Read the original article on myCentralJersey.com written by Allison Cascone.
In a few weeks, the FIRST Robotics Competition team from North Brunswick High School, Raider Robotix, will appear on NJN to discuss FIRST and their team. One of the larger teams in New Jersey, Raider Robotix (Team 25) has also been one of the most successful. This year alone Team 25 won the Industrial Design Award, the Coopertition Award, and was apart of the winning alliance at both the New Jersey and Las Vegas Regional events. They also competed at the World Championship in Atlanta, GA. Raider Robotix are not only tough competitors but they give back to their community. Each member must complete 10 hours of community service before the start of the new season. They have also started RINOS (Rookies in Need of Support) which works with rookie teams to help them with fundraisers, team building, and awards.
In Team 25′s video segment, the students, coaches, and mentors discussed the inner workings of their team. Wayne Cokeley, a biology teach at North Brunswick High School and coach for team 25, describes how he was introduced to FIRST. He saw a video of students working on a robots and learning about science as they did so. He saw this as an opportunity to get his students excited about science and technology. As he does not have a technical background, the team needed mentors from the community. They found these mentors (as well as funding) at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Michael Lubniewski is an automation engineer from Bristol-Myers Squibb and a mentor for Raider Robotix. The mentors are an essential function of the team as they show the students how to use the tools, teach them about the software, and how to build the parts. They also serve as role models for the kids and help them discover what engineering is.
The students also appear in the video to discuss how the team is organized. Raider Robotix has not only a FRC team but 3 FIRST Tech Challenge teams. They are one of the few teams in New Jersey who are able to organized their team like this. The FTC teams serve as a JV team and they use FTC to train their younger students. Here; however, the older students serve as the mentors. They show the younger students how to build and program their robots as well as prepare them to speak to the judges at competitions. One characteristic of the students you will notice (aside from their signature Hawaiian shirts!) is that they are all very well spoken. Having judged the Raider Robotix FTC teams, I can verify that these students are very skilled in public speaking.
The segment will air on a few times in the new few weeks. The dates are Sept. 13th at 7pm, Sept. 19th at 9pm, Oct. 18th at 7pm, and Oct. 23 at 9pm. You can also view the video now at: http://vidego.multicastmedia.com/player.php?v=i7ru31dz. Congratulations to Raider Robotix and make sure you check back for information on their off-season event, Brunswick Eruption, on Nov. 6th!