For robotics competitor, graciousness was automatic
I thank The Times for “A robotics resurgence — Area high school teams show engineering and design prowess in annual robot competition” (April 29), about the FIRST competition in St. Louis. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) has teams from all over the world competing in building and problem-solving competitions from elementary through high school.
This year’s challenge was to build a robot that could shoot basketballs and balance on a bridge. We were very proud of our daughter and her teammates (Team 2016), who represent Ewing High School and the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf. After a short, six-week build season, they placed second at the Hatboro-Horsham and Rutgers District competitions, second at the District Competition at Temple and made it to the quarter-finals at a regional competition in New York City.
Securing their place at the nationals in St. Louis was wonderful, but getting there proved challenging, as our transportation plans fell through. To the rescue came Team 25 Raider Robotix of North Brunswick High School, who graciously provided seating for our drive team and transport for some vital equipment.
FIRST robotics promotes more than competition. Teams are encouraged to show cooperation and gracious professionalism as well — the team that you are competing against in one match may be your alliance partner in the next. Anyone who has been to one of these competitions is impressed as much by the spirit of friendly competition as by the engineering of the robots.
We would like to offer a great big THANK YOU to Team 25 Raider Robotix. Not only did they show gracious professionalism, but they also won first place at the St. Louis competition.
— Shawn and Brian Volz,