Sussex County FRC Teams turn gears for competitions

f4e17316c8bb80d456dc_IMG_4599.JPG
Vernon High School robotics team students testing the robot in action Credits: Abigail Dayon
2b3368ebc7a21e2d8875_DSC_0439.JPG
Vernon High School’s robot for the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Credits: Abigail Dayon
420196e654fa8c8b7fde_DSC_1314.jpg
Newton High School’s robot for the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Credits: Caitlin Bailey
059dffc37791183ea10e_IMG_0499.JPG
Newton High School robotics team students testing the climbing mechanism on their robot Credits: Liam Oakes
f4e17316c8bb80d456dc_IMG_4599.JPG

For six weeks, FIRST Robotics teams have been working arduously to prepare a robot to compete in competitions.

They compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition—a worldwide S.T.E.M. robotics program for high school students in grades 9-12. At the beginning of each year, a new challenge is released and all teams are only allotted six weeks to conceptualize game strategies and construct a robot.

January 7 marked the beginning of this year’s “build season” with a new challenge called “Steamworks,” in conjunction with a Victorian Industrial Revolution theme. A trio of three teams on both a red and a blue alliance must work together to operate a mock airship on the field. Robots assembled by each team can deliver gears to the human players in the airship, while the human players assemble the gears to engage the rotors. “Fuel” must also be delivered to the airship by shooting whiffle balls into the boiler. As time runs out, robots can tag along onto the airship by climbing its ropes and hanging off of them. The resulting scores are based off of how many tasks were completed in each match.

Sign Up for E-News

In Sussex County, there are only two teams that participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition—Vernon High School’s Team #1989 “The Vikings” and Newton High School’s Team #3142 “Aperture.” Both teams were able to produce a functional robot that correlates with this year’s challenge.

The Vikings’ team captain, Brian Hill, was “proud of the results.”

“I am very hopeful that our robot will succeed in our competitions this year, and that it will advance us to the championships,” said Hill. Hill is a senior at Vernon High School, and is the captain and build leader of the team.

“Our robot this year will be able to complete three tasks: deliver gears to the human players in the airship, deliver fuel to the airship’s boiler, and climb onto the rope of the airship.”

According to Hill, the team’s build group also developed their own strategy of obtaining and launching whiffle balls, or “fuel,” using an input and output system with a conveyor belt-like mechanism on the robot. Gears are placed into the box on the robot, while the robot’s drivers control the delivering of the gears to the human player.

“This year’s robot, in my opinion, was one of the most difficult to design and build,” said Anthony Ciaburri, the team’s adviser and mentor. Ciaburri has been teaching at Vernon for twenty years and coaching the robotics team for eleven.

“The games in recent years are requiring more and more of teams with respect to solutions to the game requirements. Essentially, each year has become more difficult to fund and design given the time frame of 6 weeks.”

Newton High School’s team “Aperture” was also able to overcome the intense six weeks of build.

“This year we really wanted to focus on assisting the human players and gaining the extra points at the end of the matches,” said John Bugay, build leader of Aperture.

Aperture’s robot, similar in objectives to the Vikings’, delivers gears and climbs the airship’s rope. The gears are placed into the robot’s box and are delivered to the peg on the airship’s lift for the human player to retrieve.

Bugay also stated that their primary focus for this year’s challenge is team collaboration, in where the team works together with the human players and other teams to accomplish the mission. 

This is also the first year that Newton’s team had to adapt to a new build group, after several students on the team recently graduated. However, Jake Kolzow describes, “I could not really see a difference between this year’s group and last year’s. They took the skills that we have taught them and used them to produce a working robot, with the help of mentors, like myself.”

Kolzow became involved with Aperture in eighth grade, was the build leader for three years, and graduated from Newton High School in 2016. He now mentors students on the team and is pursuing a career path.

Vernon will be competing in their first district competition at Westtown School in Pennsylvania on March 11 and 12, while Newton competes at Mount Olive High School the same weekend. Both teams will compete in their second district competition at Bridgewater-Raritan High School on March 18 and 19. Competitions are open to the public, and are free of admission.

The average score of the two competitions will determine the teams’ eligibility to compete in the Regional Championship at Lehigh University in April, and then to the World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri and Houston, Texas.

FIRST has really motivated me to pursue a career in something that I am passionate about,” Hill expressed.

“I have learned many skills, especially leadership and problem-solving. It has motivated me to pursue the career that I am headed for, and I am really excited.”

Get updates about what the students of Newton Public School's award-winning robotics division have been up to.  A part of FIRST Robotics, Newton Robotics Team has proudly served and contributed to expanding STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) to the community and students since its establishment in 2009.
 
Coached by James Hofmann of Halsted Middle School with the assistance of Darleen Nelson, the program ensures that students from grades five through 12 are provided with an exploration to 21st Century Life and Careers with more hands-on opportunities in Engineering, Science, Business, Public Relations, Marketing, Industrial Safety, and more.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Newton

Newton Brothers Arrested for Distributing Heroin in Town

May 23, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—Newton brothers Ryan and Daniel Devine are facing drug charges after an investigation by Newton Police Department and Sussex County Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force.  The duo were arrested on May 16 around 8:30 p.m. after law enforcement found they had distributed Heroin within the town of Newton, according to police.

At the time of their arrest, Daniel, 34 and his ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8a19d072e4460f0203bf_project_help

Sat, May 26, 12:00 PM

The Stanhope House Main Stage, Stanhope

Jar Jams Entertainment Veterans Benefit w/ ...

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Sun, May 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Thu, June 21, 2:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Summer Afternoon Garden Soiree

Home & Garden

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Carousel_image_2cec67206897437ad29b_sparta_historical_society

Sun, August 26, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Sparta High School Photography Student Takes Top Prize in CCM Competition

May 20, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta High School photography student took home the top honor from the County College of Morris sixth annual photography competition from over 600 entries. Three other Sparta students also earned honorable mention in the event sponsored by the CCM Photo Club.

Reese Vanduk, a senior, earned first place for her interpretation of this year’s theme of ...

Republican Party Values

May 21, 2018

Campaigns are interesting things.

Throughout the process, my opponents' supporters have labeled me a "political prostitute", "pimping" a message as a "spokesperson". I've been in a public meeting when referred to as a "lackey" who 
"belongs in a cage like the animal you are".

It's been said directly to me by a ...

Ethical Or Political Stunt

On May 9th Sussex County Freeholder Director Jonathon Rose announced formation of the Sussex County Transparency Committee. A committee established to monitor the ethics of County politicians.  

Alarming is what was left out of this announcement. Besides naming the dynamic duo Lazzaro and Graham, two other names show cause for curiosity. Jonathon never acknowledged, nor did he ...

Why You Should Buy Your NJ Home Before Interest Rates Rise

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, marking a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. Many factors fueled the current pace of acceleration.  Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, opines:

“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage ...

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now?

 

Bottom Line


According to the US Census Bureau, ‘millennials’ are defined as 18-36-year-olds.


According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 32.


More and more ‘old millennials’ (25-36) now realize homeownership is within their grasp now!

Are YOU ready for ...

Find Your Dream Home During Our DOUBLE Open House Weekend!

The forecast for this weekend is rain, rain, and more rain---so why not spend your time touring your new home?  Team Nest Builder offers 2 wonderful Open Houses this weekend, PLUS a new listing for you to check out via video tour!

27 Hilltop Trail, Sparta

Step into your own fairytale with this Lake Mohawk, storybook-sweet 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom gem! Gather in front of the rustic ...

Help Feed Hungry Sussex County Families Through Foodstock

Did you realize food pantry shortages INCREASE during the summer months? Decreased donations and increased need due to the summer break from school lunch and breakfast programs leave many Sussex County families hungry.  

Enter Foodstock:  an annual spring countywide food drive started 15 years ago through the coordinated efforts of Pass it Along, United Way of Northern New Jersey, ...

3 Tips for Making Your Home-Ownership Dream a Reality

 

Here's Highlights:


Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check = one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it.


Living within a budget right now helps you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts holding you back.  What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership ...

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders May 9 video

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ - Video of the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders May 9 meeting. 

 

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Newton Town Pool Registration is Open

May 23, 2018

NEWTON, NJ – Memberships are available for the Newton Town Pool for the 2018 summer season. 

The Newton Town Pool has two water slides, a fully enclosed kiddie pool with walk-in entry, a grass picnic area, a picnic pavilion, lounge chairs, large pool umbrellas, snack stand, updated change rooms and an ADA lift.

The pool will be open June 25 through August 26.  Open swim ...

10-Year Old Boy Battling Cancer Receives Generous Donation From Randolph Hockey Family

May 20, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real life battles off the ice there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the Randolph Varsity hockey team, when they came together to deliver good wishes and ...