All posts by FRC1923

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 31, 2016: MidKnight Robot Attack

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!

Back to School & Time for Robotics!

The MidKnight Inventors are back!

Kickoff is is getting closer! Have you seen the 2016 FRC teaser?

We’re ready to learn what FIRST Stronghold is all about!

All summer, The MidKnight Inventors worked hard to prepare for this upcoming season. Here’s a quick recap of our activities since we last posted.

On Saturday June 27th, we hosted our third successful MidKnight 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.

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter for continuous updates!


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.

August 25, 2016: FLL Kickoff

As a FIRST team, The MidKnight Inventors pride themselves on inspiring and encouraging young students become leaders in STEM.

On the 25th, by inviting Jr. FLL and FLL teams MidKnight Minions, MidKnight Minions Too, MidKnight Masters and MidKnight Magicians to an introduction of the FLL season, student mentors did just that.

MidKnight Inventors guided the teams in discussion of their projects and analyzing elements of the new FLL field and game, Trash Trek.