Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NYCFIRST Update 18

I forgot to post this update from last week.
Note change in Brooklyn Qualifier:
PS 81 K won Robot Design 3rd place

NYCFIRST Update 18: Fifty are going to Riverbank, 30 to go
Dec. 14, 2007

A newsletter for the NYCFIRST robotics community in New York City and the surrounding area.


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Bronx and Brooklyn Tournaments a success
44 teams in the Bronx at Lehman HS (thanks to Gary Israel and Evan Weinberg and all the kids) and 34 teams at Brooklyn Tech (thanks to teacher Gordon Williams and robotic team members Ruwan and Boris and a cast of thousands.) There are links to pics and other stuff below.

If your team(s) did not make it to Riverbank, you are still welcome to bring them to Riverbank or come and volunteer yourself – one of the best ways to get great coaching tips.

Running local events
Furthermore, you are invited to run small local events at your school after Jan. 26. After school or even during school events might be fun. Contact me to help put you in touch with others in your vicinity.

We are also hoping a local college would sponsor an event in February or March. We would like to see as many teams as possible have more opportunities to continue.

We all know that the timeframe and scheduling and other issues this year had an impact and with more time, many more schools would have better results. The key was to come to a qualifier and no matter what the results to continue the program. Even if we held the events later in the year, we still only have room for 80 teams at the citywide so this will occur every year. What we need is more events to meet the desire to take part in the competitions.

May and June are good times to hold events and they don't have to be the Power Puzzle. For the past few years in Region 4 we held an event with 5 activities like slaloms, wall climbing, drag racing, a creative activity – (break dancing, drawing robots and the like) and anything you can think of.

Building a support network at your school

People come to their first event and are amazed at how some schools show up with a big support effort. Some ask for advice on how to make that happen and it is something we should explore in more detail. I spent some time talking to Roberta Davenport, principal at PS 307K at Brooklyn Tech who was just wowed by the activities and hopes to bring the same spirit to her school. The fact that she showed up to support the team is one of the factors that help build the program. I told her we at NYCFIRST would do what we could to assist.

CBRI: Central Brooklyn Robotics Initiative
PS 307 is part of a 10 school grant from the Independence Community Foundation arranged through former District 13 Superintendent Dr. Lester Young aimed at schools in central Brooklyn. The grant was run through Polytechnic U and provided financial support and mentors from students at Poly to the schools. They were all first year programs and did extremely well at the Brooklyn Tech tournament. A support network and mentoring are 2 keys to building a program.

With the constant reorganizations in the NYC DOE and teacher movement over the past 5 years, we have lost many programs which lost support from districts or regions and these networks have to constantly be rebuilt. That has cut into the growth of FLL but there are always new programs taking hold.

Despite all this, FLL in NYC has continued to expand. We expect 140 teams to compete in the qualifiers this year, about equal to the total that took part in the 2 events at Riverbank last year. 52 are new and we expect some of our vets back next year plus the schools that could not get it together in the time frame.
We are already thinking about how to expand into more qualifiers next year, which hopefully will be a bit later in the season to give everyone more time. These updates and the blog will keep you informed.

Mark Gura
Down near the end of this email, Gary Israel thanks Mark Gura, who was also one of my gurus when it came to robotics. Mark was the director of tech ed in the city before the reorganizations and funded many of the early FLL events when I first got involved. Mark created a citywide ed tech team and a sense of a mission to integrate computer technology into the schools. We'll get into more of what Mark has been doing in another update.

Teri Bader, now the director of tech ed in Manhattan worked for Mark and that's how I met her. Teri, until June head of region 4 tech, got me reinvolved in robotics after I retired and fueled the region 4 robotics project. I take pride in introducing her to the great Stephen Shapinsky who became our full-time robotics mentor from 2004 until last June. I remember taking Stephen along to robotics training in the Bronx in his early days as a teacher at PS 31K – a training sponsored by Mark Gura. When Stephen built and programmed his first robot in about 15 minutes, I knew we had a star.

Teri has brought her expertise and support to FLL, especially as a volunteer at Riverbank and this year has offered to be there for us once again (SHE IS THANKING US IT IS ONLY ONE DAY – SLEEP IN ON SUNDAY, TERI.)

This Saturday we will wrap up the qualifying rounds

The Staten Island tournament, run by Mike Siegel will take place at Staten Island Tech and the Queens tournament, headed by Mike Koumoulos, will be at Aviation HS this Saturday, each with about 25 teams expected.

Both Mikes teach at the schools, so in the midst of all of that and the Xmas season they have found the time to run these events: the spirit of FLL

Queens Tournament at Aviation High School
City Councilman John Liu will be attending.

45-30 36th Street (between Queens Blvd and 47th Ave.)
Long Island City, NY 11101 (718) 361-2032
Saturday, December 15, 2007

8:00 – 8:45 Registration
8:30 – 9:00 Judging (Judging continues after the opening ceremony and ends at the start of lunch)
9:00 – 9:15 Opening Ceremony
9:30 – 10:20 Round 1
10:20 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:10 Round 2
11:10 – 11:30 Round 3
11:30 – 12:15 Lunch
12:15 – 12:40 Round 4
12:40 – 12:50 Break
12:50 – 1:40 Round 5
1:40 – 2:00 Break
2:00 – 2:40 Awards/ Closing Ceremony
2:40 – 3:30 Clean Up (We ask all teams to help stack the chairs and clean the pits.)

Directions: 7 train to 33 St./ Rawson St. Parking is available under the 7 train on Queens Blvd. It costs $4 for the day. You must pay with quarters so bring at least 16.

Contact Info: Michael Koumoullos mike@koumoullos.com (917) 208-5629
Google Group: fllqueens. Go to http://groups.google.com and search for fllqueens.

Team # School Team Name Coach
0160 MS 51K Generals James Hoffman
0394 MS 67Q Energize67 Ruta Dave
0526 East Harlem Tutorial EHTP Blazers Danny Peralta
0573 IS 125 Q Mr. Roboto Rudy Vera
0575 Baccal. Sch. For Global Educ. BSGE Fighting Stinger Melissa Hinson
0782 PS 148Q Mission Masters 4 Mike Farrell
0783 PS 148Q Mission Masters 5 Mike Farrell
0948 MS 217 Q Cyberbots Veryl Greene
1814 IS 230 Q Transformatrix Sonya Rencher
1863 IS 119 Q TopGearz Chris Dudin
2395 IS 192 Q Robo Fusion 192 Eric Greene
2397 IS 192 Q Robo Babez Eric Greene
2603 World Journalism Prep School Lego Warriors Jessica Cimini
2728 IS 10 Q Horace Greeley Best 3000 Pat Shubitz
3126 Edward Bleeker JHS 185 Stars Primal Dhillon
3127 Edward Bleeker JHS 185 Hi Tech Minds Primal Dhillon
3840 Bric-2-Bots Cyberots-Engineers Veryl Greene
3874 MS 216Q George Ryan The Lions Peter Xanthus
4113 Resurrection Ascension Titans Janna Valente
5195 Union Settlement Association Bridges Robotic Team Terrance Recille
5517 IS 119 Q TopGearz2 Chris Dudin
5618 Louis Armstrong IS 227 Q Lamchops 1 Richard Akalski
David Mabrey
Joshua Blum
5619 Louis Armstrong IS 227 Q Lamchops 2 (See 5618)
6029 IS 347 K R-L Unit Rosalinda Rubinstein
6292 Cambria Center Cambria Warbots Sheryl Liles

What you get to take home at a qualifier:
Every team gets a participation trophy so make sure you get yours.
Each child gets a participation ribbon.

Winning teams in all categories get trophies or plaques.
If you win one of these, that guarantees entry to the citywide at Riverbank on Jan. 26.

The top award Directors' Award winning team gets a medal for each member (no more than 10, please.)

The following awards will be given out at each tournament:

1. Directors Award
2. Robot Performance Award
3. Project Award
4. Teamwork Award
5. Robot Design Award
6. Judges' Award

The number of places for each award (i.e., 1st, 2nd, etc.) will be based on the planned size of the borough tournament such that the number of teams advancing from each tournament will be roughly proportional to the tournament's size. A total of 82 awards will be given out at the five borough tournaments, thereby qualifying up to 82 teams to compete at the New York City Championship. Judges will be using the standard judging criteria for each award as explained in the coaches' manual as well as outlined on the firstlegoleague.org webpage: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=29660

You are invited to view Brooklyn Tech's photo album:

Brooklyn FLL Qualifier
Brooklyn Tech -
Dec 8, 2007
by Brooklyn Tech


Gary Israel writes:
I want to thank Mark Gura, a very good friend of mine for taking some great photos last Saturday. Mark is one of the most highly regarded authority on Robotics in the country has a GREAT blog on robotics.


The slide show is at: http://www.classroomrobotics.blogspot.com/

News 12 story: http://www.news12.com/BX/topstories/article?id=204005#

For a calendar of tournaments and to register for your team's borough tournament, please see http://nycnjfirst.org/newsletter_fll.html. Also listed in sidebar of the blog.

Brooklyn Qualifying Tournament

The following 16 Award winners will be going on to Riverbank:

0447 PS 372 K Static Fanatics Rita Fasano Vicki Holland Haiva Albuliwi Research fourth place

0844 St. Edmund Elementary School Nerd Herd Christine Zaremba Performance Second Place

1435 Packer Collegiate Inst. Pack-a-Watt Maureen Reilly Research First Place

1472 PS 58 The Carroll School Black Hornets Keith Wynne Teamwork First Place

1475 PS 58 The Carroll School Black Heroes Keith Wynne Research Second Place

1654 PS 21K Crispus Attucks School Panthers Carla Arnold Director s Award

2070 PS 11K Behan Robots Rasheda Lyons Performance Third Place

2090 PS 261K The Energy Freaks Jennifer Lindauer-Thompson
Chris Peyser Scott Howard Teamwork Third Place

2880 Benjamin Banneker Academy K RoboWarriors Imani Fischer Robot Design First Place

3107 Bedford Academy BedBot Cluny Lavache Research Third Place

3628 IS 383 K Philippa Schuyler MS IS 383 Skybox Lindrick Outerbridge
William Hamlet Robot Design Second Place

4949 Brooklyn Tech HS Brooklyn Tech Knights Gordon Williams Performance Fourth Place

5090 PS 282 K RoboWarriors Aisha Marsh Teamwork Second Place

5100 MS 88 K Masterminds2 Andy Singh Judges Award

5101 MS 88 K Masterminds3 Andy Singh Performance First Place

5689 PS 81 K PS 81 RoboKids.com Bell Bishop Robot Design Third Place

The following 24 Award winners will be going on to Riverbank:

0083 CS 66 X CS66 B.R.A.T.S Christopher Blades Judges Award

0196 PS/IS 123 X Eagles Chris Gooding Teamwork Third

0268 MS 101X Maritime Academy Maritime Warriors Michele Sikoryak Punit Gandhi Director s Award Second

0506 Pablo Casals MS 181x The Crusaders Terry Buchalter Research Third

0705 Globe School for Environmental Research GLOBE Masters Michael Joyce Paul Riter Paul Cassidy Barbara Hartnett Robot Performance Fourth

0707 Globe School for Environmental Research GLOBE Masters Michael Joyce Paul Riter Paul Cassidy Barbara Hartnett Robot Performance First

0845 MS 302 X MS302 Tech Squad Sharon Shoatz Research First

1634 ESMT IS 190 X Team X Maribeth Whitehouse Technical First

1673 PS 195X Molecules Zelma Torres-Rosado Director s Award Third

1822 MS 118 X Pacers Ralph Corvino Research Second

1911 PS 76X The Bennington School 76ers Russell Heath Teamwork First

2132 IS 98 X Ridder Kids Harold Smith Robot Performance Fifth

2154 PS 121 X Storm Throopers Kathy Bormann Maria Scher Technical Second

2201 MS 144 x Michaelangelo MS 144 GoBots Victoria Lowe Research

2269 PS 68 X PS 68 Mind Openers II Andrew Harrison
Barbara Tully Research Sixth

2284 HS of Computers & Technology X LEGO Devils Stan Bellis Technical Fourth

2349 PS 103 x LEGOBotic Beez Jarret Jackob Linda Marie Matos
Cathy Daly Judges Second

2350 PS 103 x LEGOBotic Beez Jarret Jackob Linda Marie Matos
Cathy Daly Performance Second

2415 Kezner Academy @IS 192 X Accelerators Jim Love and Nikki Havel Director's First

4084 Bronx Latin MS Architecti Eddie Branchaud Robot Performance Third

4785 PS 153 x Nanobots Mary Ann Milano Melissa Lonquich Michelle Andrews Technical Sixth

4815 Frederick Douglass Academy FDA LEGO Raiders Mary Hui
Danielle Nunez Joel Andrew Bianchi Richner Erisnor Andres Alonso Technical Third

4817 Frederick Douglass Academy FDA LEGO Junior Raiders Mary Hui Danielle Nunez Megan Wasserman, Henry Encarnacion, Alyssa Rosenbaum. Robot Performance Sixth

5148 PS 304X DragonBots Sandra Kamelgarn Research Fourth

5264 IS 174 X Microbots Esteban Vazuez Technical Fifth

5744 PS 108X 108 Teamwork Second

Compiled by Norm Scott
NYCFIRST Registration coordinator

Have a good day


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