Saturday, March 14, 2009

PS 57 SI students earn invite to Washington

From coach Patricia Lockhart

Update on the trip to Washington

The robotics teams are expected to go to Washington June 5th with Congressman Mc Mahon. They will make a presentation on the sea wall plan to Senator Schumer, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and even President Obama. Even though they did not win a trophy at the citywide - what they have accomplished is priceless....

Update on Jacob Javits Center
Our 2nd grade and 5th grade robotics teams participated in the citywide competition over the weekend at the Jacob Javiz Center. The 5th grade team was able to beat 10 teams citywide and had a high score of 100. They were also commended by judges for their research, technical robot design and work with the Congressman! Our entire 5th grade team came home with medals for their amazing work! Our Jr robotics team was able to present their research project to thousands of visitors. They were outstanding! PS 57 is proud of their hard work.

From SI Advance
Fifth-graders dream of meeting President in the near future
Thursday, March 05, 2009

STATEN ISLAND, NY -- CLIFTON -- Fifth-graders at PS 57 may be headed for a visit to Washington, D.C., with an eye on their dream of catching a glimpse of President Obama, thanks to an invitation from Rep. Michael McMahon.

McMahon visited the school last week to attend a presentation put on by students involved in the robotics program. He also spoke at a school assembly about his work in Washington.

The congressman was greeted by a swarm of students waving American flags in the entrance hallway. During the assembly, members of the Student Government presented a Power Point demonstration recapping McMahon's contributions to the school while a member of the City Council.

Members of the robotics team presented the Congressman with their research on how to protect Staten Island from hurricane surge waves and floods, predicted to increase as a result of global warming. Students proposed building a sea wall around the borough's low-lying coastal areas. Second-grader Dominick Lewis proposed surrounding the Island shoreline with a trench to protect it from surge waves.

Fifth-grader Abdul Basil said he'd like to bring the sea wall project to Washington to seek federal funding from President Obama. His classmates, Mamicor Davies and Gloria Kakia, told McMahon that while the sea wall might be costly, it would be worth it to protect the lives and homes of Islanders living in the beach areas. They noted that PS 57 is designated as shelter for families under the New York City Hurricane Evacuation Plan.

The Student Government passed a resolution urging McMahon to bring President Obama to visit PS 57 so that students could present the President with their research in person.

McMahon responded by inviting the fifth-grade classes to visit him in Washington. "I welcomed all students to come down to Washington and visit my office there. There is nothing greater than seeing the seat of democracy in action," the he said.

Teacher Patricia Lockhart, who serves as faculty mentor and coach of the robotics program, said she is working to make the trip a reality.

Meanwhile, PS 57 robotics students are gearing up for the weekend's Lego robotics competition at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

The school has been running a successful robotics program for several years, modeled after the program run out of St. Clare's School in Great Kills. (Ms. Lockhart, an Advance Woman of Achievement, is the sister of Mary Lee, the robotics coach at St. Clare's.)

Select fourth- and fifth-grade students at PS 57 prepare year-round to enter the Lego expo to compete against intermediate and high-school teams. The 10- and 11-year-olds learn the basics of computer programming and engineering to build a robot out of Lego blocks; they then program the robot to complete simple tasks.

This year, the older students began working with second-graders who formed a Junior Robotics Team. The junior team participates in the YMCA's after-school program at PS 57.

As part of the program all students must prepare and present a research project. This year's project involved climate change, and how to protect the environment from damage caused by global warming.

As part of their research, Ms. Lockhart explained, students reviewed actual blueprints of homes built in flood zones, and various sea-wall designs. They researched the New Orleans levee system. They'll be presenting their research and making their case for a Staten Island sea wall over the weekend during the competition at the Javits Center.

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