Skillman Kickoff

12th Annual Kickoff


Every year, Cougar Robotics hosts the official FIRST Kickoff at Montgomery High School (1016 Route 601, Skillman, NJ, 08558). This event is where FIRST reveals the game for the year’s FIRST Robotics Competition season. Prior to the game reveal, our team conducts 5 workshops available for everyone to participate in: Transmissions and Gearboxes, The 2015 roboRIO, Autodesk Inventor, Pneumatics, and Sensors. 

On Saturday, January 6th, 2o18, several teams will gather in Skillman, New Jersey at Montgomery High School for the 12th annual FIRST® Robotics Kickoff broadcasted from Manchester, New Hampshire, which officially starts the build season.
IMG_0176Students will be given the opportunity to attend workshops run by Team 1403 Mentors and Students to learn about the different aspects of robotics. The workshop topics included pneumatics, gearboxes & transmissions, and sensors taught by Mr. Nick Trohalides, Mr. Michael Leicht, and Mr. Jeff Bernardis respectively. The Design Team holds a hands-on Autodesk Inventor Workshop, where students can use the computer program to design their own project. Team 1403 also will also guide Montgomery’s Upper Middle School Students in the FLL program throughout the event, which will expose them to the perspective of being a part of our high school robotics team.

When the workshops conclude, all the teams will gather together in the Montgomery High School Performing Arts Center for the revealing of this year’s challenge. The Vice Principals at Montgomery High School, Mr. Scott Pachuta and Ms. Heather Pino, will start off the event by sharing their visions and advice about success, dedication, commitment, hard work, teamwork, and resilience. Afterwards Mr. Shah Dabiri, representing the National Defense Education Department, Picatinny Arsenal, sponsor of many robotics teams in our area will present an inspiring speech about the magnitude of volunteering in robotics programs and the bright future of students in robotics.

Then after a long and enthusIMG_0186iastic wait, IMG_0211 the Kickoff will be broadcasted worldwide from Manchester, New Hampshire. Once the game is revealed, teams are able to preview handmade game pieces on the auditorium stage.

Although the Kickoff event lasts only a day, Kickoff brings many robotics enthusiasts together to learn from each other. This event serves as a place for everyone to meet and socialize with new people from different schools who have the same interests.