REGIONAL WINNERS — A robotics team made up of local high school students and mentored by SUNY Poly engineering students is headed to the international FIRST Championships in Michigan next month following a win last weekend at the Central New York 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition at SUNY Poly’s Marcy campus. (Photo submitted)

Area robotics team headed to International Championships

Published Mar 10, 2018 at 4:00pm

A robotics team of local high school students, mentored by SUNY Polytechnic Institute engineering students, is headed to the international FIRST Championships April 25-28 in Detroit, Mich., SUNY Poly announced.

The team posted a win last weekend at the Central New York 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) at SUNY Poly’s Marcy campus.

FIRST refers to For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

The alliance of teams that was declared regional champions included SUNY Poly’s FRC Team 5030, called The Second Mouse, along with Team 340 which was Greater Rochester Robotics from Churchville and Team 2791 which was Shaker Robotics of Latham. Those three competed among 35 teams from across the state plus China and Taipei in a series of challenges during the event.

The Second Mouse has high school students from Utica, Whitesboro, New Hartford, and Sauquoit high schools, plus Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES and Manlius Pebble Hill School.

“We...are so proud to have hosted this amazing event and continue our longtime partnership with FIRST to foster an interest in science, technology, and most of all—collaboration,” said SUNY Poly interim President Bahgat Sammakia.

“Team 5030, The Second Mouse, its members, mentors, and its performance this weekend exemplify the values, skills, and innovation that are synonymous with both SUNY Poly and FIRST.”

The multi-day competition saw students, along with their mentors, demonstrate skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as they competed to earn a spot at the international FIRST Championships.

“What an exciting weekend and what an amazing opportunity for students to put their knowledge of STEM to work in such a hands-on and fun way,” said SUNY Poly Provost William Durgin, who also noted “we wish the best of luck to the SUNY Poly student mentors and the area high school team members as they go on to the world championship.”

FRC coordinator Janice Martino praised the team for its comeback efforts at the event, but said “I think I am even prouder of the fact that they won the Gracious Professionalism award for being a welcoming host team, helping other teams throughout the tournament and setting an example of how to behave and move forward in the face of adversity.”

This year’s theme for the competition was “Power Up,” with robotics entries symbolizing goals and moves of classic video gaming, said SUNY Poly.

“We’re thrilled to have all the hard work and dedication of our team members and mentors over these past six weeks pay off with the chance to go to the championships in Detroit,” said Dominick Ferone, one of the mentors and a senior SUNY Poly student majoring in Computer and Information Design. He was named Volunteer of the Year at the event.

SUNY Poly said FIRST Robotics Competition teams learn from professional engineers; master STEM skills; learn and use sophisticated software, hardware, and power tools; improve teamwork, interpersonal, and communication skills; learn about gracious professionalism; and qualify for millions of dollars in college scholarships.

A full list of award winners from last weekend’s event is at online.