Building, programming, learning and having fun have been on the agenda for the district’s robotics teams, allowing students to improve math, science, engineering and technology skills while also enhancing problem-solving, teamwork and implementation skills.
Two teams of students from grades 7-12 participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge, both advancing to the Long Island Championship. Team Kuiper ranked 9th, scored a team best of 138 points in their final round, and walked away with the second place Design Award, which recognizes design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic. According to FIRST, the Design Award is presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements into their solution. These design elements could simplify the robot’s appearance by giving it a clean look, be decorative in nature, or otherwise express the creativity of the team. The robot should be durable, efficiently designed, and effectively address the game challenge. Kuiper was coached by Nithin Shenoy and Alan Stella. Team members include Thanasi Bubulinis, Rowan Shenoy, Louis Singe, Orlando Watson and Andrew Wieman.
The FalconBots ranked 15th and scored a team best of 86 points. High school junior Alicia Amian was selected as a Dean's List Finalist for her amazing contributions and dedication. FIRST says that students earning this award are great examples of student leaders who have led their teams and communities to increased awareness for FIRST and its mission. These students have also achieved personal technical expertise and accomplishment. FalconBots were coached by Alan Stella and Nithin Shenoy. Team members include Alicia Amian, Ethan Dessner, Ezra Pietrafesa, Damian Uduevbo and Zachary Watson.
In the FIRST Lego League Challenge Division GirlBotics, a team of sixth grade girls, competed in a qualifier in March. Coached by Laura Dessner, the team included Mia Dessner, Julia Ergen, Gianna Moreano, Lia Papadopoulos and Maya Valderrama.
At the elementary school level, four First Lego League Explore teams attended the Robotics Festival. The students competed remotely, earning awards for their innovation.
The Lego Pros and Team Epic, coached by Lauren Themis and Dora Ricciardi , both won the Team Model Award for displaying innovation and creativity through the design and building of their models. The teams included Marcel Alcarra, Alfred Carfora, Parker Charon, Will DeNatale, Sailor Esteves, Ryan Hotine, Matthew McCloy, Colton Ortiz, Nikolas Ricciardi, Sophia Stern, Andrew Themis and Dylan Vaughn.
The Convertibles, coached by Karen and Sean MacDavitts, won the Core Values Award for demonstrating great teamwork as they explored the challenge showing they fully understood the FIRST Core Values. Team members included Declan Coen, James Dannan, Alison Kelly, Kate MacDavitt, Connor MacDavitt and Layla Pourmehdi.
The Bright Unicorns, coached by Kerry Weatherhead-Shenoy and mentored by two students Rowan Shenoy and Justin Kwok, won the Challenge Solution Award for showing excellent problem solving skills to create an innovative and helpful solution to the challenge. The team included Emille Baldwin, Maeve Geiger, Gwyneth Pereira, Celeste Seviroli, Waverly Shenoy and Vivienne Werle.
Special thanks to all of the parents serving as volunteer coaches and to Robotics adviser Alan Stella, who works with all of the teams to guide and prepare them for competitions.
Congratulations to all of the robotics participants on their hard work and accomplishments.