Saturday, February 27, 2010

St.Clare's of Staten Island Holds Public Forum on Smart Moves Research

Hi Norm,
St. Clare's School held a public forum at its Great Kills (Staten Island) school in late January to present its Smart Move research to the community. Below is a link to an article on the FLL team's segment that appeared in the Staten Island Advance. The event drew over 200 guests and featured a special guest speaker, Mary Mattingly from the Waterpod Project.
Our four FLL teams focused on transportation options for our school, ranging from a bike program for older students, to cars with hybrid or air compression engines, and solar-powered buses with improved seat belts. The story deals exclusively with the bike proposal but each team focused on a specific idea.
We also had our new Jr. FLL teams there (eight teams) showing all kinds of projects like solar powered kiddie cars, tree houses that could accommodate special needs children, new safety features for ferries, special emergency devices to help people exit from buildings on fire, and more.
Our older FTC students were helping oversee the younger teams for me and assisting with all technical aspects of the presentation. It was a true collaborative effort!
Here is the link to the story:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

NYCFIRST FLL Regional at Javits Basic Information

2009 - 2010 New York City FIRST LEGO League
This year’s New York City FIRST LEGO League Championship is being held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Sunday, March 14 as part of New York City’s FIRST Mega-Celebration.

Eighty winning teams selected from among nearly 200 that competed at five borough FLL qualifying tournaments will be in-line for New York City’s top honors.

The 2010 New York City FIRST LEGO League Championship is free and open to the public. Bring family and friends and be part of the New York City’s celebration of kids working smart in science and technology!

Venue Address:

Jacob Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001

Need directions to the venue? Click here
For parking information Click here
For public transportation information Click here

Event Schedule

8:00 AM - FLL Pits Open - FLL Teams Arrive - Robot Inspections Begin
8:30 AM - Jr.FLL Pits Open - Jr.FLL Teams Arrive
8:30 AM - Judging begins for teams in pits 1-32
8:50 AM - Coach's Meeting
9:30 AM - FLL/Jr.FLL Opening Ceremonies
10:10 AM - Competition rounds begin
12:10 PM - FLL Lunch / Jr.FLL Closing ceremonies
12:50 PM - Competition matches resume
3:30 PM - FLL closing ceremonies

*These times are approximate, depending on how quickly we progress through the matches. Announcements will be made throughout the day to keep you informed.

Food Services:

A public café will be set up within our New York City FIRST hall at the Javits Center. Vendors and seating will be available in the café area. Food may be brought into the venue.

For a list of food concessions with the Javits Center, please click HERE.

For a list of local restaurants, please click HERE


For additional information, please contact Mark Sharfshteyn at or (347) 739-1836.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Queens Tournament at Aviation HS Press Release



More than 350 area middle and grade school students

apply creativity and science to improve people’s lives

in the annual FIRST LEGO League season

Aviation High School, which was recently recognized as GreatSchool’s Parents’ Choice New York State High School of the Year, organized and hosted the third annual FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) Queens Qualifying Tournament on January 23th, 2010. A critical proponent of this program is the principal of Aviation High School, Mr. Deno Charalambous. He is a firm believer in cutting edge technology being taught at all levels.

Three months of research and design culminated in the FLL tournament where 35 teams of children and mentors, from area primary and middle schools, demonstrated their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community. This year’s theme was Smart Move. The teams worked together to research improvements is the safety and efficiency of the transportation of people and goods.

“The diversity of ideas and solutions at these events is rivaled only by the diversity of the background of the students and mentors. People with roots from around the world come together to actively participate in science, technology, engineering and math for a common altruistic goal: make the world a better place for us all,” as stated by Queens FLL Coordinator, and teacher at Aviation High School, Michael Koumoullos.

The teams are judged in the following areas: research project presentation, robot performance, technical design, computer programming, and teamwork. The highest honor was awarded to the team from MS 67, the Boogie Bot, led by Ms. Ruta Dave, for best exemplifying the spirit and values of the program.

FLL is an international program for 9 to 14 year-old children created in a partnership between FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the LEGO Group in 1998 based on their common belief that fun and learning go hand-in-hand, and that an inspired mind can accomplish anything. Each September, FIRST announces the annual Challenge to teams, engaging them in authentic scientific research and hands-on robotics design. Using LEGO MINDSTORMS® bricks, motors, gears and software, children work alongside adult mentors to design, build and program robots to solve real-world challenges. After twelve intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments.

The Queens Qualifying Tournament was sponsored by Aviation High School, its Parents Association, Student Government and robotics team, The Quantum Samurai. I.S. 227Q, The Louis Armstrong School, hosted a practice tournament on December 20th, 2009.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Looking for a Robotics Teacher: Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering


Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering, a selective, Columbia University supported public school in northern Manhattan, is seeking someone to take over our Robotics Programming course on Tuesdays from 2:40-3:40 and Thursdays from 1:00-2:40. The students are a small (15) highly motivated group and range in age from 11 to 14. Started in early January, the course has focused on Robot C for the NXT, as we were working with a teacher with very strong computer science background. Unfortunately, the instructor was a student teacher who is moving on to a new school assignment next week. We are open to taking the course in new directions, depending upon the strengths of the applicant.

In addition to this part-time position, we have ambitions to hire a F/T technology / engineering / robotics teacher who can also help us build our unique 7-year engineering program and launch a competitive FIRST program at the school. The part-time position might be an excellent opportunity for the school and instructor to get to know each other and consider a longer term hiring option.

Anything you can do to help us identify talented individuals for this opportunity would be greatly appreciated!


Andrew Stillman
STEM Educator and Assistant Principal
The Columbia Secondary School
for Math, Science & Engineering
cell: (646) 283 2521