • The Day Dragons, a team of four 7th graders from F. A. Day Middle School and two 5th graders from Peirce Elementary School, won the top honor for the event — the Champions’ Award, for the best overall performance in each aspect of the competition.  This includes the team’s performance in the robotics competition, the team’s presentation of research results in this year’s area of focus (Hydro Dynamics), and the team’s demonstration of FLL’s Core Values.
  • The Botanists were part of the 1st-place alliance for the Lightning Round, in which teams are paired for collaboration in matches that run in half the time.
  • The Block Party team earned the second-place Programming award.
  • The Snowy Owls won the award for “Most Reliable Robot.”

Other Newton-based FLL teams that earned the right, in earlier qualifying events, to participate in the Eastern Massachusetts Championship were the Hydro-Dragons, the Newtronics, and the Roaming Rovers. Congratulations to all seven teams!

The LigerBots also hosted a maker fair that drew participation from such local groups as Destination Imagination, the New Art Center, Students for Greener World, and others. There was even a taste of Star Wars, with a Stormtrooper and Imperial Droid on hand!

LigerBots Host FIRST LEGO League Newton Qualifier

Yesterday, the Newton LigerBots high-school robotics team hosted the Newton Qualifier competition for 24 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams, including these 7 teams from Newton (in this photo, left to right):  Day Dragons, Vikings, Roaming Rovers, Outlaws of Newton, Tacocats,  Atomic Bots, and Newtronics.  Each team built and programmed a LEGO Mindstorms robot to accomplish 18 separate missions in the competition.  Each team also completed a research project related to this year’s theme, Hydro Dynamics, and presented results to a team of adult judges. Finally, each team was interviewed and scored on how well they exhibited FLL’s Core Values.

Newton teams won the following FLL awards:  The Day Dragons won the Champion’s Award. The Newtronics won the Teamwork Award. The Roaming Rovers won the Software Programming Award. And the Tacocats won the Research Project Award. The Day Dragons, Roaming Rovers, and Newtronics each qualified to advance to the Eastern Massachusetts State Championship, which will be held at Newton North HS on December 16 (again hosted by the LigerBots). That event, too, will be free, open to the public, and a lot of fun, with more teams competing and more hands-on exhibits in the accompanying Maker Fair.