Last month, an innovative team of high school "engineers" showed their latest inventions at
Robots were on stage in the auditorium and engineering “classes” were being held in the cafeteria. Topics such as mechanical, electrical, programming, pneumatics, and sensors were the buzz words for the evening.
LEGO robots were performing their “missions,” and students were demonstrating their knowledge of robotics. The POBJFK , FIRST Team 353, known as the POBots, were at the controls.
More than 200 members of the community attended the (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Engineering Awareness Night, which showcased the various Plainview programs. FIRST is the brain child of Dean Kamen, a Long Island native, and inventor of the Segway.
This year’s regional tournament challenge was announced Sunday and the Long Island teams viewed the broadcast at Stony Brook University. They now have six weeks to design, build, and program the robot to meet the requirements of the game.
This could not be accomplished without the dedicated mentors who tirelessly work with the students to teach, lead and inspire the team.
The POBots will attend two Regional Competitions. The first will be held in New York at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on March 16-18, and the second is their home event, the SBPLI FIRST Robotics Competition at Hofstra University on March 29-31. These events are open to the public, and admission is free.
FIRST combines the excitement of sport with science and technology to create a unique “sport for the mind.” The POBots are FIRST Team 353, and represent the high school level of FIRST. The district also fields 3 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams in Mattlin and POB Middle School. With the expansion of FIRST to include Jr. FLL, many home teams have formed in Plainview as well.
To demonstrate engineering topics, the students set up “learning centers” to explain with “hands on” projects. One of the FLL teams showed how their NXT robot could be programmed to perform various task in this year’s game called FOOD FACTOR. They will compete in January at the SBPLI FLL Qualifiers. A home organized Jr.
FLL team proudly displayed their Story Board and LEGO creation that showed the research they did last year in their challenge called BODY FORWARD. Jr. FLL teams will compete on March 4 at the SBPLI Jr. FLL Expo held at Longwood High School.
Formed in 1999, the POBots have won and have attended International Competitions. They are busy year ‘round, not just during the competition season. They are visible in the community at local demonstrations held at they walk as a team for various charities, and support the FIRST LEGO teams in the
Last summer they participated in a NYC NASA event, and met the astronauts who flew in the last shuttle mission. To assist the team financially, they co-hosted a Video Game Tournament with PlayNTrade, which was highly successful, and sponsored an Annie sez fund raiser.
Editor's Note: With special thanks to Carol Saltzman and Stephanie Stern.