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Robotics team excels in competitions

Nicole Zamlout, Staff Writer

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Robotics. Other PV students often do not know much about this team of dedicated soon-to-be engineers, thinkers, tinkerers, and groundbreakers, but in the Mid-Atlantic Robotics Bridgewater District Tournament competition in March they were recognized and commended in the form of them winning the Chairman’s award.

According to Jake Boyle, a senior member of the Pascack Pioneers, Valley and Hill’s combined team, this award is the most prestigious award in FIRST robotics.

“It is the culmination of all aspects of our robotics team, from our outreach to children of all ages in STEM programs, our aid of disabled school-children by use of our robots, fundraising for other teams, internal teamwork and all sorts of outreach programs. Chairman’s proves that we can go beyond just the construction and design into the application of our work into the real world for the benefit of all communities,” Boyle said.

To the Robotics team this award is a very big deal, since it asks the teams who are eligible to do so much in order to be awarded it.

Carlie Rein, a sophomore member of the team, said, “We were lucky to win it last year and extremely lucky for this year.”

A lot of work goes into earning this award, so the team was very proud to win two years in a row.

Mr. Kevin Killian, the head of the Robotics team, said, “We prepare on two fronts:  building a competitive robot and conducting non-robot activities that make us a well-rounded team that promotes the values of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  For the robot, we learn on the first Saturday in January of the game our new robot will have to play, then we have 6 weeks (until President’s Day weekend) to complete it.  After that, we attend several tournaments and compete against other robots.”

The robotics team also does a lot of interesting projects that do not have to do with building robots. They help write children’s books, get kids interested in engineering, write smartphone apps, learn design, solve problems, and overall learn more about engineering. They even went to Washington last year to talk about why engineering should be encouraged, since it provides so many new possibilities to solve the world’s problems today.

Killian was also spoke about their competition in St. Louis, which they just came back from.

“In St. Louis, we were competing with the 600 best teams in the world.  They are divided into 8 divisions of 75 teams each.  We were hoping to do well, and maybe even win our division to move on to the ‘Final Eight.’ We also hoped to be in the running for one of the big awards,” he said.

Killian and all of the students on the robotics team left right after school last Tuesday for St. Louis, and the tournament ran until this past Saturday. The tournament was the World Championship, where teams from around the globe compete in the FIRST robotics competition with their robots. The Pascack Pioneers were able to make it to the semifinals in the Hopper division and it was a great experience for the team as a whole.

 

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Pascack Valley High School's Official News Site: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Robotics team excels in competitions