FIRST TEAM 236 The TechnoTicks "It's in your blood"

Fall Training So Far

The TechnoTicks Go Virtual!

By Phia Adkins

The FRC Team 236, TechnoTicks had yet another successful club meeting over Zoom this week. Due to Covid-19, the TechnoTicks have found it most practical to have online meetings until the start of their competition season in January. In an effort to prepare the new students that have taken an interest in everything that is robotics, the mentors and returning students of TechnoTicks have been teaching the rookie engineers new concepts, including OnShape and TinkerCAD, two 3D Design programs made accessible to all devices. 

As we continue to push through pre-season, robotics students have learned about the importance of an Arduino board. The Arduino board is a circuit board system designed for anyone looking to further their knowledge in basic engineering techniques. Arduino interacts with many electronics, including LEDs, motors, speakers, GPS units, cameras, and even cellphones.

In the following weeks, students will continue to advance their skills in basic electronics and start to CAD shapes. As any new skill takes time, not every attempt will be perfect, but it will teach valuable lessons that will show evident as the season truly begins. With the need to adapt under any circumstance, the TechnoTicks have taken every integral moving piece in stride and have shown gracious professionalism through every step. 

The students and mentors have been working in TinkerCAD in breakout rooms on Zoom.  After watching videos, they have been taking what they learn and creating their own designs, and then talk about real-world projects. The photo here is a model of an Arduino circuit built in TinkerCad. It is set up to control a Red, Yellow and Green LED. The code on the right is in a language called Blockly which allows a graphical approach to programming making the initial lessons more straightforward for new Arduino programmers.



1 Blink LED
2 LEDs and Breadboards
3 Fading LEDs
5 Pushbutton
6 Potentiometer

How do I attend the online training? 

RETURNING MEMBERS  |  You should have received an email from Mr. Derry.  Please complete all four assignments to receive the Zoom link and participate fully. 

NEW MEMBERS  |   To join the team, contact Mr. Derry or fill out this form.  Once we hear from you, we will send you links and instructions on how to sign up.

Join Now


New and returning students are invited to sign up for the season

Fall Training is starting…

 The TechnoTicks fall season looks a little different this year, but it will still be exciting, educational, and fun. 

We will be working online though Zoom every Thursday night.  Students (and mentors!) will learn circuit building, programming, and solid modeling using Arduinos and the online programs TinkerCAD and Education Onshape.

How do I attend the online T

How do I attend the online training? 

RETURNING MEMBERS: You should have received an email from Mr. Derry.  Please complete all four assignments to receive the Zoom link and participate fully. 

NEW MEMBERS: To join the team, fill out this form and we will send you links and instructions on how to sign up.

Join Now


2019 Bash@theBeach – October 19

Blast Off One more time!

The 21st Bash@theBeach
Sponsored by Dominion Energy

Join 24 Connecticut teams as they kick off the school year, recruit new drivers and have a beach blast at Lyme Old Lyme High School!

Hosted by FIRST Teams

  • 236 – The TechnoTicks
  • 1699 – The Robocats
  • 1740 – Ledyard Cyber Colonels
  • 3719 – STEM Whalers


  • Doors open 8:00
  • Opening ceremonies at 9

A $250 donation is requested. If that is a hardship please register and let us know.


As always, lunch will be available. Pre-order delicious Sal’s Pizza or sandwiches


Team 236 Calendar

2018 Calendar for Team 236/The TechnoTicks   View PDF version of the 2018 calendar   FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff Saturday, January 6 All Day Millstone  ​​Build Season January 7 to February 20 M, W, Th, F – 6 to 8:30 pm Sat – 8 am to 4 pm (Saturdays...

Build Season Lunches

Please help keep our team fed during the build season! SIGN UP NOW! During the six weeks of the robot build season (through mid-February), the students and mentors will be meeting on Saturdays and Sundays at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. These are long days and teenagers (and mentos!) get...

Welcome to Parents

Old Parents, New Parents and Returning Parents. This will be where parents can find the information that we think will be of most use to you. If you want us to add something to this section, please let us know.

St Louis Match Schedule

Remember that match times are St. Louis – Central Time Check the full schedule here and remember that this is only a provisional schedule, times will change and are likely to be later than shown for the later games in the day. Watch live video from NEFIRST_RED on...

St. Louis Itinerary 2017

Techno-Ticks FIRST Robotics Championships 2017 Wednesday April 26 – Sunday April 30 Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch 2 South 4th Street St. Louis, MO 63102 (314) 231-3003 Wednesday April 26, 2017 DEPART LOLHS at 3:30 am SouthWest Airlines Flight 1190 departing LaGuardia at 7:25 am arriving in Lambert...

1st Win of the Season!

Thanks to our fantastic teachers, mentors, parents & alliance members for a wonderful win today at the Waterbury District Competition. The start of a great season we hope! Winning Alliance was: TechnoTicks #236, TechTigers #3654 from Mercy High School and #181 Birds of Prey. Their opponents put up a very...

BS9, 01/15/2017

Our first full Saturday in the shop and prototyping is well under way.

Most sub-function teams built prototypes and laid them out within the robot frame and Max got really frustrated about space limitations!

We started the day building and then had a safety lecture from Mr Goss relating to dress, use of glasses, warnings relating to the starting of the robot, who is qualified to use which equipment etc.

Quote of the day relates to our safety talk, hair must be tied back, jacket strings tucked in and …

Mr Goss: “I’m not quite sure what the protocol is for that beard Mr Berry”


BS5, 01/11/2017

Welcome to hump day in the shop!

BS2, 01/08/2017

Mother Nature reminded us that she is in charge … but we were only delayed by an hour before we got straight into our strategy meeting.

With several new students it was good to split into five mixed groups with a reminder that not everyone has the same style and everyone’s voice should be heard.

Quotes of the Day

Mr Derry: “I’ve spent 18 years learning to listen … and I’m still learning”


Build Season Day 1

Mother Nature reminded us that she is in charge … but we were only delayed by an hour before we got straight into our strategy meeting.

With several new students it was good to split into five mixed groups with a reminder that not everyone has the same style and everyone’s voice should be heard.

Quotes of the Day

Mr Derry: “I’ve spent 18 years learning to listen … and I’m still learning”


Industrial Design Award

Our first outing of the season and we reached the quarter finals in 7th picking place.  We teamed with the Uberbots and FullMetal Falcons and after two competitive games we won 96 points and 94 points against the ultimate finalists.

Team 236 were honored to be awarded the General Motors Industrial Design Award which

celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively achieves the game design challenge. The design award is granted to the team that best achieves these aims while having a highly competitive robot.

This year’s robot was manufactured with the help of two new pieces of equipment funded by the Lyme Old Lyme Education Foundation.

In 2015 LOLEF awarded a $17,390 grant to the Technology and Engineering Department of Lyme–Old Lyme High School, home of Team236, for advanced equipment to complete a 21st century Maker Space. The new tools, a CNC Plasma Cutter and CNC Lathe, enabled students to cut and manufacture highly accurate parts, molds and prototypes for use in electronic vehicle design, passive solar energy machines, robotic components and more. This new equipment added tremendous value to the LOLHS Technology and Engineering Department.

As well as supporting the robotics program, the newly designed space provides the flexibility to maximize use of the equipment in a wide range of courses. Students experience the full engineering process, with design instruction integrated with the manufacturing process. Design, manufacturing, testing and evaluation are now performed with CAD (computed-aided design) in the adjacent computer lab. Students work and learn in a space similar (and in some cases superior to) labs in top engineering schools.


After the Snow … Jumping into Saturday Morning

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Mr. Derry Discussing Modifications to a Drawing with Laura Lee
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Alexis Updating a CAD file
020616_JAW__Ryan Mr BozenhardIMG_2568
Ryan & Mr. Bozenhard Getting to Work
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Rose & Alexis Collaborating on Modifications







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Programming Team
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Mr. Trudeau and Avery Adding Detail to the Drawing


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Anna Making Parts for Prototyping
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Corey, Mr. Gripps and Andy working on the Plasma Cutter

Busy Ticks Making Progress – Feb 3-4

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Alexis at the Plasma Cutter
020316_JAW_Matt wiring_IMG_2558
Matt Wiring Controls


A Productive Week with plenty of Student  Activity!







020316_JAW_Ryan Griffin Filed element_IMG_2560
Ryan & Griffin prepping field elements
020316_SH_Allison Mr Derry Talking Parts_IMG_0998
Alison & Mr. Derry — CNC Machining
020316_SH_Heather Sam Aiden Chassis_IMG_0988
Heather, Sam and Aiden working on chassis prototype
020316_SH_Ryan Corey Measuring_IMG_0993
Ryan & Corey taking measurements

Holding Strong at the end of January

With 23 days remaining in the 2016 Build Season, the Team is holding strong to this year’s mantra of designing FIRST.

Physical prototyping has been minimized but ideas have continued to flow.  Now we will see how the ideas come together in the physical robot…


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Mr. Derry and the CAD and Intake Teams review modifications needed based on observing the prototype

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Challenge Day 1

Tonight’s training took the form of a challenge.  In three 1 week sessions, design, build and test a robot built in VEX to move in autonomous forward 15″ into a scoring zone without going over the foul line.  Then move around a table, locate a golf ball and then pick it up and place it on a 12″ platform


Thursday, September 24th

It was a busy day in the Ticks shop as our student leaders took the reins in explaining what each of their teams did and how their work fitted in to the whole “TechnoTicks” picture.

Following last year’s shift, with mentors taking far more of a back seat and sticking with our motto of “student hands on the robot”, we have extended that now with students leading each of the work teams.

Alison & Shannon have taken over organization of Bash@theBeach, our most important fundraiser.

Justin and Hayden will be leading on manufacturing whilst Avery and Big Sam F will be leading on CAD.

Little Sam F is stepping into “very big shoes” taking over the programming of the bot (and is looking for more volunteers).

Alexis and Matt will be leading the controls and wiring teams.

It was great to see so many newcomers to the team and in particular to invite some sophomores and Juniors, proving it’s never to late to become a Tick!

Jared DiCarlo – ’12-’15

Being involved in FRC in high school was what got me into my dream school of MIT. FIRST gave me an opportunity to learn valuable engineering skills in high school, which has been incredible useful to me at school.   I’m a member of MIT’s FSAE electric race car...

Buy the Book

Alumni Stephanie Slezycki and Mentor Vince Wilczynski wrote a book with input from Dean Kamen and Dr. Woody Flowers.  Robots Rack and Roll, 30 profiles of Award Winning Robots. Click book to purchase   Aim High was the second book published by Vince Wilczynski and Stephanie Slezyki. Click to purchase...

Our Connection with the Carson Field

At the Championships in St Louis, several new fields have been added to cope with the many additional teams competing as FIRST expands across the globe.  This year, Team236 are competing on one of the new fields, CARSON and we have an interesting connection with RACHEL CARSON.  Here’s one of the posters that we will be including in our pit.



Working under pressure


The team fixing a broken transmission on the swatter arm motor between rounds.  They really stayed cool under pressure to accomplish this! 

With the repair in place they moved from 3rd pick in the 7th seed team to 3rd place overall.

Great Job!

WPI is now calling …

Techno Ticks meet Governor Malloy and qualify for FIRST North East Regional Championships

Team 236 the Technoticks qualified this weekend for the North East Regional FIRST Robotics Championships to be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute April 9-11th.

The team qualified, following their win at Waterbury District Competition and third place this weekend at the Hartford District Competition.  Qualification is based on a points system and the Technoticks qualified 10th out of 175 teams across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut.  Their points tally was boosted with the award of the Motorola Quality Award at Waterbury.

Engineering is a process of continuous improvement and the Lyme Old Lyme High School students were treated to a real-life lesson in the pitfalls of that process.  After their win at Waterbury the team decided that if they were to be contenders in the World Championships, they needed to improve the speed of their intake mechanism to be able to score more points in each round.  That successful improvement resulted in problems in another part of the robot leaving the team in 10th position at the end of the qualifying rounds.  The team’s reputation carried them forward into the Quarter Finals, being chosen by Team 177 The Bob Cats and Team 1124 the Uberbots to join their alliance as 7th place seeds.

With help from their Mentors, all experienced engineers, the team were able to analyze the problem, design a new part, manufacture it on site and modify the robot all in the space of an hour and a half.  The modification was very successful and the “Cat in the Hat” robot got back to winning form.  During the quarter-finals the alliance made huge progress and made it to the semi-finals, finishing in third place.  The eventual winner was the alliance of teams 230 The Gaelhawks from Shelton, team 195 Cyber Knights of Southington and the Panther Project from Middlebury with second place taken by an alliance made up of The Titanium Tomahawks from Glastonbury, Apple Pi from Guilford and Sim City from Simsbury.

During the competition, held at Harford High School, the drive team had the opportunity to meet with Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman who commented on the need for student involvement in STEM to fill jobs in Connecticut.  Ms Wyman has been an ardent supporter of FIRST for many years and gave a speech to the audience thanking all the mentors, teachers & parents for inspiring students in STEM.

All Photos courtesy of Christopher Wells

Left to right: Alexis Kholar, Nate Bersing (hidden) Jared Di Carlo and Hayden Hendrick meet with Governor Malloy


Teacher and Lead Mentor Bill Derry work with members of the team on a last minute modification to their robot.

IMG_2455 IMG_2456

A Day Out of the Bag-March 21st, 2015

The team is in the shops as we ignore the snowfall that fell on the first day of spring. The first task out of the bag was the redesign on the intake system. With a new set of wheels, more changes followed. We are currently incorporating an additional position for the intake system for easier ingesting of containers. The Techno Ticks welcome our neighboring team, Team 5746, Human Error, from Valley Regional High School, to our workshop.

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Waterbury District Event Photo Gallery

Sunday at Waterbury … tensions run high as we enter Day 2 as leaders and hold that lead right to the end!

Our first competition of the season and we came away as Captains of the Winning Alliance. The Ticks had held the lead throughout the day, including achieving the highest score (121) of any round. The team were honored to be awarded the Motorola Quality Award for the second year in a row.

Day 44 – Being Prepared

A shortened day in the shop as snow and frigid temperatures closed school in the morning, but between 1pm and 9pm major testing took place.

We had to leave time to bag the robot tonight just incase the next winter storm to hit Old Lyme stops play tomorrow.  We are forecast another 1-3 inches, let’s hope that we will be in to unbag and rebag!