Written by Marilou Giammona, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:00
She built it and they came. Garden City Robotics League (GCRL) director Trish Lynch launched the GCRL last year and is now preparing for year two. To celebrate the league’s successful inaugural season and to promote GCRL to newcomers, she and the league coaches hosted the First Annual End of Season Celebration and Information Session at the Garden City Presbyterian Church on April 24.
“I am so impressed with the work that you guys did. I got an education walking right through the door,” quipped Hempstead Town Councilman Edward A. Ambrosino, who attended the celebration to present a certificate to the GCRL on behalf of Town Supervisor Kate Murray. “You know what really is important? Just competitions in life. It feels great to win, but we all win because we learn from the experience of learning,” he said to the many children in the room.
The GCRL currently has four FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League teams and two Jr. FLL teams. All four teams participated in this year’s challenge, while the junior teams participated in the 5th Annual Jr. FLL Expo.
The FLL teams included “Team GC Eat. Sleep. Program,” coached by Danielle Lalehzar, Melissa Jaeger and Patrick Treanor, with members Andrew Cheng, Liam Banahan, Sean Jaeger, Cyrus Lalehzar, Connor Dane and Garrett Treanor.
Team Extreme was coached by Martha Yasso and Suzy Dorney, with members Ian Yasso, Robbie Treanor, Sharon Cunningham, Ryan Cunningham, Liam Dorney and Ryan Murphy.
The Ballistic Builders coached by Peter Arianas and James Lynch, with members Max Genova, Matt Hughes, Jimmy Lynch, Timmy DeMaro, Brandon Noll, George Arianas, Trey Bauer and Riley Bauer.
The Robotic Rebels were coached by Steve Giammona and Brian Sanguyu, with members Steven Giammona, Anthony Sanguyu, Keith DeStaebler, Justin MacFall, Christina Marciano, Ronnie Marciano and Kevin McGoldrick. Junior teams included the Crazy Creators, coached by Ken Ambach and Constantine Stamidis, with members Charlie Ambach, Julian Bubniak, Riley Sanz, Max Sclafani and Nicholas Stamidis.
Team Fun was coached by Emily Arnone, with members Harrison Cottrell, Maeve Dorney, Ella Mele, Matthew Tusiani-Eng and Patrick Wren.
This year’s challenge was “Senior Solutions,” wherein teams had to come up with an everyday problem senior citizens face and then engineer a solution to help seniors overcome that obstacle. The GCRL had a great showing at the FIRST Lego League Qualifier Tournament in Central Islip in February, with the Robotic Rebels clinching first place for “Innovative Solution” and advancing to the 9th Annual Long Island FIRST Lego League Championship Tournament in Middle Island in March. The team’s success continued at the champs, with the team winning the esteemed “Judges Award,” which recognized the rookie team as a “Rising Star.”
Acknowledging the success of the entire GCRL, Ambrosino presented Trish Lynch with an official Town of Hempstead Certificate of Recognition. “Keep up the good work,” he said to the youngsters in the room. “You are our leaders of tomorrow. Science and math is where it’s at. Keep learning, keep discovering, and never give up your dreams.”
Special guest Andy Parton, executive director of the Cradle of Aviation Museum, was on hand to unveil the 2013-14 FLL challenge, but before doing so emphasized Long Island as a hotbed of technology. He likened robotics competitions to the Final Four, citing specifically the FIRST Robotics Competition (for grades seven through 12) held at Hofstra University in April. “It is truly one of the most exciting things going on, especially on Long Island. The idea is to get you all excited about science and technology. The one misnomer about engineering is that is it simply about building large things. Everything that we have in life has been engineered, and you have to become the next generation of problem solvers and that’s what these competitions are about,” he said.
“We’re called the Cradle of Aviation because most of the technology driven in the aerospace industry from the first flight to going to the moon was here on Long Island and it was by Long Islanders. … I hope you keep it up year after year and that you come to the Cradle to see some of the technology that’s been created by Long Islanders just like yourselves,” he said before unveiling next year’s challenge: “Nature’s Fury.”
Next year’s FLL competitors will have the opportunity to explore the awe-inspiring storms, quakes, waves and more that we call natural disaster. “The whole idea is to become just like scientists who deal with real-world problems,” said Trish Lynch.