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Nemesis attends the FIRST Ladies Conference

Sunday, October 8th, the Ladies of Nemesis woke up bright and early to attend the inaugural FIRST Ladies MAR Conference. Hosted at The College of New Jersey, the girls were excited to see what FIRST Ladies had in store for them.

The brainchild of Nikki “Panda” Stout and Elizabeth Olshanetsky, the FIRST Ladies Conference was envisioned to a place where girls in FIRST can be heard, ask questions unique to them, and learn from those who have ‘been there’.  Attended by girls from Nemesis FRC2590, Redbird Robotics FRC1807, Gearheads FRC1189 and ZeroGravity FRC2180 it was a day to be remembered.

There were four seminars available for the attendees to choose from:

  • Libby Kamen - Leadership and Student Development

  • Jessica Kaestle - Resume Building

  • Deborah Berrien - Life Lessons From a Career in Information Technology

  • Nikki Panda - Web Design and Development

The Ladies of FIRST were encouraged to mingle and get to know each other not only as competitors, but as people with a common goal.

Following the seminars, the professionals held a panel discussion where the girls were asked to pose the questions that had been plaguing them throughout the season.

Sophomore Constance Mehl reiterated “It was great to talk to the other girls and find out their experiences are so similar to mine. I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with the other girls, not competing with them but as friends.”

Informative and interesting, it was an eventful day.

Thank you to the FIRST Ladies of MAR for hosting!

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2017 Food Drive Winners Meet Nemesis

Summer is upon us, and while everyone is getting ready to hit the beach and meet up with friends, Nemesis, Robbinsville High School’s FIRST Robotics Team 2590, is still hard at work.

After 8 successful food drives, the team continued its partnership with Sharon Elementary School. To encourage community service, a friendly competition between classes enabled Sharon School students to find their inner champions and support their community at the same time.

Students and their families donated nonperishable food items, garnering points towards the ultimate goal: a visit from Nemesis.

This year, over 2,000 non perishable items were donated to the Robbinsville Food Pantry!

The three classes with the largest donations were awarded a plaque signifying their contributions and spent an afternoon with Nemesis.  Congratulations to Ms. Dilts, Ms. Gehle, and Ms. Zaffarese and their classes

On June 5, Nemesis took Sharon School by storm, captivating the students interest with their 2017 award-winning competition robot, Eris. The event was set up into three stations. At one station, students able to witness Eris in action. The students cheered as the robot shot yellow wiffle balls high into the air, picked up gears, and navigated the Sharon School cafeteria.

“The kids were in awe when they saw Eris driving around the cafeteria and shooting the balls, cheering wildly as the balls went higher and higher in the air. Their excitement was contagious, and I was really happy to see them get more and more interested in our robot and what we do” said junior Nikita John, who helped program the NAO robot for this special event.

At another station, students watched past FIRST competitions with fascination. In the videos, robots were battling it out, trying to score the most points for their team. Students interacted with Nemesis team members where the students got to learn more about building robots and how to get involved.

At the last station, students were able to interact with Nemesis’ humanoid Nao robot. Together they laughed, told jokes, and had a dance party

“We are very thankful for the 2,000 food donations from our generous community,” said team member and food drive captain, Nick Began. “It amazed all of us to see how many students in our town love science, technology, engineering, and math, and we were fortunate to be able to reward three generous classes with a fabulous robot demonstration.

Nemesis would like to thank all of the students, families, and faculty of Sharon Elementary School. This drive would not have been possible without them. The team looks forward to continued partnership with Sharon.

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Redbirds, Dragons, and Greek Gods: Allentown & Robbinsville Move on to FIRST Robotics World Championship

By: Liam O'Toole and Elizabeth Olshanetsky (from FRC1807)

Upon thinking of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, statistics, and precise surveying, few exciting implications come to mind. Yet, for the scouts of Robbinsville Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis (named after the Greek goddess of retribution), these words serve an essential role during robotics competitions across the region and country. Head scouts Jared Glassband and Jared Miller - affectionately referred to by team members as “The Jareds” - worked around the clock during last week’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, cataloguing opposition robot data acquired by teammates during matches.

Across the field, on the other side of the stands in Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena, the 23 members of Allentown’s Redbird Robotics cheers as it makes its comeback; a “phoenix rising from the ashes” lead by PLTW teacher, Robert Tackett.  After eight years of near misses following a win at the 2009 New York City Regional, Tackett’s team’s hard work and concentrated, collective efforts paid off on April 8, 2017, they qualified for the FIRST Robotics Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) Championship at Lehigh University. Like Nemesis and the other 58 teams present at MAR, 1807 finally saw its efforts come to fruition.

Around the world, FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams have only six weeks short weeks to design, virtually test, fabricate, and ultimately assemble the parts to create their robots.  Following this build period, local teams compete on the district level to qualify for Regional Championships during March, with regional winners advancing to the World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri.

Steamworks, the challenge for the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition, places teams in an industrialized Victorian-era motif wherein they collect gears to power airship rotors for points. Additional points can be gained upon the delivery of wiffle balls, known as “fuel,” to boiler-goals from the robots.

During qualification matches, teams work together in randomized alliance trios until the final rounds of the competition, when alliances are selected and led by the top eight teams. The alliance with the highest score wins the match, while the winning teams advance in ranking.

Astounded, the twenty-three member Allentown High School team scaled the regional ranking ladder from 54th to 2nd with a record of eleven wins and only one loss.  As such, 1807 became an  Alliance captain, selecting Team 2590 “Nemesis” of Robbinsville, NJ and Team 3929 “Atomic Dragons” from Philadelphia as their partners for the Final matches. Due to cooperation backed by data provided by scouts, each robot featured a unique design that strategically complemented each other, a strength that carried into the elimination rounds.

Allentown FRC 1807’s simple, effective design along with a cyclical, speedy strategy revolving around gear placement produced cinematic chases up and down the playing field, weaving between opponents and alliance members. With the assistance of Sam Kohler, driver Joey Sofia maneuvers the robot across the playing field through all obstacles. When the robot reaches the other end of the field, Tommy White adroitly slides the gears into the robot from the feeder station. Immediately, the robot glides back to the pilot station where Jared “Skiddy” Skidmore lifts the gears to power the airship rotors. At the end of each match, 1807’s bot spins its axle and swiftly scales the climbing rope for 50 crucial points.

The Atomic Dragons, FRC 3929 from Philadelphia, PA focused also focused on gear placement, expediting the alliance’s three rotor strategy. Their amazing driver Kazi Tasnim, backed by drive coach Andrew Yarovoi and operator Celestina Saven, then played a fierce defense, blocking the opposing robots from reaching their feeder station.  

Alliance partner FRC 2590 Nemesis utilizes a comprehensive robot design created to address all aspects of Steamworks, perfectly complementing the rigid defense strategy by 3929 Atomic Dragons and the recon by 1807. Nemesis’ specialty is rapidly shooting fuel into the boiler during the Autonomous Period - the first 15 seconds of each match - for double points, as programmed by Connor Hofenbitzer. Driver Dahany Choi then lunges to the controls, racing the robot across the field. Swiftly swerving around robots and obstacles alike, he collects gears off the ground with the robot’s award winning “dustpan” gear intake. Coach Harsha Pavaluri, constantly on the lookout for gears scattered across the field, directs Dahany’s attention as he swoops in and steals them from the opposing alliance. Above all the commotion, Niratjot “Strongman” Grewal hoists the gears up onto the pilot station and puts them in place to turn the rotors.

The alliance ultimately won the championships, undefeated in elimination rounds, after a close match of 460-446. “Once we entered the finals, that’s when I realized we could win.” said Joey Sofia, sophomore and robot driver for 1807. “[Winning] was really a sort of David and Goliath moment for us.”

The win at MAR Championships marks the third time Nemesis takes home the title, and the first time for Redbirds Robotics and Atomic Dragons. Nemesis won the Industrial Design award for its innovative and creative expanding box to hold fuel and finished first in MAR rankings. Redbirds finished 5th and the 3929 Atomic Dragons finished 7th among the 120 MAR teams.  

Redbird Robotics, Nemesis and the Atomic Dragons will be traveling to St. Louis on April 26 to compete against 600 other FIRST Robotics Teams across the world. However, financial matters have recently become conflicting for teams, with expenses for registration, shipping, and travel.. Redbirds Robotics stated that there are students on the team who are unable to pursue the opportunity due to the high costs. Redbird Robotics and Atomic Dragons continue to actively seek donations and sponsors for financial aid via their GoFundMe.com pages.

Redbird Robotics also stated that “they could not have made it this far without their sponsors, Bristol-Myers Squibb and United Technologies.”

Support local robotics teams Robbinsville Robotics FRC 2590 and Allentown 1807 Redbird Robotics by watching the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship in St. Louis, streamed live April 26-29, 2017 on thebluealliance.com!

Archive

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2017 Week 5: Build Journal


Concluding Build Season’s fifth week indicates we are in the homestretch. Prototyping has come to an end, and with a finalized CAD, the Build Team is working together towards fabrication and assembly of both the practice and competition robots.

Major headway was made by the Fabrication and Design students. Night and day, hours have been poured into the machining of various parts, including the shooter, intake, climber, drivetrain, et cetera. With the drive base complete, the addition of bumpers to ensure safety is a priority.  

The Electrical Team’s schedule has been mainly comprised of testing each of the robot’s major functions. At this point, the wiring of both motors and sensors has been completed. One of this week’s Electrical successes is the practice bot’s mobility.  The Team’s new focus includes the shooter and intake functionality.

This week, the Software Team coded controls for shooting, and configured the beginning of the autonomous routine. With prototype testing complete, the Team’s focus was working on an algorithm that efficiently maximizes the robot’s mobility.  The Software team is ardently waiting to test on the competition bot.

With Build Season’s final week here, the entire team’s atmosphere reflects one of a community as members collectively work to finish the competition robot. Everyone is excited to see what our newest addition can do!

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2017 Week 4: Marketing Journal


Heading into Week 4 of Build Season, the Marketing Team’s minds were all but fixed on one thing: Sponsor Networking Night. On Wednesday evening, we all waited anxiously  as our gracious sponsors and parents began to flood the halls. With everyone assigned a sponsor or parent, we spent the night showing them our hard work. In the hallways, we were proud to explain our amazing showcases, filled with awards, trophies and achievements. In the Tech Lab, the Build Team executives revealed this year’s game, FIRST Steamworks. Meanwhile, Marketing members gave an astounding presentation of our 2016 accomplishments. The event went flawlessly, with our sponsors and parents all left with smiles on their faces. Everyone on Nemesis was elated, but at the same time slightly disappointed, as we realized that our exciting and much-awaited Sponsor Networking night had come to a close.

With the end of Sponsor Networking Night came the beginning of preparation for the Competition Season. Our team began to finalize designs for our T-Shirts, both our annual shirt and our special edition 10th year anniversary shirt. Other Marketing members worked on perfecting the Chairman's and the Woodie Flowers Awards.

The Finance Team continued to innovate and improve on the Business Plan. They are also planning to take new members of the Marketing team to businesses to interact with local sponsors.

The Logistics Team worked on the Montreal Travel Presentation and gathering every team member's schedule to determine their competition availability.

As Build Season draws to an end, Nemesis cannot wait to compete in another season of FIRST Robotics action. We look forward to the final two weeks of this exhausting, yet rewarding, experience, and can’t wait for the season to start!

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2017 Week 4: Build Journal


With the build season approaching its climax, the team has kicked production into high gear to fabricate, test, and refine their design. Most team members are spending five to eight hours in the tech lab every day, tweaking elements of the design, testing and retesting each subsystem to build a machine of maximum efficiency. Prototyping has come to a close, and a final drivetrain has been manufactured.

While the Design Subteam finalizes the CAD, the other build members continue to build upon the practice bot. The team has also begun constructing the competition bot— the practice bot’s more polished, mechanically identical twin.

The different subsystem teams are ready for integration, after successful testing with wooden prototypes. The subteams are currently waiting on their parts to be machined and assembled on the practice bot for further trials.

Meanwhile, the Electrical Subteam continues to work on wiring new motors and sensors. The Software Team has started to code the drivetrain and the prospective subsystems in advance, and is eagerly awaiting the chance to test the code on the finished product.

As week 5 approaches, members buckle up and prepare to charge FULL STEAM AHEAD!

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2017 Week 3: Build Journal


As the build season reaches its midpoint, the team reaches an all time high in productivity. With the design team coming to a final decision for the robot and the fabrication team starting to mill, router, and lathe the various parts, an image of the final product begins to take form. The drivetrain for the practice robot has been finished and dusted as our driver begins to practice driving. The electrical team is hard at work fulfilling all the needs from test boards for prototyping the electronics on the robot.

Prototyping teams are moving to finalize their designs for two shooters, a linear and a fly wheel. It’s a friendly competition within the team to see who finishes first! The intake and climber prototypes have been finalized after several successful runs of each to ensure maximum effectiveness.

After a few minor setbacks, the team worked as efficiently as possible to remain on schedule. As build season continues, our robot is coming closer and closer together, a trend we hope to continue moving into and through Week 4.

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Nemesis 2017 Competition Dates


The 2017 build season is coming to a close, and Nemesis invites you to come to one of the high energy competitions it's competing at...

Hatboro-Horsham District FRC Event: March 4-5, 2017

Hatboro-Horsham High School

899 Horsham Rd, Horsham, PA 19044

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy District Event: March 18-19, 2017

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

500 West Willow Grove Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Festival de Robotique - Montreal Regional: March 23-25, 2017

Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard

Montréal, QC, Canada

We hope to qualify for...

FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship: April 6-8, 2017

Stabler Arena, Lehigh University

124 Goodman Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18015

2017 FIRST Championship: April 26 - 29, 2017

Edward Jones Dome

901 N Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63101

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2017 Week 3: Marketing Journal


Chaotic and exciting are perfect ways to describe Week 3 of Build Season 2017. With Sponsor Networking Night just a few days away, Marketing Team members have had their work cut out for them! The showcases have been updated, and the Chairman’s Board is being redesigned to accommodate our ever-evolving team. The folders for Sponsor Networking Night are almost ready, as finishing touches are being made on the presentation and Executive Summary. Both members of the Marketing Team and the Build Team are refining their knowledge of the team’s FAQs, preparing to speak to sponsors on Wednesday night.

The Finance Team spent this past week speaking to current sponsors, potential sponsors, and local community businesses. The Finance Team is also comparing 2017’s financial projections with 2016’s actuals to help identify growth, in addition to continuing their updates to the Business Plan. Oh, and don’t forget about filing those taxes too!

The Logistics Team worked diligently to finalize all of our trips for the upcoming competition season, and we are especially excited to travel to Montreal for the Festival de Robotique.

With half of build season completed, everyone on Nemesis is bubbling with anticipation for the remaining weeks as well as the upcoming competition season!

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2017 Week 2: Marketing Journal


And that’s a wrap for week 2 of build season 2017! All members throughout the marketing, web, finance and logistic teams have a considerable amount of work ahead of them. With Nemesis’ Annual Sponsor Networking Night just a over a week away, everyone is on the top of there game and getting things done. The showcases are all but finished, the sponsor night trifolds are ready for printing, and the logistics team have been thinking ahead with details for impending competitions. When asked about her experience in build season week two, marketing team member Rachel Gilmer said, “When you have to do something twice, keep calm and put a smile on your face. It will all get done in good time.”

Week two of build season has been a jumble of photo editing, writing, rewriting, and adding final touches to the long-term projects started in December. The design for the “Nemesis 10 Year Anniversary” t-shirts is approaching its final draft as well as the Business Plan cover for 2017. All members of all teams are putting countless hours into their work and it is truly paying off.

In addition to their week of hard work, the girls on the marketing team (and a few build girls too!) took a trip to Freehold Raceway Mall where they went shopping for dresses and accessories for Sponsor Networking Night on February 1st and getting their makeup done at the NARS makeup counter in Lord & Taylor, receiving fresh looks for the important presentations in the days to come.

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2017 Week 2: Build Journal


During Week 2, the Build Team continued to spend their time prototyping in the Tech Lab.  As the second week of prototyping comes to an end the team made decisions about some the prototypes and finalized some designs. The CAD Team members started to recreate the finished prototype subsystems. The Build Team discussed how to best configure them on the robot.

Build Team members continued to debate strategy to determine the best course of action.

Several subteams were created to focus on different aspects of the game:

  • The Gear Subteam continued to modify and finalize their design to obtain gears from the feeder stations and deliver then to the airship.

  • The Shooter Subteam spent the week testing out two shooter prototypes for accuracy, speed, and consistency, and made the final decision about which design to use on the robot.

  • The team that worked on the robot’s climbing mechanism decided on a final design that proved to be very successful in lifting a great amount of weight.

  • The Intake Team has made several prototypes to collect fuel from the ground, hoppers, and feeder stations and continues to work on identifying the best solution.

This year’s robot is beginning to take shape. Everyone continues to put in their best efforts.  We anticipate finishing prototyping, continuing CADing throughout Week 3.

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2017 Week 1: Build Journal


It’s finally here! Planning, prototyping and long hours in the tech lab, all accented the first week of the Build Season. Starting at kickoff, we became more familiar with the objectives of our robot and what we needed to succeed in this year’s game, FIRST STEAMWORKS! Knowing that this year our robot would have to climb a rope, collect and deliver gears, be able to shoot fuel into the boilers, as well as collect fuel from the input, our analysis meeting brainstormed several brilliant strategies. We broke up into subteams, and began prototyping many different features in order to make this year’s robot the best it could possibly be.   

Here’s a quick re-cap of this week's progress made by each subteam:

The subteam working with the challenge of the gears, were able to create a path that would catch the gear and have considered multiple ways of getting it onto the spring. Over the week they have tried several variations of these parts in order to improve the success rate.   

The climbing subteam worked on two prototypes this week. Both prototypes were able to lift 110 pounds in a short amount of time. Only time will decide which version will work best with our robot design.

The sub team for the hopper worked on procuring fuel from the input.. They were able to create various prototypes this week. They tried out many designs to see which one would be the best at accomplishing the task.  

The sub team for the shooter was able to create many prototypes to see which one would work best in the game. Most of the prototypes were able to shoot a long horizontal and vertical distance at a very quick speed. One of the prototypes was able to shoot the fuel at a quicker rate.

With every subteam working diligently on various parts of the robot, it would be truly rewarding to see it eventually be cohesively integrated into the finished product!

Lots and lots of prototyping still happening. Nothing definite yet, but soon! Little by little its all coming together. We can’t wait to see what week 2 brings!

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2017 Week 1: Marketing Journal


After an exciting kickoff, the Marketing Team is busy preparing for Sponsor Networking Night. The rough draft for the slideshow and oral presentations are almost complete. Invitations have been sealed and sent. The Nemesis showcase is currently being updated with new pictures and information. Everyone is focused on putting the event together and excited to present their accomplishments from the 2016 season.  

The Finance Team is currently writing emails and grants to reach out to potential sponsors, as well as booking dates to discuss fundraising. Logistics is working on planning trips for the upcoming season. With Week 1 coming to a close, the entire marketing team is looking forward to seeing what exciting things Week 2 will bring!

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Kickoff: A Freshman Perspective


When I walked into the Montgomery High School on Saturday January 7th for the FIRST Robotic Competition 2017 Kickoff, I was both nervous and excited. I couldn't wait to find out what my life was going to be dedicated to for the upcoming season. It was thrilling to see how they presented the game. The anticipation was heavy as we waited for the other teams to arrive. We split into different groups to go to workshops. I chose Gearboxes and Drive Trains. It was nice to have a refresher for parts of the robot. Following the workshop, everyone went to see the game reveal. It was exciting seeing the different videos of the teams but the best part was finally knowing what the 2017 game was. Overall, it was really fun and everyone was incredibly welcoming.

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Full Steam Ahead: Nemesis FLIES Into 2017!


Even the threat of a winter storm could not deter them. On January 7th 2017, thousands of FIRST Robotics teams around the world held their breath as they anxiously awaited the release of the 2017 game. Each year at Kickoff, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) provides these high school robotics students with a new challenge to hone their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills at competitive regional, district-wide, and international events. The Kickoff marks the beginning of 6 hectic weeks to design, prototype, and build a robot to effectively address the game challenge.

On the frigid Saturday morning, robotics teams from high schools in North Brunswick, Bridgewater-Raritan, Ewing, West Windsor-Plainsboro, and Allentown joined Robbinsville's Nemesis Team 2590 at Montgomery High School for the Kickoff of the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition season.

Before the game reveal, students were able to attend a multitude of workshops hosted by Montgomery High School's own robotics team, Cougar Robotics. Providing instruction in a variety of subjects such as gearboxes, pneumatics, sensors, and Autodesk Inventor (a CAD - Computer Aided Design - program), the workshops served as an efficient way to assist students in learning some concepts that would benefit them in the upcoming build season.

"The gearbox workshop was extremely insightful," commented Robbinsville sophomore, Morgan Serra. "It especially helps new robotics members like myself to understand this topic before we begin to brainstorm. Without this workshop I would've been totally confused throughout build season!"

Excitement buzzed through the air as teams gathered in the auditorium and waited for the NASA-TV webcast to start, live from FIRST Headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire. As the game was revealed, the applause was deafening. Introducing the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition challenge... FIRST Steamworks!

FIRST Steamworks, inspired by steam power technology from the Industrial Revolution, features two alliances of three robots each. The game starts with a 15 second autonomous period in which robots operate solely through pre-coded instructions. The remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of each match consists of fierce competition between the alliances in which robots are driven by student drivers. Each alliance's goal is to prepare their airship for takeoff by collecting as much fuel (balls) as possible and shooting it into the boiler (goals). They must also deliver gears to the pilots (human players) on their airship in the middle of the field who will install them in order to start the engines. In the last 30 seconds of the match, robots can latch onto the airship by climbing a thick rope, which earns them additional points. The alliance with the most points at the end of the match wins!

Feeling adrenalized after the game reveal, Nemesis members are already overflowing with ideas on how to design this year's robot.

“This is definitely much different from last year, especially with a drive team member on the field for the first time in FIRST Robotics history,” remarked senior and Build Executive Harsha Pavuluri. “With the many aspects of the game, I can’t wait to hear what the team comes up with!”

Nemesis will be competing at Hatboro-Horsham High School on March 4-5th, at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy on March 18-19th, and at the Festival de Robotique in Montreal, Canada on March 23-25th. Nemesis hopes to qualify for the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship at Lehigh University and the FIRST Championship in St. Louis.

Nemesis would like to thank their sponsors for their continued success: Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, CCL Label, New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Nordson, Robbinsville Education Association, Leidos, Triangle East Windsor, Skylink Technology Inc., Northstar Vets, RAS Process Equipment, Designtree, EAG, Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Lockheed Martin, SRI International, McGraw Hill Financial, Siemens, and Investors Bank.

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Discovering Innovation and Technology-- Discovery Day 2016


On the weekend of December 3rd, over 120 second through sixth grade students flocked to the RHS Tech Lab for Robotics Discovery Day. Here, they learned and experienced the thrill of an engineering challenge, with the guidance of Nemesis team members, many of whom participated as campers in Discovery Day themselves. Captivated, students engaged in each of the four exciting activities that Nemesis had in store for them: building a robot to meet a game-inspired challenge, talking and dancing with the team’s humanoid NAO Robot, driving Daedalus, the award-winning 2016 robot, and attending a presentation and Q & A session with a Robbinsville FIRST Lego League (FLL) team.

Four FLL teams, Nerd Herd, Shockwave, IDK, and Electrons were inspired by the success of Nemesis. This year they built LEGO NXT robots and competed in the FLL Animal Allies Challenge. Their robots used color sensors and extensive programming to navigate their courses and deliver “food” to all of the “animals” scattered throughout their landscape.

The campers, divided into teams of two and guided by Nemesis members, worked on exciting LEGO projects. The younger campers participated in the Parachute Challenge where the ultimate goal was to drop a parachute crafted out of LEGOs and napkins from the second story walkway using a student-designed contraption. More advanced campers competed in the Catapult Challenge, using LEGO Mindstorms to engineer and build a motorized ping-pong shooting catapult. Campers who desired a more challenging exercise were invited to take on the Maze Challenge. Our most determined campers built NXT robots that utilized color sensors to navigate a maze. Nemesis member, Kaitlyn Young, who worked with the young students, was very impressed. “Watching my campers believe they can do anything,” she said, “filled me with pride.”

Discovery Day revolves around exposing young students to the ever-changing worlds of science and technology. Marketing Team member Rachel Gillmer offered her perspective on the success of the event, saying, “It was enlightening to watch these campers push themselves to learn new and exciting skills.” Ensuring campers are passionate about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) is essential to the future of Nemesis and robotics programs everywhere. Discovery Day 2016 was a great opportunity to get young campers involved. Campers who participated in Discovery Day left feeling enthusiastic about all that they accomplished and more passionate about robotics that ever before.

Only 364 days until Discovery Day 2017! See you next year!

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Nemesis 2590 Library Demonstration 2016


Energetic young children and their eager parents gathered at the Robbinsville Public Library for a visit from Nemesis. On November 5, 2016 Nemesis team members gave a demonstration of their award-winning 2016 competition robot, Daedalus. Awestruck and amazed, the young children watched as Daedalus shot boulders into totes and moved effortlessly, gliding across the room.

The young attendees and their parents became intrigued with the world of FIRST Robotics. The demonstration began with a brief description of the 2016 game, FIRST Stronghold, a medieval game of Capture The Castle. Later, an explanation of how Daedalus functions, and a visit from our NAO robot enchanted the children. After seeing Daedalus in action, the attendees could not believe that a high school team made such an impressive robot in such a short amount of time.

During the presentation, the children had the opportunity to act as Daedalus–going over and under obstacles and even “storming the castle” by shooting balls into a tote. Nemesis members were often asked questions about their robot and how FIRST changed their lives. One mother of a five year old boy expressed her gratitude to the team, saying, “You have no idea how much he loves robotics and coding. Seeing teenagers doing what he wants to do when he gets older makes him feel like he can do anything.” Her comment showed the team how much of an influence STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education has on the elementary school students, and how programs like FIRST Robotics can make going into a STEAM field a dream for many.  

After watching the demonstration, many of the parents asked how they could get their children involved in robotics and start up their own team for younger students. Luckily, Nemesis has had their annual Discovery Day on December 3th and 4th where students from second to sixth grade have the opportunity to build and program Lego Mindstorms to complete open ended challenges. There, local FIRST Lego League teams will be on hand to answer any questions they have.

Everyone left the event proclaiming how much fun they had learning about the exciting world of FIRST. Nemesis would like to thank the Robbinsville Public Library, and especially Michelle Cromwell, for the opportunity to expose share their love of robots with the community.