(New Hartford, NY – April 2013) A group of local high school robotics enthusiasts are headed to a World Championship Tournament in St. Louis, April 24-27.  The RoboSpartans FIRST Tech Challenge Team won the opportunity to compete with teams from 11 countries by winning the prestigious Inspire Award, the top honor at Clarkson University’s Northern New York Championship.

“It’s an honor to be one of the 128 teams out of 2,500 worldwide,” said Coach Bob Payne of New Hartford. “They’ve put an awesome effort into producing a competitive robot while giving back to our community. They’re ready and they’re hungry.”  The team has had unprecedented success this season, returning home from each of their three regional championship tournaments with trophies.

The RoboSpartans have made great strides in growing their league by assisting in the development of other local teams.  This year, the seven-member team has donated over 1600 hours supporting STEM projects and expanding robotics throughout Central New York.  During the past several months the team made improvements to their robot, provided robotics demonstrations at several local events, and aggressively fundraised to support their bus trip to St. Louis.

The RoboSpartans team includes Michael Betro, Alex Catera, Maysara Elazzazi, Zachary Goldsmith, Jason Martino, Deverat Nopany and Ryan Payne.   Team members are from three local school districts:  New Hartford, Utica and Frankfort-Schuyler.

The RoboSpartans are hosting two upcoming FIRST Tech Challenge Informational Meetings for students, parents and coaches who’d like to get involved with high school robotics.  Meetings are set for Wednesday April 17 at 6 p.m. at SUNYIT, Donovan Hall, G155 and on Saturday May 18 at 4 p.m. in the SUNYIT Student Center.  Attendees can learn about their sport, what it takes to coach and mentor, college scholarships available to team members, and how local teams work together as the CNY+ FTC Team Consortium.

The RoboSpartans meet six to nine hours per week year-round.  They are a privately funded, basement-based team, relying on community sponsorship and donations. When the RoboSpartans return home from the World Championship, they will immediately begin their fourth season in FIRST Tech Challenge.  They already have their summer mapped out, volunteering at summer robotics camps, mentoring new teams, and building their next robot.   If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to the team or find out more about FIRST Tech Challenge in our area, contact Coaches Bob & Lisa Payne at nh.robospartans@gmail.com.



By martha

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