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New York City FIRST Robotics Competition at the Javits Center!

Join the Celebration!

Are You Ready to Rack 'N' Roll?


Why is Mike Dubno Passionate About FIRST?

FIRST Career Fair

ConEdison is Committed to FIRST

A Mentor to All Mentors

NYC/NJ FIRST's Ultimate Cheerleader

2007 Newsletter January Edition

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As the 2007 FIRST Robotics Competition gets underway, New York City/New Jersey FIRST is proud to deliver our first ever newsletter! In this starter edition, we focus on events in New York City, as well as recognition of key sponsors, volunteers, and mentors. Our mission is to provide a valuable resource to our community by providing important information on upcoming events, and spotlights on FIRST growth in New York City and New Jersey. We hope our excitement and anticipation for the new season is contagious!

The NYC FIRST Robotics Competition is moving to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center!

March 16 - 18, 2007

Come Cheer for Your Hometown Team!!

The Javits Center, known for being the world's marketplace, offers a much larger venue, enabling the capacity of the 2007 NYC FIRST Robotics Regional Competition to expand to 63 teams. This year's move is seen as only the first step in our long-term plan to have the NYC FIRST Robotics Competition be the core of a truly world-class mega event, second only to the FIRST Championship. The Javits Center offers enough space for eventually adding multiple playing fields, the FIRST Vex Challenge, FIRST LEGO League, a science and technology career fair (see below), and other activities.

Come out and help celebrate the achievements of more than 1,000 middle school students working in teams, exploring the intriguing world of nanotechnology.

2007 New York City FIRST LEGO League Tournaments
January 27 & 28, 2007
Riverbank State Park
West 145th St. & Riverside Drive, Manhattan

The 2007 FIRST Robotics Competition is underway! This year, teams are placed on two three-team alliances, one red and one blue, to play Rack 'N' Roll. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent using inflatable inner tubes to create rows and columns on "The Rack."

Click here to watch an exciting recorded presentation of this year's game, and see the animation explanation of Rack 'N' Roll.

The NYC/NJ FIRST team is excited to announce the addition of our new regional website at This growth plays a very important role in serving existing and prospective members of the New York City/New Jersey FIRST community. While providing clear acknowledgment of the region's sponsors, the website aims to promote FIRST awareness in both New Jersey and New York City. Our web site delivers a simple user interface, easy-to-navigate information, and various volunteer and team resources.

Please visit our new site and share your thoughts and recommendations. Your feedback, both positive and suggestive, will help us to continue improving the site each week and month. Please click here for our Web site Feedback page or feel free to contact us.
How many people have walked into a FIRST competition for the first time and immediately recognized that something special was taking place? Mike Dubno, Chairman of the New York City FIRST Development Committee, had a similar experience when his brother brought him to a competition a few years ago.

New York City/ New Jersey FIRST is also proud to announce our first-ever science and technology career fair! Twenty major New York City and New Jersey corporations will be on-hand to inform FIRST team members about how science and technology are used in their companies. Students will have the opportunity to share their achievements from participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition, and embark on a path toward the life-long profession of his/her choice. In addition, students will be able to get information about summer jobs, internships, co-op positions, and other employment opportunities in science and technology. Students will have the opportunity to share their achievements from participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition with company representatives, embarking on a path toward careers in science and technology.

A full listing of companies will be available closer to the competition date.
The partnership between FIRST Con Edison, goes back to 1999. Fortunately, as New York City FIRST has grown so has the relationship with Con Edison.

To understand Con Ed's involvement the best person to talk to is Walter Shay. As a Public Affairs Manager Walter spearheads the company's volunteer effort. Before taking on this role two years ago Walter served as a FIRST Judge.

Why is the Morris High School FIRST Robotics team so good every year? To answer that question the first place one has to look is to the team's leader, Gary Israel, robotics consultant for NYC DOE Region 2.

Now into the 8th year of the team's involvement, Gary has a foundation in place that features a calendar that keeps the team working year-round. Building a team that functions this efficiently and which has won multiple FIRST competitions did not happen without hard work. Looking back Gary says, "I remember when we were a rookie team and just trying to survive. Here we are Morris High School competing with big schools like Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech."

Attend any FIRST Robotics event, and the excitement in the room is contagious. But who is in charge of keeping hundreds of students, mentors, engineers and parents on their feet? Who encourages everyone to keep cheering, match after match? Ask any student, parent, mentor, or volunteer, and the answer will always be Chiniqua Gallup, New York City's and New Jersey's Master of Ceremonies.

Chiniqua's "day job" is being a quality control engineer for Cordis, a Johnson & Johnson company. What makes a professional engineer so excited about FIRST?

More about our MC...



Our sincere thanks to Sara Reffler, NJ FIRST VISTA Volunteer and Kris Breton, NYC FIRST Senior Mentor for their efforts in putting together the content and design of our inaugural issue.

We hope that this newsletter has been a small step toward helping you understand what a wonderful community of dedicated individuals make FIRST possible in New York City and New Jersey.

You too can help us grow that community. You can help more young men and women prepare to face their futures with greater confidence and ompetence.Forward this newsletter to family, friends, and colleagues. Urge them to take the first step toward getting involved - urge them to sign-up for our mailing list.

Be part of the FIRST celebration of young people working smart in science and technology. Make a real difference in the lives of kids.

Thank you very much,
Randy Schaeffer and Ana Martinez
New Jersey/New York City FIRST Regional Directors

NYC/NJ FIRST | New Jersey Institute of Technology | Fenster Hall, Room 361 | Newark | NJ | 07102
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