Mt. Olive District Event 2017 Recap!

On Saturday March 11th, The MidKnight Inventors traveled to Flanders, New Jersey to start off our 2017 FIRST Steamworks season and compete in the Mt. Olive District Event hosted by Team 11, MORT & Team 193, MORT Beta.

The competition started off with qualification matches on Saturday, where we ranked 23rd leading up to alliance selection and play offs on Sunday. The MidKnight Inventors were invited by Team 25 Raider Robotix, the alliance captain, and 303 The TEST Team to join the the 2nd seeded alliance.

By the end of the event, The MidKnight Inventors finished as Mount Olive District Event Champions, along with our alliance partners, and took home the Excellence in Engineering Award – a celebration of all the developments we have been able to make as a team with our new engineering lab. We are elated to start off the 2017 season strong and are even more excited to compete at the Hudson Valley Regional, as well as our next district event at Montgomery in the coming weeks!

FTC State Championship

On Sunday February 26th, The MidKnight Inventors hosted The Garden State Rumble; New Jersey’s FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship. 48 teams came out to compete in this year’s game: Velocity Vortex. The teams competed in the championship at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, home of The MidKnight Inventors (and our FTC teams, The MidKnight Magic & MidKnight Magic Too!). The MidKnight Inventors were very impressed with the level of competition that they witnessed and look forward to continuing to host FTC events. We would like to congratulate The MidKnight Magic Too! for captaining the winning alliance and Shalin Mehta of The MidKnight Magic for winning Dean’s List as one of 3 NJ Finalists.

Additionally, Team 1923 demoed their 2017 FRC Steamworks robot to FTC students from competing teams, parents, and other attendees that expressed interest. All in all, Team 1923 is proud to be the first high school to host a FIRST Tech Challenge state championship and would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped make the event the success that it was.

Engineering Lab Ribbon Cutting

On Tuesday, January 10th, members of the WW-P School Board, Principals from both high schools, and Dr. Aderhold, our district superintendent, joined The MidKnight Inventors at the ribbon-cutting for Team 1923’s new work space.
Our brand-new Engineering Lab was funded by the district and has a substantial amount of space, compared to previous years at the Millstone River trailers. The space includes 5 separate work tables, power tools, and new machinery equipped to help us through build season. In addition, The MidKnight Inventors have fundraised to purchase a new CNC router as well as a lathe in order to expand our manufacturing capabilities and give more students hands-on experiences in STEM education. This was a great way to start off the 2017 build season, and we are ecstatic to get to work in our team’s permanent new home!

Warm Clothing and Food Drive

As an effort to give back to the community, the MidKnight Inventors conducted a warm clothing and food drive for students in New Brunswick. Throughout the past few weeks, we collected canned goods, extra coats and jackets, and cash contributions for the business team to go shopping for further donations.
200 pounds of food and 400 pounds of clothes were collected and delivered to the schools, where the teachers are currently sorting through the bags and inviting students and parents. We hope the donations will help these families through the winter, and we will continue to do more charitable work in the future!

Minion Mayhem

Last Saturday, November 19th, the MidKnight Inventors hosted the New Jersey FLL state qualifier, Minion Mayhem. Over 26 teams came to WW-P High School South to compete in this year’s FLL game. The teams showed superb ingenuity and research prowess through this Animal Allies themed game. Not only did the students participating have fun, but also the spectators who wanted to be a part of FIRST.

We would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped put the event together, and a huge thank you goes to the judges and other volunteers from the community. The MidKnight Inventors were truly impressed by the level of competition and gracious professionalism displayed by all of the teams. We would also like to congratulate the five teams who qualified for states, and we wish them luck at their next competition.

NRG Robotics Football Showcase

Team 1923, The MidKnight Inventors, is excited to announce that we been chosen to participate in the FIRST Robotics Football Showcase presented by NRG. The event’s competitors include our own team,  along with One T.U.F.F. Team (Team 203 – Sicklerville, NJ), TechFire (Team 225 – York, PA) and the Firebirds (Team 433 – Flourtown, PA). It is an honor for our team to have been selected from more than 100 teams from NJ and PA to participate in this football skills competition. Each team has approximately 4 weeks to fabricate a robot to complete football challenges including an Accuracy throwing Challenge,a Long-Distance Throw, a Kickoff Challenge and an Agility Course. The competition will take place on December 6, 2016 in the Philadelphia Eagles’ Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA. We are beyond ecstatic for the opportunity and can’t wait to showcase our robot to the Philadelphia Eagles!

Boy Scout Merit Badge Fair

On Saturday, October 22nd, the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab hosted their Science and Technology Merit Badge Fair. More than 250 Boy Scouts from troops across New Jersey and Pennsylvania gathered together to take part in hands-on activities to earn badges in robotics, chemistry, and even fire safety! The MidKnight Inventors were in charge of handling the Robotics Merit Badge from start to finish. Leading up to the fair, MidKnight Inventors worked on building a maze and organizing legos in order for the Boy Scouts to build a Mindstorms EV3 robot. Students from The MidKnight Inventors gave presentations to the Boy Scouts on robotics and how it applies to education and the real world. Then, the Boy Scouts worked in small teams to build and program the robots in order to navigate the maze. Throughout the day, the Boy Scouts learned the fundamentals of EV3 Build & Programming while earning their robotics badges. We’re proud to be a part of the PPPL Merit Badge Fair and have enjoyed the annual opportunity to reach out to the younger community. We hope we’ll see these Boy Scouts on one of our FIRST teams soon!

National Night Out

On Tuesday, August 2nd,  the West Windsor Police Department hosted an event called National Night Out in order to strengthen the bond between residents and the police force. Initially created as a method of crime prevention in 1984, the event allows local organizations as well as the fire and police departments to interact in a fun environment with food, music, and activities. The MidKnight Inventors were invited to West Windsor Community Park to demo our 2016 robot, Knightmare. Our MidKnight FTC teams also demoed their own robots, providing a wonderful outreach and fundraising opportunity for both teams.

More than five hundred people had the opportunity to interact with different robots, learn about our team, FIRST, and its message. Parents and students were excited to learn about the team and how they could get involved. Moreover, the students met and spoke with Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh and several board members who stopped by the booths to express their support. Overall, the event was a great success in gaining support from the community and bringing exposure to the team.

 

Adventures Day Camp

On Friday, July 22nd, The MidKnight Inventors hosted a demo for Adventures Day Camp, a summer camp for elementary to middle school kids from around the West-Windsor Plainsboro area. For most of these students, it was their first time being exposed to robotics and FIRST, and The MidKnight Inventors were proud to introduce them to the exciting world of science, technology, engineering, and math.

These students had the opportunity to meet our FRC team as well as two FTC teams, Team 9042 and Team 9927. The kids were ecstatic to play with past robots: RoBart (our frisbee shooter from 2013) and Knightmare (our 2016 Stronghold robot). MidKnight Inventors greatly enjoyed working with kids to “feed” and play catch with RoBart in addition to showcasing Knightmare’s abilities. Other activities included FTC robot demos, pin the tail on the zebra, and manipulating a robot claw to win candy. Despite the heat and humidity, the event was a success for all parties.

FTC Tool Certifications

This Saturday marks the last session of tool certification for students on our two FTC teams, The MidKnight Magic (Team 9042) and The MidKnight Magic Too (Team 9927). FTC tool certification is a series of build sessions in which students are given a CAD drawing of a part and instructed by FRC student mentors in the construction of said part.

This year, students mounted polyethylene blocks with bearing holes onto a piece of Lexan; in the process, they learned how to use basic hand tools like rulers and deburrers as well as power tools like cordless drills, the drill press, jigsaw, and bandsaw. The students were also taught basic safety procedures to prevent accidents and injuries in our build site. The CAD drawings used in the exercise can be found in the ‘Resources’ section. We hope to repeat the success of these certifications with our FRC students and continue to incorporate hands-on sessions within MidKnight University (our introductory program for new students) in the fall.