NEOHBots September 2015 Newsletter #1

NEOHBots News



FIRST robotics programs in Northeast Ohio to inspire students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

It’s hard to believe we’re beginning a brand new school year. Students are back in school, brandishing new pencils, markers, shoes, and books. They’re getting to know their new teachers and catching up with friends they didn’t see over the summer break. Pre-K through College parents are all wondering where the time went, but students of all ages are energized and ready for what the new year will bring.

Parents and students alike should recognize the acronym “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), but may, or may not, be as familiar with NEOHBots. The purpose for NEOHBots is to reach out to our Northeast Ohio students and parents to discuss the importance of student and community participation in programs like FIRST Lego League.

NEOHBots and FIRST Lego League are getting today’s students interested in STEM fields. STEM students are our future doctors, engineers, teachers, and inventors. It is imperative to give these students early exposure to fields that may not, at first glance, be seen as “exciting” or “fun”.

Students may not get crazy about an A+ on their last Algebra Exam, but building a robot? That’s exciting!

FIRST’s Mission: “Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”

NEOHBots News

Trash: IT’S EVERYWHERE! The storage, collection and processing of our waste materials is a challenge that scientists and engineers are all facing today and now, it’s up to our Trash Trek Teams to think of innovative solutions!

The focus of this year’s Robot Game is to get the team’s autonomous robot to complete as many mission as possible!

Teams competing in Trash Trek will attempt the following missions:

Mission 1: Using Recycled Materials. Teams can use some discarded materials from another team for their team’s use.

Mission 2: Methane. Methane is a by- product of landfills and can be used as a source of energy. Teams will collect Methane from around the board.

Mission 3: Transport. Wasted materials have to go somewhere! Teams will move materials to where they belong.

Mission 4: Sorting. Teams will need to sort materials between recyclable and non- recyclable.

Mission 5: Careers. That trash is not going to process itself, get the scientists, engineers, and technicians to work!

Mission 6: Scrap Cars. Teams need to

figure out if they’ll fold and scrap the car, or fix it, good as new!

Mission 7: Cleanup. Plastic bags pose a health hazard for our environment. Teams will need to collect the plastic bags from the board.

Mission 8: Composting. Organic waste doesn’t need to decompose in vain! Get the compost process started.

Mission 9: Salvage. Move valuable items from the demolition site.

Mission 10: Demolition. Teams will knock down the building, then figure out what do to with the materials left over.

Mission 11: Purchasing Decision. Teams want to purchase a toy, but need to make that decision based on the packaging of the toy.

Mission 12: Repurposing. Ever heard that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure?hat applies in Trash Trek, too! Use an item that may be wasted (packaging from toy) and the compost to create a flower box.

That’s it! Team’s robots will be gliding through the Trash Trek Missions sooner than you think. Trask Trek Teams – Remember to use your coaches, mentors, and each other if you get stuck. Most importantly – HAVE FUN!!


  • September 19 – Workshop at LCCC from 9:00 – 3:00 pm, Contact: Mike Substelny at
  • Coaches/Mentor Roundtable September 21 at 5pm at Burntwood Tavern in Lyndhurst RSVP to
  • September 26 – Workshop at Rockwell, Register at
  • November 7 – Trash Trek Rally and Test Run, Register at this link: Trash Trek Rally and Test Run or contact Karen Plaster at with questions.



FIRST Lego League volunteers are 8,000+ strong. From college students, to teachers, to parents, to FIRST alumni, sponsors, and friends, FLL volunteers embark on their own journey, learning and growing along with the FLL participants. FLL Volunteers can mentor and help teams through coaching, judge or volunteer at a FLL event! Each FLL event takes the coordinator, teamwork, and leadership of many individuals. We need you! Sign Up Today

NEOHBots September 2015 Newsletter #2

NEOHBots News


Time to get ready for the big FLL event in January. Teams are invited for a networking and test run event held at the Akron STEM High School. Sign up today!

Formerly known as the “Scrimmage”, the NEOHBots team is preparing for this year’s Trash Trek competition by holding a test  run event in which teams can come and get to know other teams, get answers to some of their difficult questions, meet judges, referees, and other volunteers, and test out their robot.

The Trash Trek Rally and Test Run will be held at Akron’s STEM High School in the former Central Hower High School.

Address: 123 S Forge St.

Akron, OH 44308

FLL volunteer training for judges and referees will occur from 9:00 am through 12:00 noon. The Trash Trek Rally and Test

Run will then begin at noon and end at 4:00 pm.

Not sure your robot is ready for the event? No problem! This event is designed so that teams can get some practice with their own robot.

Remember that this is not so much a competition between teams as it is a learning experience and a competition against the Mission! Camaraderie and teamwork is encouraged!

The Trask Trek Rally and Test Run will be a lot fun for everyone! Sign up to attend with your team at

Should you have any issues, or have any questions, please contact Karen Plaster at


Join us on Facebook! NEOHBots FLL Connections

Follow us on Twitter!  NEOHBots Tweets

Learn more about  NEOHBots at Anything in red or underlined can be selected and you will go right to that link.

NEOHBots News


FIRST Lego League is a big, big event and we need all the volunteers we can get!

From judging, to refereeing, to volunteer coordination, and more – there is a spot for you on our Volunteer Team. Here are some of the different volunteer opportunities available:

-­‐  Judge: FFL teams work together as teams to create an autonomous robot and present solutions to waste management problems while sticking to the FIRST Lego League Core Values!

Judges will observe with throughout their presentation time and score them on different criteria.

-­‐  Referee: Just like any other sport, there needs to be someone that knows the rules and ensures that game play is fair and equal. Referees will stay by the play boards and make sure that all the rules are followed.

-­‐ Volunteer Coordinator/Front Desk: There are a lot of volunteers and a lot of teams, this volunteer will be responsible for checking in teams and volunteers, traffic control and directions, and general help wherever needed!

-­‐  Room Monitors: There will be a couple of rooms reserved for FLL events, Room Monitors will ensure that teams are in the room they need to be in, when they need to be there, and will provide any other assistance.

Now you’re thinking “Wow! Where do I sign up?” Well I’m glad you asked. Visit FLL volunteer registration at: MS_Login.aspx

Through this site, you can register to volunteer at any of our Northeast Ohio tournaments (listed in upcoming events) throughout the fall. Additionally, judge training is on-line. Once you have been selected as a judge for a tournament, a link will be provided to complete the training.

If you plan to be a referee or would prefer training in person, here are a few opportunities:


-­‐    Oct. 24 – Columbus State Training

-­‐   Nov. 7 – Akron Training at the Trash Trek Rally and Test Run. Register at:


  • Oct. 24 – Columbus Training Event for FLL Volunteers

Nov. 7 – Trash Trek Rally and Test Run, Register at:


  • Dec. 5 – Cleveland Orchard STEM School
  • Dec. 12 Solon
  • Dec. 13 – Kirtland HS


  • Jan. 9, 2016 – University of Akron

NEOHBots February 2016 Newsletter

NEOHBots News Issue 5, 2/2/2016

With 29 FLL and seven Jr. FLL teams in attendance, dozens of volunteers, thousands of Lego pieces and parts, many parents, friends, and families watching the Robot Games and cheering for their teams the University of Akron District event was definitely one that we will all remember!

The big event began early January 9. Registration for volunteers and teams alike was in full steam by 8:00 am. Teams were whizzing through judging rooms and practice tables. They could be found during down time playing cards, finishing homework, and perfecting their robot for that afternoon’s Robot Games. Judges, charged with the difficult task of rating student’s Core Values, Robot, and Project,

certainly had their work cut out for them as the teams really brought their all to the tournament.

We were pleased to have Zach from Zero Waste perform an original song about sustainability during our very exciting Opening Event. Mr. Mike Substelny was our Master of Ceremonies and introduced the crowd to all the teams participating, recognized our volunteers, and kicked off the Robot Games.

After a lot of deliberation between judges, and many rounds in the Official Robot Games, our district tournament winners were announced!

NEOHBots News Issue 4, 11/22/2015

In addition awards were presented in the following categories:

Core Values

Inspiration Award – Smart Cookies Teamwork Award – Symphonic 8 Gracious  Professionalism  Award  – The BORG


Mechanical  Design  Award  –  The ThinkaDinks

Programming Award – Crazy Rhinos Strategy & Innovation Award – Brain Bots


Research Award – RoboBacon Innovative Solutions Award – Mechanical Flyers

Presentation Award – Voyagers (Kent)

Robot Performance Award – Tuxedo 7

Judges  Award  –  LCCS  Lightningbots (Lake Center Christian School, Hartville) Coaches’ Award Mechanical Fllyers Volunteer Award Adi Kalahasti

Congratulations to all of our teams that participated in the University of Akron’s District Tournament, a GIANT thank you to all of our volunteers, and best of luck to the teams moving on to states!


Although we’re technically still in the 2015/2016 season, FLL has released some information about next season challenge.

The theme for FLL next year is all about our furry, scaly, slimy, tall, and tiny co- inhabitants on this  globe – animals in all shapes, sizes, colors, and categories!

Teams will still create an autonomous robot to perform different tasks, work  together under the principles of FLL’s Core Values, and create a project to solve a very important global problem by thinking like scientists and engineers.

No details have been released yet, but more information from FIRST should arrive by August 30, 2016.

What do you think our Animal Allies challenge might be? Tweet us your thoughts and we will post it on our newsletter using




  • Feb. 6-7, 2016 – Wright State University


  • April 27-30, 2016 – St. Louis


LCCS  Thunderbolts for sharing your robot and expertise at the Akron Public Schools science fair!

NEOHBots May Newsletter

NEOHBots is planning two summer outings this year to showcase our FLL spirit and get teams together in the off-season.

It’s not summer without baseball. Join us at either Canal Park on June 26 as the Akron Rubber Ducks take on the Trenton Thunder or August 28 at Classic Park to watch the Lake Erie Captains defend their home turf against the Lansing Lugnuts.

Both events will have a FLL booth where our team can present more information about FIRST Lego League
and other FIRST events. Kids can run the bases before the game at Canal Park and there will be fireworks after the game at Classic Park.

Tickets can be purchased for the Duck’s game at y.asp?EventID=159759#.Vxjn2_krLC8 using promo code NEOH (case-sensitive). Captains tickets can be purchased from their website using the promo code NEOHBOTS (case-sensitive).

If you need more information, please contact Karen Plaster at

State FIRST Lego League Tournament Results

We would like to recognize some of the teams that represented Northeast Ohio at the State FIRST Lego League Tournament in Dayton, February 6-7, 2016.

Coaches Award – Michelle Williams, Symphonic 8
Martin Luther King Award – Smart Cookies.
Presentation, 1st Place – BORG Mechanical Design, 2nd Place – Brain Bots
Inspiration Award, 2nd Place –
Tuxedo 7
Gracious Professionalism Award, 2nd Place – Crazy Rhinos
Gracious Professionalism, 1st Place
– Smart Cookies
Champions Award, 2nd Place –

Congratulations to RoboBacon on their advancement! They will be participating in The FLL Razorback Invitational May 19-22 where they will be competing
with 72 teams at the University of Arkansas.

Have YOU Signed up for Think Tank to Shark Tank?

We know you’re all about STEM – but let’s get down to business! This summer, we are excited to host an awesome day camp aimed at students in grades 5-8!

The camp will be held at the University of Akron campus and will cover engineering and entrepreneur basics. Participants will conduct research, design & constructa product, and pitch their product to Sharks/Business Leaders.

The camp will run between 9:00 – 3:30 pm from July 18-22. Interested? Sign up and get more information today!

FLL Orientation and Engineering Camps Held this summer in Mayfield

Children grades 4-6 will learn the components of the FLL program while exploring group challenges, construction a
robot and attachments, and learn to program their robot. Those participating in the Engineering camp will learn to code in the FabLab. More information is available at the NEOHBots Website!


April 27-30, 2016 – St. Louis
July 18-22, 2016 – Think Tank to Shark Tank Summer Camp
June 6 – August 12, 2016 – Camp Wise: STEAM Camp
August 1-5, 2016 – FLL Orientation Camp, Mayfield
August 1-5, 2016 – Engineering Camp, Mayfield
June 26, 2016 – Akron Rubber Ducks
August 27 – Lake Erie Captains

Interested in FLL?

Are you new to FIRST Lego League and interested in getting involved? NEOHBots is here to help!

Contact Karen Plaster ( to get more information.