33 robotics teams compete in FIRST R.I. Championship at NEIT

New England Tech is proud to support FIRST Robotics because it is so much more than robots.

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From the Providence Journal

Patrick Anderson
Journal Staff Writer

WARWICK — Months of fundraising, planning and community events completed, Saturday was all about the robots.

Dozens of the metal-armed machines, middle and high school students at their controls, wheeled their way across the floor of the host New England Institute of Technology’s automotive center in an all-day competition as confusing to the uninitiated as the circuits that power the robots.

They scooped up rubber balls. They climbed obstacle-strewn ramps. Sometimes they flipped over.

And for the 10th straight year, a select few teams — Rhode Rage 1 from Aquidneck Island Robotics, the Westerly Bulldogs from Westerly High and North Robotics from North Kingstown High — earned a spot in the FIRST Tech Challenge’s regional finals in March against teams from up and down the East Coast.

“It is getting more challenging every year: more teams, more kids on each team and the games are different every year,” said Rick Powell, team mentor for North Kingstown High School’s three entrants in the FIRST Rhode Island Championship.

Over the last 20 years, school robotics has grown from a science class novelty to an educational phenomenon, with competitions in every state, teams in most school districts and students spending hours after school preparing for events.

And while engineering still lies at the heart of most robotics contests, the teams have become more than a refuge for tinkerers.

Within North Kingstown’s teams are building groups, software groups, design groups (for the logo) and “notebook” groups that record everything, Powell said.

The 33 teams that made it to the state finals Saturday — another 23 were eliminated in three preliminary rounds — represent 24 schools and extracurricular groups with different resources and robotics histories.

Source: 33 robotics teams compete in FIRST R.I. Championship at NEIT

NEIT lab puts charge in student training – Providence Business News

Fantastic story from the Providence Business News about how New England Tech is training students for today’s manufacturing jobs.

STATE OF THE ART: New England Institute of Technology assistant professor Michael Eggeman and NEIT sophomore Gillian Eminger of Scituate examine the FMS- 200 in the newly completed automation lab for the school’s electrical engineering program. PBN PHOTO/ MICHAEL SALERNO

Source: NEIT lab puts charge in student training – Providence Business News

(Updated Jan. 19)

Stephen Koester, 23, prepared last fall to intern this academic quarter at the Providence office of Woodard & Curran, by using equipment in New England Institute of Technology’s updated electrical engineering lab.

The Portland, Maine-based environmental engineering firm is one of a handful that has a longstanding relationship with the school and hiring NEIT graduates, said NEIT alum and Woodard & Curran controls engineer Jeff Souza.

“When we go to the job fair, we look for people with good technical background [and] hands-on experience,” Souza said. “The equipment in the new lab is very up to date. The graduates come in and can do more things than graduates from other programs at other schools right off the bat.”

Launched about four years ago, the revamped Electrical Engineering Industrial Automation Lab has been upgraded with equipment to give practical, real-world experience, said assistant professor Michael Eggeman. Koester, a senior, has used the lab and is eager to see what he can do.

“We got to see the different type of controllers, like the Proportional Integral Derivative, [in which] the system tries to recalibrate back to a set point number,” explained Koester, likening the effect to that on a cruise-control system in a car. “The lab has a lot of up-to-date, relevant technology; it just gets us more used to what we might see when we graduate.”

NEIT installed equipment for the lab’s second phase of development last spring, and Koester was one of the first students to use a so-called process-control training rig, in which he and his peers could learn how to control the pressure, flow and level of fluids.

While the students use water in the hands-on lessons for safety, the control rig has applicability in such areas as pharmaceuticals and water treatment systems, where chemicals are used, Eggeman said.

About 50 students a year are enrolled in NEIT’s 18-month electrical engineering bachelor’s degree program, which is undertaken following completion of the 18-month electrical technology associate degree, the professor said.

In addition to the process control training rig, Eggeman said, there are six workstations that give hands-on experience, and four others called the Flexible Manufacturing System, or FMS 200.

Up and running in fall 2014, the six workstations provide real equipment, like a motor, for instance, instead of so-called “trainer cases,” which hold devices in a suitcase-like container and only simulate the effect of correct electrical engineering coding.

So, when a student correctly writes and programs electrical code to control the function of a pump or motor, instead of a light turning on the way it does in a trainer case to show it’s working properly, the pump or motor at a workstation will kick into action, he said.

While the trainer cases are still in use, Eggeman said, “Slowly but surely, we’re rolling the workstations into the classes and the curriculum.”

Students also learn how to communicate over several industrial automation networks.

Built about eight years ago, the FMS 200 more realistically simulates the manufacturing environment in which component pieces are assembled into a final, though still simulated, product. It is used primarily for troubleshooting exercises by testing for 48 different potential bugs, Eggeman said.

Originally located on the Warwick campus, these stations were underutilized by associate degree students and consequently moved to the East Greenwich campus in early 2015, he said.

“It completed the lab,” he explained. “It allowed us to have a system in there so I could go in as the instructor and flip a couple of switches behind a locked door and all of a sudden the system doesn’t work anymore and students have to troubleshoot why.”

Eddie DiPasquale, 22, of Mahopac, N.Y., is an NEIT senior who has been writing code for programmable logic controllers, where a computer controls product production. The lab provides experience, not just textbook knowledge, he said.

“It gives you a real-world application in a classroom setting,” DiPasquale said. “We’re using equipment that gets used in the field. I think it gives us a competitive edge, because we actually get to use the equipment hands-on.”

Souza’s firm and Eric Freitas, president of the Control Automation Group in Warwick, say they’ve hired several NEIT graduates over the past few years. Souza has hired 20 for a staff that numbers about 40, while Freitas has hired five for a staff of about 20.

“All the components I use to design a machine, [NEIT students] are exposed to that in the lab, so they already know what it is and what it does,” Freitas said. •

News from Career Services – Week of 1/4/16

Here’s our weekly round-up of good news from the Career Services Office!

A December grad from Electronics Systems Engineering submitted his resume to Career Services on Wednesday, 12/30/15, interviewed with a great company on Thursday, 12/31/15 and was offered a position with the company on Tuesday, 1/5/16! What a great way to start the new year!

Architectural Building Engineering Jobs:
• Part time CAD Drafter (with potential for full time). This company works on state, federal, government and private sector plumbing and heating jobs.
• CAD Technician for a Commercial Sales Division.
• CAD Layout Coordinator position developing the fixture/merchandise layouts for a national chain of pharmacy/convenience stores.

A Clinical Medical Assistant grad contacted Career Services to say that she landed a job with a local practice. She had another job in her field and was happy to have this opportunity to move up in her career. The company she was hired by also posted 2 more jobs for candidates with strong medical office skills – ideal for Electronic Medical Records graduates.

Medical Laboratory Technology – A local Medical Testing Laboratory was so interested in NEIT’s program that they hired 3 students to work there part-time. An NEIT student working there commented: “It’s been an amazing experience! I definitely know for sure I want to work in a lab setting.”

A Prosthetic and Orthotic Practice posted a job that is a hybrid role for candidates with Medical Assistant skills and/or skills in Medical Lab Technology. They are so interested in candidates from NEIT that they are willing to have the job run part-time to accommodate a student until they graduate!

An OBGYN office posted a role for a Medical Secretary for grads from Health Information Management & Electronic Medical Records.

A local Information Technology company posted a job for an IT Support Technician. The company has hired IT Networking graduates and continually recruits from NEIT due to the quality of the candidates.

For Graduates of Graphics, Multimedia, and Web Design, we see a steady stream of paid internships and jobs. Just this week, a job for a Graphic Artist came in.
• Several GMW grads have landed great jobs recently;
• Two with a creative marketing firm in Pawtucket, RI
• One with a full-service advertising agency located in Cranston, RI

Veterinary Technology: Several jobs came in seeking Veterinary Techs in the past few weeks. One of our grads contacted NEIT to say that she interviewed for and accepted one of the positions with an animal hospital in southern Rhode Island.

Congratulations to another Automotive graduate who was accepted into the BMW Step program for April!

Automotive Service Management: A company focusing on vehicle and product safety has a Diagnostic Technician position investigating, analyzing, and writing vehicle safety and consumer issues.

Save the Dates!*

Wednesday, January 20th – Casual Employer Networking Event from 4:30p – 6:00p for Construction Management, Architectural/Building Engineering & Interior Design students in the Design Studio.

Thursday, March 3rd – Transportation Technology Career Fair from 9am – 12pm on Access Rd. for students and grads from Automotive, Auto Collision Repair, Automotive Service Management, and Marine Technology.

Thursday, March 10th – TECHXPO 2016 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on the East Greenwich Campus for students and grads from Business Management, Criminal Justice, Cyber Security, Digital Media Production, Electrical Technology, Electronics Systems, Electrical Engineering, Game Development/Simulation,Graphics/Multimedia/Web Design, Information Technology – Software Engineering/Network Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Video Game Development/Design.

*These events are exclusively for New England Tech students and graduates and are not open to the public.

Join us for TECHXPO 2016!

pic for blog

Please join us for TECHXPO 2016, our annual Technology Career Expo, on Thursday, March 10, 2016. This event will be held on all three levels of Tech Way on the East Greenwich Campus from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. This is a private event, open only to NEIT students and graduates, with many companies set to attend. So take advantage of this great networking opportunity! Be sure to have your resumes ready and to dress in appropriate business attire. Current students from all quarters and graduates from the following technologies are encouraged to attend: Business Management, Criminal Justice, Cyber Security, Digital Media Production, Electrical Technology, Electronics Systems, Electrical Engineering, Game Development/Simulation Programming, Graphics/Multimedia/Web Design, Information Technology – Network Engineering/Software Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Video Game Development/Design. If you have any questions, contact the Career Services Office at 401-739-5000 x 3458.

List of attending companies (as of 2/9/2016):

NEIT to Host FIRST® Robotics Competition

East Greenwich, RI – New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) will sponsor the tenth annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge on Saturday, January 30, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Serving as Rhode Island’s FIRST® Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner, NEIT will host 33 middle and high school robotics teams for the state competition at the university’s Center for Automotive Technology located at 101 Access Road, Warwick, Rhode Island.

Accomplished inventor, Dean Kamen, founded FIRST® in 1989 to inspire students with an appreciation of science and technology through the fun of robotics. The goal is to engage students in developing problem solving, critical thinking, and innovative reasoning skills using custom-designed robots.  Middle school and high school teams will compete for the chance to participate at the FIRST® state, regional and world championships.

More than 55 Rhode Island middle and high school teams have registered for this high-energy event. Qualifier competitions were held on December 5th and December 19th with one more qualifier scheduled for January 9, 2016, at NEIT’s East Greenwich campus located at One New England Tech Blvd.  These qualifier competitions determine which 33 teams advance to the state tournament. Winners of the state competition will travel to the East Super-Regional FIRST® competition in Scranton, Pennsylvania in March, 2016. Top teams from the four Super-Regional tournaments will earn a spot at the FIRST® World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri in April, 2016.

Qualifier competitions as well as the state tournament are free and open to the public.  For more information on the FIRST® Tech Challenge, please contact Erin Flynn, Manager of Admissions Outreach and Events at New England Tech at 401-739-5000, ext. 3462 or eflynn@neit.edu. To learn more about the FIRST® organization, please visit www.usfirst.org.

RI FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier Results from 12/5

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 1st of 3 RI FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournaments.

Congratulations to the 11 teams advancing to the state tournament.

154      Renegade                    Burrillville

252      Electric Quahogs         Wheeler School

8129    Canebots                     Warwick Veterans Memorial HS

121      Rhode Rage I              Aquidneck Island Robotics

149      Robo Hawks               Bishop Hendricken HS

652      TACT Bots                 Mt. Hope HS

7093    Raider Bots                 Shea HS

689      Avengers                     East Greenwich HS

9900    Scituate HS                 Scituate HS

3351    Tater Bots Rehashed   Mt. Hope HS

9906    SHS4                           Scituate HS

Finalist Alliance 652 TACT Bots and 154 Renegade 

Winning Alliance 252 Electric Quahogs and 121 Rhode Rage I

The Motivate Award

This Judged Award celebrates the Team that exemplifies the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition and embraces the culture of FIRST while making a collective effort to make FIRST known throughout their school, and community and sparks others to embrace the culture of FIRST.

The finalists for this award:      Team 252, Electric Quahogs and Team 8129, Canebots

The Motivate Award is presented toTeam 652, TACT Bots

Rockwell Collins Innovate Award

The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award celebrates a Team that has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life.

The finalists for this award: Team 689, Avengers and Team 252, Electric Quahogs

The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award is presented to:  Team 8129, Canebots 

The Connect Award

The Connect Award, is presented to the Team that the Judges feel most connected with their local community, FIRST and the business world. The best Team is more than the sum of its parts, and recognizes that their schools and communities play an essential part to their success. The recipient of this Award is recognized for helping the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the Team itself. In addition, the Team that wins this Award is aggressively seeking engineers and exploring the opportunities available in the world of engineering, science and technology.

The finalists for this award are:  Team 121, Rhode Rage I and Team 4497, Rhode Rage II

The Connect Award is presented to:  Team 7093, Raiderbots 

The Think Award

The Think Award is given to the Team that the Judges feel best reflects the journey the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The Engineering Notebook is the key reference for Judges to help them identify the most deserving Team. This Teams Engineering Notebook focused on the design and build stages of the Teams robot and exemplified their journey as a team and engineers.

The finalists for this award:  Team 8129, Canebots  and Team 252, Electric Quahogs

The Think Award is presented to:   Team 149, RoboHawks 

The Inspire Award

The Inspire Award is given to the Team that the Judges felt truly embodied the challenge of the FTC program. The Team that receives this award is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and works to promote FIRST and make it loud in their community. The Team that receives this Award has performed well in all Judging categories and was chosen by the Judges as a model FIRST Tech Challenge Team on and off the playing field. The Judges used Match performance, observations made during interviews and in the pit area, the Teams Engineering Notebook, and performance on the playing field in determining the winner.

The finalists for this award:  In Second Place: Team 8129, Canebots and in Third Place: Team 252, Electric Quahogs

The Inspire Award is presented to: Team 154, Renegade

Thank you for all you do for RI students!

Career Exploration Series

This is an awesome new series to help potential students get a taste of what these careers in these fields would be like.  All Career Exploration Days are FREE of charge.  To RSVP or learn more, visit www.neit.edu/careerexploration or call Admissions at 401.467.7744 ext. 3357.

New England Tech Career Exploration Days

 

 

RI FIRST Tech Challenge Call for Volunteers

FIRST Res QThe 10th season of the Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) hosted by New England Institute of Technology(NEIT) is underway.  NEIT is looking for technical professionals, educators, parents and all others interested in volunteering. Each season approximately 45 R.I. middle and high school robotic teams design, build and compete in the RI FIRST Tech Challenge.

We need you!

Adult volunteers are assigned key roles to keep the qualifiers and tournament on track.  No need to be an expert in robotics or engineering, just a willingness to support our R.I. students in their interest in technology.

Volunteer at a Qualifier!

Teams in R.I. advance to the state tournament by participating in a qualifying tournament.  The dates for the qualifiers are 11/14, 12/5, 12/19and 1/9/16.  Qualifiers run from 7:30 am until 4 pm. The work is fun and lunch is provided!

Volunteer at the State Tournament!

32 R.I. FTC teams will advance to the RI State Tournament out of 48 teams. The R.I. State Tournament is a held on 1/30/16 with set-up and prep on 1/29/16. Volunteers for State Tournament must have volunteered at one qualifying tournaments.

Hurry! Register with FIRST!

If you are interested in joining in the FIRST fun, you must register as a volunteer through the FIRST system. This information will be sent directly to the RI FIRST Affiliate Partner, Erin Flynn.  https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_login.aspx

For more information on FIRST and the FTC Challenge go to www.usfirst.org. For more information on NE Tech go to www.neit.edu

Erin Flynn, RI FIRST Affiliate Partner at New England Institute of Technology                           800-736-7744 ext. 3462 or by e-mail at eflynn@neit.edu

Steps to register with the FIRST VIMS Volunteer Program

  1. Go to the Volunteer Information Matching System (VIMS) – https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_login.aspx
  2. Create an account
  3. Apply to an event
    1. From Left Hand Navigation, click “Volunteer Role Applications”
    2. Click the button that says “Apply for an Event”
    3. Select “FTC”
    4. Select State/Province – “Rhode Island”
    5. Press “Find Event”
  4. You will find the qualifier dates of 11/14, 12/5, 12/19 and 1/9 as well as the 1/29-30 state tournament date listed.
  5. Select the event and fill out the application.
    1. Select roles in preference order you would like to apply to (1 being most preferred)
    2. Select days you are able to volunteer.
    3. Remember to add additional comments if you have specific restrictions on your time
    4. Click “Submit”
  6. You will be returned to the “Volunteer Role Applications” page.
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 to apply to multiple events.

Attached are in the instructions that can be found on the website as well. They provide screenshots of each of these steps.

FIRST 25

 

FIRST Robotics Kick Off

On September 12th, Rhode Island FIRST Robotics held their Kick Off event on our East Greenwich campus.  During the event this years theme was announced, which is Res-Q.

Special thanks go out to Erin Foster and Steve Pothier from the Robotics Welding Division of Electric Boat.  Erin and Steve spoke to the RI FTC teams on the role that robotics plays at Electric Boat.

To request additional information about FIRST Robotics contact Erin Flynn by email at eflynn@neit.edu.

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RI FIRST Tech Challenge 10th Season!

You are invited!

RI FIRST Tech Challenge 10th Season!

2015-2016 Season Kick-off

Saturday September 12, 2015 

Calling all students, educators, parents, mentors, and volunteers who have an interest in robotics!  The Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) sponsored by New England Institute of Technology invites you to the kick off the 2015-2016 robotic seasons!

The FIRST Robotic Kickoff will feature a keynote presentation from Electric Boat as well as workshops offered by RI students.  The 2016 game will be revealed for the first time.  Groups interested in establishing a FIRST Tech Challenge Robotic team are encouraged to attend.  Bring your robot and try out the new game! 

Saturday September 12, 2015

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Registration at 8:30 am 

New England Institute of Technology

One New England Tech Boulevard

East Greenwich, RI

Over 37 Rhode Island teams were involved in FIRST Robotics last season.  Students in grades 7-12 are eligible to participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge.  Don’t miss out! Teams are welcome to attend without their coach.  Please RSVP by September 8th to:  Erin Flynn, New England Institute of Technology, 401-739-5000 ext. 3462, eflynn@neit.edu.  For more information on FIRST Robotics go to http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc. For more information on New England Tech go to www.neit.edu.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)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.