PARSIPPANY, NJ - The Krypton Warriors is a Parsippany-based robotics team participating in an international robotics competition called FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC). FIRST is a nonprofit organization that stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”. This is the first year the Krypton Warriors are competing in FTC.
FIRST runs four programs for different grade levels from elementary to high school. Each season follows the school year and every year a new challenge is announced. Teams build robots to complete tasks to gain points and advance till they reach the world championships held every year at Detroit and Houston.
On Sunday, March 8, 2020, the Krypton Warriors organized a science and engineering event called “Shaping Young Minds into Warrior Engineers” at the Police Athletic League (PAL) in Parsippany, NJ. The event was a celebration of the success of twelve FIRST teams in Parsippany and nearby towns.
Krypton Warriors reached out far and wide to invite five professionals from industry and academia to inspire the FIRST teams to strive for excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers.
After the Robo Rockets team sang the national anthem, Dhriti Singareddy, Captain of the Krypton Warriors, shared with the teams on how they came together as a team. She said, “We started the season with a mission to embody the FIRST Core Values, to link with as many STEM professionals and to get the communities around us excited about FIRST programs.”
She articulated that throughout the season Krypton Warriors incorporated “Gracious Professionalism (GP)” into their daily lives. According to FIRST, GP is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. Dhirti explained that this simple concept can be life-changing and highly rewarding. In fact, the team has had a positive impact on more than 3,000 people through their various outreach events at domestic and international venues.
Aman Patchipulusu, a programmer in the team welcomed the FIRST teams - Genius Pluto, Robo Rockets, Robo Droids, Kreative Crackers, Epic Robotics, Bot Warriors, Human Robotics, Galaxy Bots, Lightning Bots, CyberHox and NanoGurus.
Aarav Mulinti, a robot builder in the team introduced Mr. Prem Pusuloori, the National Director at SEWA International, which is a non-profit philanthropic organization. Mr. Pusuloori highlighted the efforts of Krypton Warriors to introduce Robotics to the underprivileged students in Colombia. This is a successful example of how robotics and science can enable children to succeed in life and escape the violence surrounding them.
Another hallmark of Krypton Warriors’ international outreach was the six-week robotics program at Saint Paul’s High School, India, organized by Varun Kommareddy, a robot builder in the team. Varun designed the curriculum to enrich their learning experience with real-life examples that the children could relate to. According to Varun, the kids were so exhilarated to learn something new every week. By the sixth class the students became proficient in building with LEGOs and were sad to see Varun return back to the USA.
Varun introduced the next speaker, Dr. Omar Alvarez-Pousa, Adjunct Instructor from New York University with 30 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Using examples from Krypton Warriors’ business plan, Dr. Alvarez-Pousa highlighted the key components of an effective business plan. He advised the teams to keep in mind the three Cs Change, Creativity and Courage as they go through the season.
The next speaker, Ms. Shweta Thapa, Mechanical Engineer, NJ Ambassador for Women in 3D printing, and a co-founder of 3Ducators was introduced by Muthu Veerappan, a robot builder in the team. She was impressed with the passion for science and engineering exhibited by the students and mentors in the FIRST Teams. Teams were encouraged by Ms. Thapa to utilize the 3D Printing services offered by maker spaces and local libraries.
Krypton Warriors passionately seek and connect with various organizations to learn new skills and increase their knowledge of STEM career opportunities. They have connected with corporations such as Zoetis, an animal healthcare company, Stryker, a medical technology company, and UPS, a popular package delivery service. Rahul Ramakrishnan, a programmer in the team explained that the team raised about $8,000 from corporate and individual donors. This helps the team buy the parts needed for their robot and pay for other operational expenses like traveling and organizing events.
Mr. Bill Lam, a board member of the Livingston Robotics Club in Livingston, New Jersey, encouraged the students to have bidirectional communication with the coaches. It is important that students bring to the attention of coaches and mentors when something is not right. The teams were amazed to hear that Mr. Lam has been to 223 robotics events, coached more than 50 girls and been to various national and world championships in the past 10 years.
Monishwar Sampath, a programmer in the team distributed certificates of celebration to the participating teams and opened the FLL and FTC fields for teams to showcase their robots and projects.
Parents and students enjoyed the event and were happy to see several teams celebrating together their hard work throughout the season. The Krypton Warriors are working to make this an annual celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math in Parsippany.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact the Krypton Warriors' email: firstname.lastname@example.org