See You in St. Loui!

FIRST® NRG4055′s bot “Scratch That” was given the thumb-up by FedEx driver Dave and is on its way to the Championships in St. Louis!



Words cannot even begin to describe how thrilled we are as a team to have qualified for the FIRST Championships in St. Louis Missouri! This is the first time that the team has qualified to attend the competition in St. Louis through a matter of points and WINNING THE 1st FIRST NEW ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! The Gearheads did go to St. Louis in their rookie year, by way of winning the Rookie All-Star award which is awarded to  “the rookie team exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST to inspire students to learn more about science and technology.” that is the exact definition from the FIRST website.

Our winning alliance with the Gaelhawks (#230) the Bobcats (#177) was fantastic. Our reaction when we won the 1st FIRST New England Championships is indescribable. We hope to have the opportunity to work with such outstanding teams again in St. Louis. Our ability to work with these two great teams, the awesome robot that we put together during build season, and the team’s efficiency in scouting, made our time in Boston wonderful. We plan to keep our positive mojo as we bring our competitive spirit into St. Louis.


Mentor’s Log, Sunday April 23, 2014, 7:21 am: Waking up at the hotel after three days of exciting competition realizing that it wasn’t a dream. The FIRST Northwestern Robotics Gearheads worked their way up the ranks in a field of the best teams in New England, got themselves noticed, was selected to be on the #3 alliance, and are the undefeated finals NEFIRST winners with that alliance. These students haven’t even finished their third year as a team and earned their place to compete in the Championships against the best in the world! I was already the most proud mentor after the team earned the numerous awards that they had this season… But to have made it to the finals in two CT district events, earning gold in the New England Championship event, and now a seat in the world FIRST Championships?! WOW! I am overwhelmed with pride for these students and with gratitude to those who have supported them. Thank you to our school, parents, local businesses, and corporate sponsors. Without your support, this organization couldn’t function. To the mentors of this young team, your endless hours of working with and for this team astounds me. The students have achieved great things in a short time under your guidance. Your ability to share your expertise while facilitating and allowing the students to really do this on their own… YOU I thank, we all thank! This mentor wakes up feeling blessed.

-Rachel V.

Entrepreneurship Award in Boston!

Here is how it was introduced…

“The Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit by recognizing a team that has developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan to scope, manage, and achieve team objectives.

We have a team that had no fears
Who faced a trifecta of challenges without any tears.
Together as a family they sought new cash
With customized letters and grants, they built a stash.
They got FIRST teams together for a Halloween dance
To build connections and improve their chance.
Building their team over three years
They’ve used every one of their entrepreneurial gears.
We salute this team as their message spreads
We’re proud to reward the Northwestern Robotics Gearheads!

Congratulations Team #4055 – Northwestern Robotics Gearheads.”

Practice Time

FIRST Northwestern Robotics Gearheads are in Boston practicing before the qualifying matches begin this afternoon. We thanks our generous sponsors ALCOA Foundation and United Technologies for getting us to this event. It is a wonderful venue full of terrific teams!


Hungry for Hartford!

Having made it to the finals and giving the number one ranked team a challenging set of matches, FIRST® Northwestern Robotics Gearheads Team 4055 is ready to work in alliance with other teams to make it to the finals in Hartford this weekend, March 29th and 30th! Below are links to the weekend’s agenda and map to Hartford Public High School. Come and support FIRST® NRG 4055!

Agenda  &  Location 


Mentor’s Log, March 23, 2014, 10:08pm: Last night, Safety Captain Matt saw three deer on the way home from Southington. Tonight, FIRST NRG 4055 finished the two-days of qualifying rounds in third place (yay!). NRG was a team captain which allowed them to select two other teams to play in their three-team alliance in the final rounds. NRG and their alliance played in all three levels of the final rounds landing in THE final two out of three matches having to play all three (yay, yay, yay!)! Though the team did not take the “winner” title at the Southington Regional Event, they were “finalists” (second place alliance). They also won a prestigious Entrepreneurship Award for the second year in a row. In the team’s three short years, NRG 4055 has worked hard and earned the respect of veteran teams as they continued to make a name for themselves. Again, I have to state how extremely proud I am of this group of students. Thank you to all who support this organization, especially ALCOA Foundation, our Northwestern Regional family, our community businesses, and of course our personal families.

Side note: We are proud Northwestern Regional High School Highlanders (deer).  :)


What is FIRSTTM? (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)

FIRST is a non profit organization devoted to kindling and advancing the pursuits of science and ingenuity. Founded over 20 years ago by Dean Kamen, FIRST culminates into an international competition where people and teams can gain recognition, meet friends, gain new skill sets, and most importantly learn the meaning of Gracious Professionalism.

FIRST  Programs

FIRST hosts 4 different robotic competitions for all ages.

  1. Jr. FIRST Lego league, Grades K-3, ages 6-9
  2. FIRST Lego League, Grades 4-8, ages 9-16
  3. FIRST Tech Competition, Grades 9-12, ages 14-18
  4. FIRST Robotics Competition, Grades 9-12, ages 14-18

FIRST is an all inclusive program that allows development of many skill sets, the creation of many things, and the development of cooperative skills that will last a life time. Even after high school Alumni can come back to a team and help as mentors.

FIRST  Vision & Mission

“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”  Dean Kamen, Founder

“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.”

FIRST creates and supports Gracious ProfessionalismTM and CoopertitionTM

FIRST  Values

“Gracious ProfessionalismTM

Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term “Gracious ProfessionalismTM.”

Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It”s a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.

In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.”


CoopertitionTM produces innovation. At FIRST, Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.

Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.”


FIRST robotics truly is the ”varsity sport for the mind,” and we here at N.R.G encourage anyone and everyone to take part in this organizations amazing programs.

Kamen, Dean, and FIRST. “Mission, Values, and Vision.” US FIRST. Web. 08 Feb. 2012. <>.

FIRST®, FIRST® Logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FTC®, are registered trademarks of FIRST® ( which is not overseeing, involved with, or responsible for this activity, product, or service.


See You in St. Loui!

FIRST® NRG4055′s bot “Scratch That” was given the thumb-up by FedEx driver Dave and is on its way to the Championships in St. Louis!

Read more


Words cannot even begin to describe how thrilled we are as a team to have qualified for the FIRST Championships in St. Louis Missouri! This is the first time that the team has qualified to attend the competition in St. Louis through a matter of points and WINNING THE 1st FIRST NEW ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! The …

Read more