New ways to interact with NJ FIRST

The NJ FIRST organization have some exciting new ways to communicate with teams, students, mentors, and anyone interested in what is going on in the local FIRST community.

You can visit the NJ FIRST Blog HERE.

If you are a member of Facebook, you can also become a fan of NJ FIRST HERE.

Filed under: FRC, New Jersey, News — george @ 9:17 pm on February 28, 2010

Harry S Truman Workshop

Bronx, NY 1/23/2010

 Roosevelt HS (Yonkers), The Little Red School House, Friends, Truman HS, and Liberty High School attended.


Filed under: Event, FTC, Media Coverage, New York, News, Uncategorized — janet @ 9:14 pm on February 28, 2010

2nd Annual FTC Cookie Bowl Scrimmage

Sponsored by Techno Chix
Pleasantville, NY  1/16/2010

Teams from Westchester and NYC


Filed under: Event, FTC, Media Coverage, New York, News — janet @ 7:58 pm on February 28, 2010

Spotlight on FRC Team #3017 from Francis Lewis High School

NY1 recently highlighted the progress of FIRST Robotics Team (FRC) #3017 from Francis Lewis High School.  The team’s coach, Angela Lewis, and several students were interviewed.

Congratulations to the team for getting the attention of NY1!  Click HERE to watch the clip.

How are other teams progressing in fulfilling Dean Kamen’s homework assignment for this year’s competition?  Remember, every team is being challenged to encourage friends, family, and new faces to attend the competition.

Filed under: FRC, Media Coverage, New York — kris @ 7:25 pm on February 23, 2010

NJ FIRST Featured at Liberty Science Center Engineers Week Exhibition

Liberty Science Center was a New Jersey FIRST robotics playground on the President’s Day, February 15, 2010. As a part the Engineers Week celebration, twelve New Jersey award winning teams invited by the FIRST LEGO League team Landroids #109, came together in one room for an ultimate New Jersey FIRST play date and the annual robotics exhibition.  This event attracted thousands of visitors from the tri-state areas.  Parents were presented with an overview of the FIRST curriculum from K-12; many inquired about where to find a nearby team and how to join or start up a team.  The children got to play with fascinating hands-on LEGO models with many exciting opportunities to operate robots of various sizes.  Meanwhile, all the FIRST teams mingled across the divisions throughout the day, checked out each other’s research projects, robot designs, plus exchanged ideas and training tips. Of course, team members also took an advantage to visit other Liberty Science Center exhibits.  Many will meet again head to head in the upcoming competitions.  However, on this day, it is about showcasing FIRST and the each team’s hard work. It is also about networking and socializing in a relaxed, fun, and non-competitive venue.

Many Hi-Five’s to all the participating FTC, FLL and Jr. FLL teams, and the support from the NJ FTC Committee:

FIRST Tech Challenge:  #3539 Say Watt?, #247 The reVOLT, #248 Fatal Error, and #3415 Lancers.

FIRST LEGO League:  #109 Landroids, #4832 The Atoms Family, #3691 HMS Platinum, #4104 Yobotics, #4764 Bergen Bees

Jr. FIRST LEGO League:  #103 Spongebots, #465 Special Lego Builder, and Red Cedar Robotics

See Team LANDROIDS Facebook for additional event photos.  Click HERE for the  news article.

Filed under: Event, FLL, FTC, JFLL, New Jersey — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — pearl @ 1:27 pm on February 16, 2010

FIRST Alumni Soar, Literally

One of the great aspects of FIRST is hearing what youth go on to do after they finish high school. For Danielle Varwig life really is one big grand adventure.  As a high school student she was a member of the G-House Pirates (Team 354) from Westinghouse High School when they were a rookie team.  From that point on her story just gets better as time passes!

Looking back Danielle recounts that Mr. Rafael Romero was spearheaded the team’s effort along with the assistance of Mr. Michael Vilarelle.  ”Coming from the inner city, it can be hard to find true role models, but I was lucky enough to find one of them.  The main influence I had during my FIRST experience was one of the most influential people during my high school career, Mr. Romero.  He really cared about his students and pushed for us to truly strive to reach our goals.  I think he saw the potential we all had as a team, and did whatever he could to help push us in the right direction.  In the long run he, and FIRST, helped me realize what I wanted to major in in college.”

Danielle initially joined the team because she thought it would help her become an engineer for NASA, but it also set her on the course for her current career.  When Team #369 traveled to Disney World for the FIRST Robotics Competition at Epcot Center she flew on a plane for the first time and discovered her love of traveling.  

After graduating high school Danielle went on to Pennsylvania State University and earned a degree in mechanical engineering.  During college she joined the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC).  So after graduating she became a commisioned officer in the US Air Force.  After almost 3 years of time intensive training after college she is now a qualified C-17 Globemaster III pilot stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA and has flown all over the world for her career!

When she has a second to herself (she usually doesn’t) and looks back on her experience Danielle says, “Without FIRST, I can honestly say that I do not think I would be where I am now.  I truly appreciate what it does for people like me, and will keep a special place in my heart (and scrapbook) for FIRST.”

Looking to the present she has these words for current team members of Team #354, “FIRST is a very unique way to help you discover and showcase how truly genius you really are.  You can leave a pretty big impression on Westinghouse H.S., Team 354, and most importantly, yourself if you put forth the effort.  You can unfold who you are and who you want to be through this program.  Whether you make FIRST a long-term commitment or not, use it as a foundation for what is to come later on in life. You are the only thing that can limit yourself from reaching the stars.”

FIRST is exceptional for many reasons, and Danielle is one of those reasons.  We are proud to count her as a FIRST NYC alumnus. Keep soaring Danielle!

Filed under: FRC, New York, Uncategorized — kris @ 11:30 am on February 13, 2010

Important FRC Dates and Info for Teams

With a little bit more than a week to go in the build-season many of you are probably beginning to feel the pressure of the 23rd pushing on you.  Many of you have had to deal with much adversity and have proven to be extremely resilient through those tough times.  The kids and their parents certainly appreciate the time you are spending to ensure that they have the experience of a lifetime in FIRST Robotics.  No doubt, you all have already made an effect on the lives of your students and will continue to do so even through this cold, wet adversity.  

With all of that in mind, please take a moment to remember a few important key dates

  • February 15h at 17:00 EST - Excellence in Design Award sponsored by Autodesk (Category 2-Animation) through Autodesk
  • February 18th at 23:59 EST - Chairman’s, Woodie Flowers, and Website Awards are all due online.
  • February 23rd - Robot Ship Date! - Now is the time to begin to schedule your crate pickup!
  • February 25th at 17:00 EST - Excellence in Design Award sponsored by Autodesk (Category 1-3D Design) through Autodesk

Remember to read the Team Updates (Available HERE) and FIRST Q&A Forums(found HERE) as you continue to finalize your robot designs.

Some teams have asked, “How do we weigh our robot?”  Some teams weigh individual parts on a triple-beam balance, bring in the bathroom scale, take a trip to the post office with the robot, or even borrow their school’s wrestling team scale.  No matter how you weigh the robot make sure you keep it under the weight limit.  It’s easier to cut own weight NOW then on Practice day at the competition.

Filed under: FRC, New Jersey, New York — george @ 9:03 pm on February 12, 2010

Call for VIP Tour Guide Volunteers

We are looking for team members (students, teachers, coaches, or parents) to lead tours during the New York City Regional Mega-Event. Volunteers should have knowledge of FRC, FLL, and FTC and be familiar with FIRST Breakaway. Please contact [email protected] if you are interested.

Filed under: Uncategorized — kris @ 6:38 pm on February 12, 2010

2010 NJ FIRST Robotics Competition Special Events

The NJ FRC Regional Planning Committee wants to make you aware of some special events happening in conjunction with the NJ FRC Regional.

NJ Alumni Hall of Fame

As we announced earlier, the NJ Regional Planning Committee is looking forward to recognizing an alumni from your team!  If your team is interested in nominating one of its alumni for the New Jersey Alumni Hall of Fame, please see the link below to view the award application and nomination process.  New Jersey teams not attending the NJ Regional may still submit a nomination HERE.

Mentor Recognition

The committee is looking to recognize the mentors who have helped your FRC team this year (and every year!) by having a “Thank Your Mentors -Wall of Fame”.  Mentors must be submitted by February 22, 2010.  Please send names to Michele Zubatkin (malka_elke [at] and include in the Subject “Wall of Fame”

We understand that some mentors have encountered issues with TIMS that prevented them from accepting invitations to sign up for the Mentor Recognition program.  We are pleased to inform you that Mentor Recognition just got easier!  For details about improvements, click HERE.

Bike Build

Team 75 is sponsoring a “bike building” on Friday morning at 10:30am.  They are requesting 1 to 2 members from each team to participate in this “team bonding” activity.  Participants will be arranged into 12 teams.  There will be Trivia questions (topics to include FIRST, music, current events, etc), a safety inspection and a safety course. Participants will be asked questions to earn tokens which in turn will be redeemed for bicycle parts.  Team members are asked to bring their “team flare” to help decorate competed bicycles and to bring basic tools (screw drivers, wrenches, pliers, etc,).  All participating teams will receive a participation certificate. The bicycles are being donated to either a Trenton or Newark Boys and Girls Club.  The location for this event will be on the Main Concourse.  Please send an email to Roboraiders [at] to let them know who will be attending.  They hope to see you all there!

Blood Drive

Team 102 will again be sponsoring a blood drive on Saturday.  The Bloodmobile will be in the parking lot and we encourage all from 16-60 to donate.  For 16 – 18 year olds, your team contact should have received a form from Team 102 that will need parental signature.  If you have not received this form, please contact Mr. Robert Marshall at rmarshall715 [at] and he will be happy to provide you with a copy.

Eyeglass Donation

Team 2016 will be holding an eye glass donation.  They are looking to collect old or unused eyeglasses which they will then donate to the Lions Club.  Please remember to ask your entire family about any old eyeglasses to bring to the event.

Filed under: FRC, New Jersey — george @ 8:44 am on February 10, 2010

Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (LRIG) Scholarship Available

$2000 Scholarship - Application DEADLINE: April 1, 2010

Attention SENIORS on FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Teams.  If you are interested in attending college, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (LRIG) has four (4) $2000 scholarships available.  LRIG has partnered with NJ FIRST to offer graduating SENIORS on FIRST Robotics Teams (FRC and FTC)  in New Jersey the opportunity to apply for a LRIG John Morin Memorial Scholarship.

Each New Jersey high school with an FTC or FRC teamcan nominate only one candidate to proceed with the application process - each school/team chooses the SENIOR who will apply!

As a further incentive, if the nominated student has been accepted into an engineering program (including biomedical engineering) for the fall 2010 semester, the school may then nominate a second candidate only if the second candidate plans to study biological, earth, medical, or social sciences.

Any questions should be addressed to Donald Bowers - click HERE.    Last year we had 22 applicants and we look to have even more applicants this year.  We rely on FRC and FTC Team Contacts to facilitate this process for each high school.  If your school has both a FRC and one or more FTC teams, only one applicant can be selected to apply - unless your applicant is majoring in engineering and thus that provides for the opportunity for your school to select a second applicant.

This scholarship opportunity is unique!  NJ FIRST is very fortunate to be selected by LRIG to partner with in providing this scholarship opportunity.  We need your support so we can demonstrate to LRIG that they have again made the right choice in selecting  FIRST as a worthy and interested non-profit to offer this special memorial scholarship!

More information of the scholarship can be found HERE.

Don’t forget to apply for other FIRST Scholarships!!!  See HERE for information on over $12 Million in scholarship available to students on FIRST teams.

$2000 Scholarship - Application DEADLINE: April 1, 2010

Filed under: FRC, FTC, New Jersey — george @ 8:41 pm on February 09, 2010
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