Category Archives: Jankster Events

FLL at Intel


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



By Yashna Bansal ‘17

Originally posted on NDSJ

Notre Dame’s Robotics Team, the Janksters, recently hosted their 4th Annual Boot Camp. Using this four day camp as an opportunity to recruit new students and spread more awareness about STEAM, the Janksters created and led workshops revolving around the team’s different aspects–mechanics, electronics, programming, and business.

Campers gained various technical skills through student-led workshops. On Monday and Tuesday, the attendees rotated through four different workshops, gaining basic skills in wiring and programming an Arduino, using power tools such as saws and drills, CADing (Computer Aided Design) and 3D Printing keychains, and designing personalized buttons on Adobe Illustrator. Wednesday and Thursday, the campers were able to take a tour of the TechShop (which the team uses throughout the year to manufacture different pieces for various projects and the robot), drive and learn more about the robot, work in teams to complete a Rube Goldberg challenge, and explore one of the Monday and Tuesday workshops more in depth.

The campers gained a lot more than just new technical skills. Robotics Boot Camp provided an opportunity for the incoming Notre Dame students to interact with one another and create friendships before the school year even began. Through the different group activities and workshops, the Janksters and other students created a bond that will carry through with the group of students who join the robotics team this year.

Beyond the impact this camp had on the campers, the Janksters who helped lead and facilitate everything grew as well. Jayel Ambat (‘19) reflected, “As a sophomore, I still have a fresh memory of my experience in Boot Camp last year” which played a huge part in her decision to join the robotics team. She talked about how different it was for her to go from being a camper with no prior robotics experience to being one of the Janksters knowledgeable enough to lead a workshop. And she wasn’t the only Jankster who learned from the experience of teaching and bonding with the incoming freshmen and other students that attended the Robotics Boot Camp.

Recognition Luncheon

The event started with food—including a delicious make-your-own taco bar—and student leaders giving overviews on how the build season went and why we appreciate all the help we receive. We also watched videos that were full of hilarity and sincerity. My mother even received a special recognition for all her help with coordinating food and meals throughout the build and competition season. Overall, the event went very smoothly and I appreciate how it is a final transition for the graduating seniors to be recognized one more time for all their hard work in robotics.

Gillian McGinnis

Class of 2018

Robot Reveal Night 2016


On Sunday Night, Notre Dame High School was filled with excitement as the Janksters, Notre Dame’s robotics team, proudly presented the result of six weeks of hard work. More than 150 parents and teachers watched with amazement as the robot maneuvered its way across the Learning Commons!

The night started off with a student-run presentation about the general process the team goes through during Build Season from “kickoff” to “bag and tag.” The four main committees (mechanical, electronics, programming and marketing) then shared their goals and highlights from this year’s build season. Some of these goals were lofty and couldn’t be fully achieved, but students found true reward in the journey.

Following the student presentations, Coach Marta Carrillo shared details of the hours that had been contributed during the season – more than 8,000! When asked about the most significant part of the night, Nandana Suresh ’19 said it was “the amount of total hours everyone put in,” which was by far the most in the history of our team.

When it was finally time to reveal the robot, the crowd was full of excitement and curiosity. The robot made its way through the middle of the Learning Commons with maneuverability that did not disappoint. Amritha Sankrappan ’18 commented, “It was fun and a great learning experience. It was cool to see our robot move for the first time.” Some team members had never seen the robot’s full range of capabilities so they were as surprised as parents and teachers to see it pick up and shoot a boulder in the air before successfully crossing a defensive obstacle.

The last hour was set aside for the audience to see the robot up close, ask team members questions they may have, look at the marketing committee’s various accomplishments and mingle with others while enjoying snacks.
We hope our guests enjoyed Robot Reveal Night as much as the team did because their support has been our source of inspiration throughout the build season. We have further improved our robot since Robot Reveal Night and look forward to competition!

(Originally published on Notre Dame San Jose)


WWRF Workshop

During the WWRF workshops, I only attended one workshop, 3D Printing – Getting Good Prints out of Printrbots. When I came into the workshop, I didn’t know anything about 3D printing. During the workshop, they taught us things like how make the object to print, how the printrbot works, and what to and not to do while printing. We also learned about how to get the most desirable prints. Overall, the worksop helped me out a lot. I’m still not an expert on the subject, but I do know a lot more than when I started out.

Naina Manoj

Class of 2019

I attended the Intro to Java Programming Workshop and the Strategic Design for Build Season Workshop. As a member of the mechanical committee and having never before programmed, the Java workshop was full of new and confusing things. Thank God I had Kimberly Zhang, the most amazing programmer, sitting right next to me to help me through it all. The second workshop I attended was mostly ideas and concepts that I was preciously familiar with, so I was more comfortable and I could help rookies to learn more. Overall, the workshop experience was extremely fun and one that I will never forget.
Camille Miller
Class of 2016

Young Women’s Engineering Symposium

The Young Women’s Engineering Symposium was a great way to meet and hear the stories of different female professional engineers.  The women were all very inspiring to listen to, and I loved hearing the advice they gave us.  My favorite workshop (if I had to choose) would be the robotics engineering workshop.  The women showed off the robot they created named Relay, who is a used as a delivery service for guests at multiple hotels.  Relay is able to maneuver around a hotel and deliver items to hotel guests.  Overall, the symposium was a hit and I can’t wait to meet more female engineers next year!

Paulina Robles

Class of 2017

YWES gave me my first opportunity to get a feel of the engineering possibilities, and I am so glad I decided to go. I came to the event not knowing anything about the workshops I decided to attend, but I left with new knowledge of the three careers I had heard about. The first one, Biomedical Engineering, exposed me to how engineering and biology are combined into one super cool job that allows engineers to be superheroes by inventing multitudes of medical devices that work to keep people alive and healthy. I was also introduced to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and their program SWENext for young girls looking into a future in engineering. In my second workshop, Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, I heard about some gender bias that occurs out in the field and also had the oppurtunity to look at some interesting projects that the speaker, Kat, has worked on, including US Navy submarines and NASA rockets. In my third workshop, I got to meet the cute hospitality robot Relay and it’s creators from the new company, Savioke, who explained their prototyping process, what they had to do to make it more human-friendly, and the algorithms needed to make Relay a successful robot in the hotel hospitality business. The event as a whole increased my interest in engineering, and I know that every time I consider what I want to pursue in college and as a career, I will look back on this event and remember everything that I heard and learned.

Miranda Godinez

Class of 2018

Young Women’s Engineering Symposium (YWES)

Credit to Tamara Kawa

This weekend, The Janksters were led by exceptional members, Anisha Patel (Class of 2016) and Kimberly Zhang (Class of 2016), in planning the annual Young Women’s Engineering Symposium, in which nine female engineers ran workshops with high school girls interested in engineering, empowering us as women involved in STEM. Through this event, we were able to reach out to students from all over the Bay Area, including 15 local FRC and FTC teams!

The following inspiring women were able to attend:

  • Shraddha Chaplot (Electrical Engineering at Cisco Systems)
  • Olga Rodriguez (Civil and Transportation Engineering at CH2M)
  • Juanita Sanchez (Structural Engineering at Jakaby Engineering)
  • Kathlyn Terrazas (Mechanical Engineerin at Space Systems Loral)
  • Liz Murphy (Computer Science at Savioke)
  • Alison Tse (Mechanical Engineering at Savioke)
  • Tessa (Robotics at Savioke)
  • Lesley Telford (Biomedical Engineering at Abbott Vascular)

The day started off with a short speech from Isis Anchalee, who started the hashtag #iLookLikeAnEngineer, which promoters gender inclusiveness in the STEM field. Her words on gender equality were truly empowering to all, especially those who may be minorities in a male-dominated robotics team.

Then, all participants attended three different workshops, allowing each student to hear from and converse with the engineers in small groups about the fields she has the most interest in. After, everyone gathered for an open panel with the speakers, in which questions were taken from both the student leaders and the audience. The engineers were able to discuss a wide range of topics, including the importance of inclusiveness and perseverance in their fields.  Luckily, the YWES women were able to stay for a fun lunch with Team 1967 before leaving!

All in all, YWES was very successful, and we hope that each participant gained more knowledge and interest in the STEM field as well as the motivation to pursue it. It was inspiring to see how many young women are passionate about engineering, and we hope to inspire even more next year!

Isis Anchalee

Isis Anchalee

Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering








Open Panel

Open Panel

Intel’s FLL

FLL was one of my first experiences being a part of the robotics team and I had the most amazing time. I worked at making buttons, and so many kids wanted to draw their own pins; I felt like they had so much fun as well. When I walked around and saw how excited the kids were about showing off their pins, I had the biggest smile. In addition to making buttons, I helped out with the concessions and it was cute seeing the children debate over which candy robot they wanted. By the time I went home, I felt accomplished. Although FLL has all your attention on the kids for long shifts, I look forward to participating in FLL next year.

Tani Pham

Class of 2018

It was great to see all the kids so enthusiastic about being able to drive the robot. I was also able to talk to some adults about our robot, its mechanisms, and our process throughout build season. The FLL tournament gave me more experience in talking about the robot in a way that anyone, even kids, could understand. Overall, the event had a variety of opportunities and fun activities for both children and adults to learn about robotics.

Nikita Jagdish

Class of 2018

FLL at Intel

Credit to Tamara Kawa

The Janksters had a wonderful time this weekend helping children in FLL (FIRST Lego League) at Intel during their “Trash Trek” challenge.

Our members were happy to teach parents and FLL students about our 2015 FRC robot, Grace. They conversed with the Janksters about the various mechanisms and functions before driving the robot on their own.

We also held a concessions stand where we sold breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Our candy robots offered a fun treat to hungry persons during a long day of competition.

Additionally, Team 1967 made sure to incorporate all aspects of their team with our “Make a Button” station, where students and parents were able to design their own button with our guidance. Imagination was at its best, as individuals participated in a more artistic part of robotics and proudly wore their button throughout the competition.

Finally, the Janksters were delighted to showcase the October Projects that the rookies and veterans were given three weeks to build. The ping-pong ball shooter was very interactive and gave a sneak peek into the team work and thinking skills gained in a robotics team, hopefully encouraging FLL students to participate in FRC as well.

All in all, it was a very successful and stimulating weekend, leaving the Janksters excited to help again next year!

Credit to Tamara Kawa

Credit to Tamara Kawa

Credit to Tamara Kawa

Credit to Tamara Kawa

Interested in hearing more about this event from the point of view of our own members? Take a look at our Janky POV’s!

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