South High Rebel Robotics takes first place at regional event

South High Rebel Robotics takes first place at regional event
South High's Rebel Robotics team claimed first place at the Regional FIRST Competition late last March. (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck Public Schools)

The Great Neck South High School Rebel Robotics Team won first place in competition plus two additional awards at the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island (SBPLI) Regional FIRST Competition at Hofstra University from March 24–27.

This is the team’s second-consecutive successful regional event this season; the team had already won two awards at the Finger Lakes FIRST Regional Competition and clinched a spot at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit.

The South High Robotics Team 2638, known as “Rebel Robotics,” went 17-1 in competition at the multi-day event at Hofstra University, which included challengers from around the world. As first-place winners, Rebel Robotics is the recipient of a $5,000 grant from Zebra Technologies that will cover the team’s entrance fee to the FIRST World Championship in Detroit in late April.

The team’s robot impressed judges not only for its effectiveness on the competition course, but also for its speed. The SBPLI Regional Competition included a new tracking technology, provided by Zebra Technologies, to calculate the speed of every robot on the field. Rebel Robotics had the fastest robot in the competition, clocking-in at approximately 15 feet per second.

In addition to their first-place win, Rebel Robotics also earned two top awards: the regional Entrepreneur Award and the Safety Award.

The Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, recognizes a team that has developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan to scope, manage, and achieve team objectives.

The Safety Award—which the team also won at the 2019 Finger Lakes Regional—is sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories and celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is a worldwide event with more than 6000 teams competing from over 50 different countries. This year’s FIRST Robotics Competition game is titled “Destination: Deep Space,” and each robot is designed to complete various tasks in a space-themed playing field, such as securing hatch panels to a spacecraft and loading cargo.

Robotics faculty advisors are business/technology department head John Motchkavitz; business/technology teachers Matthew Corrigan and Michael Passuello; and math/computer programming teacher Andrea Zinn.

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