It was an interesting experience. I got to hear a bunch of different people speak. My favorite one was a neurosurgeon space engineer at SSL and she was telling us about how she built all these different rockets and her thought process from high school to college and how she got to the job she has now. She was really inspiring and we also got to build these little mechanisms and machines where you could carry little marshmallows and airplane them all the way to the ground and cushion them so they don’t fall on their face. And then it made me realize how much goes into designing everything. ‘Cause when you design a spaceship, for one thing, you have to get up. But you need to go down and you can’t get the little astronauts or the marshmallows inside. So I learned a lot.

KK Kumar

Class of 2020

I attended the bio-engineering workshop. It was interesting because she showed us the different aspects of bioengineering. She talked about, if I remember correctly, she talked about how there’s like device sector where they create devices. Then there’s also a bit of the biology sector which is a lot of the lab work. Then she touched on the detrimental academy, which is like research and universities and the industry. She talked about how academia is about like creating new things and improving stuff about the world and engineering. The industry is about making the biggest amount- not biggest, but special and all that most outputs they want to create the best ways NASA product. She talked about network products working which was interesting and helped us figure out how networking works and why it’s important.

Miranda Godinez

Class of 2018

FLL 2017


By: Lisha Sebastian ‘21, Ria Nair ’21, Diana Labonville ‘21

This past weekend, Team 1967 volunteered at FLL (First Lego League) competition hosted by Intel. This year’s challenge was “Hydro Dynamics”.

At FLL, the Janksters provided lunch as well as a snack shack for the parents and the teams. The Janksters volunteered to supervise the competition by inspecting robots and timing and setting up for the matches.

The Janksters also directed and hosted stations such as a catapult station where kids could use craft supplies to create a functional catapult. Other Janksters worked at the button-making station, in which they helped younger kids from grades 4 to 8 design their own buttons.

During the competition, the Janksters provided a demonstration and explanation of the previous season’s robot, Pepper Ann. Students were also able to test out some functions of the robot.

Overall, this event was a fun learning experience for all of the Janksters and we’re happy to have had an opportunity to inspire FLL students to continue in their interest in STEM fields.                                                                                                                                   

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Workshop POV

As a freshmen, this is my first time doing Robotics and the workshops would really help introduce me to what they do and how they do it.  I liked the fact that I got to experience a workshop and what a normal day in Robotics would look like. It provides you with the basic knowledge you need to join any of the committees. In electronics, I learned more about how they play a role in how a robot works and what it does. I hope to learn more about Robotics and the committees in future workshops. Go Janksters!

Zainah Masood

Class of 2021

CalGames 2017


By Elizabeth Fernandes ‘20


On October 14th and 15th Team 1967, the Janksters, were one of the 36 teams that competed at CalGames 2017 FIRST Robotics STEAMWORKS competition. The goal for the STEAMWORKS challenge is to transport gears across the field onto pegs, carry and shoot balls into high and low goals, and climbs a rope to activate a touchpad. The Janksters’ robot Pepper Ann is designed with a strategy to transport gears and climb the robe. One of Pepper Ann’s improved mechanisms is the ability to have a gear fall into a slot and then push it onto a peg with a piston. Pepper Ann can also climb using a mechanism with a hook and a ratchet wrench. As the hook attaches to the rope, the PVC pipe that the hook is attached to rotates with it. This allows the robot to climb and activate the touchpad to light it up. This is an especially difficult task for drivers since they barely have any visibility when doing so, but when the hook attaches to the rope, the robot can consistently climb.


Rookies and veterans alike were able to learn many valuable lessons during this competition, including time management, the importance of being calm in stressful situations and effective communication. Rookies were able to experience their first robotics competition, including scouting, robot research and scavenger hunting, which helped them learn about the many steps that go into producing the final robot, including the strategy, execution and overcoming challenges. Ella Hedman ’21 was excited to be a part of the Jankster community at her first robotics competition. “I had such a great time at CalGames learning and experiencing what it was like to be competing in an actual robotics competition. By scouting and researching the other teams robots, I feel like I have a better understanding of how the robots worked and the process from build season to competition.“ The veterans were able to improve their organization and leadership skills through various activities such as drive team, data entry and leading small group activities. They were able to step out of their comfort zones by taking on new positions. Maddie Waldie ‘20 was on drive team for the first time and enjoyed the experience of playing a major role in the team’s success at the competition. “I was very excited to represent the Janksters for the first time on drive team at CalGames 2017. From the moment I first helped to pull the robot onto the field and heard the cheers of my teammates, I knew it was going to be an exciting day. The Pit Crew did an amazing job preparing and fixing the robot in between matches, and all the members of drive team worked well together on and off the field. I learned how to pace myself when taking on tasks, juggling responsibilities for both my position as a drive team member and scouting lead. Being on drive team was fun, exciting, and overall an amazing way to start the year.” The Janksters used this experience to grow in confidence as well as bond as a team.


When the Emcee announced that Team 1967 was moved up to 8th-seed alliance captains, the Janksters were ecstatic and started cheering wildly. They participated in many difficult matches with their alliance partners: Team 6688 (West Valley Middle College Robotics Team) and Team 4765 (PWRUP). Avi Zaveri ’20, one of the scouting leads, represented the Janksters during alliance selections. “Stepping up into a new leadership position was a really great experience. I learned how to work under stressful situations and overcome last-minute challenges. Although it was a bit intimidating talking to the team representatives from our alliance partners, I gained confidence in my ability to talk about our robot as well as our strategy.” The team made it to quarterfinals and placed 11th out of 36 teams. More importantly, the knowledge the team gained through this competition will be used for future robotics endeavors as well as applied to real world situations.


Thank you to everyone who came out to support the team! The Janksters are looking forward to the upcoming season and having many more experiences as amazing as this one.

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Boot Camp POVs

Bootcamp was such a fun, informative, and enriching experience! Throughout it, I attended various workshops related to committees in the robotics team. In Arduino, I was able to program and wire an LED while Janky 101 taught me about team outreach. In CAD I was able to design a 3D doughnut and in tool use, I used power tools. Overall, bootcamp really made me excited and happy to join robotics.

Grace Boulos

Class of 2021

Robotics Boot Camp definitely prepared me for robotics, but also introduced me to Notre Dame. I loved how even though I was a freshman, upperclassmen started conversations with me and made sure I never felt left out. There were a lot of things I hadn’t tried before, like working with power tools and using CAD software, but I had fun learning about them and felt comfortable using them by the end of the camp. Overall, the part of the boot camp I liked the most was making new friends who shared the same enthusiasm for robotics!

Leela Mukherjee

Class of 2021

Silicon Valley Regional (SVR) 2017


Originally posted on the Notre Dame School website.

By Lara Fernandes ‘18

Team 1967, the Janksters, were at San Jose State University last weekend for the Silicon Valley Regional FIRST Robotics STEAMWORKS competition. They competed with their robot, Pepper Ann, which was constructed with a quick and agile two-speed chassis, a mechanism to store and deposit fuel into the low goal, a mechanism to store and deposit gears and a climbing mechanism. The Janksters had four main goals they wanted their team to meet: 1) to have a quick and agile robot, 2) to score four to six gears per match, 3) to passively collect and score fuel, and 4) to climb the rope at the end of every match.

During the competition, quick and efficient solutions were made both on and off the field. Pepper Ann was out on the field for two practice matches and did not tip over during any of the qualification matches. The robot successfully delivered gears and scaled during most matches. At the end of qualification matches, the Janksters were ranked 34th out of 64 competing teams, with teams from as far away as China and Turkey.

Silicon Valley Regional was also a time for the Janksters to exhibit their spirit and enthusiasm to help others. The team could be heard cheering from the stands, encouraging their drive teams during matches and waving their pom-poms with gusto. The Janksters also handed out gifts to other teams which included a guide to downtown San Jose, a map of safety supplies and instructions for the Hidden Figures of STEAMpunk Scavenger hunt. Over the build season, the Janksters highlighted many women who significantly contributed to STEM fields during the Victorian Era. To inspire and educate others, the Janksters created a fun scavenger hunt to engage other teams and teach them about these important women who made their mark on STEM and opened a path for others to follow.

The Janksters also hosted their annual Team Social on the Friday of competition. They invited two all-girls teams: Team 6418 – The Missfits, and Team 6665 – Nuns and Bolts, to join them at Notre Dame and learn about each other’s teams while having fun.

Thank you to all of the students, parents and faculty who came to visit the Janksters at Silicon Valley Regional! We look forward to the challenge presented next season and we invite everyone to come support the Janksters at their events.

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Ventura Regional 2017


Originally posted on the Notre Dame School website.

By Miyo Imai ‘18 and Lara Fernandes ‘18

Team 1967, the Janksters, recently competed at the Ventura Regional FIRST Robotics STEAMWORKS Competition with their 2017 season robot, Pepper Ann. The objective of the steampunk-themed game is for alliances of three teams to shoot balls, called fuel, into low and high goals, to put gears on spring pegs and to climb a rope, all in under two minutes and thirty seconds. For more information about this year’s challenge, please visit here.

Over the six weeks of build season, Pepper Ann was constructed with a quick and agile two-speed chassis, a mechanism to store and deposit fuel into the low goal, a mechanism to store and deposit gears and a climbing mechanism. All aspects of the robot aligned with the team’s strategic goals for the season: 1) to have a quick and agile robot, 2) to score four to six gears per match, 3) to passively collect and score fuel, and 4) to climb the rope at the end of every match.

The Janksters had a rocky start at the Ventura Regional, tipping Pepper Ann over in their first match. However, quick and efficient solutions were made as the competition progressed. By their third match, the Janksters were able to execute their predetermined strategy by scoring gears for their alliances, consistently climbing at the end of every match and even managing to play effective defense on opposing robots. By the end of the qualification matches, the Janksters were ranked 22nd out of 42 competing teams. The team was selected onto the fourth of eight alliances advancing into elimination matches with Team 6560 the Charging Champions and Team 3759 the SMARTBOTS. After winning two quarterfinal matches, the alliance advanced to the semifinals where they were disqualified.

While at Ventura, the Janksters were able to showcase their project HiddenFiguresofSTEAMpunk. Over the build season, the Janksters, inspired by the movie Hidden Figures, highlighted many women who significantly contributed to STEM fields during the Victorian Era. To share this at the event, the Janksters created a fun scavenger hunt to engage other teams and teach them about these important women who made their mark on STEM and opened a path for others to follow.

From reaching semifinals with their alliance to bonding with new teams at competition, the Ventura Regional was a great experience for the Janksters. Their next competition is the Silicon Valley Regional hosted at San Jose State University. All are invited to come and support the Janksters during their matches on Friday, March 31st and Saturday, April 1st!

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Robot Reveal 2017


Written by Rabab Karimjee ’17

Thousands of teams have been designing and building a robot for the past 6 weeks to participate in the annual FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) competitions. Among them is Team 1967, the Janksters, who have created a robot for this year’s challenge, Steamworks, after a rigorous Build Season that has tested their technical and creative abilities.

In their twelfth year, the Janksters have grown to sixty members and embarked on the six week journey from January to the end of February with an enthusiastic dedication and a wonderful team of 24 mentors. Due to the increasing amount of rookies, the Janksters saw many changes that allowed for more timely work with the challenge of organizing and communicating within such a large group. With each week came many obstacles, forcing the team to occasionally completely redesign and shift their priorities. Some parts of the robot were being built faster than others, but the final product prevailed in time for Robot Reveal Night.

With over 150 members in the audience, including family, friends, and faculty, the Janksters were able to display their hard work, collectively more than 8,000 hours The robot drove through the gym and successively climbed, one of the Janksters’ originals goals when brainstorming in early January.

Many of the mechanisms were not fully completed or tested, but fortunately, they only required a few minor adjustments! After the various committees and leaders were able to discuss their contributions and hardships, the audience was free to learn more about FRC and the team’s accomplishments. The Janksters were happy to answer any questions and showcase their individual projects.

With the end of the Build Season and a functioning robot that cannot be touched until competition, the Janksters are proud of how far they have come and look forward to getting ready for competition. This year, they will be participating in the following:

  1. Ventura Regional: March 15-18 (Wed-Sat)
  2. Silicon Valley Regional: March 29- April 1 (Wed-Sat)

We hope to see you there!

Week 6 Build POVs

It’s crazy thinking that this is my last build season! Week 6 means crunch time so we’re all scrambling to make last minute decisions and putting the finishing touch on our robot. It’s really different this year for me since I’m on Business now instead of Mechanical so the stress of putting actual items on the robot isn’t as big for me. However, there’s still a lot of planning and details that need to be worked out for my assignments. I can’t believe my last Build Season is coming to a close. It’s been an interesting one definitely but I’m glad I got to know my teammates better and gain new skills.


Minh-Chau Doan

Class of 2017

This week, we have mostly worked on manufacturing parts for our second robot and making some final decisions and changes. It has been really stressful, but all the chaos is exciting at the same time. It’s strange that I’m already about to end my third build season and I can tell that I have grown so much since freshman year.

Nikita Jagdish

Class of 2018

Plagued with a mixture of nerves and excitement, I remember heading to kickoff at San Jose State, just six weeks ago. Now, after countless hours of trudging to school, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want more time! After finishing driving and manual two speed transmissions code, our chassis programming group’s latest challenge is working on programming automatic two speed transmissions. We’ve been working on mapping the correlation between joystick values and encoder rates for driving our test robot. I’ve also been working on combining all of this season’s code into one comprehensive project, a task that has been tedious but rewarding to complete. Though it’s exhausting, the moments of success, growth, and joy that pop up during the rigor and intensity of build season are what constantly reinforce my love for robotics.

Anisha Kabir

Class of 2019

On week 6 of Build Season, I mainly focused on CADing the front and back camera mounts and had help from Ayusha, Becky, and our mentors. Because there was some last-minute updates about the mounting place of the camera, each of the camera mount had to be modified several times. Although we had to build several versions of each of the two different camera mounts, my skills in CADing had improved a lot, my critical thinking in designing a mount has improved, and my confidence in CADing has grown. Now that Build Season is coming to an end, I feel that the excitement is starting to lower down, but I am looking forward towards the Steamworks competition.

Michelle Vanuy

Class of 2020

Build Season Week 6

Featured Image 6

Written by Sakshi Shrivastava ’20

After struggling through some problems, Gears and Fuel is back on track! They have redesigned practically everything and are working against the clock. They have been putting all the designs on CAD so they can use polycarbonate and are getting everything mounted and put together in order to have a cohesive robot ready for Robot Reveal Night.

Many Projects has built field elements, such as the low goal, lift, and davit for rope-climbing. They have completed the practice bumpers and are now working on the final ones. They are also working on the battery cart.

Chassis has worked on side rails and bumper mounts for the real robot. However, they have been struggling with chains.

Climbing has been manufacturing parts for the new robot while sorting out details on the janky bot. This coupled with lots of testing, they have certainly been busy.

This week, Business has been getting ready for Robot Reveal Night and competition!

Programming has been able to test more on the robot. They have added more to and are finalizing climbing code, and they are currently working on programming and testing the gear mechanism. They have finished basic chassis and climbing, combining all the mechanisms into one program. They have started testing for the auto-to-transmissions transition, especially focusing on how different joystick values correlate to encoder rates. Alongside all of these tasks, Programming has been testing autonomous mode.

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