Great Neck South High Robotics Team #2638, known as “Rebel Robotics,” won prestigious team and individual awards at the FIRST SBPLI Regional #1 competition at Hofstra University on March 22-23, earning the team a trip to the FIRST World Championship in Houston, TX in April.
The highest award that Rebel Robotics received was the Engineering Inspiration Award, which celebrates the team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within their school and community. This award automatically qualifies the team to advance to this year’s FIRST World Championships in Houston, with the $5,000 entrance fee paid for by NASA.
Rebel Robotics was also presented with the Excellence in Engineering Award for the arm, wrist, and claw mechanism on their robot, which showcased the team’s ability to conceptualize, develop, and implement an effective engineering solution that is functional and practical.
Additionally, three individual team members were presented with awards for their outstanding work in support of STEM initiatives, mentorship, and teamwork.
Team member Shaan Merchant was announced as a Dean’s List Award Finalist, which recognizes student leaders who increase awareness for FIRST and its mission while achieving personal technical expertise and accomplishment. As a regional Finalist, Shaan is eligible to be one of the ten Deans List Award Winners at the national level.
Team member Sophia Gal was named a Safety Star, which celebrates participants who go above and beyond to promote a culture of safety.
Team mentor Ellen Dressner was announced as the regional winner of the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award (WFFA). The Woodie Flowers Award, named after the engineering education pioneer and distinguished advisor to FIRST, recognizes an individual who excels at motivating students through communication while also challenging students to be clear and succinct in their own communications. Ms. Dressner is a long-time supporter of Rebel Robotics and serves as a team non-engineering mentor (NEMO). She was nominated for this prestigious award by the students of Rebel Robotics.
On the first day of competition, Team #2638’s robot achieved a third-place finish in an alliance with a team from Taiwan. The week prior, Rebel Robotics welcomed their alliance partners to New York, helped them reassemble their robot, and hosted the team members for dinner. On the second day of competition, the Rebel Robotics finished in fourth place on the competition field.
Faculty advisors for Rebel Robotics Team #2638 are John Motchkavitz, South High business/technology department chair, and Matthew Corrigan, business/technology teacher.
—Submitted by Great Neck