Storming Robots Wins First Place in the USA RobocupJunior Competition for 2nd Year in a Row

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Teams from Storming Robots, a Robotics Learning Center for Grades 3-12, have won First and Second Place in the USA RobocupJunior (RCJ) competition for the second year in a row.

Storming Robots - Robotics Learning Center

This game is not for the faint-hearted. At Storming Robots, they are taught to be creative and effective problem solvers. Their performance reflects their perseverance and aptitude to work with technical complexity not commonly present in their age group.

Teams from Storming Robots, a Robotics Learning Center for Grades 3-12, have won First and Second Place in the USA RobocupJunior (RCJ) competition for the second year in a row.

The RobocupJunior competition is where students program and build robots to perform certain tasks. Many of these tasks attempt to simulate real world problems which robotics can solve. For example, the Storming Robots teams were tasked to build a robot that would find and rescue victims from a natural disaster.

On April 11th, 2010, the Northeast regional competition was held at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. Storming Robots teams took the first three spots at the regional. On April 23rd, Storming Robots was notified that its score ranked two of its teams over others in all regional teams throughout the United States.

First place team "Alpha Kata Omega" consisted of team members Michael Xie (captain), Sunny Aggarwal and David Hua. Second Place team "The Symmetric Turtles" consisted of Akash Kumar (captain), Dhevin Gupta and Stephen Therianos.

Another team named "To the M.A.K.S." placed third in the Northeast regional but did not place over other USA teams. Their members consisted of Michelle Lu (captain), Kathleen Conley and Ashley Yang.

Principal coach Elizabeth Mabrey, founder and director of Storming Robots, led the teams at the competition. She said, "This game is not for the faint-hearted. These children are taught to be creative and effective problems solvers. Their participation reflects their perseverance and aptitude to work with technical complexity not commonly present in their age group."

Mrs. Mabrey was particularly excited for the all-girls team, "To the M.A.K.S.", who earned the Third Place at their first time participating in the competition. One of Mrs. Mabrey's goals is to encourage girls' involvement in engineering, science and math.

Team member Ashley Yang described how challenging the competition is. Yang said, "It is very difficult. My head hurts trying to figure out the solution, but I'm having lots of fun though!"

Children being the center of interest

To many people, scoring is the most important concern. Elizabeth Mabrey expressed what her biggest concerns were during the competition. "When I am working with the children there are only 3 things I care about. That I provide guidance, but not do their work. That I make sure they are not over-stressed. And that they learn as much as possible during the process."

Even though RCJ is a grade-level participation game, it demands high aptitude in abstract thinking, especially in programming the robot's intelligence to handle variable elements on the game. It allows its students to refine project outcomes over time with more sophisticated algorithms and hardware improvement without performing similar routines every year.

What's next

In 2009, a team from Storming Robots represented the United States at the RoboCupJunior World Tournament in Graz, Austria. In 2010, they again are selected to the 2010 World Tournament. The World Tournament of RCJ take place in conjunction with RoboCup, which is attended by hundreds of research scientists and engineers from around the world. Interfacing with these researchers truly sparks inspiration and interests in engineering among these young children.

About Storming Robots:

These RoboCupJunior participants are among the many talented students who attend Storming Robots weekly to develop their robotics knowledge throughout the school year. Besides school year programs, Storming Robots also provides summer robotics camp (http://summer.stormingrobots.com).

For information about Storming Robots' robotics programs:

Elizabeth Mabrey,
Director of Storming Robots
908-595-1010
3322 Rt. 22 West, Suite 402
Branchburg, NJ 08876
http://www.stormingrobots.com
http://www.stormingrobots.com/prod/media/videoAd.wmv

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