NEWTON, NJ - Newton High School’s robotics team Aperture was welcomed back to town by Andover Township Police and Fire Deaprtment, Newton EMS and Fire Department, Green Township Fire Department, Andover Boro and Lakeland EMS at the Andover Boro firehouse on less than two hours notice from their successful trip to St. Louis. They returned on Sunday morning from the 2017 FIRST Championship with the Underwriter’s Laboratory Industrial Safety Award.
The team competed against nearly 405 other teams from across the world at The Dome at the America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri on April 27-28. Thirteen students from the team attended the four-day trip, traveling via a charter bus for over eighteen hours.
Aperture earned the opportunity to travel to this event to compete against nearly 30,000 students from across the globe. Winning awards at previous competitions got them to St. Louis, especially the Engineering Inspiration Award won at the Bridgewater-Raritan district event and the Lehigh University regional championships.
The Newton team clinched the Industrial Safety award beating out 138 international competing teams in two of the six divisions at the championship event.
According to FIRST, the Industrial Safety Award is given to the team that “celebrates the progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards.”
The judges said the team had excellent safety standards and procedures, especially the plan for an active shooter event that was implemented in case of an emergency at the championship. Judges also noted that the team’s cross-training for other members to be skilled in the safety program was a key contributor to their earning of the award.