NEWARK, NJ – The RoboRocks and the 3Engineers from the Livingston Robotics Club were recently honored by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders for their hard work and tremendous accomplishments, especially as first time competitors in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL), Competition

Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein was also present during the presentation and shared remarks congratulating the team for their success and fantastic innovations. At-Large Freeholder and Livingston resident Patricia Sebold, who sponsored the commendations, praised both teams as she presented them with citations.

“Both teams are from Livingston, and Livingston is my hometown,” said Sebold. “I’ve lived in Livingston since 1962, and I am proud to honor the 3Engineers and Roborocks.”

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The Livingston Robotics Club Team has been very busy during the 2016 season, capturing recognitions throughout the year, according to the board.

In December, the 3Engineers competed in the North Jersey FIRST LEGO League State Championship and won the “Champion’s Award” and the “Judges Award.” The team also won the “1st Place Robot Game Award” at the 2016 FLL Sparta Qualifying Tournament.

The RoboRocks won the “Core Values Award” and the “1st Place Robot Game Award” at the 2016 FIRST LEGO League Clifton Qualifying Tournament and also participated in the 2016 Northern New Jersey FLL State Championship Competition.

The RoboRocks and the 3Engineers competed in the FLL State Championship for the first time against 60 teams composed of children from ages 9 to 14 from Northern New Jersey. The teams were judged in three areas, including: project, robot design, and core values. The competition was composed of a three-round robot game.

This year’s theme was “Animal Allies,” focusing on challenging students to create an innovative solution to solve a real-world problem to improve the interactions between humans and animals. The teams designed, built and programmed an autonomous robot to compete in the “Robot Game,” which comprised many missions related to the “Animal Allies” theme.

The tham’s goal was to create an innovative tool to improve relationships between animals and humans, and the 3Engineers Team accomplished this by presenting a drone to provide tracking and communication to rangers to stop poachers from killing African rhinos. Equally as innovative, the RoboRocks Team presented a prototype, the Deer-Off Dog, which uses lights and sounds to scare deer away from the backyards.

The Livingston Robotics Club Team was founded in August 2007 and was formally named Livingston Robotics Club and became a 501(c)(3) in 2008. Its mission is to provide a community-based experience-sharing network to introduce Livingston area youth to robotics design and real-life science research, consistent with the vision of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).

Today, the club has grown to become a Kindergarten-to 12th-grade community-based science and robotics organization with more than 100 student members from Livingston and surrounding towns. The club is composed of 30 volunteer parents and mentors that lead the teams, and they encourage youth to actively partake in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education with hands-on project based learning.

Jay Slavin, Chandu Mulinti and Sachin Sawant coached the 3Engineers Team whose members are: Logan Slavin, Aarav Mulinti, and Kavin Sawant. Geoffrey Zheng and Jim Wang coached the RoboRocks Team whose members are: Kevin Zhang, Shining Wang, Isabelle Gao, Valentina Zheng, Hannah Shi, and Grant Zhou.

The coaches also shared remarks, thanking the board for the commendations and recognition. The coaches stressed that the kids’ efforts were a combination of both STEM education and teamwork. The teams look forward to achieving more success in the future.