Students Can-Dew At Robotics Competition
By Brittni Kanhai
Science and technology were the focus of Canarsie and John Dewey high schools' robotics team known as Can-Dew - last weekend at the FIRST (For Recognition and Inspiration in Science and Technology) New York City Regional Robotics Competition. Fifty-three teams from New York, New Jersey and Great Britain competed for a chance to move on to next month's championship in Atlanta.
The annual event, held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, challenges students to design and build a robot to coincide with an annual theme. Each team has six weeks to complete the task, which helps measure communication and critical thinking skills, as well as their thirst for success.
The theme this year was "Rack 'N' Roll," and the students were required to build a robot that was able to grasp circular tubes and line them up in pairs on a rack, in order to receive points. After some setbacks, Can-Dew emerged with a functional robot that successfully completed its assignment.
Team captain Eugene Kaminsky, of Dewey, said, "I am satisfied. We did the finishing touches and I am proud of what we did this year."
Canarsie senior David Zhu explained his experience. "I am happy with the results," he said. "The team did a lot of work together and had fun at the same time; we did the best we could do."
In addition to building the robot, the team had to do fundraising and advertising to lure sponsors to supplement travel and other expenses. There-fore, the competition encourages Busi-ness and Communications, as well as Science. Can-Dew is also involved in Web site programming and planning.
Can-Dew's mentor for the last eight years, Thea Platt-Glasser, a health teacher at the high school, was satisfied with the team's performance, noting, "We ran into some snags, but our gracious professionalism shone through."
She also explained that this year the team distributed printed t-shirts for the first time and earned bronze medals.
Governor Eliot Spitzer attended the competition and said the competitors impressed him. He explained his perception of the Robotics Competition to the Courier, "This is spectacular; this is the way we should be teaching our kids. This is our future."
The team is now preparing for up-coming rodeo events and, more importantly, next year's competition, in which they look forward to more success.