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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Halloween started with a robot-filled morning as the MidKnight Inventors hosted our annual FIRST LEGO League scrimmage, MidKnight Robot Attack! During the event, teams practiced with both their robot and project presentations for in this year’s FLL competition, Trash Trek.
The event provided teams (including several rookies) with a valuable learning experience that will help them prepare for their upcoming qualifying events. They had the opportunity to test their robots in a competition setting; learning and having fun along the way!
With The MidKnight Inventors’ Minion Mayhem FLL State Qualifier coming up, this was a learning experience for our team as hosts as well. We had over 60 MidKnight Inventor students help out on Saturday, working as referees, team runners, concessions, and general event support.
Many thanks go out to those who helped make MidKnight Robot Attack very successful. We can’t wait to see you all on November 21st for our NJ FLL qualifier, Minion Mayhem!
Our off-season competition was hosted at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, and over 30 teams competed in one more round of the 2015 FRC game, Recycle Rush. The event ran very smoothly and we hope everyone had a blast! Many thanks go out to all the sponsors and volunteers who helped make this event possible. Special thanks to Team 869: Powercord who helped us set up and take down the field, and even brought dinner on the setup night – without all their help the weekend would not have been possible. Overall, MidKnight Mayhem III was a fun and exciting event and we hope to see all the teams back next year for MidKnight Mayhem IV!
The MidKnight Inventors were also invited in July to attend the Indiana Robotics Invitational (aka IRI). Only 72 teams are invited to this prestigious post-season, and we made quite a few robot changes to prepare for it. We were proud to make it out there, and our robot performed even better than before. More importantly, we got a chance to compete & learn from some of the best teams in FIRST from other regions – and we brought home a lot of lessons to share with our teammates!
Speaking of lessons to learn, we’ve put our summer & fall education programs back into full swing. We’ve held CAD and Java classes for FRC & FTC students, and have updated and prepared new MidKnight U presentations for the new recruits to the team. We’ll be posting those alongside last year’s in our Resources section.
We are very excited for the upcoming school year, and can’t wait to share our progress with you.
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.