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Pascack Pi-oneers robotics team wins big at Rutgers

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The Pascack Pi-oneers Robotics Team took first place Sunday in a tournament at Rutgers University with a basketball-playing robot that its teenaged members hope will carry them to the international finals in St. Louis next month. You can help cover their competition costs by eating at Davey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Montvale today or tonight.

Pascack Pi-oneers

( MORE BELOW…. )

The win in the 2012 Mid Atlantic Robotics Rutgers District Event means an automatic trip to St. Louis if the Pi-oneers score big in the New York City Regional at the Javits Center this Friday through Sunday.

Even if they don’t finish high in the city, they could still get in with a strong showing in the Mid-Atlantic District Championship in Philadelphia April 12-14.

Because of the size of the venue, most parents and friends had to watch the competition online. But none complained.



“To think that kids actually build a robot from the ground up from a box of parts,” said Suzanne Roca Fontana, whose 10th-grade daughter, Christina, is on the team.

The FIRST (Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition this year, “Rebound Rumble,” features three robots per team performing on a flat, 27-by-54-foot court.

All were built from identical kits, with thousands of teams vying for what will only be 140 spots at the World Championships in St. Louis, April 26-28.


Print the flyer below, or show it on your phone, and Davey’s will give the Pioneers 15% of lunch and dinner receipts TODAY ( March 13 ).

The robots shoot as many foam basketballs as possible through four hoops of varying heights set in a diamond arrangement while robots from another team play defense. The higher the hoop, the bigger the score.

ALSO SEE:
How the robots work (with videos)

The robots track reflective vision targets on the backboard, calculate the distance of the shot, set the appropriate speed and then launch the balls at a 50-degree angle. The match ends with the robots attempting to balance on bridges in the middle of the court for bonus points.

The Pascack Pi-oneers , made up of students from Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley high schools, are a civic-minded group, participating in various area fundraisers and charities. They collaborated with the American Legion in Hillsdale this school year, collecting goods for military personnel overseas, including snacks and toiletries, that were sent along with postcards. The team also adopted a platoon and sends weekly pen-pal letters.


The Pi-oneers also work closely with the non-profit Angels Amongst Us , dedicated to helping children with Down’s Syndrome and their families.

And they have mentored FIRST Lego League teams from River Vale, Woodcliff Lake, Montvale, and Hillsdale. The River Vale team, from Holdrum Middle School, was invited to the Lego League World Festival in St. Louis.

Now they need some help of their own to cover the costs of the competition. You can help — and get a great meal.







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