2016 Scavenger Hunt

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Last Tuesday, December 6th, the Janksters had their annual downtown Scavenger Hunt! Organized by the senior members of the team, this Jankster tradition is a race against the clock and other teams to solve the puzzle first.

The team was split into seven different groups each with a leader and a packet of instructions. Starting at Notre Dame with the first hint, they made their way to different stations downtown from San Jose State University to Christmas in the Park. Each station had a different challenge for the group to complete before earning their hint to the next location and gaining more pieces for their puzzle. The games ranged from writing their own raps to assembling candy robots. During the Scavenger Hunt, there were opportunities to cut time from the final score through a Photo Scavenger Hunt which included taking selfies with a variety of object like squirrels or murals.

Once they finished the objectives at all seven stations, the groups raced back to campus to piece together their puzzle. It was an exciting competition and at the end, everyone came together for hot chocolate and snacks.

Check out some Jankster POVS about the event here!

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2016 Scavenger Hunt POV

As a leader for the Scavenger Hunt, I had many responsibilities. I wanted to win and run a lot, but making people run was not a good plan. I was proud of myself for finding a person wearing black and red and getting a picture with them, even though they only spoke Chinese. I got to practice some Chinese with this lady. This Scavenger Hunt was really fun because I got to know some of my groupmates better than I had before.

Amber Kesapradist

Class of 2018

The Scavenger Hunt was a nice experience. I got to bond with the people in my group, and had a great time running around downtown. I had a fun time solving the clues with everyone and rushing to our next stops. The activities at the places were entertaining.

Shivani Vazirani

Class of 2020

YWES 2016

I co-directed the Young Women Engineering Symposium with another senior, Rikako, this year. Seeing all my work for the past six months finally come to life was extremely rewarding. Rikako and I worked hard to get all the speakers and spread awareness about the event so to have 10 women engineers present and close to 90 attendees was amazing. The workshops I took a glimpse at were very interesting. I attended the previous two YWES and always emerged inspired so I hope the attendees this year did too. I really wanted to provide resources and let these girls know that there is so much opportunity and potential for them in STEM and I hope they felt empowered.

Minh-Chau Doan

Class of 2017

I had a fantastic time at this year’s Young Women’s Engineering Symposium. I took three workshops (Biomedical, Industrial, and Systems Engineering), which all were so knowledgeable, because I knew so little about these fields beforehand. I particularly liked Systems Engineering, in which I had the opportunity to hear from an employee at Intuitive Surgical who is working on the da Vinci robot.  As a senior on the team, it was great to see so many girls who are interested in STEM attending. All of the engineers really inspired me to pursue engineering as I enter college, and they gave unforgettable advice.

Rabab Karimjee

Class of 2017

Young Women’s Engineering Symposium (YWES) 2016

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Written by Anisha Kabir ’19 and Lara Fernandes ’18

On November 19th the Janksters hosted their annual Young Women’s Engineering Symposium, an event for girls to explore various career paths in the world of STEM. We’d like to thank Minh-Chau Doan (Class of ’17) and Rikako Shimizu (Class of ’17) for coordinating and leading this year’s symposium. With 10 different speakers and attendees from 12 different high schools, the Young Women’s Engineering Symposium housed a wide variety of females, all with a passion or interest in the field of engineering.

The event had three sessions of seven different workshops lead by the speakers to give an in-depth look at their fields and closed with an open panel for the audience to ask the speaker questions about their experiences working as women with engineering careers.

We’d like to thank the following list of inspiring women who were able to attend this year:

  • Allison Peck presented Systems Engineering (NPI Manufacturing Engineer at Intuitive Surgical)
  • Allyson Clark presented Aerospace Engineering (Advanced Materials Project Manager at SSL)
  • Kristin More presented Aerospace Engineering (Spacecraft Production Engineering Lead at SSL)
  • Elif Albuz presented Software Engineering
    • Vision Software Manager at NVIDIA
  • Rasha Nassar presented Industrial Engineering
    • Industrial Engineer at Bloom Energy
  • Ai Nguyen presented Biomedical Engineering
    • System Verification Engineer at BD Biosciences
  • Alina Lim presented Biomedical Engineering
    • Research & Development Chemist at Abaxis
  • Tulin Akin presented Chemical Engineering
    • Director of Defect Reduction & Integration at Bloom Energy
  • Dr. Katie Wilson presented Electrical Engineering
    • Associate Professor at Santa Clara University
  • Claudia Galvan was our keynote speaker
    • Technical Advisor at Early Stage Innovation

Afterwards, the Janksters had a wonderful lunch with our 10 guest speakers and some attendees from FRC Team 2135. We look forward to hosting another inspirational and fun symposium next year!

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FLL at Intel

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The Janksters had an amazing time this past weekend helping out FLL (First Lego League) teams at Intel with their “Animal Allies” challenge.

The Janksters had many jobs from inspecting robots to setting the field and even emceeing for the event! We also had our concession stand with plenty of snacks and candy robot treats.

We also had a “Make A Button” station run by more Janksters. Kids could design and assemble a button with guidance and wear their creation at the competition.

There was also a demo of our robot Cierra from this past season. The Janksters explained the many different components and functions of the robot and people were encouraged to explore and even drive the robot with help from the Janksters.

We’d also like to congratulate the Neon Nargals, coached by our members Yashna Bansal ‘17 and Paulina Robles ‘17, for winning the FLL Core Values Award!

Overall it was a fun and exciting time for our team to help at the event and inspire FLL teams to  pursue robotics through FRC. We had a great time and can’t wait for next year!

If you’d like to read more about members experiences at FLL, make sure to read our Janky POVs.

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Helping out at FLL

Volunteering at the First Lego League competition was an amazing experience in which I was able to bond with the other rookies and some veterans. The kids were positive and full of energy throughout the event. I was able to help in several parts, including taking photos, selling concessions, and helping with inspections. I went out of my comfort zone by talking to new people about their robots, all while having a fun time. Even though I was there for a long shift, the time flew by and I look forward to helping at FLL next year.

Elizabeth Fernandes

Class of 2020

As a new veteran my experience was different and interesting, and some of the roles I took on were things I never even realized had to be done. The new task that I had at the Intel FLL Tournament was being a field-resetter. At first when I saw that I was going to be doing an important job like this, I was honestly kind of worried. From experience in FRC I knew that this was a really important job and I was afraid I might mess something up by accident. When it was time for my shift to began, I went over to the competition field table, and seeing so many various lego constructions on that table, moving and being shuffled around every two minutes… did not reassure me. However like everything in FIRST and robotics in general, it seems scary but you honestly need to get used to it– and I did. After a few games of the referees showing me what to reset and look out for on the field, I got used to what I was doing and immediately began loving field reset. Ridding myself of those worries also gave me the chance to look at the brilliant FLL robots that each of the teams built and programmed, and it was very fascinating to see how the game challenge worked! (Also as field reset, I got to watch the games up close and in perfect view) In the end this year’s FLL tournament went great for all the teams competing, for the Janksters, and especially for me as I got to take on a new role and enjoy the tournament.

Shreya Basireddy

Class of 2019

At this year’s FLL competition, I was mentoring and coaching the Neon Nargals, an FLL team that Yashna and I started for our senior project.  Since this was their very first competition, they were all excited to present their themed project, compete with their robot, and show off their core values. The team learned a lot from competing, and they are very eager to implement new changes to the robot and to their themed project presentation.  One of the best parts of the day was during the awards ceremony when the team won the Core Values award and a ticket to advance to regionals.

Paulina Robles

Class of 2017

Space Systems Loral POV

Going on the Space Systems Loral field trip was a very interactive and
eye-opening experience, in the sense that I was able to understand a
lot more about how satellites were made. The main thing I learned was
how similar building a satellite- an object that goes up into space –
was to building a robot, which really blew my mind.

Anika Asthana

Class of 2020

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Competing at CalGames

This past weekend, I was fortunate to attend CalGames on Saturday. Although most of the rookies attending were completely exhausted from our overnight on Friday, it was a great experience that woke me up from the start. The team spirit in and out of the stands was enormous, and everyone showed up to work and have a great time. Even though rookies had a light load of stuff to do, I was engaged and in team spirit throughout the entirety of the competition. While sitting in the stands, I was impressed with how efficient and composed the drive team and pit crew were during the semi-finals and finals. Winning the System Design Award as well as the Mentor Award for Marta, and being the Champions of CalGames was a great way to end a wonderful competition. I am so proud of the Janksters, or rather, the JankSTARS!!!!

KK Kumar

Class of 2020

On October 7th and 8th, we attended the off-season competition Calgames, hosted by the Western Regional Robotics Forum.  After the success from Chezy Champs, everyone was super excited and ready to see the robot perform well.  Although I spent most of the competition in the pits as I was on drive team, I could see the happiness and enthusiasm from our team in the stands.  I was also glad to see that the rookies were beginning to feel more included and more a part of the team than they were when they first joined.  The level of excitement only increased as the competition progressed, with the team continuing on to eliminations with Team 1868 the Space Cookies and Team 3045 The Gear Gremlins. Several matches later, our alliance were declared the champions of the 2016 Calgames! To top it off, we also won the Systems Design Award for our scaling mechanism, and our coach, Marta Carrillo, won the Mentor Award. This was by far the most exciting competition that I have attended, and through all the dancing, anticipation, and success we experienced, the team was brought closer together.  It truly was the best way to end our busy and successful Stronghold season and begin our 2016 to 2017 robotics year.

Miyo Imai

Class of 2018

CalGames

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By Miranda Godinez ’18

Last weekend, The Janksters had the opportunity to participate in CalGames on October 7 and 8. Thirty-eight teams gathered at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale to compete at CalGames.

At the competition, the team successfully accomplished all of its goals: rank in the top 15, introduce first-time veteran members to leadership positions, acclimate the team’s rookies to the competition environment, and, of course, have fun! Team members led groups of rookies in activities to help them become more accustomed to the environment of a competition. This included visiting other teams to see how they designed their robot to meet the season’s challenge, analyzing the performance of other teams’ robots during matches, and participating in a scavenger hunt. “I was mainly nervous about talking to other teams and people I didn’t know…but as soon as I got more comfortable with asking strangers questions about their robots it was really fun.” Libby Barrese ‘20 said.

Rookies weren’t the only ones adjusting to a whole new world of competition. Veterans had the opportunity to step up by being more involved in pit crew helping repair the robot and troubleshoot and by taking up new positions such as safety captain and drive team. Anisha Kabir ‘19 was one of the many veterans who found herself having a bigger part to play at competition: “I took on the role of managing match and pit scouting and, at first, it seemed daunting. I felt the pressure of responsibility, something I didn’t really need to worry about as a rookie. But after experiencing a few matches and adapting to my role, I felt glad that I could contribute something valuable to the team.” The Janksters used this competition to experience personal growth and team bonding, making this competition one to remember.

In fact, something quite memorable did happen at this competition. We were selected to join the 4th-seeded alliance with the Girl Scouts-sponsored team Space Cookies and Serra High School’s Gear Gremlins. After a series of tough matches, lots of cheering, and unexpected wins, The Janksters and their alliance pulled through and made their way to the top, winning the entire competition. “After we won, I just felt so fulfilled, knowing that we all worked to put together that robot and all those hours finally really paid off. I was so surprised of how well we had done and I think our achievement brought us closer together as a team.” Nikita Jagdish ‘18 said. Along with winning CalGames 2016, The Janksters were also recognized for their consistent scaling mechanism with the Systems Design Award, and their coach Marta Carrillo was presented with the Mentor of the Year Award for her constant support and significant contribution to the team.

The Janksters weren’t the only ones who got in on the action. Ms. Yi, a science teacher at Notre Dame, had this to say about her experience at the competition: “I was impressed by how many different teams there were, and watching you guys cheer on your team was fun. I brought my 4-year-old and he enjoyed watching the robots do their thing.” We all had such a memorable experience at CalGames, and we would like to thank everyone in the Notre Dame community who came to support us and to join in on the fun. Because of CalGames, we concluded the 2016 season on a high note, and the effects of this year can be best summarized by the words of Yashna Bansal ‘17: “You all deserve to be proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished during the entire 2016 Season. Everything we’ve been recognized for is a result of hundreds and hundreds of hours put in by each and every one of you. I can’t even put into words how proud I am of all of you.” We look forward to the upcoming season and hopefully many more years that will be as memorable as this one.

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2016 Stronghold

Last year’s challenge, Stronghold, was played by two alliances of three teams each. These alliances compete to breach their opponents’ defenses, the outer works, and capture their tower. They score points by crossing defenses in their opponents’ outer works, scoring boulders in their opponents’ tower high or low goals, and surrounding and scaling their opponents’ tower at the end of each match.

The game is played on a 27 ft. by 54 ft. field, in which each alliance is assigned one tower, five defenses, and a ‘secret passage’ where their robots restock on boulders. In addition to the low bar, three defenses are selected strategically by the alliance and one by the audience prior to the start of their match.

Each match begins with a 15-second autonomous period in which robots operate independently of human control and attempt to cross opposing defenses, s well as score in the opposing tower. During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, called the teleop period, robots are controlled by student drivers from behind their castle wall at the end of the field.

For more info, click here

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