Eleven elementary schools competed in the Bayonne School District’s first Junior robotics tournament on May 16, 2017 in the Richard Korpi Ice Rink on the campus of Bayonne High School. Student teams comprised of Grade 7 students were provided with Lego EV3 Mindstorm Robotic equipment through generous donations from community members and local organizations. Weekly team meetings consisted of hands-on work sessions creating and coding vehicles using bricks, motors, and sensors to prepare to compete in the Space Challenge.
Student teams gathered in the Richard L. Korpi Community Center to cheer on their peers as they attempted to successfully complete four defined challenges under the central theme of traveling to and living on Mars. Examples of missions included: activate communications, assemble the crew, free the MSL Robot, and launch the satellite. Scores were calculated by a panel of judges and trophies distributed to the schools who earned the most points. Third place honors were awarded to Nicholas Oresko Community School, coached by science teacher Barbara DeBenedictis. The second place trophy was awarded to John M. Bailey Community School, coached by science teacher Kristy Martin. The district champion trophy was proudly presented to Midtown Community School, coached by technology teacher Kyle Meehan.
Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan, Superintendent of Schools stated, “It is clear that most jobs in the future will require a clear understanding of math and science. Because of the efforts and dedication of our highly qualified staff, I am confident that our students will be STEM-literate citizens… experienced in problem-solving, analytical, communication, and technology skills.” Tara Degnan, Director of Science stated, “the Science Department is committed to providing students opportunities and enrichment programs in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This program is one of many programs offered by the Bayonne School District that will encourage students to pursue majors in STEM fields.”
This event would not have been possible without the support of the Bayonne Education Foundation (BEF) and generous community donors that believe in providing our students with STEM programs that will foster creativity and collaboration. The Bayonne Board of Education would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting their team, Bayonne Education Foundation, Event Sponsor; Henry E. Harris Community School, Henry E. Harris PTA; Philip G. Vroom Community School, Bayonne School Employees Federal Credit Union; Dr. Walter F. Robinson Community School, Hudacko’s Pharmacy; Mary J. Donohoe Community School, Ken’s Marine Services; Lincoln Community School, Lincoln Community School PTO; Horace Mann Community School, Dr. Catherine Quinn; Midtown Community School, John Rodrigues; Washington Community School, Bayonne Chapter of Unico; Woodrow Wilson Community School, Chandelier Restaurant; John M. Bailey Community School, K.P. Sarelli’s Restaurant, and Nicholas Oresko School, Rotary Club of Bayonne.