Saturday, September 19, 2009

NYCFIRST Update 4: Kickoff Saturday, Sept. 26 Starts at 10 AM

Saturday will be out annual kickoff where a few tables will be set up and Smart Moves missions will be reviewed.

Note the change in the times. We will start at 10am and end around 1pm.

Polytechnic Institute of New York University - NYU POLY
6 Metrotech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201

For the Rookies’ workshop the following people will be speaking on the following

Eric Greene – Team Organization & Management
Veryl Greene – Robot Design & the Robot Inspection
Richard Akalski - Game Preparation Strategies
Josh Blum – Strategies for Teaching Basic Game-related NXT Programming

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In Memorium: Glenn Wright

The death of Glenn Wright is one of the sad reports that come about all too often for kids in the inner city. Note comments of FLL Planning committee member Kristian Breton and former FLL coach Danny Peralta. Make sure to check out the Times 2006 story on his teammate that had a happpy ending at that time.

Dear Teams:
It is with profound sadness that I share this news with you: Glenn Wright, a former member and mentor of team 1880 the East Harlem Warriors lost his life this past weekend. Kris Breton, who know Glenn well shared the details below . These articles appeared today in various Media about the unfortunate and sensless incident leading to his untimely and tragic death:
Glenn was 21 years old. A kind, well-liked, responsible young man, raised in a family of very limited economic means, Glenn was a loving child and brother and a caring team member who bloomed in the midst of EHTP friends and mentors. Glenn graduated in 2008, but never left his FIRST team: he helped as mentor in 2009, and was to be one of its main leaders in 2010. He will be sorely missed. I am sure his positive and sharing spirit will continue inspiring Team 1880 for years to come.
Our thoughts and prayers go to his father, siblings and close friends. East Harlem Tutorial Program is recieving donations to help the family with the funeral services. Donations or flowers and cards can be sent to EHTP/ in Glenn Wright 's memory, and mailed c/o Gerardo Garcia, Robotics Coordinator 2050 Second Ave, NY NY 10029.
Team 1880 will be holding a Vigil at East Harlem Tutorial this afternoon at 5:30, at 2050 Second Avenue near 106th St. Feel free to join us to remember and celebrate his life. His funeral will be held on Saturday at Benta's Funeral Home at 630 St. Nicholas Avenue - at W. 141st Street Harlem, New York .
Ana L Martinez
FIRST Regional Director
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Newark,NJ 07102
Polytechnic Institute of NYU
Six Metrotech Center Room JB 257A
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718 260 3383
917 361 2257 cell

September 15, 2009

Fatal Stabbing of East Harlem Resident, 21, May Have Stemmed From Mistaken Identity

Friends at the small East Harlem high school he attended remembered Glenn Wright as shy, the kind of kid who sat in the back of a room and didn’t say much. But in 2006, when a neighborhood after-school program started a robotics team, Mr. Wright signed up, emerging as one of the leaders in an unlikely run to the national finals.

“In this profession, you’re not supposed to have favorites, but he was probably my favorite,” said Kristian Breton, who coached the 19-member team, which beat the city’s elite schools in a regional competition, then lost in the national competition in Atlanta.

Mr. Wright, 21, stayed active with the team after graduating from Central Park East High School, coaching and mentoring students while he attended community college. Then, on Saturday night, as he was helping his grandmother at her apartment on the Lower East Side, he was attacked by a group of men and stabbed in the neck. He died the next day.

“He was just one of these guys who was so caring,” said Jeff Ginsburg, executive director of the East Harlem Tutorial Program, where Mr. Wright continued to work with the robotics team as a staff member and volunteer. “I know it’s cliché to say it, but everyone loved him.”

The police arrested Joel Herrera, 20, of the Upper West Side on Sunday morning and charged him with murder in connection with the killing. Family members say officers have told them that the attack was a case of mistaken identity, but the police could not confirm that on Monday night.

Mr. Wright, the third youngest of nine siblings, one of whom died as an infant, visited his grandmother at the Baruch Houses every weekend, family members said. On Saturday, he was there to help her wash her windows. He was taking a break outside when a group of three or four men attacked him, relatives said. His father, who was nearby, saw the attack in progress and chased after the men. Mr. Wright, bleeding profusely from the neck, ran back into the lobby of his grandmother’s building and collapsed in his aunt’s arms, said his brother Peter Wright Jr.

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center. Over the next several hours, as word of the attack spread on Facebook, friends and relatives poured into the hospital. Doctors delivered the news on Sunday afternoon that he was dead.

Mr. Wright left behind seven siblings, his father, a girlfriend, a love of skateboarding and photography, and a host of unfulfilled plans. On Monday, a to-do list still sat on his mirror in his bedroom in East Harlem, where he shared an apartment with three of his siblings, his brother Peter said. One notation on it read “City College,” one of the places to which he planned to apply. He was also considering Apex Technical School, where he was considering taking up carpentry, his brother said.

Mr. Wright, whose mother died a few years ago, also cared for a younger brother with Down syndrome, said Danny Peralta, another former coach of the robotics team who stayed close to Mr. Wright and hired him to work with children this summer at the Point, a nonprofit community development agency in the Bronx.

“He was one of those kids that honestly ran away from trouble and violence,” Mr. Peralta said, “and for it to catch up to him like that, it’s just the worst thing I can think of.”

The tutorial program plans to hold a vigil for him Tuesday at 5 p.m. at 2050 Second Avenue in East Harlem, followed by a short procession to Mr. Wright’s high school.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mark Gura Looking for Contributors for LEGO Robotics Book

Dear Colleague –

My name is Mark Gura and I am currently writing a book for ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) on Student Robotics. The book’s working title is “Getting Started with LEGO Robotics” and will feature interviews and other sorts of input from educators who are closely involved with implementing LEGO Robotics practices with students or preparing colleagues to do so.

The purpose of the book is to give essential information and professional insight about how to bring LEGO Robotics into the classroom to teachers who are interested, but haven’t yet begun. As LEGO Robotics continues to distinguish itself as a highly motivating, especially relevant and effective approach to STEM education, I believe this book will perform a much needed service for many members of our profession.

I would like to invite you to use this book as an opportunity to share your experience and expertise in this important body of practice and distinguish yourself as a contributor to this growing field. Your participation may take the form of answering a short email survey; participate in a 10 – 15 minute phone interview, or to write some materials for inclusion in the book. In all cases participants will be fully and appreciatively acknowledged and credited for their contribution in the book’s text.

I strongly urge you to consider participation, as this book’s meaning will in large part be derived from presenting the experience of a broad spectrum of professionals directly involved in implementing LEGO Robotics with students. If you are interested, the first step will be for you to answer a short survey that I will email you. After you have returned the survey and I have had an opportunity to digest its contents, I will let you know about follow-up in the form of an invitation to participate in a phone interview or invitation to submit a lesson plan or other document. All who submit surveys will be fully acknowledged in the book whether or not they accept such invitations. I will keep all participants, whatever form their participation takes, fully informed of the progress of the book which is scheduled to be presented to ISTE in finished manuscript form in March 2010.

Please email me back stating your interest in participating. I look forward to hearing from you,

Mark Gura

PS – This will be my third book for ISTE. Below you will find some links to descriptions of those books and ISTE’s publishing program.


Making Literacy Magic Happen

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Mark Gura
Agent Provocateur - Writer - Podcaster - Speaker
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