Robotics Teams Take Center Stage

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The high school welcomed school districts and teams across Nassau County for its fourth annual Robotics Competition on Feb. 3.

The well-attended event featured 31 teams including seven from Freeport — one from Atkinson, two from Dodd, and four from the high school — pitting their electro-mechanical creations against each other in task-performing challenges, such as picking up and depositing balls. This year, for the first time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set up a booth and showcased robots that are used to defuse bombs, while representatives of Vaughn College also had a booth to provide attendees with information about its robotics program and engineering schools.

The district’s teams demonstrated precision and poise throughout the competition: the sixth-grade team from Atkinson won the Judges Award and advanced to the playoffs; based on their Skills Score, one of the two teams from Dodd placed fourth in the state among middle school teams; and two of the four high school teams advanced to the playoffs. The high school team comprised of Misael Marquez, Bryan Davies, Randy Abreu, Melody Brendel and Angelica Amkwah advanced to the quarterfinal round, while the team comprised of Ryan Strong, Jaden McCleese and Dimitri Vaval advanced to the semifinal round. In the qualifying matches, the Freeport High School team placed 11th, Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School placed 11th, and J.W. Dodd Middle School placed 21st out of the 31 teams.

Adviser Kevin Harrison said he expected the Dodd team and at least one of the two high school teams that advanced to the playoffs to receive an invitation to the regional championships when they are announced later this month.