Robotics Team Advances to State Tournament
A group of young Chatham engineers has been busy since September designing robotics that will complete tasks that are challenging for senior citizens. The Robo Cougars, a team of four middle school students, qualified to participate in the FIRST Lego League Challenge on Saturday, December 8th at Mount Olive High School, Corey Road, Flanders. Only 48 teams will compete at Mount Olive for the State Championship.
The team was formed in 2009 by coach Fabio Pastena and his high school daughter, Stephanie Pastena. The team consists of eighth graders Lisa Steward, Christopher Pastena, Matthew Stasiukevicius and Paul Malatesta. This home-grown team competed against 19 teams in the Bridgewater/Raritan Qualifying Tournament this past weekend at the Milltown Elementary School. The Robo Cougars team was one of five teams advancing to the state competition. This year, over 200 teams participated from New Jersey in the qualifying rounds and over 13,000 nation-wide.
This year's challenge, "Senior Solutions", calls for the teams to research and present technological, innovative solutions to challenges senior citizens encounter in their everyday lives.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-progfit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology and math. It was founded nearly 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition. Robots are designed, built, an programmed using LEGO Mindstorms technology.
Submitted for Josephine Pastena