Press Releases

Westfield Robotics Teams Win Awards

Positive Charge members (l-r) Ashley Rosen, Jen Rogers, and Anna Glueck reprsent the entire team as they accept the Think Award.
Westfield Robotics team Positive Charge brings home the Think Award at major Qualifier. 

On Sunday, January 31, Westfield Robotics teams Positive Charge and That Hertz competed at Hightstown High School along with 33 other First Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics teams in the sixth annual “Snow Day Showdown.” The teams battled for numerous awards and points in order to advance to the New Jersey State Championship Tournament in February.

At the competition, Positive Charge and That Hertz ran into technical difficulties with their robots and formidable opponents.  As a result, neither team was highly ranked due to their performance during the matches.

The awards ceremony was the key to victory, as neither of the Westfield teams were able to advance to the final match and qualify for the State Championship based on their performance in the matches alone.  Anticipation was high as the members waited to hear of their awards and nominations, which could ensure advancement to the State Championship among the seven teams selected.

Sign Up for E-News

The Westfield teams were confident, as they had sought out various outreach opportunities to spread their love of robotics in the community, which is imperative in order to advance. The teams’ outreach events included presenting at Sunrise Assisted Living on numerous occasions, teaching code lessons to students at McKinley Elementary School, and speaking at the Tamaques Elementary School STEM Day.

Soon, the Westfield teams’ fates were solidified. The judges announced That Hertz was in second place for the Connect Award, praising the team’s ambitious and excellent outreach endeavors, as well as their ability to connect with the community and the aspect of business.  

Positive Charge not only won the Think Award but also won third place for the most prestigious robotics award, the Inspire Award. The Think Award recognizes the unique and innovative solutions of a team for challenges they faced while building the robot. The judges raved over the team’s notebook, which outlined their journey over the season, and were especially impressed with the rookie team’s presentation skills and teamwork.  As a result, Positive Charge was able to advance to the State Championship.

“We were nominated for Inspire because our team does outreach [events in] the community … [and] teaches our … team to enjoy ... and continue with robotics,” reflected Anna Glueck.

The Inspire Award is the most difficult award to win in all FTC robotics competitions and recognizes a team’s determination, intellect, spirit, and above all, passion.

“It’s imperative to understand that it doesn't matter what your robot is ranked, or what place you're in. Hard work and perseverance will yield success,” Linzy Rosen revealed.

“Robotics has really changed my life for the better,” shared Ashley Rosen. “There is a great sense of community and the other teams are always more than willing to lend a helping hand.” FTC not only offers a mental challenge but also an accepting community devoted to spreading knowledge and passion to all teams of all ages involved.

To Positive Charge, winning the awards was solely the icing on the cake. The team unanimously agrees that they still enjoyed the competitions at which they did not win awards and have learned a plethora of knowledge outside the sphere of robotics, such as spirit and innovative thinking.

That Hertz concurs.  Although the team did not advance to the State Championship with Positive Charge, they could not withhold their gratitude and appreciation for the competitions FTC has offered them this year. They are excited for more challenges and success in future years to come.

After asked to share his feelings about the recent qualifier and the progress of his team throughout the season, Neil Mahkija, the captain of That Hertz and a current senior who is participating in FTC for his fourth and final year, stated, “The team did fantastic at the past qualifier. I couldn't ask more of them. … I am confident they … [will] continue Westfield's fantastic legacy [once] I graduate … and will be more successful than ever.”

The main goal for the Westfield Robotics club members is to improve oneself while gaining new experiences. Learning from past experiences is one of the most important skills to obtain for achieving success in FTC and life as a whole.

“After being a part of [this club] for some time, I have learned much,” added Josh Ballecer, a freshman and first year member. “The lesson that stuck with me while being here was that teamwork is crucial to make a team succeed. … I intend to [stay] with [this club] for the remainder of my high school experience.” Robotics provides new insights and lasting impressions. With the help of more experienced members, new members can learn skills to use in the future, and members can help each other based on their individual strengths.

FTC offers a great opportunity for any teenager, no matter the level of expertise. In order for competitions to run smoothly to such degree, volunteers step up to judge and run the day. The Westfield Robotics teams express their appreciation to all the parents who continually volunteer and make the season a success.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Elizabeth Child Diagnosed with Flu has Died, School Superintendent Says

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The Elizabeth School District has reported that one student who suffered from the flu has died. 

“It is with great sadness that I must report to you that the Elizabeth School District has lost one of its own,”  Elizabeth Superintendent of Schools Olga Hugelmeyer wrote in a letter to parents over the weekend. The Superintendents letter ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, February 19, 11:00 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

President's Day Jump

Giving Back Health & Wellness


Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice


Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Earn Scholarship Finalist Standing

February 17, 2018

The National Merit Scholarship Program has determined which of the 16,000 semifinalists named in September 2017 have met all requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the competition. All Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2018.

Wardlaw+Hartridge seniors Jennifer Guo and Suraj Chandran of Edison received their Finalist certificates from Susan ...

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

February 15, 2018

February 7, 2018 10:25 p.m.

Officers Natale and Gill arrested Brian Mueller, age 55, of Westfield, NJ for driving while intoxicated pursuant to an accident investigation in the area of Mountain Avenue by Colonial Avenue. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released to a sober adult.


February 9, 2018 2:21 a.m.

Selena G. Palacios, age 22, of Westfield, NJ was ...

19 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford & Mountainside

Nineteen homes sold last week, 2/11/2018-2/18/2018, in Westfield,  Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford.*

TOWN                  ...

How Tax Reform Impacts You

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brings a host of changes to tax returns for 2018. Highlighted are just a few of the new rules that may impact many of our clients. Please reach out to us to find out if and how your personal situation is impacted.

For Business:

·       A flat 21% corporate tax rate for C corporations replaces the 15% - 35% graduate rate ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?



And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

Westfield Public Schools Celebrate High School and Intermediate Music Honors

Westfield High School sophomore Brooke Walden auditioned and was selected to the New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble and Orchestra for a second straight year.  Brooke was the top scoring piccolo player and ranked third on the flute.  She will perform in February with the Wind Ensemble and in November with the Orchestra.

Walden also was among 12 WHS musicians to perform in January with ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...


AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

Cat Found in Westfield

UPDATE: Reunited with family!

ORIGINAL POST: Cat found in Golf Edge area of Westfield. Call 908-913-0509.

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

East Brunswick Rabbi Charged with Engaging in Prostitution with a Child

February 19, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Aryeh Goodman, 35, the rabbi from the  East Brunswick Chabad Learning Center, has been charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was one of 30 men charged with having sex with the teenager over a four-week period.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, Goodman was ...