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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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2015 Week 2: Finance Journal


Coming into the third week of build season, the finance team is hard at work. Every member of the business teams has been assigned a job in updating the business plan, writing grants, and preparing for Nemesis’ third annual Sponsor Networking Event, and things are going quite smoothly. We’re also coming to the end of editing our new web series, Getting Down to Business with Nemesis. These videos are designed to help other teams with the basics of how to write a business plan, and detail the different sections that should be included. We’re all excited for these to be uploaded very soon. 

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The PayPal is Up and Running!


Are you interested in supporting FIRST Robotics Team 2590? Well, you’re in luck! With the advent of our PayPal account, donating to Nemesis is easier than ever. Just visit the “Sponsors” tab of our webpage at http://www.frc2590.org/sponsors/ and click on the “Support Nemesis” button on the left.

We would like to give a special thanks to Ms. Meena Sahu and Mr. Edward Choi for being our first PayPal donors.

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Week 2: Build Journal


As our second week comes to a close, the Build Team continues to prototype unique elements to maximize our game strategy in Recycle Rush. Our build members enthusiastically welcomed back Mr. Wolfe, a lead mentor who returned after a recent surgery. In this past week, the Build Team split into different sub-teams, molding our versatile members into experts in prototyping drivetrains, indexing systems, arm mechanisms, electronics, and lifting techniques.  The CAD specialists worked diligently to keep up with our numerous physical prototypes. The sound level in the room quickly escalated as the new members experimented with our equipment, including the vertical band saw, drill press, and electric grinder -- with supervision, of course. We strive to maximize our time, using every moment to achieve our tasks, and look forward to the completion of prototyping.

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KICKOFF | Nemesis Gets Ready to Recycle


73,000 students from nearly 3,000 teams held their collective breath eagerly waiting to hear what the next six weeks of their lives would look like. Each year, a new game is announced by FIRST Robotics in early January. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) reveals a new challenge that gives high school students the opportunity to test their robotics and engineering know-how in arena-style competitions at district, regional — and if they’re successful — national and international events. Restricted by time, money, supplies, and sleep, students strive to succeed under the pressure and stress that inevitably arrives over the course of the seemingly shortest six weeks of their young lives.     

On the morning of Saturday, January 3rd, students from Robbinsville High School Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis filed into the auditorium of Montgomery High School in Skillman, New Jersey to view a NASA-TV webcast announcing the 2015 FIRST Robotics Challenge. Along with teams from Hamilton, Allentown, Ewing, Hightstown, Bridgewater and elsewhere, Nemesis awaited the kickoff of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition season.

The air of excitement was palpable as students sat on the edge of their seats for FIRST founder, Dean Kamen’s unveiling of the new game. A hush fell over the room as students and mentors voraciously watched the game video depicting this season’s challenge: Recycle Rush.

Competing in two alliances of three robots each, robots are required to stack totes on scoring platforms in order to score points. Additional points can be acquired by placing recycling bins atop the totes and depositing pool noodles representing litter upon the recycling bins. All game pieces adhere to the recycling theme of the game as they are all reusable or recyclable.

Recycle Rush introduces interesting new changes to the FRC challenges of the past few seasons, such as a system of qualification for playoff matches based on points scored rather than win-loss records. Remarking on the new challenge, Build Team junior Christian Gavalchin remarked, “Adjusting to these changes should prove difficult, but I’m confident that we will be able to build an effective robot that will successfully fulfill all aspects of the challenge.”

Araba Aikins, a freshman on Nemesis’ Marketing Team described her experience, “Kickoff gave me a better idea of how large FIRST is. Watching a livestream that was broadcast to thousands of students all over the world made me realize that robotics is so much bigger than just Nemesis.”

Looking ahead to the next six weeks, Parth Mandrekar, a junior on the Build Team, exclaimed, “I’m definitely looking forward to the new season and developing ideas to tackle the challenge!”

Finally, a chance to stretch their engineering skills, the team takes to the Robbinsville High School Tech Lab to begin brainstorming. Ideas literally fly through the air. Prototyping happens in the hallways. Nemesis excitedly works concept after concept figuring out exactly how to build a robot to play Recycle Rush.

   Let the games begin!

Nemesis would like to thank their sponsors: Robbinsville High School, New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, CCL Label, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Navair, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Robbinsville Education Association, Carfaro Fencing, SRI International, McGraw Hill Financial, R.A.S. Processing Equipment, Citibank, DesignTree, Gilbane, Elite Dental Care, Eagle Systems USA, Inc., Gaum International, Evans Analytical Group, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Coptis, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., and Triangle Copy. For additional information please  contact Team Advisor Joy Wolfe at wolfe@robbinsville.k12.us.

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KICKOFF | Marketing Freshmen Perspective


READY,SET… As preseason comes to a rapid close the freshmen of Nemesis joined the team as they attended kickoff.  We arrived at Montgomery High School with wide eyes and bushy tails. Everyone was excited to learn about what the next six weeks were going to entail. Filled with anticipation to learn what the 2015 FIRST Robotics Challenge would be, we attended various workshops  about the design process of the robots.  The gearbox workshop is where we learned the basics of a drive system, the types of drives, and where to acquire them.  Students interested in Computer Aided Design attended Inventor for the Beginners and Advanced to hone their skills. The most recently added workshop which attracted lots of students was the RoboRio workshop, where students learned about the new controller. RoboRio is an advanced controller that is more powerful, lighter and more compact than previous cRIO controllers. After the workshops, everyone eagerly awaited NASA’s Live Stream launch of the 2015 Challenge.

The 2015 Challenge is RECYCLE RUSH, a recycling-themed game played by two Alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter into the recycling containers. Alliances also could throw “litter” on opponent’s sides to reduce their overall score. We cannot wait to begin the First Robotic season and eventually compete in competitions.


...GO!

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Food Drive 2014


Do you want to play with a robot? Nemesis teamed with Sharon Elementary School for a holiday food drive to support the Robbinsville food bank. In a friendly competition the Sharon School students donated as many food items as they could for the chance to win a visit from Nemesis team members and their new NAO robot. The NAO is a two foot tall robot that has been programed by the team to interact with the students, dancing the Macarena and doing Tai-chi, and even talking to them.  

Nemesis has been teaming up with Sharon School, for the past few years to collect non-perishables and canned foods to donate to the local Robbinsville food pantry. Nemesis is thankful to give back to the community that does so much to support them. The food drive, led by freshmen Melinda Beyer, Jared Glassband, Araba Aikins, and junior Mitaali Taskar, ran through the months of November and December.

“It’s important to help the community that helps support and promote our team. Without the community, the team would not be as successful as they are today. Even though the holidays are over, it is still important to give back to those in need.” said Araba Aikins, a freshman at Robbinsville High School and a member of Nemesis.

Mrs. Evanowski and Mrs. Goodstein’s third grade classes won this year’s visit from Nemesis. The students are very excited to see the NAO robot which will be coming soon with a visit by the team. In total the food drive collected a grand total of 1,256 nonperishables.

Nemesis strongly urges you to take some time out of your life to donate to your local food pantries throughout the year. The Robbinsville food pantry is located at the rear of the Robbinsville Senior Center at 1117 U.S. 130, Robbinsville, NJ 08691. If you have any question contact Renee Burns via e-mail at Renee@robbinsville-twp.org or phone at (609) 259-1567 for more information.    

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Nemesis Presents Robotics in NYC


Robbinsville High School’s Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis, was invited to the International Technology Showcase for the Society of Cosmetic Chemists by the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists. The showcase was a two day event on the dates of December 18th and 19th.

Our purpose at the the International Technology Showcase for the Society of Cosmetic Chemists was not immediately apparent to most in attendance. Once attendants gained an understanding of who we are, they quickly asked, “But how does this relate to chemistry?” Over the two-day period at the conference, we reiterated how robots are the future of manufacturing, a key step in the sale of cosmetic products. Most importantly, we explained how the fundamental skills we learn in Nemesis are essential in any career path, even the field of cosmetic chemistry.  Each subteam on Nemesis must practice essential problem-solving skills and practice the design cycle, whether designing an advertising video or a successful robot.

Attendants were amazed that a group of high schoolers had built such a complicated robot like Bellerophon--let alone, in a short six week time frame.  Since the showcase was an international event, our NAO robot was especially popular being a major character on French television. The European attendants especially enjoyed the NAO robot’s special greeting for the showcase. the NAO robot also performed a tai chi routine and macarena dance. The appeal of the NAO robot made some consider its potential as an advertising tool in the cosmetic industry.

After long days of presenting, Nemesis did some winter sightseeing around New York City, including visits to Times Square and the iconic tree in Rockefeller Center.

The showcase provided the opportunity to share our work while also gaining an understanding of the latest cosmetic technology. Our chemistry enthusiasts obtained valuable knowledge of the future of the cosmetic field, giving them an edge when pursuing a chemistry-related career in the future.

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Discovery Day 2014


Robbinsville High School’s technology lab opened its doors on December 6th and 7th  to over one hundred excited students, grades two through six, who flocked to participate in Nemesis 2590’s annual Robotics Discovery Day. Depending on their experience and grade level, the young campers, with the assistance of Nemesis team members, created robots using either remote-controls or NXT LEGO® Mindstorms. Students were also given the opportunity to drive Nemesis’ award-winning robot Bellerophon, interact with the NAO robot, a talking and dancing robot that was a fan-favorite among the kids, and complete a challenge involving the local middle school’s FLL robot.

The younger students participated in a zip line challenge, where teams of two students and one Nemesis mentor created remote-controlled robots, designed to travel across a string and pick up supplies from the ground. The more experienced campers programmed NXT LEGO® Mindstorms robots to engage in a sumo wrestling match. Victory was achieved by using the robot’s sensors to locate the opposing robot and then push it out of the ring.

 To many students, driving Bellerophon and interacting with the NAO robot was the perfect supplement to their already-entertaining day. Christian Gavalchin, the driver of the robot, taught kids how to maneuver Bellerophon into the perfect scoring angle, pointed out the button needed to release the ball, and then allowed them to send the ball soaring through the goal. Some of the students enjoyed driving the robot so much, that no sooner than they had released the ball, they had found their way to the back of the line, eager to try again. The NAO robot had the young students laughing and dancing as it performed Tai-Chi, danced the Macarena, and engaged in an intense game of Simon Says.   

Overall, these tough challenges provided students with vital early experience in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), by creating an atmosphere similar to the FIRST’s (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Nemesis delivered the young campers a challenge to complete in a predetermined amount of time, allowing each group to formulate their own unique solution to the challenge, which is exactly what happens during the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) build season.  

Discovery Day proved to be a major success, provoking overwhelming gratitude from both the parents and campers who participated. Many of the students departed the high school eager for next year’s event, excited to participate once more. Robotics Discovery Day also functions as a main fundraiser for Nemesis, permitting the team to travel and compete in regional and international competitions.

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Nemesis Honored at the New Jersey State House


On Monday, December 1st, Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis visited the New Jersey State House in Trenton, as Senator Linda Greenstein, Assemblyman Daniel Benson, and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo honored the team with a Joint Legislative Resolution.

Team 2590 received recognition for its successful 2014 season concluding with a semifinalist finish at the FIRST World Championships held in St .Louis, Missouri. In addition, Nemesis was one of four teams awarded the Entrepreneurship Award at the international level to acknowledge the team’s extensive business plan. Nemesis received commendation on the state senate floor for its continuous efforts in spreading the STEM message, promoting community involvement, and maintaining strong relationships with the school, students, mentors, and New Jersey state government.

Nemesis represented the fourteenth district of New Jersey alongside other Mercer County FIRST Robotics teams participating at the World Championships, including Mercury 1089 from Hightstown High School, Zero Gravity from Steinert High School, Flux Core from Nottingham High School, the Hornets from Hamilton High School West and the MidKnight Inventors from West Windsor-Plainsboro High Schools North and South.

While a group of Nemesis team members and jubilant parents spectated from the balcony of the State House, 2014 alumni Joshua Falk, Antonio Papa, and Baljot Ranu stood with mentor Joy Wolfe on the floor to accept the award on behalf of the team. Chief Executive Officer Arnav Vast stated, “I felt proud as I watched our alumni receive this award, as we were being recognized for all of our hard work and long hours we put into building the robot.”

Nemesis presented both its 2014 robot Bellerophon and its NAO robot; the attentive senators eagerly listened as students recounted their experiences at St. Louis and elaborated on their success over the years. Junior Christian Gavalchin of the Nemesis build team exclaimed “it was a wonderful opportunity for the senators to interact with the team and the robot.”

Grateful for the opportunity to present before the New Jersey state government and receive the Joint Legislative Resolution, Nemesis hopes to continue communicating with the government and further develop its relationships with Senator Greenstein, Assemblyman Benson, and Assemblyman DeAngelo to promote recognition of STEM.

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Nemesis Hosts Alumni Day


As college students began their journeys home for the Thanksgiving holiday, Nemesis alumni were no different. They graciously returned to their home away from home, a place where they spent so many hours of their high school careers: the technology lab for Nemesis’ annual Alumni Day. Each year, Nemesis invites their alumni to share their college experiences and advice with students of Robbinsville High School. This year, 14 alumni eagerly spoke to about 60 interested high school students. The alumni are currently attending or have graduated from prestigious universities including Drexel University, Arcadia University, Lafayette College, Marist College, Northeastern University, Rutgers University, Pennsylvania State University, Scranton University, Colgate University, Yale University, and Princeton University.

A recurring theme in all of their stories was the role FIRST played in cultivating their college careers. Baljot Ranu, a freshman at Princeton University, stated, “FIRST has helped me to refine my leadership and public speaking skills, as well as teaching me how to talk with authority figures”. Another program of courses offered by Robbinsville High School known as Project Lead the Way allows students to immerse themselves in the fields of STEM throughout their high school careers. The courses proved beneficial to many of the future engineers of Robbinsville as they provided students with invaluable experience. Josh Falk, a freshman at Lafayette College, found that, “Going through the FIRST process and Project Lead the Way courses helped prepare me for college”.

Nemesis’ alumni were more than helpful when it came to answering questions on every high school junior and senior’s college-ready minds. They outlined the extensive extra-curricular activities available, campus life, and other important elements of the college application process. Moreover, current Nemesis team members were also thrilled with the opportunity to see their friends once again.

Overall, the event was a major success, as the alumni were able engage the students of RHS with interesting stories regarding their lives after high school, all while demonstrating that being a member of Nemesis undoubtedly prepares students for success in college and later on in life.  

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Nemesis Robbinsville Library Demonstration


On Saturday, November 15, Robbinsville FIRST Robotics Team Nemesis 2590 demonstrated their 2014 season robot, Bellerophon, and their NAO robot at the Robbinsville Public Library. Approximately twenty excited elementary school students gathered to see Bellerophon. They experienced what Bellerophon — a machine nearly twice their size — could do.

The demonstration started with Nemesis showing the children how Bellerophon worked. Then, the team allowed the kids to explain how they thought each part of the robot functioned. The children impressed the team with their extremely large imaginations and made good observations. One child observed that there was a camera on the base of the robot and stated that he thought it was the “eye” of the robot. Another said he thought the robot could “mow the grass.”

Afterwards, the team demonstrated the brand-new NAO robot. It began performing a tai chi routine and became unbalanced, falling and saying, “Ouch!” on the way down. The children were amused and excited, seeming to think that was the best part of the routine.

Team 2590 wrapped up the event by showing a match from the past season so the children could get a visual of what a real FIRST match looked like. They were awed.

The parents were interested in the robots, too! Many of them asked how they could get their children involved with robotics. They were given Discovery Day flyers so they could send their children to the high school for another day of robot fun!

Not only did the children learn a lot, they also had a fabulous time exploring and experiencing the robots. Nemesis thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to expose young aspiring children to the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

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Nemesis Victorious at 13th Annual Brunswick Eruption


Nemesis 2590 was visibly brimming with energy and excitement as they entered North Brunswick Township High School on Saturday, November 8th for Brunswick Eruption. Nemesis joined 41 teams from Virginia to Canada to compete in the lucky number 13th year of Brunswick Eruption.

 Aerial Assist provided a brilliant challenge for Nemesis in the 2014 season, when the team strategically designed a highly dynamic and robust robot that emerged from the World Championships in St. Louis as one of the top four alliance captains of the 4,000 teams worldwide. As Nemesis entered the event on Saturday, they were looking to continue their hot-streak from last year.  

 This was the chance for the new members, as well as a rookie drive team, to get accustomed to the upcoming competition season. Arnav Vast, the Chief Executive Officer of the team and coach of the drive team said, “I was impressed with the significant improvement that Christian, the new driver, displayed throughout the event.” Despite the tough challenges faced by Nemesis, they persevered, and were able to emerge from qualification matches as the second seed. Using their comprehensive scouting data, Nemesis formed Alliance 1 with first seed Tigertrons 222 (Pennsylvania), Sprockets 1075 (Ontario), and The Robotic Plague 375 (New York).

Elimination matches proved difficult yet prosperous for Nemesis and their allies. Nevertheless, Alliance 1 achieved the highest score for Brunswick Eruption at 251 points. Finally whittling down to finals, Alliance 1 faced Alliance 3 S.P.I.K.E. 293 (Pennington), Roxbotix 4361 (Succasunna), The Gearheads 102 (Somerville), and Aperture 3142 (Newton).

Things looked bleak for Alliance 1 after their early loss in the first round of the finals. However, the boisterous cheering of all Nemesis’s fans propelled the drive team to victory! Upon the completion of this event, Christian Gavalchin, a Junior on the drive team, said he felt “Proud to uphold the legacy of Nemesis”. After this promising show, Nemesis’s 2015 competition season is looking bright!

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Nemesis participates in Citibank Global Technology Expo


Technological innovations, advancements, and developments took center-stage at the Citibank Global Technology Expo held on Tuesday, September 16.  Team FRC 2590 Nemesis from Robbinsville High School attended the event fully prepared to submerge themselves in the engrossing realm of technology and its applications in the real world. The team greeted the opportunity to speak to one of their most generous sponsors with utmost excitement. On the morning of the event, a group of Nemesis team members including seniors Harrison Young and Jim Harris, juniors Samantha Young and Christian Gavalchin, and Nemesis alumnus Jenna Mollica drove to Warren, New Jersey to spend the day demonstrating and presenting the team’s 2014 robot. With the robot safely towed away and the presentation board ready to go, the students prepared for an exhilarating day of technology exchange.

Upon arrival, Nemesis worked along with team FRC 41 Robowarriors from Watchung Regional High School in Warren, NJ. The two teams collaborated to produce an intriguing and enjoyable presentation of FIRST robotics for the onlooking Citibank employees. They impressed hundreds of Citibank’s workers with their technological expertise through demonstrations of robot mechanics, cooperation, and teamwork.

The employees were fascinated by Nemesis’ robot. They were equally captivated by the students’ presentation of the team’s engineering and business knowledge that resulted in their recent successes at the World Championships. The students enthusiastically answered a variety of questions related to everything from the team’s structure and functionality to robotics and entrepreneurship.     

Of his experience, Jim Harris said, “It’s great that our sponsor Citibank had us there to show our appreciation for their gracious support”. The entire team was grateful for the opportunity to not only exhibit their successes to their sponsor, but to also explore and immerse themselves in the forthcoming technological innovations spearheaded by Citibank.

After school, the rest of the team arrived to explore the expo and communicate with Citibank’s vendors. They were treated to compelling presentations involving developments in technology intended to improve the experiences of Citibank’s clients and employees in long-distance communication, travel, and financial management. Samantha Young shared, “Attending the Citibank Technology Expo gave Nemesis the opportunity to explore the up-and-coming technology being used in the business world”. The students left the expo enlightened and informed, and look forward to similar experiences in the future. Nemesis always appreciates any opportunity to further their knowledge of technology and its application in the real world.   

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Nemesis Honored at Board of Ed Meeting


The Robbinsville school district’s Board of Education was impressed with the presentation that Nemesis gave during May 27, 2014's board meeting.  Josh Falk, current CEO of Nemesis, recited each competition and award they had received in their best season yet. CBO Baljot Ranu, CTO Julia Borowski, and Arnav Vast presented their accomplishments in terms of giving back to the community, which include, charity walks, fundraisers, and spreading the STEM message to younger students through their annual Discovery Day event.

The Superintendent, Dr. Mayer, voiced his amazement after the presentation by stating how beneficial Nemesis is to Robbinsville and how they are promoting the town in a positive way. He also expressed how difficult it could be to follow such a great season and how he hopes the team succeeds in years to come.

To conclude the night, Nemesis’ seniors were asked to share with the Board of Education which college they would be attending in the fall and what their majors will be.

Congratulations to Nemesis and their fantastic season and its seniors!