Utica –SUNY Polytechnic Institute today announced its FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team
bested 65 other competitors at New York City’s Javitz Center this past weekend to advance to the
world championships. In addition to its victory, the team is also celebrating its recognition as one of
the top 30 in the world in the book “First Robots: Behind the Design.” The team, known as The
Second Mouse or FRC 5030, was selected out of an international field of 3,000 teams for inclusion in the book featuring what the authors call, “exemplars: a collection of the finest designs and teams in the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition.”
“What an exciting time for this team of young innovators and what an incredible message it sends regarding the caliber of New York State’s students and future workforce,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to education, particularly STEM studies, is clearly taking root as more and more young people are aspiring to high tech careers supporting the state’s 21st century economy.
“On behalf of the entire SUNY Poly community, I would like to congratulate The Second Mouse team on being among the best in the world. They are an excellent example of how SUNY Poly’s world class staff, resources, and expertise are helping students unlock limitless potential and I wish them the best of luck in the upcoming world championships.“
In “First Robots: Behind the Design,” FIRST founder Dean Kamen writes, “These examples illustrate some of the leading technical developments made by FIRST teams during the 2015 FRC season. Each chapter presents case studies from FIRST teams who excelled in aspects of the design, manufacturing and control of their FIRST robot.”
After its weekend victory at the Javitz Center, the Second Mouse, made up of SUNY Poly undergraduate students working as mentors to high school students from Whitesboro, New Hartford, and Utica, is now preparing for the FRC World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri where it will face off against hundreds of international competitors.
The team’s journey started during mid-winter break, when team members worked tirelessly in the basement of Donovan Hall on the SUNY Poly Utica site planning, designing, crafting, and programming a robot to help the team conquer this year’s challenge. Students used aluminum, steel, rubber, plastic, and numerous 3D-printed parts to create a robot capable of overcoming numerous terrain obstacles while shooting a foam ball ‘boulder’ into a castle.
“Here at SUNY Poly, we take great pride in the innovative, hands-on learning that our students receive,” said Dr. Robert Geer, Senior Vice President and COO of SUNY Poly. “These competitions build real-life experience solving real-life problems – exactly the skills that are driving the 21st-Century innovation economy. I can’t think of better experiences for these young STEM students and am happy that SUNY Poly can play such an important role. We are very proud of their accomplishments and wish them luck as they head to the final round.”
“We know that students enjoy experiential learning and that it is highly effective,” said Dr. William Durgin, Provost for SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “Real-world experiences like this are especially suited to students predisposed to STEM disciplines as emphasized by FIRST robotics programs. SUNY Poly is committed to STEM education, as are its students and the community because hands-on learning creates the innovators of tomorrow. The Second Mouse is living proof of that. Congratulations and good luck to them.”
“This year we set some very ambitious goals for ourselves,” said Ben Weiss, SUNY Poly mentor and a founding member of The Second Mouse FRC team. “We established an aggressive timeline for completing our robot and not only succeeded but built one well enough to take us to the world championships.This is my seventh year on an FRC team and I feel like we’ve worked really hard and have grown and improved our skills. We’re thrilled to have our efforts recognized by the authors of the book. What I enjoy most about our team is seeing the high school team members having fun while learning. I had a great experience doing FRC in high school and would like to re-create that type of great experience for current high school students.”
“This is my seventh year on an FRC team and I feel like we’ve worked really hard and have grown and improved our skills. We’re thrilled to have our efforts recognized by the authors of the book. What I enjoy most about our team is seeing the high school team members having fun while learning. I had a great experience doing FRC in high school and would like to re-create that type of great experience for current high school students.”
“I had a great experience doing FRC in high school and would like to re-create that type of great experience for current high school students.”
“You learn a lot about manufacturing components, designing, programming, how the whole system will fit together, the electrical system, and the list goes one,” said Nick Kopyt, a senior at New Hartford High School and member of The Second Mouse team. “I’ve also learned a lot about leadership qualities and having to work with others. It’s something that will be used in the real world and you really get a lot of that experience here. I’m really proud of the work our team has done this year and am looking forward to the championship round.”
The Second Mouse has already taken home awards for Highest Rookie Seed and Rookie All Star at 2014’s NY Tech Valley Regional as well as the Industrial Design Award at the 2015 NY Tech Valley Regional.
The world championships are scheduled for April 27 through 30 in St. Louis.