Island Park’s Lincoln Orens Middle School students were paramount forces at the Sixth Annual Statewide Robotic Competition, held at Adelphi University on June 2. They achieved the greatest prize possible as well as several others, with three of their teams placing within the top 10.
This year’s main challenge involved autonomous programming of a robot achieving tasks on a 4-by-8-foot playing field. Each robot competed in four different two-minute competition rounds. Teams were also required to formally present their design before a panel of judges.
Out of more than 30 teams from Long Island, a group of Lincoln Orens Computer Club students, dubbed the IP Pineapples, won the event’s top prize. Together, students Fabiana Boncina, Hailey Cardiello, Emmalee Egan and Paige Perrone achieved first place and were named Challenge champions. A Discovery team, the Loco Llamas, came in right behind them as second-place Challenge winners. This group, comprised of Allyson Baetong, Jocelyn Bravo, Erick Cisneros, Alexandra Hernandez, Nico Thertus and Olivia Trafford, was awarded first-place overall for its combined robotics and presentation score. Both teams held their first- and second-place standings throughout the competition.
Another Computer Club team, Watermelon, came in 10th and another Discovery team, the Aggressive Pandas, placed 16th. Congratulations to Watermelon members Diego Arce, Stephanie Banegas, Samantha Singer, Coby Spitieri and Josh Vobis and Aggressive Pandas participants Alexander Cochiorva, Emily Crowder, Ian Dennis, Emily Feil and Kirsten Lily.
In addition to attaining the competition championship trophy, the IP Pineapples secured the highest presentation score. No team is allowed to win more than one award, so while they were unable to take home a combined award prize as well, they still left with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. The team also took judges by surprise by achieving three “bullseyes” on the last task – a feat that the head judge said was almost impossible and even one success was unanticipated.
“The IP Pineapples exemplified the spirit of the competition with their tactful win,” said Sabita Nayak, Executive Director of Educational Grant Programs at Adelphi University. “Witnessing their remarkable teamwork, leadership and skills at work was beyond inspiring. These young ladies are poised for success and I hope this encourages other young women to explore STEM disciplines.”
The Island Park teams practiced and prepared under the guidance of Education Technology Specialist Christine Chu, Discovery teacher Robert Ferrante and Nassau BOCES Consultant Justin Chu. Technology education teacher Chris Jahn and computer teacher Michael Giardino assisted at the competition as well. Earlier this year, robotics students excelled at the FIRST Lego League robotics competition, where a group won the Strategy and Innovation Award and ranked sixth out of 40 teams. Those 40 teams came from 192 teams that competed on Long Island to get there.
“We have a great program and our students have shown tremendous dedication and talent,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rosmarie Bovino.