FIRST Robotics Challenge team gearing up

FIRST Robotics Challenge team gearing up

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 16:25
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Members of FIRST Robotics Challenge Team #5030, “The Second Mouse,” received a $5,000 donation from UTC Aerospace Systems in Rome on April 14. A check from UTC’s Wellness Committee was presented in support of UTC’s sponsorship of the student team’s participation in the April 23-25 FIRST World Festival in St. Louis.

[caption id="attachment_8860" align="alignleft" width="350"] UTC-Photo-01a.jpg Devavrat Nopany, Ben Weiss, Justin Melnitsky, Andrew Nerber, Dominick Ferone, Jarod Bialek, Ian Berringer of UTC, Raghu Iyer of UTC, Joshua Larson of UTC; and (front row) Meral Evke, Carrie Viti of UTC.[/caption]

“UTC’s mission is to generate ideas, support people, and create a quality product; and we consider these to be the future generation of engineers,” said Joyce Garee, UTC Rome human resources manager.

Co-sponsored by SUNYIT and Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES, the team of 10 Holland Patent and New Hartford students won the Rookie All Star Award at last month’s regional competition, which qualified members to compete at the international competition in St. Louis.

Team members are: Nicholas Finn and Amanda Milone of Holland Patent High School; and Dakota Baber, Jarod Bialek, Maysara Elazzazi, Meral Evke, Nick Kopyt, Tori Love, Andrew Nerber and David Nopany of New Hartford. The team is mentored by three SUNYIT freshmen, Ben Weiss, Dominick Ferone, and Justin Melnitsky, assisted by Ian Berringer, a Rochester Institute of Technology student. Mechanical Engineering Professor Yu Zhou, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is the SUNYIT senior mentor; Elizabeth Vanderhoef, physics teacher from Holland Patent, and Gary VonDauber, technology teacher from New Hartford, are community senior mentors to the team.

“When I was a high school freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life,” said Melnitsky. “It was through being on FIRST teams that made me want to become an engineer and go to SUNYIT. It’s an unbelievable feeling to get to pass any of my experience and my passion along to high school students finding their own love of FIRST.”

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Its mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.