Fall 2019 Newsletter

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The Daleks are proud to announce that we will be hosting a FIRST® LEGO® League Qualifying Competition, BOT Bonanza, for 12 teams (grades 4-8), in conjunction with our official FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. Expo hosting 10 teams (grade 1-4) on November 23. Teams will draw from the Northern/Central areas of New Jersey including our own six teams!

The event will take place at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in the 9-10 Building. It is anticipated that the event will draw 500-600 people from the area.

Sponsors and volunteers are needed to make this competition a success. We have volunteer opportunities for judges (educators, business professionals or anyone who thinks STEM is cool would be great), photographers, emcees, and logistical support.

Sponsors are needed to stock our concession stands–pizza, subs, bagels, muffins, snacks, water and soda. Sponsors are also needed for trophies, awards, signage, t shirts, and supplies. Please contact us at: team3637rsa@gmail.com  if you would like to volunteer or sponsor our team. Someone will contact you by email. 

Team 3637 is a 501(c)(3) organization.

2017 FLL Jr. Hunterdon Holiday Expo

Here are some photos from our FLL season, and our FLL Jr. Expo held at the Hunterdon County Complex.

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Community Outreach

While most robots are in sleep mode post-competition season, the same can’t be said for Team 3637. When we aren’t exterminating our obstacles and challenges, we can be easily found out and about in Hunterdon County. Our most recent expeditions brought us to the 4-H Fair, Community Day, and the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Home Expo.

In the midst of the August summer’s haze, The Daleks ventured out, Hexcalibur in tow, to the 4-H fair. We were given an area to set up, which we filled with a simulated match courtyard, the robot, and various informational items about the team, such as pamphlets and buttons. As people flooded in, children were beckoned towards our area, invited to play a game of catch with Hexcalibur as it showed off its maneuvers on different types of terrain. In the meantime, several members discussed the team with parents in regard to events, goals, our mission, and competitions, while others introduced the group to potential sponsors. Though the sun made us sizzle, we couldn’t have had a better time, and went home feeling satisfied all four days of the splendid event.

A few weeks later, Raritan Township Community Day rolled around, as did the Daleks , ready to present once more. The events were homologous to those of the 4-H Fair, save one small difference: the Vex robots took the place of our competition bot Hexcalibur. The Vexes, simplified to four wheels and claw, amazed our young onlookers by lifting water bottles and wheeling them about, drawing squeals of delight from the crowd. The day was a massive success, and the team loved the dose of spirit to go along with the start of the school year, as well as the season.

Thanks to the impression we made at Community Day, the team was graciously invited to Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Home Expo, where we were able to represent ourselves and FIRST to local businesses present. Amidst the crowd, we arrived with our Recycle Rush robots, waving our flag proudly as they performed for people of all ages who’d gathered ‘round to see what it meant to be a part of FIRST. Our younger counterparts, the First Lego League team Fire-Breathing Ice Dragons, gave a wonderful presentation about their idea  to reduce deer-related traffic accidents, while our other FLL team, the Revolutionary Robotic Rescuers, described the dangers that poaching posed to their mascot, the Rhinoceros. The Expo was a fantastic outreach experience for both our team and the students we mentor in  FLL, with copious amounts of tasty treats that brought sweetness to the deal.

So far, we’ve kicked off our season with major success at our outreach events, which have only helped us grow closer as build time approaches. The task will surely be daunting, but you can’t sense a sliver of doubt from the ardent laughter that echoes from the build room.

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Postseason Projects

Although the robotics season has ended, the Daleks have had a busy couple of months. Once again, Team 3637 participated in Hunterdon Central’s annual Family Science Night to open the minds of children and adults to how awesome science really is. Hexcalibur made an appearance there as well as at Central’s STEAM showcase, where people and organizations displayed their creations to the public.

In May, The Daleks also participated in Relay For Life, an event that raises money and awareness for cancer research. This year we were again a “Rising Star Team,” recognized for raising over $1,000 to EXTERMINATE cancer.

Team 3637 will hold a “boot camp” for our FLL teams in August, and we look forward to another great season with our youngest local FIRST participants.

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Outreach and Robot Updates

February is the busiest month for a Dalek. Robot building and community outreach is abundant.

This past Saturday, the Daleks had a LED light bulb sale to promote low energy consumption and to help the environment, every step counts. The team sold the light bulbs at a local farmer’s market and were very successful selling over half of our supply.

Recently, FRC Team 303 graciously invited us to use their practice field to test our robot. There we practiced our driving and tested our boulder shooter. We are very grateful that Test Team invited us to practice because it was a great learning experience and a chance to make new friends.

The Daleks have been working hard and prepping for the 23rd of February!

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Off-Season Outreach

The Daleks haven’t stopped working since the end of competition season!

You may have known we were volunteering with the Lego and Robotics Clubs at Desmares Elementary School. Both clubs have officially concluded, but not before we could give them over 125 pounds of donated Lego and a total of 25 man-hours! We sure had fun, and we sincerely hope the kids did too.

We’ve also been reaching out in our community. On May 1st, Hunterdon Central once again hosted its annual Family Science Night, and the Daleks put on quite a show. Some of our activities included driving/maneuvering demos, letting the kids drive our robust practice bot, playing catch with the competition bot, and a Lego area for the youngest attendees. Our end of the hallway quickly became very crowded…everyone wanted to check out our team!

Finally, we were featured during Teen Tech Week! Teen Tech Week took place in our library (the IMC), and it showcases our school’s coolest gadgets—our radio station, 3D-printing, and of course, our robot. Team 3637 is making a presence!

Now that the school year has officially ended, our graduates are going their separate ways, but not before we honored them at our banquet. Our advisors and seniors were recognized and given gifts in celebration of an excellent year of robot-building.

With a new executive board in place, we’re looking forward to a great season ahead. In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying the summer.

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10 Days to Go–Saturday 2-11-12

Today was another productive but long day. We finished and tested the flywheels that we will be using, and they worked very well! We also finished cutting, drilling, tapping, and mounting the plexiglass sheets we were making, and despite having to re-cut one of them so it would fit in the frame perimeter, we eventually got it done and were able to move on. On the plexiglass, we mounted (and connected) eight pieces that will control the other components, like the flywheels and the mechanism that will feed the balls into the tube. The tube itself is coming along as well–we put in pieces to help it hold its shape as well as little axles for the brushes. Great work, fellow Daleks! We’re getting close!

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Robot Dropoff 3-2-11

Today we dropped off our robot and tools in our official pit box.  Also I would like to thank Tyrrell Tech for printing us a free banner. It looks AMAZING!