Aperture advances to the District Championship!

by Derek Ravshanov

During year four of the Newton Robotics Team’s career, Aperture earned the prestigious Engineering Inspiration Award. Three years later, the team achieved this accomplishment once again at Bridgewater-Raritan High School during the the second event of the season on Sunday, March 19.

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Alongside this reward, Team Aperture also attained the Industrial Safety Award. Preceding the Bridgewater event, the team received the Entrepreneurship Award at Mount Olive High School. Nick Nannery, Aperture’s safety leader, was awarded Star of the Day at Mount Olive and the #1 Pit Safety Award at Bridgewater.

Aperture was alliances with Team #5992 “Pirates” from Seton Hall Preparatory School and Team #2600 “Falcons” from Jefferson Township High School at Mount Olive, and with Team #1676 “Pascack Pi-oneers” from Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley and Team #4954 “Palindrome Robotics” from Middletown, Delaware.

The team positioned in the 14th place at Mount Olive, and 3rd place at Bridgewater. As of week four in the competition season, Aperture is ranked 21st out of 120 teams in the FIRST Mid-Atlantic region, which allows the team to advance to the Lehigh Regional Championship on April 6-8.

"Tobor Stephenson"

by Carter Boyd

Aperture’s robot for the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition, “Tobor Stephenson,” is an effective team player and a great asset to any alliance.

While designing the robot in January, the team decided that the robot would rather be a “jack-of-some-trades” and a master of some than a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. Tobor Stephenson specializes in delivering gears to the human players in the middle of the field and climbing the “airship” for take off.

Our drive team is comprised of relatively young, but amazing, drivers. At the Bridgewater competition, our robot was an important member of the alliance that set the high score for the competition.

Its name is “robot” spelled backwards while its last name is derived from George Stephenson, the British civil and mechanical engineer of the Victorian era. He was the driving force behind an inner-city railway line that utilized steam powered locomotives. In 1830, the Manchester and Liverpool Railway, under his leadership, opened, being the first public railway in the world.

A cartoon image of Stephenson is incorporated into Aperture’s Kids Come FIRST program to encourage younger kids to ask questions that will elicit important information about history and innovators.

STEM Night 2017

by Katie Nelson

On February 23, Aperture held its sixth annual STEM Partner Open House, known as “STEM Night.” The purpose of this evening was essentially to unveil the latest robot for the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition, “Tobor Stephenson”, to sponsors, parents, and anyone else who felt like stopping in to see what the team has been working on during the six weeks of Build Season.

Every guest had the opportunity to watch Tobor Stephenson, listen to students as they presented their work, enjoy light refreshments, and have riveting conversations.  Parents, students, and sponsors watched in admiration and astonishment as students of Aperture’s build and drive teams controlled the robot through a laptop, joystick, and video gaming controller.

Every visitor was very pleased to see Tobor Stephenson deliver gears and climb itself up the rope. As a result of this evening, the students received an invaluable opportunity to network with potential employers.

Many thanks go out to all of the restaurants, and businesses that donated food and supplies to help make this important opportunity happen. Over seventy-five visitors attended the event. The team looks forward to seeing all of their guests again next year!

S-2398: Update

by Najah Davenport

The S-2398 Legislation is a bill that the Newton Robotics Team and The Pascack Pi-oneers Robotics Team are advocating, which would allow for all public high school academic teams, (including robotics) in New Jersey to attain a varsity status.

In 2011, Aperture was the first public high school robotics team in New Jersey to achieve a varsity status.

To speed up the process, the two robotics teams have been going around to different teams during competitions in their pits and requesting their contact information so that they can receive information about how the varsity bill can help them achieve varsity status in their school and what steps they would have to take.

The teams would have to garner support from their local assemblyman in order to produce a majority vote in the Assembly. Currently, the bill is ready to placed on the governor’s desk and ready to be signed.

Inspiring younger students to be involved in STEM

by Liam Oakes

On March 28, Aperture visited Long Pond School and Florence M. Burd School in Andover.

At Long Pond, three students from the team read Benjamin McFadden, written by Timothy Bush, to Mrs. Whitaker’s Special Education class. In the afternoon, the rest of team performed a demonstration of last year’s robot, “Frank the Tank,” to Florence M. Burd’s Lego Club of third and fourth graders.

The students learned about the FIRST Lego League and the FIRST Robotics Competition and the endless amount of opportunities that each program offers. At the end of the demonstration, the students were able to play with the robot by catching the balls that it launched and returning them to the robot.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering

by Najah Davenport

On February 23, I had the amazing experience of being able to visit Picatinny Arsenal on Introduce a Girl to Engineering Night. The purpose of the event was to inform people, specifically girls, about their options and abilities in STEM. This convention also helped establish resources to help me and other girls with opportunities to get into colleges with special STEM programs.

At the convention I met a lot of wonderful people and even got the chance to speak to a woman specializing in Optical engineering, which I had never heard of before. I got the ability to get more information about fields that I had never learned about or even knew existed in the engineering field. I found out about other areas that also sparked my interest that I could consider going into.

It was great to have relatable people in similar careers that I wanted to be in because I could ask them personalized questions about things I have always wondered. The best part was meeting other girls that were also interested in engineering and being able to exchange information. Overall it was an amazing and very informative experience that I was very grateful to be able to have.

Student Testimonial: Derek Ravshanov

This is my first year on a FIRST Robotics Team. As a freshman, I have already enjoyed numerous pleasant experiences being on the team, and it has made me very excited for my future.

I have had the joy of attending events and learning about all the work put into maintaining a team, along with finding that it’s really not just all about robots.

After the graduation of the current Public Relations Leader, Liam Oakes, I will have the duty of caring for the public image of the team, along with the relationships between the team and others, including political figures. I have opened a door for myself by joining the team, and each passing day offers another open door full of promise.

Aperture does the “Safety Dance”

by Liam Oakes

On February 28, ten members from Team Aperture were certified in performing CPR and AED. Jim Nannery and his wife Anna trained the team members on how to do this process.

Safety is the number one priority for the Newton Robotics Team, and the team ensures that all students are aware of how to react in an emergency situation, and how to maintain safety for themselves and other students on the team.