Category Archives: Competition

Silicon Valley Regional (SVR) 2017

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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

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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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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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Competing at Chezy Champs

On September 24 and 25, I had the opportunity to attend my very first robotics competition, Chezy Champs, at Bellarmine. I had no idea what to expect, but from the moment I entered the room, I found the excitement electrifying. I spent my day doing so many different things, such as scouting, interacting with other teams, cheering in the stands, watching our robot compete, and pitching in and unloading the van at NDSJ after the competition was over. From rookies to veterans, we worked together as a team to accomplish our goals. It was rewarding to see that everyone’s contributions played a part in our placement in the quarter-finals.
Maddie Waldie
Class of 2020

Chezy Champs went really well for the Janksters. We didn’t lose robot communications once during the competition, and our robot scaled seven times. I spent the entirety of Chezy Champs in the pits, repairing the robot between matches and resetting the scaling mechanism. I really enjoyed getting to compete with “The Best of the West,” and I’m really proud that we held our own. I can’t wait to go again next year.

Julia Hunt

Class of 2018

Chezy Champs

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Anika Asthana ‘20 and Lara Fernandes ‘18

 

The Janksters recently competed at Chezy Champs on September 24th and 25th! Chezy Champs is a premier robotics competition hosted at Bellarmine during the off-season. 41 teams came together to compete, with out-of-state teams coming from Washington, Oregon and Texas. Some of these teams were Regional and World Champions, which made the matches intense and exciting.

 

Going into this competition, the Janksters had a few goals: we wanted to be on the field in all of the matches, take advantage of all of the mechanisms on our robot, rank in the top 25, meet new teams, and most importantly, have fun! We were able to accomplish all of these and more; our team ranked 23rd, we were able to play 9 out of our 10 matches and we were able to scale and capture a tower in many of the matches we played. Additionally, we were selected to be a member of the 6th alliance and advanced to the elimination rounds in the quarterfinals. Our Drive Team and Pit Crew worked hard both on and off the field to keep our robot in its best working condition.

 

While our focus was meeting our goals for the competition, Chezy Champs was a huge learning opportunity for the rookies on the team and great experience for our veteran members. Newer Janksters were able to experience the thrill of competition and receive a first-hand look at what robotics is all about. The entire team bonded and had a lot of fun – whether it was cheering from the stands when our robot scaled or having our own little dance parties. The Janksters learned about the different ways that other teams accomplished the same tasks and gained a broader, more comprehensive insight on robotics concepts as a whole. All in all, the entire team learned about different robots, new strategies, and about each other.

 

Chezy Champs was a great experience for the the team, both educationally and competitively, and we can’t wait to compete again and show an even better performance. Thank you to everyone in the ND community, from faculty to students, who came and supported our team at Chezy Champs. We are competing again at CalGames the weekend of October 7th at Fremont High School, so make sure to come and support us. We hope to see you there!

 

Silicon Valley Regional (SVR)

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Written by Lara Fernandes ‘18

Originally published on NDSJ

The Janksters recently competed at the FIRST Silicon Valley Regional robotics competition at San Jose State University. This was their second competition of the 2016 season.

On Thursday morning, the San Jose State Event Center was officially opened for all the robotics teams to kick off the three fun and exciting days of competition. The girls rushed into the Event Center, ready to start their day. Thursday was a day for the girls to finalize changes to the robot before the actual matches. While some of the girls were working on our robot, the other girls were networking with the other robotics teams at the competition, asking them about their robot and teams. There were also some housekeeping things that needed to be taken care of before the official days of competition started. The team passed out helpful downtown guides and our giveaways to the other teams. Meanwhile, in our pit, the girls were finishing up the robot, and getting it inspected so that the team could compete in the matches the following day.

Early Friday morning, the girls crowded around the doors, bracing the cold and rain to get the best seats. Matches officially started that day and the team wanted to be right in the center, cheering on their robot, Cierra. There were some communication issues with the robot the girls faced but they reached out to other FRC teams for help and were able to work through the problems. Cierra performed well in the first day of matches and the team worked hard in the pits and the stands whether it was working on the robot, networking with other teams, scouting during matches or just showing ND spirit.

The Janksters held a team social at Notre Dame later on Friday as an opportunity to interact with other teams. Team 1868 (Space Cookies), Team 5089 (Robo-Nerds), Team 5940 (B.R.E.A.D.), Team 6036 (Terrace Tech) and Team 5655 from Turkey (Kelrot) were invited to spend some time with the Janksters and have fun with each other. There was plenty of food, laughter, dancing and even pool noodles to create a wonderful end to the first day of competition. “Talking to other teams was pretty fun, getting to know them and what they did, at the Team Social” said Paulina Robles ‘17.

The Janksters came back on Saturday with renewed energy and were prepared to face another day of competition. The team worked hard to problem-solve the issues with communication they had faced on day one and all of their effort payed off. In the team’s second to last match, Cierra exceeded expectations when it passed through a defense during autonomous, picked up a ball, and the scaling mechanism worked. There was a chorus of cheers and a flurry of red pom-poms, excitement flooding the stands when our robot scaled the tower. “There was one match that we did really well in and the scaling mechanism completely worked, we were completely over the line and we got the points for it. I was really happy because that was the first time it was successful and it showed that Scaling’s work had really paid off.” said Miyo Imai ‘18. The team did not advance to eliminations, but knowing that we had done our best and our robot had performed well on the field was a victory in itself.

As the awards ceremony of the Silicon Valley Regional began, our team waited for the winner of the Spirit Award to be called. When the announcer called out “Team 1967, the Janksters” there was first a moment of surprised silence and then an eruption of cheering. The girls ran onto the field, received the award and high-fived all of the judges. We had been recognized for our spirit from overflowing enthusiasm to our bright red bows.

This season was a large step forward for the Janksters with receiving with the Imagery and Safety Awards at Madera, the Spirit Award, and having Yashna Bansal ‘17 recognized as a Dean’s List finalist by FIRST Robotics. The team is continuing to grow and improve as the years go by. “I remember in my freshman year, the design we had for the robot was relatively simple, but each year I’ve seen the design grow more and more complicated until finally other teams are coming to us to learn what we did. We stand out more, not just in terms of our robot design but in terms of our branding.” said Tamara Kawa ‘16.

Silicon Valley Regional (SVR)

From the cheering in the stands, to all the incredible robots, to even the avid button collecting, the excitement at SVR was contagious. I spent my time at SVR rotating between scouting, data entry, and programming, however I also fun going to the “FIRST Day” Nvidia hosted at their tech conference. It was really rewarding to be able to see our robot compete, especially seeing it scale the tower. And at the end of the competition, winning the Spirit Award and getting to high five the long line of judges was definitely a great note to end the regional on!

Anisha Kabir

Class of 2019

I had a great time at SVR, seeing all of the other robots and competing with all of the other teams. Although we did have some communication problems in the beginning of the competition, thanks to the help of a countless number of teams and individuals, we were able to figure out our problems and perform well out on the field. The entire team was so excited to see Cierra breach, scale, and defend in our last matches, and our energy definitely skyrocketed. When we won the spirit award at the end of SVR, it was great to see all of the team members’ excitement as they rushed to high five the judges. SVR was a great experience and I was so happy to see all of the growth Cierra and the team members went through.

Paulina Robles

Class of 2017

Central Valley Regional 2016 (CVR)

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(Originally posted on ndsj.org)

Recently Notre Dame’s Robotics Team, the Janksters, traveled to Madera, full of excitement and nervousness for the first competition of the 2016 season. The girls were waiting in anticipation to see their robot, Cierra, compete on the field for the first time.

Early Friday morning, the girls waited anxiously outside the doors of the pits, ready to get to work on Cierra.  As soon as the pits opened, several of the girls rushed in to improve the robot while the others set out on a quest to network with and scout the other FRC teams present at the Central Valley Regional. By 4:30, many of the girls had finished with their tasks and were watching practice matches. At 8:00 pm sharp, the pits closed, and the Janksters left happy and content to say that Cierra was fully functional and ready for competition the next day.

On Saturday, the matches officially began. Cierra, passed inspection quickly before the first match that the Janksters would compete in that day. Since the girls had been working on Cierra all day Friday, the team was unsure if the robot would be able to drive at all.  All worries flew out the window when the girls began to cheer loudly as they saw Cierra glide around the playing field.  Throughout the seven matches the Janksters played on Saturday, Cierra performed well, despite connection issues. The day concluded on a high note with the first award ceremony of the competition. As soon as he said “the girls in black ties”, the team jumped down to the field and high fived all the judges who smiled proudly and congratulated the team for its efforts towards the team’s imagery. The girls left the venue that first day of competition happy and content that the team’s aesthetic and 5 years of establishing a cohesive look had been validated.

Sunday was a shorter day for the girls since the Janksters had only three more matches left to play before alliance selections. Sadly, Cierra still had connection issues, and was therefore unable to perform its full potential. Instead of being upset that the team was not advancing on to eliminations, the girls worked hard and were able to find the source of the connection issues. The time for the second award ceremony of the Central Valley Regional had arrived, and the girls were anxious to hear the winner of the Safety Award.  The announcer called out “Team 1967, the Janksters,” and the team rushed down to the field once again in a frenzy of happiness.  As the cherry on top of the competition, Yashna Bansal, the team administrator, was recognized as a Dean’s List Finalist for her extensive efforts to push Team 1967 onto a path of long term success. The competition experience was unlike any other and was a weekend full of laughter, screaming, excitement, and wonderful memories that any Jankster would be unlikely to forget anytime soon.

CVR (Central Valley Regional)

The Central Valley Regional began on Friday, even though official matches didn’t take place until Saturday. On Friday, many changes were made to the robot. The entire robot was taken apart and put back together all in one day, and luckily the hard work paid off. The belly pan of the robot was much stronger, motors were running smoothly, and the entire robot weighed under the maximum one hundred and twenty pounds. Matches began on Saturday, and things were running smoothly until communication issues between the field and robot began to come up. Even though these problems arose, the team took them in stride and worked hard to fix the issue, learning and having fun along the way. At the end of the competition, even though the robot didn’t perform as well as the team had wanted it to, the team was rewarded with two awards for their hard work: the Imagery Award and the Safety Award. Even with the setbacks, the team had a great learning experience full of fun and competitiveness unlike anything else, connecting with fellow FRC teams throughout the event.

 

 

Miyo Imai

Class of 2018

CVR was a great regional once again and this year the team came home with two awards and a Dean’s List Finalist. These were all results of years of hard work towards team branding, safety, structure, and sustainability. When the robot was functioning, it performed amazingly well as it sped through defenses which fit in perfectly with our strategic vision. We did run into some communication problems but after intensive testing, we were able to identify the problem and are working to fix it. I got to bond with my teammates and make new friends which made the experience even better, especially when I got to see my friends get recognized for their achievements too. Can’t wait for SVR!

Minh-Chau Doan

Class of 2017

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