Education

Newton and Pascack Robotics Students Interview Rep Scott Garrett

f437a2847281f359304d_IMG_9910__1024x683___1024x683_.jpg
US Congressman Scott Garrett met with members of Aperture Liam Oaks, Lara Pennell, Carter Boyd and Katie Nelson.  They were joined by members of the Pascack Patriots Robotics team Carlie Rein and Alexandra Capodicasa.  Credits: Jennifer Dericks
55ea3af650efb79058d0_IMG_9913__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
ea1ee255127c2cfe86a1_IMG_9915__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
104ae11270380e9184a5_IMG_9919__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
2c699e6ec8cf5c0be5d9_IMG_9926__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
3a9f6f0ac1f43dbbaf57_IMG_9933__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
c187781a08b6ca086f67_IMG_9941__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
853604e90a96dac5d378_IMG_9923__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
9c4ef40732ee4c18fd12_IMG_9952__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
7746dc4b4395ba0e3ece_IMG_9960__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
fe7eb99ffbf1a468f61f_IMG_9962__1024x683___1024x683_.jpg
dd94e5655bdb5debd9ba_IMG_9970__1024x683___1024x683_.jpg
Members of both teams and their coaches paused for a photo with Congressman Scott Garrett. Credits: Jennifer Dericks
f631b42291fb120efd96_IMG_9982__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
8786a91e196b4c74ffdc_IMG_9990__1024x683___1024x683__-_Copy.jpg
A member of the Newton High School Aperture Robotics team demonstrates Fluff from Rebound Rumble Competition. Credits: Jennifer Dericks
56f23e6ef5cbff04673d_IMG_9997__1024x683___1024x683_.jpg
f437a2847281f359304d_IMG_9910__1024x683___1024x683_.jpg

AUGUSTA, NJ – The Newton High School robotics team, Aperture along with their counterparts, Pascack Pioneers, invited US Congressman Scott Garret to be interviews at their tent at the Sussex County Fair.

They are petitioning New Jersey’s elected representative to have Robotics be designated a Varsity Athletic sports, with all of the benefits the designation entails. 

Newton’s representative were Team Captain Lara Pennell, Carter Boyed- Marketing and Awards, Administrative Manager Katie Nelson, Liam Oakes Written Media Publicity.  The Pascack team, jointly representing the Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley High School were represented by Co-COE’s Carlie Rein and Alexandra Capodicasa.

Sign Up for E-News

They spoke with the congressman about their mission.  Oakes said, “It’s very controversial.” To which the congressman responded, “I’m used to controversy,” breaking the ice for further discussion. Liam asked if Garrett thought they were deserving of the varsity athletic status.  The congressman reasoned that, while supporting their efforts, this is an issue that should be decided at the state level. 

In return Garrett asked the students about the requirements they must fulfill to receive varsity status at their school. Both Newton and the Pascack high schools consider robotics a Varsity sports, entitling them to earn a varsity jacket, letter and pins. 

Nelson, Rein and Capodicasa explained the requirements were similar to those playing on traditional sports team including a minimum GPA requirement as well as practice and competition participation time requirements.  The Newton students said they spend six hours a day, from 3 until 9 p.m. five days a week together, preparing for competitions.  They spend so much time together, they refer to meal time as “family dinners.”

Despite the school’s designations, “we are not considered a sport by others,” explained Oakes. 

Garrett asked if other academic programs had varsity status.  The Newton students pointed to the Science League as sharing the same level of recognition as Aperture.  Boyde talked about the desire to first get North Jersey Athletic Conference, the sports league that governs high school the region. 

Pennell asked Garrett how he thought STEM impacted society.  Garrett said as he talks to people in business around the country they tell him there is a real problem trying to find young people to fill positions.  “The question becomes how do you motivate young people in the difficult areas of math and science?”  He added that the robotics teams seems to be a way to do just that. 

Nelson talked about the quality of STEM education in New Jersey.  The students and congressman discussed the positive relationship with Sussex County Community College.  Garrett remarked, “We have a good base but we can always improve.”

Boyde asked if Garrett thought STEM was important.  Garrett talked about the unimaginable technological advancements made in his lifetime.  He explained technology in his youth was taking the tube from the TV to the local Agway to be tested and now he “walks around with a blackberry.  In education we try to be broad based in high school so it can prepare you for what the future holds.”

Capodicasa asked Garrett if “STEM will help in the real world?”  Garrett said “The challenge is for the teacher to reach out to the private sector to provide opportunity for internships.  It is an ongoing process.  In Bergen County some industrial businesses look to partner with school.”  He asked the students if their “schools hooked up with any businesses?”  Capodicasa said not for STEM but for the robotics teams they were able to the BMW development center. 

Boyde said “We run the team not only like a family but like a business.  It give hands on life skills and makes it a little more appealing [to students].” Garrett said the business-like structure of the teams was remarkable.

Oakes spoke about the symbol that appeared on their varsity letter, asking Garrett if he recognized the figure.  “It’s the Talon Robot, said Boyde.  “It is the national peace keeping robot, for diffusing bombs and in the medical field.  It is a great embodiment of what we do.”

The students explained to the congressman that they “build the entire robot, even making the parts from plain metal stock using a milling machine.”

Garrett asked the Newton student about a device they created to help a disabled student.  They explained, after seeing him struggle to make use of his locker they created and built a device to make it easier.

The students of both teams had their competition robots on display, even putting them through their paces for the fairgoers.  The process will begin again for the students in January when they receive the package of instruction and rules for the next competition.  They then have six weeks to develop the concept, create the parts and build the robot to be able to accomplish the designated tasks.

Oakes explained in a previous discussion at Newton Day that Aperture Robotics team members had discussed their mission with Senator Corey Booker when he attended one of their competitions.  He quotes Booker, “I think it would be a great thing to have.  Being so much a sport-like competition in many ways.  It is testing the minds about competing against each other. To give a varsity letter would be perfectly appropriate, especially give the policy urgency that we have in America as we are falling behind in STEM education globally.  So, to elevate to a varsity sport would be incredible.  And I think all of the students involved would look great in those jackets.”    

Before leaving the tent the students gave Garrett a team tee shirt, button and a skull created on their 3D printer.  Garrett said the skull would be displayed in his office in Washington DC.

Everyone went out to watch demonstrations of the teams' robots from past competitions. 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police: 6 Teens Arrested at Alpine Beach Area Party Spot

April 26, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Six Sparta teens found in the woods behind Alpine Beach parking lot have been arrested on drug charges.  According to police, over the course of months, the Sparta Detective Bureau had been following up on complaints about teenagers doing and dealing drugs in the area of Alpine Beach.

On April 16 around 3:15 p.m. when checking on the Alpine Beach area, Detectives ...

Sparta Police: DWI Sparta Man Crashes in his Own Yard

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta man faces driving while intoxicated charges after crashing his car into a tree.  On April 22 around 4 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley went to the home of Mitchell Panten, 61, on Sagamore Trail following up on the report of an accident, police say.

Finley found Panten had hit the tree in his front yard when backing into his driveway.  Panten was ...

Sparta Police: Drug Charges for Sparta Woman After Traffic Stop

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta woman is facing drug charges after a traffic stop on Route 15.  On April 21 around 11:10 a.m. Sparta Cpl. Joe Antonello stopped Marina Scheer, 20, because the license plate on her green Toyota was bent making it impossible to read, according to police.

When Antonello spoke with Scheer he smelled marijuana in the car.  Scheer said there had been a passenger ...

The Issue of Alternatives to Elected School Boards

April 14, 2018

The time of electing local school boards should come to an end. According to the National School Boards Association, “the local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways. First and foremost, school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school ...

Newton Mayor’s continued attacks

Mr. Levante has once again made himself out to be the victim and attacked numerous people in the process.  His latest social media antics lashed out against current council members, council candidates and TAPInto Newton.  With this considered, I have a few comments for him:

First, you have indeed facilitated some positive changes in Newton.  I have not found many people ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic

Sports

Fri, May 4, 7:00 PM

Sparta Evangelical Free Church, Sparta

Veritas Christian Academy presents The Music Man

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_1d32c56f1d9651d97a4d_4571683b0fc541ec405e_360_x_300_image_for_website_posts_copy

Sun, May 6, 7:00 AM

Liberty State Park, Jersey City

11th Annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_59b77f3aedb9c701f6a4_sparta_historical_society

Thu, May 10, 6:00 PM

First Presbyterian Church of Sparta, Sparta

Creating a Pollinators Garden - Talk & Plant Sale

Education Home & Garden

Sun, May 13, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

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

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

The Halsted Players Present Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. as Their Spring Musical

April 26, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—Just beyond the second star to the left in the sky lies Neverland, the place where Peter Pan and the lost boys live. The place where you never have to grow up. This is the setting for this year's Halsted Player’s spring musical.

Directed by Meg Penny, Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. is based on the play by J.M Barrie and the 1953 Disney film, with music that ...

A Celebratory Welcome in Parsippany to the Inaugural Riders of the National Memorial Trail

April 26, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ - Thirteen Hundred Miles.  That's the distance of a loop uniting three 9/11 memorial locations:  The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and the Flight 93 Memorial.  That loop is now a bike trail and today in Parsippany, at the Morris County September 11th Memorial, a celebration was in order as the riders hit their 700 mile mark right here in Morris ...

7 Tips For Using Mirrors in Your NJ Home

Mirror, mirror on the wall, how to decorate with them, if at all? First of all, mirrors serve as the perfect complement to nearly any space, so should definitely be incorporated in your New Jersey home decorating.  Secondly, if used thoughtfully, mirrors add considerable value to a space both aesthetically and functionally. So how should you bring on the mirrors? Team Nest Builder offers ...

You Could WIN a New Roof Through No Roof Left Behind

If you live in Sussex, Morris or Warren County and your home needs a new roof, you’re in luck! Jeff Alte Jr. Roofing & Siding will be giving away a free roof to a family in one of these counties through the national No Roof Left Behind program.

Nominations are being accepted through May 31st online only.  Nominate yourself or anyone you know who needs a new roof. Nominees must ...

Buying a Home Is Cheaper Than Renting in Majority of US

Great news for first-time New Jersey home buyers! The results of the 2018 Rental Affordability Report from ATTOM show that buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 54% of U.S. counties analyzed for the report.

The updated numbers show that renting a three-bedroom property in the United States requires an average of 38.8% of income.

The least ...

Home Buying Myths Slayed

Team Nest Builder wants YOU to know the truths about buying a New Jersey home!

Some Highlights:


The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%!


Despite mortgage interest rates being over 4%, rates are still below historic numbers.


88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months!


The credit score requirements for mortgage ...

Buy A Home To Build Your Family's Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. Team Nest Builder wants you to understand what that means for homeowners and their equity positions.

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home ...

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders April 25, 2018 Meeting

NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders April 25, 2018 meeting video.

 

Reduce Your Risk for Colorectal Cancer

April 26, 2018

Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center presents “Protecting Your Colorectal Health” on Tuesday, May 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Morristown Medical Center Health Pavilion, 333 Mount Hope Avenue in Rockaway. Admission is free.

This popular, educational program presents an opportunity to hear up-to-date presentations from leading experts in ...