MidKnight RoboExpo

On May 20th The MidKnight Inventors hosted our annual Robo Expo! The outreach event was an open house for the entire community to come take a look at our previous robots like RoBART (2013) and MKI: X (2015). Our affiliated FTC teams, The MidKnight Magic and The MidKnight Magic Too, also had their robots on display. In addition, our younger attendees were also given the opportunity to try driving a practice robot. As if the event attendees weren’t excited enough, MidKnight Inventors also demoed our 2016 competition robot, Knightmare. The robot was driven around in the gym, and even shot balls into a basketball hoop!

The event took place at one of our local elementary schools, Millstone River School. Team members met with students interested in joining any of our teams and got people excited about FIRST. The outreach event resulted in a very positive response from the community. We received a considerable amount of signups from students interested in joining one of our MidKnight teams – anywhere from Jr. FLL through FRC.

2016 World Championship Recap!

On April 27th, FRC 1923, The MidKnight Inventors, traveled to St. Louis to compete at the World Championship, for the 5th time in our 11 year history! Our team competed on the Archimedes Division along with other top tier robots from around the world. We entered the Playoffs with the 6th seeded alliance: 1318 Issaquah Robotics Society from Issaquah, Washington, 1310 Runnymede Robotics from Toronto, Canada, and 4103 The Roborioles from Avon, Indiana. We left the Championship as Division Quarterfinalists.

St. Louis was our final major competition of the 2016 season, and it was an amazing experience. Our achievements this year as a team were truly remarkable, from winning the Entrepreneurship Award at Montgomery to securing the Chairman’s Award at both district and regional levels to being part of the quarterfinals at Championships. We hope that 2017 will be an even stronger and more successful season, but until then, we will continue to work hard for our upcoming off-season events.

Lehigh Mid-Atlantic Regional Recap: Chairman’s Award!

On April 14-16, Team 1923 The MidKnight Inventors travelled to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Region District Championship. We qualified for the regional by winning the Chairman’s award at the Mt. Olive district competition. During the competition, we won the most prestigious award in FIRST – the Chairman’s award.
The Chairman’s award is awarded to a team that embodies the vision and goals of FIRST, as well as best represents a model for other teams to follow. Some of the outreach and FIRST activities we were noted for are mentoring and starting numerous FIRST teams, establishing an excellent connection with the school district, hosting our own FRC off season event MidKnight Mayhem, and working day and “knight” to spread FIRST in the community. In fact, one of the FRC teams we mentored, team 5666 Purple Lightning, won the spirit award in only their second year of competition. The Chairman’s award qualifies us for the FIRST national championship in St. Louis, where we will compete with other Chairman’s award winners to become a FIRST Hall of Fame team. Hall of Fame teams are winners of the Chairman’s award at the worlds level, and automatically qualify to the world championship every year.
Huge congratulations go out the students, mentors, parents, and especially the Chairman’s team and presenters. This is the first time the MidKnight Inventors will be competing for Chairman’s at worlds!
Our next competition is the FIRST Championship in St. Louis from April 27 – May 1, and will feature teams from the around the world. This is the first time we have qualified for Worlds in two consecutive years, marking an important point in our team’s history. We are extremely excited for this opportunity and we can’t wait to compete!

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.