Robotics Teams Shine at Bot Contest

New Rochelle High School sent two robotics teams to the VEX robotics competition at Farmingdale High School earlier this month. Team B competed for the first time, reaching the semifinals, and the more seasoned team, Team A, placed 14th in skills ranking in a field of 34 teams. 

Run by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, the largest and fastest-growing middle and high school robotics program globally, this year’s contest required students to program robots to place acorn-shaped “balls” into goals. The match starts with a 15-second autonomous period when the robot operates independently, followed by a 1-minute 45-second driver-control period. Other criteria and hazards add to the challenges.

The teams, coached by Maria Walsh and Zach Biondo, included seniors Saintecile Johnson, Rebecca Prasad, Donovan Vernon, and Jeila Scrivens-Taitt; juniors Arismendy Escano, Jasper Todd, and Jackson Dennin and sophomores Valeria Bances Sanchez, Scarlett Hartzman, Maxwell Smith, Noah Rosencrantz and Joseph Kurtin. 

“It was a great day of learning and friendly competition,” said senior Jeila Scrivens-Taitt. “Team A exceeded their expectations and Team B excelled with launching mechanisms and coding skills. The semi-finals were a tough match to compete in, but it provided the team members with first-hand experience that will give us the opportunity to develop game strategies for upcoming competitions.” 

The NewRo Bot teams are now preparing for contests in February at Vaughn College, Queens, and JFK High School in Somers, where they expect to compete against more experienced teams.