Saturday, February 14, 2009
IS 72 Lego Robotics Team Press Release
Coach Randi Huss, Monica Mikhail, Sara Zainelabdin, Dillon Chan, and Coach Olympia DiSpigna, Chinese School Student, Monica Mikhail, Assistant Prinicpal Maria Bender, Coach Randi Huss, Dillon Chan
“HAPPY Chinese New Year!” greeted Dillon Chan, the Rocco Laurie robotic inventor, as he introduced this year’s research project to over 100 students of the Staten Island Chinese School on Saturday January 24th. The four researchers, Sarah Zainelabdin, Monica Mikhail, Shayla Jones, and Heather Platt, introduced by coaches Randi Huss, Daniel Colasanto, and Olympia DiSpigna, presented their Global Connections Lego Robotics project to a curious and excited crowd. The team chose China as their international climate connection, comparing recycling efforts in both the US and mainland China.
The team clearly stated “as individuals we are contributing to the problem of the global warming crisis.” They explained the effects of methane gas [the second largest emitted greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide] on the environment. They presented their innovative solution: Mall-E. Mall-E stands for methane abstraction load lifter-Earth class. She is a chic robotic prototype, designed to abstract and transform methane into a viable energy source for both household and automobile use. The goal of our outreach was to educate and inspire the students to promote recycling and composting in our community.
The Chinese School students took the project very seriously and enjoyed it. The students went home and gave their families a survey which asked about recycling efforts currently in China. “The children really understood the concept of the challenge to recycle. They were excited and enthusiastic about Mall-E” said Heather Platt an 8th grade senior researcher.
This program is a joint venture in partnership with The 21st Century Children’s Aid Society After School Program, and Police Officer Rocco Laurie Intermediate 72. Mr. Michael Rieser of the Mayor’s Office on Recycling Education was our special consultant on this project. Through the support of our Principal Peter Macellari, and Assistant Principal Peter Garcia, the Lego Robotics program has consistently produced top honors in the New York State and National competitions annually. The team also currently holds the title of 1st place winner of the Golden Apple Award from the New York City Department of Sanitation for their recycling efforts.
Mall-E is available for lectures and demonstrations for any schools or groups interested in recycling and composting education.