Looking back on 2017…

Looking back on Exit 5 Robotics’ 2017 year, it was quite the year, full of challenge, achievement, learning, and competition. New was the common theme for the year with new countries visited, new faces added, and new friends from new teams. 2017 kicked off with January and February competitions capturing Judges Awards and Build Awards at our VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) qualifiers. April saw us come within a few screw threads of a trophy at the CREATE US Open 1v1 competition, sliding in at 3rd place with an axle collar breaking loose in the middle of the match. It was a nice cap to the VRC season to make the US Open finals alliances and also be one of the few teams doing high lift score. In May, we had our annual outreach at the LRC Jr. FLL Expo running our VRC robot to fun filled exhaustion. Early summer was time to have our year end party, seeing off 5 long time seniors into engineering programs at Rutgers, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT, while at the same time bringing on 4 new team members. Jul, Aug, Sep, and Nov had 3 members of the team competing in World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Senior Regular Category at 4 different events, NJ Qualifier, Beijing Robocom Exhibition, US Nationals, and Costa Rica World Championships, respectively. In Oct/Nov, we embraced the Girl Powered Challenge, and helped get an all-girls VEX IQ (VIQ) team started. Closing out 2017, the hard work of the new team members and knowledge of returning veterans helped net the Think Award and Design Award at their Nov and Dec qualifiers for the 2017/2018 VRC season. Looking forward to another great year in 2018!






Livingston Robotics Club Teams Compete in State Championship

(LRC teams, Adroit Robotics, Spongebot, and RoboRocks with NJ FLL officials Ernie DiCicco and Monique Dituri)

On December 9, four LRC teams were among the 60 contestants in the Northern New Jersey FLL (FIRST LEGO League) Championship at Mt. Olive High School. The 4 teams carried the LRC tradition of award-winning performances in judging areas and robot games while making friends and having lots of fun!

Even though the FLL competition season has concluded for LRC teams, they will continue to present their projects and robot designs to local communities; and, most importantly, have fun through LRC gatherings and outreach activities.

The new season for the FLL Jr. is about to start. LRC will hold an Open House in January 2018 for Livingston Public Schools children ages 6-9 who have interest in LEGO robotics and science projects to form FLL Jr. teams. You can visit and like LRC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LivingstonRobotics to receive an announcement on the Open House date.

LRC 2017 FLL Team Profiles

For the 2017 FLL season, LRC maintained a strong presence in Northern NJ with 10 teams, 3 of which are rookies. Here are some information and fun facts of some of the teams. Other teams have been included in previous posts on FLL qualifiers and championship.

Livingston Robotics Club Teams Compete in “Hydro Dynamics” Projects

(This is a press release for West Essex Tribune. More posts on LRC FLL teams are coming in the near future.)

The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition encourages teams of young budding engineers and scientists to think about and help solve a real world-problem. Teams research projects, build teamwork skills and develop robot performance, design & strategy. This year, 10 teams from Livingston Robotics Club (LRC) are among 32,000 teams from 88 countries to participate in the competition. This year’s theme of “Hydro Dynamics” is about identifying and solving problems of human water cycle from water sourcing, delivery, conservation, to treatment.

LRC Kids Completed Toastmaster Youth Leadership Program

The 8-week Toastmaster Youth Leadership Program concluded with great success on Nov. 9 with group presentations by the kids on their FLL projects. The program was started on Sept. 21 (see earlier post on that) and organized by Yvonne Ferreira, a coach for the LRC FLL team Dino Thunder.

More than a dozen kids from 9 LRC FLL teams learned and practiced public speaking skills with mentors from the BASF Toastmaster Club, including:

  • President Jacqueline Purisima
  • Distinguished Toastmaster Charlie Walter
  • Bill Davenport, Vice President of Education
  • Philip Coniglio, Vice President of Membership
  • James Keenan
  • Kerry Sayther
  • Pauline Jarney, Girl Scout delegate

Expert Panel Presentation by 5 LRC FLL Teams

On Nov. 8, three Hydro Dynamics experts from our area visited the Livingston Robotics Club for an Expert Panel presentation by five LRC FLL teams on their projects.

As in a real FLL competition, each of the 5 teams (Robot Nation, Dino Thunder, Promethio, Spongebot, and RoboRocks) had 10 minutes to present their projects and answer questions from the experts, who provided not only insightful feedback on the projects, but also excellent suggestions for the presentations. It was a great learning and practice experience for all the kids and adults in the teams.

It was a great honor and privilege to have the experts help the team prepare for the upcoming FLL qualifiers. They were (from left to right on the first photo):

  • Nathan Kiracofe, Junior Utility Engineer of the Township of Livingston
  • Jessica Abramovici, Product Manager of BASF Pharma Solutions – North America, and member of the BASF Toastmasters Club
  • Matthew Beeney, Branch Manager of The Kennedy Companies

The title photo shows Team Dino Thunder with the experts, and the following photos show teams Promethio and RoboRocks during their presentations.

Exit 5 Robotics’ Senior Class of 2017

A bit behind on the posts, but these past few months have seen our first class of long time members graduate high school and move on to exciting collegiate frontiers. With some in their 7th year on the all girls robotics team, they competed in everything from FLL (FIRST Lego League), FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge), RoboCup Jr Rescue, Google Lunar XPrize Moonbots, VEX Robotics Competition (VRC), and World Robot Olympiad (WRO), covering over 40 competitions spanning 7 states and two continents. It was difficult to see them leave, but equally fantastic to see them move on to STEM endeavors.  Congratulations (belated!) as you move on to CMU (Carnegie Mellon University)/Comp Sci, CMU/Mech Engineering, Rutgers/Comp Sci, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)/Comp Sci, and Rutgers/Mech Engineering. To infinity and beyond!

North NJ FLL 2017-2018 Season Event Time Line

Get ready for another exciting FLL season!

For a list of all 2017-2018 Northern New Jersey FIRST LEGO League season events, click  here.

For more information regarding each event, or search for teams, visit FIRST Event and Team.

American Water Expert Presents the Human Water Cycle

On Sept. 23, The LRC hosted a guest speaker event with Nicole Wiley, Senior Engineer with American Water, to provide the LRC FLL team members with an in-depth discussion about the human water cycle.  Nicole has over 20 years experience working in Environmental Engineering field with 10 of those years with American Water.  Over 30 attendees came out to learn about water and talk to a subject expert to prepare for the 2017 FLL Robotics competition.

Youth Leadership Program for LRC FLL Team Members by BASF Toastmaster Club

Thanks to the BASF Toastmaster Club, 15 kids from 9 LRC FLL teams started an 8-week Youth Leadership Program to hone their presentation and leadership skills.

Distinguished Toastmaster Charlie Walter, Vice President Education Bill Davenport, and Yvonne Ferreira (herself a coach for LRC FLL team Dinothunder) ran the first session on September, 21 in the LRC Clubhouse. The kids formed pairs with whom they had not known before, interviewed each other, and introduced their interview partners in front of the entire room. They also elected the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Sergeant-at-Arms for the next 3 sessions.

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