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Montgomery District Recap: Entrepreneurship Award!

On April 9 & 10, The MidKnight Inventors competed at their second district, hosted at Montgomery High School. After hard-fought matches, we ended the weekend as Quarterfinalists. Many thanks to our partners, Team 1989: Viking Robotics from Vernon Township, NJ and Team 102: The Gearheads from Somerville, NJ.

We were also announced as the winners of the Entrepreneurship Award, which “celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of a team which, since its inception, has developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan in order to scope, manage, and attain team objectives and also displays entrepreneurial enthusiasm and the vital business skills for a self-sustaining program. The Entrepreneurship Award honors a team that is unique, enthusiastic and well organized, and one whose well-honed business skills will keep them operating successfully for years to come.”

Team 1923 poses with our Entrepreneurship Award at the Montgomery District!

Big congratulations go out to our business team; this is the first time The MidKnight Inventors have come home with this award!

Our next competition is the FIRST Mid-Atlantic Region Championship, hosted April 14-16 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Mt. Olive District Recap: Chairman’s Award!

In the first competition of the 2016 Season, Team 1923 The MidKnight Inventors travelled to Flanders, New Jersey, and competed in the Mt. Olive District Event hosted by Team 11 MORT.

On the first day of competition, The MidKnight Inventors were able to seed second and managed to hold this position until alliance selection. In alliance selection, as Captain, The MidKnight Inventors invited Team 11 Mort and Team 3142 Aperture to join their alliance. We ended the elimination rounds as Quarterfinalists.

At the end of the event the MidKnight Inventors took home the most prestigious award that FIRST has to offer, the Chairman’s award. The Chairman’s award is an award which honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. This award qualifies us to the Mid-Atlantic Region Championship, held April 14-16 at Lehigh University.

Overall, the MidKnight Inventors had a very successful start to their 2016 Season and want to thank all the parents, mentors, and volunteers who made this possible! We compete next at the Montgomery District, April 8-10 at Montgomery High School.

The MidKnight Inventors pose together after winning the 2016 Mt. Olive District Chairman's Award!
The MidKnight Inventors pose together after winning the 2016 Mt. Olive District Chairman’s Award!

January 17, 2016: Magic Mayhem

On the Sunday of our second week of FRC build season, The MidKnight Inventors were proud to help host our first ever FTC Full Day Meet, Magic Mayhem.

The event took place at Millstone River School and was hosted by FTC teams The MidKnight Magic and The MidKnight Magic Too, with 21 teams from New Jersey competing at the event.

The MidKnight Inventors are proud to host competitions at every level of FIRST programs, including FRC offseason MidKnight Mayhem, Jr. FLL Showcase and FLL State Qualifier Minion Mayhem, and now Magic Mayhem. We host these events to encourage local students and parents to get involved in a multitude of programs, and connect with FIRST in New Jersey.

December 20, 2016: Tool and First Aid Certifications

In preparation for the 2016 build season, MidKnight Inventor leaders have been certifying the 50+ new students on the team in the usage of a variety of tools for the past several months.

This Sunday is our final tool certification session, signifying the preparation of the team for build season, and the First-Aid Certification of the MidKnight Inventor leadership.

In addition to the certification of all new team members, MidKnight Inventors also certified students from FRC Team 5666 Purple Lightning from Trenton, New Jersey, in the usage of various shop tools and shop safety, as well as our Red Cross safety program.

December 19, 2016: Mock Kickoff

In anticipation of the release of the 2016 FRC game, FIRST Stronghold, new MidKnight Inventors attended a Mock Kickoff this Saturday to learn about the team’s process of strategizing during kickoff, which can often be confusing to members that have not gone through it already.

At West Windsor – Plainsboro High School South, our mentors Libby Kamen and Eric Drost led a walkthrough of Strategic Design (which can be found on our MidKnight U page!) and what the Kickoff day will entail. We then practice analyzing a game that was brand new to us, by using the game and season materials for the 2004 FRC game, FIRST Frenzy: Raising the Bar.

New MidKnight Inventors learned a great deal about how the team formulates a strategy every year and a general overview of the design and build process. In addition, the event served as a team bonding activity , allowing new and returning members to work together to analyze a game our students had not seen before.

We can’t wait for the 2016 season!

December 12, 2016: FTC Meet Updates!

Over the past two weeks, The MidKnight Inventors were thrilled to mentor and volunteer at three NJ FTC meets: Cookie Carnage, Winter Meet III, and P-Town Showdown.

FTC teams The MidKnight Magic and The MidKnight Magic Too performed exceedingly well at their respective events; MidKnight Magic ranked 1st at Cookie Carnage and 2nd at P-Town Showdown, winning all five matches at both meets, while MidKnight Magic Too was part of the winning alliance at Winter Meet III and ranked seventh at P-Town Showdown.

In addition to mentoring the FTC teams, MidKnight Inventors volunteered at all three events, with a large presence at Cookie Carnage,  hosted at West Windsor – Plainsboro High School North.

The MidKnight Inventors would like to seize this opportunity to congratulate The MidKnight Magic and The MidKnight Magic Too for their outstanding performance thus far! We are so proud of you all!

November 21, 2016: Minion Mayhem

This Saturday, MidKnight Inventors hosted our NJ State FIRST Lego League Qualifier & FLL Jr. Showcase, Minion Mayhem.

In addition to our family of MidKnight teams, 26 teams from across the state congregated at West-Windsor Plainsboro High School South to demonstrate their impressive knowledge of this year’s game and theme, Trash Trek.

A huge thank-you goes out to everyone who volunteered at the event, from newly minted MidKnight Inventors and their families, to judges from the community and our amazing mentors. The event could not have run so smoothly without them.

The MidKnight Inventors were truly impressed by all attending teams, as they all demonstrated gracious professionalism and superb ingenuity.

October 17, 2016: Lead India 2020

Dr. Kalam’s Memorial ‘Sustainable Development’ Conference

On July 27th, 2015, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, president of India from 2002 – 2007, passed away. He was the Chief Mentor of an organization called Lead India 2020, which aims to transform India into a developed country by 2020 by educating its youth, who account for more than 50% of its population.

This Saturday, the US chapter of Lead India 2020 led a conference at Rutgers University commemorating Dr. Kalam’s work. The MidKnight Inventors’ advisor and mentor, Dr. Kathryn Rogers, was invited to speak at this event.
At the event, The MidKnight Inventors demonstrated 2015 robot MKI:X, and MidKnight Magic teams showcased a tank drivetrain prototype for their upcoming competition to the hundreds of people that attended the event.

Additionally, the event was broadcasted on four international channels and attained over 10 million views across six global channels. Dr. Kalam was dedicated to the idea of education as a path to development; his ideas fall in line with the philosophy of FIRST, and The MidKnight Inventors hope to promote these ideas, just as he aimed to do.

October 13, 2016: Citibank Expo

A major aspect of the MidKnight community is an emphasis on developing relationships with both corporate and local sponsors. Having a corporate sponsor is more than just give and take: it is the opportunity to spread STEM within corporations who then have the resources to spread and support it throughout the world.

Such is the case with the Citibank Expo this Tuesday. Along with FRC Teams 41, 303, 1626, 2590, and 5624, The MidKnight Inventors demonstrated their robot MKI:X in friendly competition to Citibank employees on their campus in Warren, New Jersey.
MidKnight Inventors showcased MKI:X along with their achievements from the 2015 season and the impact they have had on their community through FIRST.

Students were also approached by Citibank employees who lived in the area and wished to get their families involved with the team as well as those who simply wanted to know more about FIRST in general.

By participating in outreach events such as these, it is clear that developing sponsor relationships is not only beneficial to teams and sponsors, but also to FIRST, as it helps spread STEM to places and people that will support it significantly over time.

September 12, 2016: FTC Kickoff!

This past weekend marked the season’s kickoff for our two MidKnight FTC teams, The MidKnight Magic and The MidKnight Magic Too. Along with several MidKnight Inventor student mentors, the FTC teams attended a kickoff event on Saturday at Hightstown High School, where many local FTC teams were demoing robots from last year’s game, Cascade Effect.

Over the course of the day, students had the opportunity to learn more about the design and build process of other teams, take with them some valuable ideas, and watch the release of the 2016 FTC game, FIRST Res-Q.
The next day, MidKnight Inventors led The MidKnight Magic, The MidKnight Magic Too and rookie team Yellow Jackets in analysis & discussion of the game and each team’s strategy. As one of the single most important parts of FRC build season, breaking down the strategy of the year’s game is an important skill that current FTC students will bring with them to FRC.