Category Archives: Core values

Our T Shirts Arrived

Our T-shirts arrived today.  Look at how cool they are!  the QR code on the front actually scans!   It also has our favorite quote on the back, “What could possibly go wrong?”   It took hours to get the whole design decided on, and it was definitely an exercise in teamwork!

-Julia N.

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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Core values


All In a Day’s Work

Today we took two giant steps towards the competition day. We met with a local competitor team to compare robots and share ideas and innovations, and had a conference call with Anne Reid, Deputy Regional Food and Drug Director for the South East Region of the United States. We learned a lot, and we hope to share some of that insight here, with all of you, our loyal readers.

We met today with the Mother of Sorrows School FLL Team ‘The Robo Eagles’. They had a highly developed gear rig designed to get both the thermometer and cooking timer at the same time. I have to say, I’m jealous. It was a nice setup. I talked with Jonah, who was one of the lead engineers of the team, about some common problems facing both teams. We then, in the spirit of coopetition™, took to working on a sort of alignment tool for the cooking timer to help ensure accuracy on that mission for the Robo Eagles. It came out quite well, and just goes to show that two (dozen) heads are better than one.

Batteries Not Included and the MOSS Robo Eagles pose for a picture after a friendly competition and pizza lunch.

As another reference for our presentation, we called up Anne Reid, Deputy Director of the FDA for our region. Our group talked to her for about half an hour and presented her with an idea. She said that she loved our idea and would love to see it in operation. Mrs. Reid also talked us through the timeline of a recall, filling in some of the blanks we had even after our visit with Mrs. Isherwood a couple of weeks ago. (Anyone who missed that can read that post here).

BNI around the conference call phone.

All in all, it was a very productive day. We accomplished a lot and learned even more. We hope to see the Robo Eagles and all of you on the board this Saturday! Good luck to you, one and all. -Conlon N

For the official project reveal paragraph and exclusive photographs from our visit with Mr. Sealy (Vice President of Risk Management at the Giant Eagle Corporation), click here.

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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Core values, Outreach


Get to know BNI-Megan M


My name is Megan and I have been on the team for two years.  I am 13 years old and in 8th grade with Kevin, Nate, and Conlon.  My dad is the coach of our team, Batteries Not Included.

I like to: Talk to my friends, draw, paint, practice clarinet, saxophone, and piano, read, play with my dog and turtle, cook, play games, and daydream.

I was a high S and I on the DISC test (see below).

My favorite subject in school is band, but my favorite academic class is science. I want to go to college to Cornell University.  I want to be a forensic anthropologist when I grow up and be in the Pittsburgh Symphony for clarinet.

For me, Core Values means to work together.  I think it is really important to not think you are above everyone, and listen to everyone’s ideas before you state yours.  You might learn something from other people, and incorporating your idea with others, who knows where you and your team can go!

P.S.: Go Clarinet!


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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Core values


Get to Know BNI – Ashley (with bonus robot video)

Hi, my name is Ashley! I am twelve years old and in sixth grade.

My favorite school subjects have always been math and science. I enjoy playing the clarinet and piano, archery, and Girl Scouts.

I got into FLL a few months ago when my friend, Julia, told me about it. It turned out to be a lot of fun!

In my opinion, core values mean that you can accomplish work and have fun at the same time, work well in a team and as an individual, and that you are able to apply the skills you learn in FLL to the real world.

Good luck, and have fun!

Here is a link to a video of one of our completed runs, called descriptively “Run 4.” I helped to build the attachments.

Click HERE for Facebook video.

Click HERE to go to our Facebook page

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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Core values


What is FLL?

Due to the large amount of site traffic, we decided to back up a bit and explain what the point of all of this craziness is.

The FIRST Lego League (FLL) competition is a internationally recognized event focused on two main parts: the robot game and the project.

First Lego League is an education initiative aimed at middle school aged kids to inspire them to pursue careers in science and engineering. First and foremost, it’s a blast.

Our team, cleverly named Batteries Not Included, started sometime before last season (September to early December). To be honest, I don’t know much about the founding. I wasn’t recruited for a month afterwards. But apparently a few of my friends got together and ordered the starter kit and went to work. First, let’s back up.

The entire competiton is split into two parts, the robot and the project. The robot is an autonomous vehicle made out of the Lego Mindstorm kit (of your own design) that must perform certain challenges. For each challenge (or mission), your team is awarded points. The team with the most points at the end of three attempts wins.

The project is a research project on a predetermined topic (this year’s topic is food safety) in order to design a solution to a problem within the topic. For example, our entry into last year’s bio-medical topic was a filter designed to prevent clots from leaving the heart and causing massive damage. We wrote up a five minute presentation (and a song) and presented our idea to a panel of three or four judges. We ended up placing 1st in the project and 3rd overall.

This year’s competition is on December 3rd, so we are finalizing our designs and scripts for the big day. If you want to learn more about our team or the competition, check out the links below. Feel free to like/follow/+1 us on our social media sites!


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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Competition Day, Core values, Outreach


Getting to Know BNI-Winston F.

Winston at work on the computer

Hi! My name is Winston F. I like to say that I am one real hardcore video game nerd and proud of it. I own a PS3 (which is always better than Xbox) and a computer. Today I got Modern Warfare 3 for PS3. I play a wide variety of games from RTS’s (Real Time Strategies) like Starcraft 2, FPS’s (First person Shooters) like MW3, and RPG’s (Role Playing Games) like Skyrim Elder Scrolls V. Like all other hardcore gamers out there, I feel that there games have a very vital role in life. First they improve Eye Hand Coordination. Next, they help make children learn problem solving skills needed for adult jobs and projects. Also they teach younger kids learning skills in a fun way that they enjoy rather than paper and pencil worksheets. Finally it teaches everybody teamwork by working together and complete what they need to in a creative fantasy world like World of Warcraft and Minecraft.

Away from video games, in my social life I play Tenor Saxophone and enjoy socializing with my friends. My favorite subject in school is Math because of the problem solving and brain power usage. I also believe that my computer is always in need of something new, so I always search the web for the latest technology and prices. I play MTG (Magic the Gathering) as long as all the boys on this robot team. Also I am in Boy Scouts and enjoy spending my time with friends outdoors chatting and doing fun activities. I am also going to the 2013 Jamboree in West Virginia. I plan to become a doctor when I grow up and spend time with my family. Finally I enjoy watching Day9 which is a Starcraft commentator and shoutcaster. His link is here ——>

What Core Values means to me is the fundamental base to teamwork. Everybody has experienced teamwork somewhere in their life. Since I am in Boy Scouts every time we create something like a monkey bridge or a meal, many people have to work on it to satisfy a group. Even in every day life, like in school when you are doing a group project, Core Values still caries with you from your robot team to your everyday life.

As for controversial thinking, I think that fruit snacks taste good and in the future we will all buy from Amazon. Fruit snacks are squishy, sugary, and irresistible. As for Amazon, …… Well Amazon is just cool so I’ll just say that it will take over the world in the next 351 years. So finally I think that I will become a video game champion at Starcraft 2 in the next 2 years and make it to big Starcraft events like MLG, Blizzcon, and NASL.

So as we conclude our story of my personality, I just want to thank all those out there for supporting video games and other stress inducing activities. I find that all the time that 1337 appears in clan tags WAY to many times.

Thumbs Up for Modern Warfare 3 and Starcraft 2,

Winston  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Core values


Get to know BNI – Nate B.


My name is Nathan, but my well known nickname is Nate. I’m new to BNI this year and I really like it so far! I mainly work on software and troubleshooting with the robot, but sometimes I am needed to help build an attachment or jig. In addition to robotics, I also play soccer, play basketball, ski, and run track. I am also in the school band and play trumpet.

I am a conversationalist, so I always like talking to people and doing group work. I try to respect everyone’s different personalities so our team can have positive attitudes and be more productive.

My favorite subject in school is science, but math is a close second. I love working with chemicals and I am a bit of a pyromaniac. Sometimes I just can’t resist playing with fire!

I love music! As I mentioned before, I play trumpet in the school band and I am currently second chair. I also play piano and guitar (acoustic and electric). I am also interested in learning how to play the saxophone. I also love to use music software like garageband and noteworthy when I have time.

I’ve always wanted to go bungee jumped off of a high bridge or something. I have no idea why but it just sounds really fun to me.

I’m really interested into medicine and how our body works. I’m not really sure if I want to get into a medical career or not, but if I did, I’d like to be a cardiologist.

Good luck to everyone and thanks for reading!

~ Nate

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Core values

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