Category Archive: From the Mentors

Oct 14 2013

Info needed for new site

Hello! This message is intended for FIRST NRG 4055 team members. If you are receiving it, you are registered to the team’s public site and please disregard.

*FIRST NRG 4055 team members, mentors, and parent contributors:* If haven’t already registered with Rachel, please email Rachel’s school email the following information for the new site.

First name

Last name

Username you would like to log in with: e-mail address

(Rachel will assign you a temporary password with which you can log in and change to what ever you would like)

* * *FIRST NRG 4055 Mentors and Officers:* If you haven’t done so already, please email Rachel categories or topics into which you would like to have information and discussions organized.

Oct 07 2013

Congratulations on winning the BASH at the Beach!!!

You guys are amazing!

Jun 05 2013

Where Is Wolcott Invitational Field Trip Form

NRG4055 students going to WIWI: Be sure to get your field trip form into Ms. Vincent ASAP! Here’s another copy if you need it.

Apr 22 2013

Team meeting changed

NRG WILL NOT MEET ON TUESDAY THIS WEEK. See you on Thursday, April 25 instead! :)

Apr 06 2013

Off to a great start!

Day two of qualifying matches and NRG was an integral part of their winning alliance by shooting and landing an amazing amount of points! The other teams tried to block us, but our drive team had more moves and powered through them!

Mar 27 2013

Are You Ready?!

Click on Title to see whole message

“Tommy Boy” goes to Hartford tonight for the Ultimate Ascent Connecticut Regional sponsored by UTC! Twenty-three FIRST NRG 4055 students and mentors will be going on Thursday for practice and scouting. Twenty-nine are going on Friday to continue scouting, compete in qualifying matches, and network at a dinner social event. Thirty will be in attendance on Saturday for the remaining qualifying matches, finals, and awards ceremony.

ATTENTION TEAM NRG: Eat a big healthy breakfast before meeting us at NWR7 by 6:45. Please remember to bring/wear:

  • your team shirt
  • team cinch sack
  • comfy, toe-covering shoes
  • safety glasses (I have a bin with some)
  • lunch and snack money
  • a great attitude ;)

Travel Bus Transport Info:

  • Leaving by 6:50 each day, so please be at the front of NWR7 BEFORE that time.
  • Thursday: bus ready for leaving Hartford at 6
  • Friday, bus ready for leaving Hartford at 8:45
  • Saturday: bus ready for leaving Hartford at 6


Mar 23 2013

This Season…

… in a Yearbook! Thank you Abby for arranging this wonderful collection of memories! Take a look!

Mar 22 2013

Moolah for Maine

Pine Tree People:

Be sure to hand Ms. Vincent your $100 for travel and lodging BEFORE Thursday, March 28th.

Mar 22 2013

Dinero for Dinner

Have you given Ms. Vincent $8 for the Friday night social meal? Be sure to give it to her before Monday night’s meeting. You can drop it off to Ms. V. in room 9 on Monday. Thank you! :)

Mar 22 2013

Important Meeting – St. Louis

Hello NRG Team members and parents! Please do your best to attend Monday, March 25th’s meeting. We will be discussing, sharing opinions, and voting on items concerning the tentative St. Louis trip.

Mar 20 2013

Did you give Ms. V your Field Trip Forms?

Hartford, CT and Lewiston, ME field trip forms are due today (Wednesday, March 20th) to Ms. Vincent! She will be at school until 3 then returning at 6 and leaving again at 9. If you can not find Ms. V. today, hand it into the main office staff to put in her mailbox before the end of the school day!

Mar 19 2013

Tuesday, March 19 Cancelled

All school activities are cancelled today and tonight. We’ll will see you all on Wednesday. Please do not forget your field trip paper work! You may drop it off to me in the Career Arts hallway before classes, or in room 9 anytime during the day, and of course, at Wednesday’s NRG work night!

Stay warm and safe!
-Ms. Rachel Vincent

Mar 18 2013

Monday, March 18th Meeting Cancelled

Per Dr. Palmer’s request, NRG will not be meeting tonight, Monday, March 18th. Stay tuned about tomorrow! Be safe! :)

Mar 14 2013

Field Trips: Friendly Reminders :)

Be sure to get your completed paperwork in to Ms. Rachel Vincent if you plan to attend the Hartford Regional and/or Pine Tree Regional before the end of the school day Wednesday, March 20th.

Our 2013 season shirts are in! You need to wear this one for competition days. If you did not get one last night, see Ms. Vincent Friday or Monday night. $5 per active member. There are extras for sale too – $10 each.

Mar 11 2013

Organized and taking ownership

NRG4055 will be working each night this week on the prow and other items. We hope to see you here and helping the team get the job done! If you arrive and do not know what you do, please check the “wall” and see what has been assigned to which student/s. Ask those student/s listed how you can help. Thanks! :)

Mar 07 2013

Thurs. 3/7 Cancelled

Hello Team NRG! The slick weather conditions are predicted to strengthen this evening through the night therefore we are cancelling tonight’s meeting. The events planned for tonight will happen at Tuesday’s meeting, same times.

NRG4055 will hold a work session on Friday evening from 6pm-9pm as long as the driveway is cleared. Assume we are on unless I contact you otherwise. NRG4055 is also holding a Saturday work session from 10am-2pm. These are very focused work sessions. If you do not have specific assignments from your mentors, do not plan on attending. We will resume our regular Monday, Tuesday, Thursday schedule next week.

Be safe!

Mar 07 2013

Hartford CT Regional Competition Field Trip

(click title to see whole message)

You should have been emailed a letter and forms for the Hartford Connecticut Regional Competition Field Trip. If you need another copy, please check in the “forms” area of our site or ask Ms. Vincent. All forms are due before the end of the school day on March 20th. Please check the regulations for eligibility to attend competitions. You must have a passing average and have attended at least 70% of team meetings. We have missed many of our members during the busy build season. We’ve put more hours in during the build season than we have for the rest of the year. If you have not been an active member, we still want you to attend and experience the regional competition to support the team. It is a BLAST! You will, however, have to have the same requirement of passing average grade to attend on Thursday and pay $10 per day to ride the bus. We would LOVE to have as many people as possible join us on Friday and Saturday when we do not have school. Invite everyone! There is room on the bus on a first-come, first-served basis for the same $10 per day fee and paperwork completed and handed in by the end of the school day March 20th. GO GEARHEADS!

Feb 16 2013

Meeting at 10 on Sunday the 17th

Team NRG 4055 will meet at the back entrance at 10am on Sunday the 17th.

Feb 16 2013

What a day!

Though our bot had a few problems, the team changed their strategy and played a terrific defense which got them to the final match at the Suffield Showdown! Ranking fourth over-all as an individual team and second in their alliance. Way to go NRG 4055! The middle school program participated in their very first competition against established teams with high school students. The are coming home with lots of experience and finishing 24th. We are so proud of all of our Gearheads!

Feb 16 2013

In the Finals at the Shakedown!

NRG is ranked 4th going into the final competition in Suffield! Four teams will battle it out soon. We are a captain of our alliance! Go Gearheads!

Feb 15 2013

A Lot is Happening Saturday, February 16

Suffield Shakedown… Last year we went to observe. This year we will compete! Our bot might not be fully functional, but it can shoot discs! Shane, Josh, Matt, Megan, Brandon, Meredith, Rod, and Nick, along with mentors, Michele and Phil will be leaving NWR7 by 6:45. The rest of the team will be working on the other part of the bot at the school starting at 9 am. Our new middle school FTC NRG team is competing on this day too! Go Gearheads!

Feb 11 2013

Schedule Changes

For the remainder of the week, NRG 4055 will meet from 4pm until 10pm on weekdays. We may end earlier at the beginning of the week and end later as we approach the weekend. Homework is first priority! Take care of school work before you come to robotics. If you are staying through, use the cafeteria to work on homework until robotics begins. Please ask your parents to contact Mrs. Cook (Andrew’s mom) to help out with quick and simple dinners this week. :)

Feb 11 2013

Parent Support Requested During Crunch-Time

Hello Gearheads! Though it is your responsibility to eat before coming in to NRG meetings, it looks like we will be working late every night this week… so… we will need nourishment! PLEASE ask your parents to contact Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Germond, or utilize the online sign-up system. Gearhead parents – Thank you for your continued support!!!

Feb 11 2013

Icy Conditions, Monday, Feb 11

Hello Gearheads! We are still opening the lab at noon today, Monday the 11th! Dr. Palmer and I just spoke. Mr. Boyle and the crews have cleared a way for us to get in, but it is VERY slick! Students must be driven in by their parent or guardian to the back door. Parking is only allowed at the back along the guard rails. It is very icy up on the hill. Parents and mentors, PLEASE drive very slowly. Everyone, please walk with caution and enter carefully as your wet feet will be slick inside on the floor as well. Call or text me to be let in.

Be safe!


Feb 10 2013


The crews are working diligently on clearing the school’s drive ways and lots… and we are going to get hit more more bad weather tomorrow morning! Dr. Palmer understands how important it is that we get in the building even though the school may be officially closed. She has made arrangements so we will have parking along the back guardrail tomorrow during the day and into the night (after the surfaces are cleared and treated for freezing conditions). CHECK WITH YOUR MENTOR to see what time after noon you should arrive to work with him/her. I will be there at noon through until the last one of us has a ride home.
Be sure to have eaten a good breakfast and early lunch. We hope that our supportive parent group will provide a dinner.
Plan on a good long productive day and afternoon!

Feb 09 2013

School Closed This Weekend

Change of plans my fellow Gearheads. Dr. Palmer has informed me that the school is not accessible at all. Massive amounts of snow and gigantic drifts are too much for our regular plowing crew. A pay-loader is coming in to clear the drive and lots. Dr. Palmer will contact me if the path is clear at a reasonable hour for us to get in and work for a few hours. Please check you email and this site for updates… But for now, assume we are not meeting on Sunday the 10th and will be working after school every night this week…possibly later than usual if you are  up-to-date with your schoolwork and your parents agree. Have fun in this fluffy stuff and stay safe!

Jan 07 2013


Schoolwork before robotics! It is everyone’s responsibility to keep up to date with school work and do his/her school work with quality effort. Whether you are going home after school or staying through until we meet, PLEASE take care of your school responsibilities before attending robotics. For those of you who do stay through, the cafeteria is open for you after school. USE IT. Room 009 will be open about an hour before robotics begins (after the cafe closes) on Mondays and Wednesdays, EXCEPT Monday, February 18, during the build season.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” – Stephen R. Covey

Oct 15 2012

Interesting Article on “Robot Worker”

Here’s an interesting article from an IEEE Spectrum Tech Alert (use link at end to see whole article and photos): 

How Rethink Robotics Built Its New Baxter Robot Worker

Baxter, an industrial robot from Rethink Robotics based on the vision of Rodney Brooks—possibly the world’s most celebrated roboticist—makes its debut this month. Brooks, who is also the start-up’s founder, chairman, and CTO, is optimistic that Baxter will unleash a revolution in manufacturing because of the many ways in which it is unlike any other industrial robot. Its two arms, each with seven degrees of freedom, don’t move with superhuman speed and precision. But the machine adapts to changes in its environment, and can be programmed to take on a new task by a person with no robotics experience. And while a traditional two-armed robot, including sensors and programming, will typically set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars, Baxter costs just US $22 000.