WeByte, one of three JerseySTEM Robotics teams, was in the winning alliance at the state FIRST Tech Challenge championship for New Jersey and will now represent the Garden State  in the East Super-Regional Championship Tournament in Scranton, Pa.

The state championship took place on the beautiful campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. There were 48 teams and only 3 teams in one winning alliance won the final and qualified for the Super Regional. We are very proud of WeByte for achieving this exceptional milestone.

WeByte is composed of students from neighboring towns: 9th graders Josh Smith, Edward Lam, and Marie Field are from Chatham 8th graders Somil Agarwal and Daniel Gerdes and 7th grader William Qin are from Millburn,.

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WeByte did not have a smooth start. They lost first match and in second match, they got disqualified, as their robot did not fit the size requirement. On third match, their robot tipped over. In qualifier round, they came in 19th place. During alliance selection, the team showed that it is not only good at building robot, but also great at building alliance. They convinced the third place alliance to select them as their alliances. After that, they were on a roll. They and their alliance partners won the semi-final.

In final, they played three matches, won first, and lost second. Last one was the decisive one. They dumped the climbers in rescue bin, scooped the debris and put in middle bin. Their alliance partner hung over the bar. They got the higher score and won the tournament.

Everyone in the team did a phenomenal job. They were there at the tournament from 7am morning to 7pm night without any sign of tiredness. After and before each matches, they were meticulously checking everything and charging phones and battery to make sure they are ready for next battle.

Mike Smith, head coach and parent volunteer has done outstanding job in coaching and guiding the team.

Now, WeByte is getting ready for their next challenges - the East Super-Regional Championship Tournament. It will be held Friday March 18th  through Sunday March 20th, 2016 at the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Seventy two teams from Maine to Virginia will compete in the East Super-Regional vying for an opportunity to advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.

We wish the WeByte good luck to win the super regional and to qualify for world championship.

This was a tremendous year for the JerseySTEM programs, only possible because of the support of the parents volunteers and our sponsors which include Gearhart Law, Prefered Freezer Services, Theorem, the Chatham Jaycees, McGookin Remodeling and Codfish Park Design and Walkley Works.

FIRST Tech Challenge gives middle and high school students and their adult mentors the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem. A big advantage to participating in FIRST is gaining access to millions in college scholarships made available by colleges, universities, and corporations who support FIRST.

JerseySTEM is a network of parents, professionals, students and educators whose goal is to promote excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (“STEM”) education. We are dedicated to partnering with local schools and other organizations to create and enhance STEM-oriented educational opportunities as part of students' paths towards college and career readiness, and to develop effective STEM programs and initiatives that engage students and educators. JerseySTEM is also committed to bridging the gender gap in STEM education and sharing STEM-related opportunities with underprivileged students and communities.

If you are interested in receiving annoucement about new programs or how can your student take advantage of the STEM program, make sure tio signup/update your preferences in signup.jerseystem.org