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The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Apr 06, 2017

Holmdel High School Team “Robotux” Advances to East Super Regional

Founder Dean Kamen once described the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Tech Challenge as a “sport for the mind.” The challenge is a robotics competition for students in grades 7-12. FIRST was founded by Mr. Kamen, an inventor himself, with the hope that it would inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

Holmdel High School’s Team Robotux is one of 171 teams to engage in competitions in New Jersey this year and was one of 48 that made it to the state finals, known as the “Garden State Rumble,” held at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North recently. Each team is made up of no more than 10 students who together are responsible for designing, building, and programming a robot to compete in alliances with other teams against other alliances. Teams are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles.

With a win at the state competition, Holmdel High School Principal Bill Loughran suggested that the members of Team Robotux are “elite” athletes in their sport. As a result of their victory, the team earned one of nine New Jersey-designated positions at the Eastern Super-Regional Championships, held at the University of Scranton the weekend of March 17. Teams for the Eastern Super-Regionals come from 12 eastern states, with 25 teams heading from there to the Nationals, being held this year in St. Louis.

“The study of engineering has had a long but silent history at Holmdel High School,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert McGarry. “With the appointment of a K-12 Supervisor of Technology, Engineering, and Media Centers and the creation of its first course in Engineering and Design Principles, the district took a major step forward in preparing students for success in these competitions, as well as in post-secondary studies in engineering and design.”

Holmdel’s Team Robotux is made up of Gabby DeGregorio, Aditya Dharap, Kevin Franchi, Ayan Gupta, Christine Kim, Jessica Kuleshov, and Ben Ling.