Meet the Team of The League of Extraordinary Roboticists (LER) FTC Team No. 8699
RAMAGOPAL (Rama) aka
Captain - Primary Programmer, Coach on the Field,
Rama's activities within FIRST Rama is one of the founding members of LER. He was invited to join the team when a determination was made to start a team. He has been instrumental in developing the foundational principals of the team, specifically team policies and equipment purchases. He is the oldest team member and will be entering his senior year of high school. As Team Captain, he is responsible for making sure all team members stay on task. Additionally, he is also responsible for making sure all team members are aware of FIRST Core values and he is the one who will primarily address any Core Value issues that might arise.
Additionally, he is the On Field Coach. When the team is competing on the field, he is the one who will primarily speak to the alliance team to determine the on field strategy. He also coaches the drivers and makes sure that they accomplish the missions per the teams mission strategy and within the rules of the game.
As Captain, he is also responsible for knowing all the rules of the competition and is responsible for keeping up with any updates or changes that are made after the challenge release date. in the event there is an issue on the field, he will be the primary person speaking to the referees concerning the call. Rama also mentors our FLL and FLL Jr. Teams.
Rama's activities outside of FIRST Rama was selected as 1 of 12 high school students to participate in the first year of The Danbury Youth Innovation program, which launched last summer in July 2015. Under a grant from the Connecticut Science Center, the program focused on creating STEM-based experiences that tell the story of how innovation has impacted Danbury in the past and how innovation can play a role in the future of the city. Students were responsible for engaging in STEM topics and designing and delivering public programs about STEM. They were also responsible for creating exhibit prototypes, while working as a team. Additionally they were responsible for communicating with members of the public in a professional manner.
Rama also competed in the Sikorsky STEM Challenge, which is a competition where High School Students are paired with Sikorsky engineers to solve an engineering design challenge. Students are challenged to apply their creativity and innovative thinking skills to resolve problems that are faced in an actual engineering workplace.
Rama can also communicate in 5 languages and he completed the Deutsche Sprachdiplom 1 and is currently pursuing Deutsche Sprachdiplom 2 which will allow him to attend University in Germany. He is in numerous clubs including the Math, History and the Geography Club.
G. EDWARD (G) aka The Artist
CO-Captain - Lead Designer, Primary Builder, Team Strategist, Lead Driver, Lead Scouter, Team Artist
G. Edward's activities within FIRST In addition to the above, G is also currently -Captain of his FLL Team, the Technic Terminators, Team 11416 . His responsibilities on the Technic Terminators include Team Strategist, Primary Robot Designer and Builder.
G. Edward, despite his young age is the most senior FIRST team member. He is the founding member of the 1st FLL team in Danbury Connecticut, which began in 2011 with the Food Factor Challenge. The teams have now expanded to *4 FLL teams and *2 FLL Jr teams and 1 FTC team. All teams now include students from the Greater Danbury Area. The Teams consists of 1 all girls FLL team, 2 all boys FLL teams and 1 FLL team with both boys and girls. The FLL Jr teams consists of 1 all girls team and 1 all boys team. He is the last remaining founding member. He mentors the other FLL and FLL Jr teams. This is his final season competing in the FLL as he will be aging out of the FLL program. His goal is to lead his FLL team to the World Championships since it is his final year competing at the FLL level.
Additionally, he is also one of the founding members of LER orThe League, which was launched in the 2014-2015 season when he was entering the 7th grade and some of his fellow team members had aged out of the FLL competition level. He is the primary force behind the teams Mission Statement and Awareness campaigns. He is also responsible for some of the outside partnerships the team has made.
*This season we reduced our all girls FLL teams from 2 to 1 and our FLL Jr from 2 boys to 1. We wanted to focus on building the FTC team for sustainability since team members mentor the FLL and FLL Jr teams, we hope to reinstate those teams next season once we strengthen the FTC team.
G. Edward's activities outside of FIRST G. Edward will be entering 9th grade this upcoming 2016-2017 season. He has been swimming since he was 6 months old and has been successful on competitive swim teams and in the Boy Scouts for a number of years. He has studied mixed martial arts and has studied Hebrew and Spanish. He is in the Gifted and Talented Program at his school. He is currently a Cadet in The Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which is a congressionally chartered, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF). CAP is a volunteer organization. It performs three congressionally assigned key missions: emergency services, which includes search and rescue (by air and ground) and disaster relief operations; aerospace education for youth and the general public. In addition, CAP has recently been tasked with homeland security and courier service missions. CAP also performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross. As a result of G's participation, The League is partnering with CAP to prepare interested team members in both organizations to participate in CyberPatriot. Click links below to learn more about Cyber Patriot and CAP In 2015 G was chosen to represent his school in the Pathways to Freedom and Friendship Program, which is an Inter-district program where 250 students in grade 6 through 12, throughout the state of Connecticut meet and work towards breaking down district, regional, racial, gender, socio-economic and cultural barriers while striving to improve academic achievement in Language Arts.
He also was selected to represent his school at the State Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC). Annually the CIC serves more than 15,000 students in grades K - 8 across Connecticut from over 200+ participating Connecticut schools. Of this number, the best 950 student inventors attend the state convention held at the University of Connecticut. At the Convention, G Edward was one of the top 100 students selected to receive the Recognized Inventors Award for his invention. Click the link to CIC to learn more
He was also chosen to participate during the summer of 2015, in the SCOPE (Science Opportunities in Health Care Environments) program. SCOPE is an inter-district grant funded program designed for students in grades 6-8 who are interested in exploring healthcare careers. The program is a blend of place-based learning experiences, interaction with healthcare professionals, and meaningful hands on activities that demonstrate real world skills and healthcare fields.
This year, in 2016, while in school he received a "Ben's Bell Kindness Coin", for his act of kindness, as a result, team members on all Danbury Robotics teams have decided to incorporate Ben's Bell Kindness Coin into the program and distribute it to others within our organization and to other participants at our FIRST competitions. We will begin this in the upcoming 2016-2017 season. Team members have also volunteered at Ben's Bells to help make the coins. Click on the link to the website to learn more about Ben's Bell.
Lastly, this year as a graduating 8th grader, the 8th grade class voted G as "The Most Artistic" and at the end of the school year he was also nominated by his teachers and received awards for having demonstrated "Safety, Responsibility and Respect".
Please see "How the League of Extraordinary Roboticists has Inspired the Community to Take Action" to see more of G's activities.
Chandler's activities within FIRST Chandler is preparing for his second season in the First Tech Challenge. He joined the team in the fall of 2015 at the beginning of the Res-Q challenge. While he is still fairly new to the team and FIRST itself, he has taken the position of Primary Programmer and Secondary Builder, working along side Rama and the Programming Mentor Tamara to create all the software needed for the robot to function. Additionally, since the team ended up having only 4 team members, Chandler stepped up and helped build many of the robots parts. He also has maintained the teams equipment and field elements.
Chandler's activities within FIRST Chandler will be entering his sophomore year at New Fairfield High School. In school, he takes part in the Digital Academy course, where they create projects and solutions for an end of the year expo. This year it was Expo Fest 2016 and his team was Pipeline+.
He also took accelerated Spanish III/IV this past year, where the enrolled students speed through 2 years of Spanish so they could go into Spanish V next year and then AP Spanish the following year. While Robotics has been a major part of his time and focus, he has maintained membership in 4 afterschool clubs: Maker Club - where he goes to New Fairfield Middle School and helps kids create anything they want to, ranging from games to electronic toys or gadgets which they can later use. He is also in the 3D Printing Club, where he uses Solidworks 2015 to create a variety of items, including parts for the robot. He also is in a Gaming Club and a Programming Club where he works on improving his programming skills in different languages, such as C# and Java.
Outside of school, Chandler participates in many other things as well. He has been doing Taekwondo for more than three years, and is a black belt. And like G, he is in the boy scouts, except in a different Troop. He is in Troop 42 of New Fairfield. He is currently a Star Scout and is preparing for the upcoming summer camp. As a Star Scout, Chandler mentors and guides younger boy scouts in his troop up the path of ranks by signing requirements off as they earn them. Before heading off to the wilderness as a Scout, Chandler looks forward to his first year of helping run the League's summer robotics program.
Lastly, in the 2015-2016 season, Chandler was one of the three recipients of our most prestigious award, the Albert Einstein award. Team member's that receive this award have, throughout the season, gone above and beyond and through their hard work and efforts on behalf of the team and the entire organization, have exhibited qualities that demonstrate that they have what it takes to make a substantial contribution to society as Albert Einstein did.
KAY PHOTO Team member activities within FIRST Kay has been competing in FIRST since 2013 on FLL Team EPIC. Kay is entering the 7th grade and is our First FTC Female Team member. She will be doing double duty on both team EPIC, where she is the co-captain and on The League where she is our Safety Captain and Media Specialist. In the 2015-2016 season, Kay was recognized with the teams highest honor and was one of the recipients of our most coveted award, the Einstein Award, which recognizes team members, who have demonstrated ...
On The League, as Media Specialist, Kay is responsible for creating and maintaining the teams social media accounts, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram, Pin Interest and You tube.
She is also the designated liaison with Auxiliary Team members who are assisting us to Produce, Direct, Film and Edit the teams two Awareness Campaigns.
She also manages the teams on line engineering notebook and Skype communications.
These duties are extremely important because it how we will be executing our mission statement and the Skype, google docs is one example of how we institute our inclusion policy, so that all team members have access to our meetings and can participate from afar. We wanted to insure that everyone, including auxiliary team members can have an opportunity to be heard. In the event that they can not attend the meeting in person or via Skype, they can add post meeting comments to the online engineering book for all to see.
As team safety captain, Kay volunteered to be safety captain and is responsible for ensuring that all team members follow the procedure outlined in the teams safety manual.
Kay also volunteered to learn sign language over the summer so she will be able to communicate on behalf of the team with the referees who are hearing impaired and referee at CT FIRST TECH qualifying events and State championship.
Additionally the team agreed to try to raise money to help CT FIRST TECH pay for the hearing impaired translators who must be hired to translate at our qualifying and state championship events. Kay launched the go fund me page in order to help raise money for this cause.
Team member activities outside of FIRST Kay loves to perform she has studied dancing since she was 4 and has learned and continues to learn to play various instruments, she has played the piano since she was 6. She is on the swim team and loves to write and draw. She has been a member of the Girl Scouts since she was 6. She along with her troop received the Girl Scout Bronze Award this year. In the past she has studied mix martial arts, if time permits, she would like to return to that. In 2015, Kay received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, signed by President Barak Obama and she also received the Science Award from the American Association of University Women. This award is given out annually to one young woman in the 5th grade graduating class who has demonstrated excellence in science, the recipients name is engraved on a plaque that will remain hung on the schools wall for all time.
This academic year Kay also received an award from her teachers as the "Most likely to Have Awesome Projects". Kay is also a volunteer for the United Way Youth Volunteer Corps where she has helped injured horses, made items for senior citizens and help to grow food for the needy.
.The team decided that they did not want to have an exclusion policy so they made it clear that membership would be open to anyone interested in participating in robotics. We continued to recruit girls from our all girls FLL teams but they declined and stated they want to focus on FLL for now. We have respected their wishes for now...but we will still try to recruit them for next season! The team is now made up of kids from Danbury and from other towns in the Greater Danbury area.
Unfortunately or Fortunately, due to our success in our first year, the local high school robotics coach, who originally refused to allow any 9th or 10th grader on his team, "stole/recruited" away 2 of our 9th grade team members since they now had "high school" robotics experience. Our Captain, Rama, the oldest of us all, remained on our team but is also on the high school team as well, they compete in Vex competition, so there is no conflict. In the end,....it's all good...its robotics...and the lesson to be learned is that you don't have to be in the 11th or 12th grade to be good at robotics...
Of course now part of our sustainability plan will be to address this issue...Because now we're down to 4 team members two from Danbury and two from New Fairfield.
We did however, add two new mentors, Welcome Tamara and Mr. Riehm.
CT FTC State Championships 3/18/16 First Selection Semi-Finalist Alliance Winner Promote Award Finalist Rockwell Collins Innovate Award CT Qualifier - Mountain Match Up 11/21/15 • Control Award Finalist
It was 9 of us in our first year ~ 4 coaches/mentors, one was a high school student from FRC Team 1099, the Disco Techs, and then the 5 of us, 3 high school students and 2 seventh grade middle school students, who love robotics so much that they decided to do double duty by remaining on their FLL team and participate on the FTC team at the same time. We were all from Danbury.
CT State Championships 3/7/15 First Selection Finalist Alliance Connect Award Finalist