Janky Point of Views

Janky POVS:


Toys for Tots

This is my second year helping out with Toys for Tots, and this year, I helped out at the face painting booth and was the toy runner. The toy runner stays behind the scenes and picks out toys that the children would like and delivers it back to Santa. I had a lot of fun picking out toys for the children and hearing their excitement as well as gratitude toward the gifts they received. I would most definitely help out with Toys for Tots again next year, because it is one of my favorite volunteering event that we do on our robotics team.

Rikako Shimizu

Class of 2017

This past week I volunteered at Toys for Tots, a Christmas event for the kids of low-income families. The children came to see Santa Claus who gave them a gift and later participated in all the fun activities. The Janksters did a variety of jobs, but I was a toy runner for the majority of the time. Searching through mountains of donations to find the toys that the elves requested was really challenging, but I felt proud that that I was able to help out. The kids’ joyful laughter of excitement upon receiving a gift from Santa was a great reward for me. The event had a high, positive enery and everyone was pumped for Christmas in the upcoming week. Though tired, I had so much fun and I would love to participate again next year!

Lily Johnson

Class of 2019

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


 

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


 

October Projects

The October project was a great way for me to get to know the rookies and to prepare my mind for build season. I was amazed to see the different projectors that each group came up with even when give the same goal. After interacting with the rookies and girls from other committees, I am definitely more excited to see how everyone’s unique and creative thoughts will be applied to this years game. This project benefited me as it was a tiny refresher of the process of build season.

Kimberly Zhang

Class of 2017

It’s not easy having a million ideas in your head and only one month to take one idea, build it, and make it work. When the team was told that we had three weeks to brainstorm and build something that could shoot a specific ball for a certain number of feet away, I was so excited. I was paired up with two other rookies and two veterans to shoot a ping-pong ball at least 4 feet away, and I immediately thought the idea of a catapult. Our prototype worked pretty well, so the veterans in the group suggested that we should rebuild it out of metal and maybe use a piston. Building the final was quite stressful since we almost ran out of time in learning about angle brackets to connect extrusions. Unfortunately our final presentation and run didn’t work as well as we hoped since the piston was a new concept; however, I’m still glad that I got to work on this project, because I made tons of great memories and friends with the other veterans and rookies. After October, I’m really pumped to learn and work more in the Mechanical Committee. I never would have guessed that robotics would be the thing for me, but now I’m sure.

Shreya Basireddy

Class of 2019

I had an amazing time working on the October projects. I’m new to the team and this was my first time. It really helped me adjust to being on the team. At first I was embarrassed that I didn’t understand what the veterans were actually talking about, but after working with them I was able to ask for help understanding things when I needed to. I realized later how important brainstorming is, because the machine would not have worked out as well without all of the planning. When we started prototyping, there were also challenges, such as constant testing, retesting, reforming, and at one point, we changed the method of how we were going to shoot the ball altogether. I feel this really prepared me for build season, because I’ve heard its really stressful and that week is so crucial because thats when most of the work is done.In the end our project turned out so well, and we even finished early.

Naomi Dasari

Class of 2018


 

Training Rookies

September 26, 2015

As I began my third year on this team I noticed many unfamiliar faces fill the small room I have always known as D107. I made my way through the crowd to find my friends to share my excitement, new students, FRESHMEN! I remember telling them that I couldn’t wait to talk to all these new Janksters and get to know them better. At this moment I realized that I was one of those terrified, self-conscious freshmen just two years ago. I too sat alone in one of those desks, surrounded by people I had just met five minutes ago. Sadly, in that moment I had another realization, that it would take time for these freshmen to open up and be comfortable in the Janksters community. This deeper understanding has stuck with me, a month into the school year, I haven’t gotten close to a freshman yet but I am hopeful, because one day, soon, they will be comfortable enough to shout out GO JANKSTERS at games and talk to veterans. That is a day I am waiting for.

 

Parisa Deokule

Class of 2017

Seeing all the new faces in robotics is utterly amazing. Looking back on my first year in robotics, I can remember how exciting it was to be learning so much so quickly and being opened up to a whole new world, one that I never knew existed. I can’t wait for the new rookies to experience this. Robotics truly changed my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! Rookies, get ready to embrace your nerdiness!

Camille Miller

Class of 2016

The start of a new school year encounters new people, new experiences and of course the reboot team 1967 Janksters. This is my second year on the team and it’s exciting to take on the role of being a veteran instead of a rookie. It will be challenging to take be the teacher instead of the student, however with every new beginning there is something new to learn. Training the rookies is something that I am really looking forward to because I have the opportunity to teach new things on a topic that I am truly passionate about.

Ysabel Zagala

Class of 2016


 

Becoming a Jankster

September 26, 2015

People always say that freshmen are “fresh meat”. I was terrified at the thought that I would be lost or unwelcomed in a new to high school and a new home, even though I had several of my friends coming to Notre Dame with me. Yet, meeting the Janksters for the first time at Robotics Boot Camp 2015 made me realize that the team members weren’t about seniority and upper class priorities, but I saw how greatly the words friendship and fun bonded each of them to one another. Through the various workshops and introductions to different committees, I have not only been able to make new friends and memories, but I learned basic robotics skills that would eventually accumulate to bigger contributions in the future. Although I lean more towards building the next robot with the Mechanical Committee because of the activities I enjoyed in Boot Camp over the summer, I’m extremely excited to work with all the Janksters and solve all of our problems together.

Jayel Ambat

Class of 2019


 

Egg Drop Activity:

September 26, 2015

The egg drop was very fun because as a result, it was cool to see all the amazing projects done in an hour. I was ready because I had done it in the summer for another camp. When we started, I saw that we had copy paper and I needed it to make a box to hold the egg. We also had tape and newspapers which we used as a padding but then during the summer, I knew that we had straws as well. So I asked for the straws, and luckily the Robotics room had them. We finished the project by putting the straws on the top as additional padding. When we finally tested it, I was sure it would work, because I saw that a group had done it that way and it worked, but unfortunately, I think that the blue tape and newspapers were too heavy, which is why when the egg dropped on the ground, it cracked.

Tania Pham

Class of 2018

When the veterans told us that we were going to be composing an egg drop experiment, I had the perfect plan forming in my mind. My team and I got the materials right when the timer started. They agreed with my idea of what we should do, and we worked with what we had. We ended up covering our egg with 9 layers of protection and making a parachute within a time span of 1 hour. Even though our egg didn’t make it, and even though I don’t plan on joining the mechanical committee, it was still a fun and huge learning experience for me and my teammates. Sometimes the plan that you are so certain will work doesn’t; and you just need to keep testing until you get it right! I can’t wait to continue working with Team 1967.

Alex Huynh

Class of 2019


 

Thoughts on the New Year

September 4, 2015

I’m excited for this upcoming year! As good as it’s been to have a break, I’m excited to see all the Janksters again and get back into the groove of robotics. I can’t wait to see the new Janksters, either! After meeting some potential Janksters at boot camp, I can say with confidence that we’re going to get some incredible new students this year. Having such a big team just opens up so many possibilities. With a big veteran base and dedicated rookies, we’ll be able to give more in-depth training to the students, get more work done, and hopefully have a bigger impact on the community. I’m excited to see how things turn out this year – not just with our team and its students, but also with the game itself. It’s sad to think of my time as a Jankster coming to a close, but I think that this is going to be a great senior year. I can’t wait for Build Season!

Tamara Kawa

Class of 2016


 

Boot Camp

August 28, 2015

Boot Camp was a blast! This was my second year helping facilitate the workshops and activities, and I think the overall energy we got from the campers was great. My favorite part was when we went Downtown for lunch on Wednesday, because I was able to see who I’d get along with since they liked the same food as me (kidding), and we were able to relax and have some great conversations while eating on the grass in San Jose State. Most of the students who attended boot camp seemed to have a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see most of them during our robotics meetings this following year.

Yashna Bansal

Class of 2017

Boot Camp is officially 3 years old! This year, it was full of energetic campers who were engaged and excited to learn. I look forward to seeing some of them come join this season! I got the opportunity to teach Arduino for the second year. During one of the free-choice sessions, I had one of the most rewarding experiences. There was a girl who struggled with understanding the logic behind code I was teaching her. After half an hour of trying countless methods and writing up plenty of notes, we finally figured it out together. Code and the logic behind is hard to grasp for those not familiar with it. To be able to teach it and know she understood was an amazing feeling!

Minh-Chau Doan

Class of 2017


 

Silicon Valley Regional (SVR)

April 12, 2015

Friday was a really exciting day for everyone. The real matches were actually starting and we had a working robot. Grace moved in all of our matches and we even got to stack four totes. This was an improvement and got the team pumped up for more matches. Friday wasn’t just fun seeing our robot improve but it was also cool to see the other robots. We saw most of the robots before at the Central Valley Regional, but almost all of the robots had gotten better and it was nice to see different robots as well. It was great that the event was in the area as well because other people from outside of robotics came to see our work. Even our principal and vice-principal came to see Grace in the competition. It was a great experience and I know the whole team felt proud of what Grace did and what we did.

Gabby Davila
Class of 2018


 

Team Social
April 10, 2015

The robotics team social was probably my favorite moment throughout the whole robotics season. It was a really nice to get to meet with other teams and get to know them! I had a great time dancing with the other teams! I also loved playing games in the dark outside! It was scary but super fun. Can’t wait for next years team social!!

Stephanie Boyer
Class of 2017


 

Central Valley Regional
March 12, 2015

Friday was the first actual day of competition where the team made a lot of changes and improvements to Grace.  We were able to finish building our sub-system mechanisms, which include the reorientation, singulation, forklift, and the boxlift. Drive team was even able to briefly test out all of Grace’s functions before the actual matches started. But Friday wasn’t all work and no play.  A lot of our members had a lot of fun pit scouting the other teams and getting information about their robots. The safety glasses table was especially fun for the team because it gave everyone a chance to unwind and relax from the busy competition.  We ended our busy day with a dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, where everyone especially enjoyed the unlimited ice cream sundaes available at our liking.

Paulina Robles
Class of 2017

The first few matches on Saturday went perfectly, and most of the pit crew’s work was tidying up the pit. However, at lunchtime, one of Grace’s ropes snapped during drive practice, and we had approximately 15 minutes to replace it before the next match. I was put in charge of that, and we replaced the rope in time. It was stressful to be working with a clock ticking, but at the same time, it was an exhilarating experience that helped me learn a lot about the weak points on the robot and how to counteract them. Unfortunately, all of the ropes decided that they had had enough, and they snapped one by one. Even though we played a match with our main mechanism inoperable because we had not had enough time to fix broken part, the drive team was still able to score points by pulling totes from the center field. At the end of the day, we were ranked 33rd. To me, our ranking didn’t matter much because we were able to get a robot onto the field that could play the game in some way for every match.

Julia Hunt
Class of 2018

Sunday was the last day of our competition and while we may not have won we had gained a lot. From the start we knew we were at a disadvantage because our team simply did not have the resources that other teams had. However, what we did have was spirit and determination. Even though we consisted of a team where most of its members had two or less years of experience, we still managed to build a robot that functioned. The robot made it out to every match and could participate in every match. To top that off we had enormous support for the drive team. Both of these showed that we are a team that is capable and still growing. I can’t wait for the next competition so that we can show off our Jankster spirit!

Natasha Palamuttam
Class of 2015


 

Food and Fun
February 20, 2015

Phew. Finally done with Build Season, though there’s still a lot of work left to do. These last 6 weeks have been really tiring and busy, with students working long hours to finish building our robot. But I think it was all worth it when we got most of our robot working. I’m pretty sure most of us thought that we wouldn’t have a working robot, no matter how hard we pushed ourselves, so it was awesome to see everything slowly coming together and then finally working.

Yashna Bansal
Class of 2017

Food and Fun? In only one entry? This should be two different entries. Where do I even start? Food is great with the Janksters. Mentors and parents bring in the best food. We’ve gotten milk tea and CREAM for the whole team. We get bagels in the mornings sometimes and don’t get me started on the snicker-doodles one of the moms bring in. I don’t know what I would do without all of the great food that comes in from the parents. Building and thinking is hard when you’re running on an empty stomach after all. But we don’t just build and think. We have fun too. Now that build season’s over we’ll be having our annual trip to Ben and Jerry’s to name the robot. I love staying late at robotics because even though I come home with no motive or time to do homework, it’s just so much fun. Not many people stay late so you get to bond a whole lot more and just have a great time while working hard. Spending so much time with the girls means that everyone knows each other a whole lot better, be it through belting songs while building or struggling through CAD while telling corny pick-up lines. (Or maybe that’s just for mechanical and electronics.)

Minh-Chau Doan
Class of 2017


 

Robot Reveal Night
February 15, 2015

Robot reveal night is the day the team is able to show off what we worked on during the 6 weeks of build season. Because I am the Electronics Committee Lead, I explained to the audience what my committee members did during the 6 weeks. It was the first time I talked in front of a huge audience and it was very nerve wracking. This opportunity helped me get over my fear of public speaking.

The most memorable moment that night was seeing the robot stack totes for the first time. Because I worked away from the robot the last couple of days, I had not seen the new mechanisms that had been added onto the robot. I was surprised at how well our robot could stack the totes and made me very excited for the regional!

Rikako Shimizu
Class of 2017


 

Fifth Week
February 10, 2015

Robotics has been a really fun experience for me. Our entire team has been getting to know each other and we treat one another as our own family. As a rookie, I did not know what to expect, but being a part of Marketing has helped me learn many things like editing a website and learning about Photoshop. This week will be an intense week as Mechanical started to build the robot. I am so excited and can’t wait to see how our robot will turn out!

Amritha Sankarappan
Class of 2018

This week was pretty crazy as we all started to feel the pressure of finishing our robot for Robot Reveal Night. I could tell that the mechanical and electronics committee were picking up their pace, setting priorities, and working very diligently. I’m on the programming and committee, and we were hard at work on our code. Even with our intense focus that allowed us to progress a lot throughout this week, we still managed to find time to have fun. I remember one day I stayed late with Natasha, another member on the programming committee, and we had lots of fun alternating from debugging our code to laughing at High School Musical videos.

Kimberly Zhang
Class of 2016


 

Fourth Week
February 6, 2015

During these past couple of weeks, our team has been really busy, but we found time to connect and strengthen our bond as a team. On Tuesday, we sat in a circle and shared our funny experiences we had as a Jankster. As a rookie, I am brand new to everything and did not really know what to expect, but I already feel like I am part of the team. I feel like what I benefited from this team are that I developed new skills, expanded my knowledge, as well as built new friend relationships. Going into our 4th week, we know that we are already halfway and these next few weeks are going to be more intense and nerve racking. However, I believe that together, my team, is capable of building an awesome robot and it will be an exhilarating and fun experience to see our robot come together.

Kathy Hoang
Class of 2017

Week 4 of build season has come to a close, and the Janksters are still steadily working their way towards a working robot. Hitting the halfway point of build season added a greater sense of urgency to our work; we are all definitely feeling the time crunch now. This past week, however, I have been excited to see this increased urgency translate into progress. Several mechanical subgroups–specifically our chassis group and “boxlift”/lifting mechanism group–have started manufacturing parts and building the physical structure of our robot.

I have also been very impressed with how all of the Janksters, both rookies and veterans, have risen to the challenges of build season. After only 4 weeks, I have seen incredible growth in technical knowledge, leadership, and communication skills. There is still a lot of work to be done before we have this year’s robot, and there’s always more to be learned, so I am looking forward to seeing how much we progress in the next 2 weeks.

Regina Walker
Class of 2015

 


Third Week
January 30, 2015

Being a rookie and a junior has been quite stressful this build season, however I have had learned so much over the course of the season. For the past two weeks I have been working with one of the most energetic and experienced mentors, Tamara. She has been guiding me through this journey of Robotics and patiently taking me step-by-step with our CAD design.  At first, I thought that I would hate CADing, but once I understood the process I started to resent it less. With CADing I was able to create a visual representation of what our mechanism would look like and to work to accomplish any kinks that came with our mechanism.

Ysabel Zagala
Class of 2016


Second Week
January 24, 2015

A lot of prototyping of many different ideas happened in the second week of build season. In each group, we worked on making prototypes and finding solutions to potential problems with them. We also started figuring out which prototypes we would be putting on the robot and how we would do that. There were five whole work days to make great progress because of the semester break. The two weeks were very exciting, and I am looking forward to continuing work on the robot.

Elaine Duh
Class of 2018

Robotics is more than a club, to me, it is a family. This years game is Recycle Rush and it has been both exciting and nerve racking. The game itself is really cool because I am in APES and it connects both environmental science and technology together. Although it is exciting, Recycle Rush is also a bit nerve racking because of how complicated and sophisticated it is. Lucky for me, my student run team is very optimistic and hardworking that there was no way I could be nervous for long. This team has allowed me to improve my communicating skills and become more patient and understanding. Overall, I am extremely excited and I cannot wait until I see how our robot turns out!

Megha Mallya
Class of 2016


 

First Week of Build Season
January 16, 2015

When build season started, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that there were going to be longer days, but that was about all I knew. When it started, I quickly found that it was more than just longer days. We were split into groups to work on things from experimenting to strategy. But what I soon realized was that the days didn’t feel as long as I thought they would. Over the next few days, we all made a lot of progress. I’m looking forward to be able to keep working on everything.

Hannah Patrignani
Class of 2018

As soon as the 2015 FRC game, Recycle Rush, was revealed the first week of build season had begun! The brainstorming began, we brainstormed many strategies for stacking and scoring. We also went to the gym and played the game as if we were the robots. That was a fun way for us to understand the game. We then started using legos to make basic prototypes for mechanisms. I am looking forward to an exciting build season!

Ishika Narain
Class of 2017


 

Kickoff
January 10, 2014

On the last Saturday of winter break tired Janksters piled into a cold classroom. The enthusiasm wasn’t really evident at first but as time came closer to the release of 2015’s challenge the anticipation rose. I cannot express the excitement in my teammates eyes as the video began. Immediately after the release of Recycle Rush the chatter intensified as students joined into groups to brainstorm. This period of brainstorming always reminds of how our imagination becomes reality through robots. Simple and complex ideas can be made and applied in real life. It’s safe to say that though brainstorming is tedious and long it’s where the magic happens.

Parisa Deokule
Class of 2017

I didn’t know what to expect going into kickoff since this year is my first season in robotics. But I could feel the tension in the room as the video started and everyone in the theater at San Jose State eagerly awaited the announcement. After watching the founders of FIRST discuss their inspirations and various messages of encouragement from sponsors, they finally got down to business. The new game is Recycle Rush, where teams will compete to stack totes and recycling bins and dispose of “litter”. I heard the gasps as it was announced that bumpers were no longer necessary. This year’s game will be different. There is more strategy involved and there are three different playing pieces on the field. However, after reading the game manual and discussing with teammates, I understand the game more and am very excited to see how our team and other teams solve this unique problem.

–Emma Ryan

Class of 2018

2015 marks my third year as a Jankster, and my second year as a veteran. That being said, I didn’t really know what to expect for this year’s task — it seems as though FIRST has covered every sport imaginable, from basketball to frisbee! However, arriving at school on January 3 to experience Kickoff with my fellow Janksters, I knew that if there was anything that could be expected, it was that FIRST’s challenge would be nothing short of stimulating. And I was right; the moment I heard the title “Recycle Rush”, I knew that our team — and other teams participating in the FRC– would be in for another great year filled with learning, collaboration, and epiphanies. This time, not only would we be challenged to produce a capable robot, we would have to keep large scale ideas such as environmental friendliness in mind as well. As a Notre Dame student, I love the idea of incorporating environmental stewardship into the FRC program. It just goes to show that the technology we are creating can be used not only to improve our own lives, but to prolong the life of our Earth as well, an idea that resonates well with ND’s virtues of advocacy and social justice.

Here’s to a great 2015 season!

Ilumin Gacayan
Class of 2016

 

Toys for Tots
Dec. 29, 2014

Recently, many Janksters went to the Toys for Tots event on December 21 to help out with giving out toys to families. I worked as a table organizer but served as a toy runner when the other members took a break. I was surprised by the sea of toys in the area that had and had not been sorted. I also never knew that figuring out the proper places for toys required so much thinking until after participating in this event. It was very fun and exhilarating to rush around trying to find the toys the families wanted while I was a toy runner. Even though I went home with dusty hands from the toys and sore feet from rushing around, I was happy to have contributed to such a good cause. Overall, I think the event was a success, and I will definitely volunteer at this event next year!

Jasmine Lee
Class of 2018

This past Sunday, a couple of us Janksters went to the Santa Clara Fairgrounds to participate in Toys for Tots. Let me say this, I have never seen so many gifts or happy kids in my life before. Take Target times 3 and ringing ears of joy, that is what this experience felt like. Some of us were choosing gifts in the background and the rest  of us were delivering gifts on the other side of the curtain. I think it’s safe to say that for the people behind the curtain, we loved hearing the kids squeal with joy. For the people handing the gifts, I bet they loved watching kids’ faces stretch as they smile. I definitely look forward to doing this again. It only makes the holidays happier.

Anisha Patel
Class of 2016

 

FLL Tournament
Dec. 10, 2014

I had the most fun, and amazing time at FLL. I loved all the team work that the Janksters had, and I loved it when I saw how involved the kids wanted to be. When I saw how excited the kids were to drive our robot or catch the ball, I had on the biggest smile. Some of the shifts that I worked included our concession stand, and our demo area. By the time that I went home each day, I was so happy, and felt accomplished. Even though FLL can be tiring because of the long shifts or focusing all your energy on the kids, I look forward to participating in FLL next year.

Stephanie Boyer
Class of 2017

Recently, the Janksters went to the FLL Tournament at Intel where we sold concessions, demonstrated our robots, and assisted with the matches. I worked at the coffee station (which was very popular for the adults) at first, then went on to be the time keeper for the competition. It was interesting to meet so many people at the coffee stand, and be able to see the competition up close as a timer. I also noticed that the children in the groups were overall very accepting with their score. For instance, I heard a young girl say something along the lines of, “It’s okay; we can fix it and do better next time!” My shift ended after a pizza lunch, but the competition took up the rest of the day and the next day as well. I believe that the FLL Tournament was a huge success, and it was fascinating to learn more about how the younger generation is getting involved in the STEM field with something we all know and love: Legos!

Gillian McGinnis
Class of 2018

 

Thursday Workshop
Nov. 24, 2014

This was our first meeting where we met in the afternoon instead of right after school.  It was fun to eat dinner with the team and get taught by the mentors in the different workshops.  In my workshop, I went with Mr. Miller to Lowe’s to look at the different supplies and resources we can use while building the robot.  One thing we looked at were rivets, which would be an alternative way to put something together like the chassis.  I had so much fun wandering around the store with my friends and singing songs in the car on the way there and back.  Looking at the things we could possibly use to make our robot with and goofing off with friends from our team really got me pumped for the build season coming up!

Lauren Schirle
Class of 2017

 

VEX Robotics
Nov. 24, 2014

The VEX robots brought together many friends and ideas. I think that I learned about what some of the commities my group members are good at. I was a good experience because we got to learn what we were good at and we got to learn about how others think. I would have liked to see the course instead of programming without know what the course would look like. I learned that a lot of the screws could come unfastend really easily. This is one of the reasons it took a long time to make the robots. Our robot was supposed go through a maze pushing or some how getting PVC pipes to the other end of the maze. Overall, I had a lot of fun making this robot.

Amber Kesapradist
Class of 2018

Using VEX was kind of intimidating at first. When we got all of the materiels we needed, the first thing that I saw was the huge binder filled with information ranging from how to assemble the actual robot, to how to programm it. The robot itself was just a jumble of parts that somehow had to come together to make a functioning robot that could pick up PVC pipes. I later discovered that it was not as hard as it seemed. We all worked together, and soon enough, we had a functioning robot that could drive around (sometimes into the occasional chair) All in all, it gave me a pretty good idea of what building the actual robot could be like.

Hannah Patrignani
Class of 2018

 

Cancer Walk
Oct. 27, 2014

While driving to the cancer walk last Saturday, I had no idea what I was about to experience. Before this, I’d never been to any kind of fundraising walk, so I wasn’t expecting too many people to show up. However, once I reached Discovery Meadow, where the walk would begin, I became so surprised. With so many people of various ages there to support the event, finding parking itself was difficult. The park was filled with people holding red, white, and yellow lanterns, and they set up several booths, representing the teams for the walk. People with white lanterns were the survivors, yellow lanterns were held in the memory of family and friends, and red lanterns marked all the supporters. It was so inspiring to see everyone come together for the Light the Night Walk under one goal, to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma. The highlight of the whole experience was listening to Mimi’s incredible speech. All of the Janksters gathered in front of the stage during her speech, chanting “Mimi! Mimi!” It was such a memorable moment that motivated me to have an active role in my community throughout my life. The walk itself, which began after opening speeches, was so much fun. The Janksters all walked together, occasionally singing songs along the way. Holding lanterns in the night created a very beautiful image, and some drivers even began to press their horns in support of our walk. The amount of energy people brought to the event was truly amazing. Overall, the night was extremely enjoyable, and I will definitely participate in this event again next year.

Mahima Chillakanti
Class of 2018

 

Open House
Oct. 25, 2014

Honestly, when I first came to the open house, I didn’t really know what I was talking about or what to expect, and I figured I would just improvise as I went along. I was surprised by the amount of people that came interested in robotics, and I found it become much easier to answer their questions and concerns as more people came and I gained experience. At the open house, we mostly aimed to expand awareness about our team and hopefully gain interest from others as well as future members. I’d say that it was a complete success, and we definitely managed to talk to a lot of people and raise interest and awareness regarding our team.

Tiffany Ta
Class of 2017

 

Workshop on Scratch
Oct. 18, 2014

Learning Scratch from Ms. Duffin, Notre Dame’s technology, engineering, and design program head, was quite the experience. I entered the workshop, not really knowing what to expect. In fact, I thought Scratch was pretty sketch. I also wasn’t sure how dragging differently colored rectangles had anything to do with programming. As I experimented more on Scratch (using the tutorial), I saw that it had extreme relevance to programming, especially the logic aspect of it. We had some technology problems at first as one should expect from Notre Dame’s brilliant technology but I learned a lot and greatly enjoyed the workshop. I feel confident in my ability to help others on Notre Dame’s Hour of Code Day and look forward to it.

Minh-Chau Doan
Class of 2017

I had a blast learning how to use the program Scratch.  Everyone played around on Scratch to figure out the basics themselves, and everyone enjoyed looking at what other people had done in the end.  We all had a laugh putting together backgrounds and sprites and strange noises to form images and stories.  At the end of the session, everyone put together a pirate story.  Using the images that were given to us, we individually made a story or interactive game with Scratch.  Although everyone was at first somewhat uneasy about learning a new form of programming, especially those of us who had no experience whatsoever, we all had a great time playing around with it.  I am sure we are all more eager to learn about programming by the end of this year.

Miyo Imai
Class of 2018

 

Cal Games
Oct. 10, 2014

As a rookie attending Cal Games, I could not have imagined the level of energy present. Patches of colors, some big, some small, decorated the stands, as teams sat together anticipating the beginning of the competition. At first I was overwhelmed and thankful to have the rest of the team with me. The highlight of Cal Games was when some of the mascots ran across the front of the stands waving their team’s flag. The entire gym was alive with activity and there was never once a dull moment. I can’t wait for the next competition and a chance to be fully active and enthusiastic member of the jankster team!

Natasha Palamuttam
Class of 2015

I had an exhilarating experience at Calgames 2014. It was my second time at this off-season event, but this was the best off-season event I have ever been too! This time, I was able to take a leadership position. I had a group of rookies with me and I guided them over the course of two days. My most favorite part of Calgames was the mini spirit-off the Janksters had against the Wildhats. It was all fun and games but it was definitely a fun experience.

Anya Thakur
Class of 2017

 

Spotlight Week
Oct. 10, 2014

Spotlight Week was pretty awesome this year. We had a few glitches every here and there (such as music refusing to play), but I guess that’s just bad luck. I loved hearing Mouse’s experiences with the team; I guess you could say it was Throwback Tuesday, in a way. But the only thing I can say that was more entertaining was having Mr. McDougall make Ants on a Log – or, based on how it turned out, Ants in a Swamp. I was kinda bummed that not many people came on the first four days – especially on Wednesday (Destruction Day) and Thursday – but the turnout for Friday’s Jankster Rally more than made up for it! As one of the dance leaders, I loved watching everyone come out and get their groove on; not to mention, it helped get me warmed up for some CalGames mascotting. All in all, it was a great week, and I’d like to encourage more people to come next year!

Tamara Kawa
Class of 2016

I went to four out of the five events at Spotlight Week, and they were all really fun and interesting. On Tuesday, we all gathered in the chapel to hear Mouse, one of the original members of the Janksters, tell us about her experiences with the team and how those experiences have shaped her life. We heard a lot of little anecdotes, and at the end, we all took a picture with her. On Wednesday, there was a booth set up at lunch for any students who wanted to come take common household items apart. I got to take apart a Nerf gun and managed to pull the casing off of an old sander. It was really fascinating to see all of the inner workings for both. Thursday was an amusing day as we watched multiple teachers attempt to make an “Ants on a Log” snack with varying degrees of success. It was a great eye-opener into the importance of specificity when coding with robots. My favorite day of Spotlight Week was most definitely Friday. The Janksters were playing music, and pretty soon, there was a dance party in the middle of Pardini Park. It was a great way for us to bring attention to CalGames, and I know that I had a lot of fun.

Julia Hunt
Class of 2018

 

Thoughts on the New Year
Sept 17, 2014

Last year, our team had 20-25 student, out of which only 6 were returning veterans. This year, we have 20 veterans (which is over 3 times as much as last year!) and about 20 rookies as well. To be completely honest, I was, and still am, nervous about having such a huge team since we’ve never really had 30+ students (forget 40+) on the team before. At the same time, I’m a little excited to see how much we can improve our team and how we’ll expand this upcoming year. Having triple the amount of veterans from last year, this year’s Build Season and everything before and after that will be a lot smoother. With a lot more Jankster experience, I, personally, feel we’ll be able to expand our opportunities and ideas to include things that weren’t possible last year–like putting googly eyes on our robot!!

Yashna Bansal
Class of 2017

I am extremely excited to start this new year with so many new students! Since we have many grade levels on our leadership team, it’s awesome to see different perspectives and hear different ideas. Compared to the smallish team we had last year, this is VERY new for us, and I have a feeling that there are many good things to come. In addition, the whole last year, we rookies were the ones being taught, and now we’re going to be the teachers. As frightening as that is, I think all the veterans can agree that we have so much to teach them and can’t wait to see their knowledgable selfs by the end of this year.

Rabab Karimjee
Class of 2017