Club Directory: Business and Technology

Photo courtesy of Ligerbots

LIGERBOTS

What does your club do?

We’re a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics team, but more importantly we are a business that promotes STEM education in Newton. As a FIRST robotics team, we have to build a competitive robot every year and participate in the Robotics Competition (FRC).

Each season, FIRST creates a unique game played in a three-versus-three format on a half-basketball-court-sized field. The game has challenges that robots (which can be up to 120 pounds) must be designed to overcome. Games are designed to include challenges for engineering, software, and driving, and they typically include an autonomous period (in which robots must control themselves) and a teleoperated period (in which drivers control robots).

When we’re not competing, we attend and organize many outreach events to promote both our team and, more importantly, STEM education in Newton. These include the Memorial Day parade, Newton Village Days, and conferences organized by our sponsors, to name a few. To organize our business and outreach operations, we have a large business team which gets us funding through fundraising and sponsors, which include Google, Raytheon, and even Dunkin’ Donuts– we quite literally run on Dunkin! The business team also plans outreach events and handles marketing and publicity.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone interested in the many things our team does: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer aided design (CAD), programming, web design, business and marketing, accounting, and graphic design. We run training sessions in the fall to make sure everybody who’s interested is able to be a useful member of the team, and nobody is left out.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

I really like how the team is open to everybody’s ideas. When we designed our robot this season, we made sure everybody on the team had a voice in the design by having small groups independently make their own designs, and picking the best elements from each. Some team members now want a new robot driving setup that holds a laptop and controllers (and maybe have some cool LED strips on it, too). They got a budget allocated and it’s now being made. I’ve never been part of a club like this before, with such amazing students and mentors.

DECA

What does your club do?

DECA is an international business organization which introduces and prepares students in all aspects of business including marketing, finance, hospitality and management. In DECA, all members have the choice to compete as individuals or as a team of two in a series of competitions based on a specific category or event they pick. Events range from Accounting and Retail Merchandising to Travel and Tourism, and Sports Management, so there’s something for everyone! In addition, we have many events organized with the state for our members, such as Celtics and Red Sox games.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

DECA is a great opportunity to increase your knowledge about the business world and discover which aspects interest you the most. In addition, there are many opportunities for leadership within our chapter itself if students would like to be more involved. However, in order to join DECA, students must have taken a business course in their time at Newton South or be taking a course in the fall of joining the organization. You cannot join if you have not taken a course.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

This club has provided me, and many other students, the opportunity to travel to Boston and some of us even made it to Nashville, Tennessee! Travelling with DECA has allowed me to make a lot of new friends not only from around the country, but from around the world as well. It was an amazing feeling to be surrounded by people my age with the same interests and passion for business as myself.

TECHNOVATION (MOBILE APP DESIGN)

What does your club do?

Technovation is an international program that teaches mobile app development, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. Female students work in teams of five to develop mobile apps and submit them to an international competition. In the past year, we’ve had some really incredible opportunities. Our team developed an app called Homework Helper, which instantly connects students to mobile tutoring sessions with peer tutors. As part of the Technovation competition, we were selected to present our app idea at Microsoft New England, and we were honored at the Massachusetts State House for our achievements. We were also awarded second place in the state and selected as global semifinalists.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

If you’re a girl who’s interested in learning to use technology to solve problems in your community, you should consider joining Technovation. If you’ve done some programming before, that’s awesome, but you do not have to have any prior programming or entrepreneurship experience.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best part of Technovation is that it opens up a lot of really great opportunities. Before Technovation, I knew I was interested in computers, but I had no idea how to make an app. Now, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with an amazing team of girls to develop something that can be really useful to students at our school. Since you work with a tech industry mentor, you get to learn a lot about what it’s really like to work in the tech industry, and you get to experience it for yourself. If you’re interested in joining Technovation, send an email to hlcolani@gmail.com.

FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS OF AMERICA (FBLA)

What does your club do?

FBLA is the Future Business Leaders of America Club, and we prepare members with long lasting business skills they can take with them upon graduation. As it says on our website,  “our mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.”

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

FBLA is really looking for those who are willing to make a real change in their community through business and initiative. We compete in various competitions throughout the year, so we hope for qualified members who are interested in business or career development.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

My favorite part of the year is the FBLA NLC or the National Leadership Conference– basically Nationals. This happens right after the school year ends in late June, and we basically all fly somewhere (last year Chicago, this year Atlanta), compete, and have fun! It’s a super tightly knit crew, and it’s always fun relaxing together right after school ends.

AUTOMOTIVE AND RACING CLUB

What does your club do?

Our club talks about cars and also builds them. Not only are we attempting to make racing history by being the first ever high school team to participate in a 24 hour race, we are also very inclusive about talking about cars in general, from “which American muscle car is the greatest of all time?” to “how should we make sure that when we replace the car’s engine, it doesn’t die?” to “what is the correct racing line through this turn?”

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone who has any interest in cars and/or motorsport. This can even go to people who play racing games for fun and people who just like looking at exotic cars. Anyone can join the Auto Club and have a great time.

What has been the best thing about being part of this club, in your experience?

What I think has been the best thing about this club is the community we have built around it. Right now, we have people with a wide expanse of skills and so far we have managed to tap into each person’s individual strength to achieve what we have already.

For information about when and where all of these clubs meet, click here.

NO COMMENTS