First Annual NJ FTC Holiday Scrimmage Defeats the “Blizzard of 2009″

On Saturday, December 19th, several NJ FTC Teams braved the Blizzard of 2009 to attend the first annual Holiday Scrimmage.

While the snow fell outside, the robots were true “Hot Shot”s inside.   Although the day was cut short due to the weather, we successfully ran Practice Rounds in the morning, and Qualification Rounds in the afternoon.

We also conducted the Judged Award Practice Class, and held Judged Award Interviews for the Innovate Award!

Congrautlations to our Winning Teams:
Team #0556, “Ridgefield Robotics”
Team #3539, “Say Watt?”

Congratulations also to Team #3567, “Fear the Gear” for winning the Innovate Award.

Special Thanks go to our host team, #3539 “Say Watt?” for planning the event and accomodating last minute changes due to the weather in order to make the event a fun day.

Filed under: FTC, New Jersey — patricia @ 12:48 pm on December 23, 2009

21st Century Skills for the Workforce

Our friends at the Education for Innovation Podcast has put together an episode on 21st Century Skills for the workforce which includes an interview with New Jersey’s own Regional Director, Donald Bowers.  Click Here to see the video

Filed under: FRC, New Jersey — george @ 7:09 pm on December 14, 2009

New Jersey FLL highlighted in DailyRecord Video

The New Jersey Daily Record has posted a video highlighting the New Jersey FIRST® LEGO League State Championship help at Mount Olive High School.  Click Here to see the video.

Filed under: FLL, Media Coverage, New Jersey — george @ 6:37 pm on December 14, 2009

Mission Accomplished at Francis Lewis High School!

On Sunday, December 6th, FIRST teams met at Francis Lewis High School in Queens for an off-season event titled “Lunacy on Earth”.  To see press coverage of the event click here.

Visitors were treated to a full day of competition while teams gained valuable experience programming CRios, fixing glitches, and putting their strategies to use on the earthly surface of Francis Lewis’ Gym. Over all, a fantastic opportunity for our teams to GET SET for Javits 2010!!!

Our gracious host, team 3017, treated us to an impeccable flag ceremony by the JROTC corp and started the day with the National Anthem.   Field Manager and Game Designer Mike Siegel made sure to include “hidden items” in the book of rules, reminding teams that alertness and clever interpretation of rules are a must for a winning team! Referees, judges, and a welcoming committee made for an off-season event that had the feeling of a FIRST Regional Competition.  They even had a volunteers’ lounge for the dozens of people who helped make the event possible!

As if all this was not enough, Mike Vilarelle from team 354 volunteered his MC skills to provide match by match commentary.  FRC Champion Mentor Keith Hughes provided excellent advice for teams and helped teams build on the C programming workshops he coordinated earlier this Fall.

There was some strong Autonomous Programming out on the field. Congratulations to all the teams for dedicating time to build on programming skills. Team 375 and 3017 “adopted” rookie teams 3308 and 3204  for the day. The newbies learned the value of good alliances and walked away with a significant number of awards.  Keep an eye on those rookies.  They are starting off strong!

Many teams and individuals made extraordinary efforts to mobilize their robots and produce a successful event.  Hats off to those who helped:

Mike Siegel - of team 375
Jack Poon - and the Polybots of Polytechnic Institute
Keith Hughes - and the Mentor Technical Support Committee
Mike Vilarelle - of team 354
Angela Sherman - of team 3017 and the entire Francis Lewis HS Community with special thanks to faculty member Mr Ali Shama, and the JROTC Corps
Danya Shneyer-FIRST VISTA Volunteer
and our participating teams:

333 MEGALODONS from John Dewey HS

375 Robotic Plague from Staten Island Tech

369 William E. Grady High School

421 The Warriors from Alfred E. Smith H.S.

806 The Brooklyn Blacksmiths- Xaverian High School

1340 Adams Robotics from John Adams High School

1796 Robo Tigers from Queens Vocational and Technical HS - and Andy Woo and ConEd for their efforts in getting them there!

1880 East Harlem Tutorial Program

2601 Steel Hawks from Townsend Harris High School

3017 The Patriots from Francis Lewis High School

3204 The Mary Louis Academy

3308 Jamaica High School

Filed under: Event, FRC, New York — kris @ 12:38 pm on December 12, 2009

The 4th Annual NYC FIRST Science & Technology Career Expo


March 12 - 14, 2010

Jacob Javits Convention Center


The New York City FIRST Science and Technology Career Expo is an opportunity for students to learn about: 1)  the ways that science and technology are used in modern enterprise; 2) the kind of preparation that is needed for the pursuit of careers in scientific and technological fields; and 3) the many scholarships offered by leading colleges and universities around the nation to students who have been part of FIRST while in high school.


Attending the Expo will be a unique opportunity for all college bound students to meet college representatives and learn about the participating universities. Click HERE for the flier which details both the competition and the college fair.  Please post this flier in a prominent location and pass this email on to your college and guidance counselors and any other staff member that would be interested in this event.

Expected Colleges and Universities:

(Saturday, March 13,  11:00am to 3:00pm)


Boston University College of Eng.
Bucknell University
Capitol College
Clarkson University
The City College of New York
DeVry College of New York
DigiPen Institute of Technology
Drexel University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Ferris State University
Harvey Mudd College
Hofstra University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Johnson & Wales University
Michigan State University

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Norfolk State University

Olin College of Engineering

Pace University-Seidenberg School of CS and IS

Polytechnic Institute of NYU
Rochester Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology
Sweet Briar College
University of Maryland
University of Rochester
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Expected Employers
(Sunday March 14, 10:00am to 3:30pm)

Bloomberg L.P.
Con Edison
Lockheed Martin

MTA NYC Transit Authority

Popular Mechanics
The Port Authority of NY & NJ

Time Warner Cable


Other Expected Exhibitors:


ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Girls’ Angle, Inc.

Girl Scout Council of Greater New York

IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Lockheed Martin Corporation (5th Gear)
Make Magazine

New York Brick Artists
NJTEA - New Jersey Technology Education Association
Princeton University DARPA Autonomous Vehicle Engineering
SHPE - Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
Westchester Engineering Expo


This event is free and open to the public.

School and group tours available. Please call (718) 260-3383 to make reservation.





Filed under: New York, News — kris @ 12:04 pm on December 12, 2009

Carmine Rizzo is Recipient of Global Johnson & Johnson FIRST Mentorship Award

On November 10 at the J&J Excellence in Science Symposium held at the Hyatt in New Brunswick, Carmine Rizzo, Principal Engineer in RD&E, from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies was honored with the First Annual Global J&J FIRST® Mentorship Award.  This J&J Enterprise wide award honors a Mentor from Johnson & Johnson who, over the course of the past year(s) has embodied the ideals of the FIRST® program, “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” and exemplifies the Credo by displaying the following traits:

  • Outstanding contribution to FIRST®
  • Extraordinary leadership abilities
  • Overall positive impact on the community and young people
  • Inspiring students in Engineering, Science and Technology

Sheldon Sloan, VP of Policy at J&J Corporate Office of Science and Technology, introduced the Award and invited Gary Warren, VP WW Engineering at Corporate, up to the stage to present the award.  Gary provided an overview of the FIRST® program and J&J’s commitment to science and technology.  He invited and presented the award to Carmine Rizzo.  Gary highlighted for the group the key accomplishments Carmine displayed which led to the unanimous decision which selected him for this award.  In addition to the prestigious J&J Scientists, Richard D’Souza, Chief Technology Officer for J&J Consumer and Theresa Scheuble, Executive Sponsor for FIRST® for J&J Consumer were also in attendance.

Richard D’Souza, Carmine Rizzo and Gary Warren

About Carmine Rizzo

Carmine Rizzo has been with J&J for over 23 years, currently supporting the Topical Health Care Franchise as a Principal Engineer in RD&E.  He has been dedicated for 13 years to FIRST® teaching young people to be responsible, diligent, gracious and professional.  He dedicates a great deal of personal time annually to team related projects to ensure success for the overall program and the teams.

He is a Leader whose actions inspire others to dream, learn, do and become more. Believing strongly in the potential each student possesses, Carmine seeks to guide the students through their tasks teaching concepts necessary for achievement while urging the students to reach their final decisions on their own.  Carmine is seen by the team as a mentor, coach, cheerleader, confidant, teacher, best friend and the epitome of perfection.

Three years ago he helped establish the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program an initiative dedicated to increasing the number of Women in the fields of Engineering and Science.  He has been instrumental in the implementation of Shadow Day, which provides students the opportunity to shadow a J&J professional in their area of career interest for the day and making mentor connections for the students.  Carmine sits on the NJ FIRST® committee and sought after by J&J and community for advice on FIRST®.  Carmine is recognized across J&J for his self-less dedication to advancing Science and Technology to young people today.

FIRST® & Johnson &Johnson’s Commitment to Science & Technology

FIRST® robotics program is a community based program where young people are exposed to engineering, science and technology through competitions with the overall goal to develop ways to inspire students in these fields.  FIRST® is an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989.  Since inception in 1989, FIRST® has reached just under 200,000 young people, has 53,000 mentors and coaches and over 32,000 volunteers.  There are teams in 48 states, there are 40 regional events and FIRST® reaches 11 counties including Brazil, Canada, Israel and the US.

Johnson & Johnson has a long standing commitment to FIRST® as one of the Founding Sponsors in1992.  J&J has 17 award-winning teams globally, inspiring students in Engineering, Science and Technology, The overall J&J commitment is to develop leadership, teamwork skills and have the young people learn responsibility.  J&J also Sponsors the Gracious Professionalism Award at a regional and national level.

To learn more about FIRST® visit

Filed under: FRC, Feature, New Jersey — george @ 8:32 pm on December 10, 2009

NJ FIRST LEGO League Newark Winner List

The following are the winners from NJ FIRST LEGO League Newark Qualifier on 12/5/09:

Team Number Team Name City, NJ
266 Hawkins Newark
276 Quitman Newark
277 Rafael Hernandez Newark
278 Science Park Newark
284 Ann Street Newark
253 Camden Newark
Filed under: FLL, New Jersey — Tags: , , , , — pearl @ 6:38 pm on December 07, 2009

12/6 FIRST Tech Challenge Workshop Update

Pace University
861 Bedford Road
Pleasantville, NY
Entrance 3
Kessel Student Center
Dining Room A

Filed under: Event, FTC, New York — janet @ 8:44 pm on December 03, 2009

NYC FIRST Tech Challenge Scrimmage

Where: Polytechnic Institute of NYU
When: Saturday, February 20, 2010 (9:00 - 4:00)

Register for the workshop HERE

Bring the following:

1)      The teams competition intended  laptop and the associated software, including the latest version of the FCS.
2)      Extension cord, surge protector, battery chargers, parts,etc.
3)      Your robot (whatever is done)
4)      Kit and robot parts.

Don’t worry about what state things are in!  The point of the day is for teams to interact, practice, gain and share knowledge.  We expect a lot of gracious professionalism on display!

Filed under: Event, FTC, New York — danya @ 2:58 pm on December 03, 2009

NYC FIRST Tech Challenge Workshop

Where: Harry S. Truman HS, Bronx, NY
When: Saturday, December 19, 2009 (9:00 - 16:00)

Contact Janet Jacobson [email protected] for more details

Register at this link: HERE

Filed under: Event, FTC, New York — danya @ 2:32 pm on December 03, 2009
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