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River Vale Cyber Hawks Prepare Robots For Science Fair

River Vale Cyber Hawks compete with the team.
River Vale Cyber Hawks compete with the team. Photo Credit: River Vale Schools
River Vale Cyber Hawks compete with the team.
River Vale Cyber Hawks compete with the team. Photo Credit: IgorSuassana

RIVER VALE, N.J. — River Vale's Holdrum Middle School Cyber Hawks team is complete with athletes, and math and science lovers — all who share a passion for building robots.

The team is bringing those projects in the classroom and at the school's Sat. Feb. 20 science fair that will run from noon to 4 p.m.

“The robot competition is one of four basic judging categories," said Matt Heffernan, a coach and teacher.

"They also have to do a presentation on a trash track project, which was the theme this year, and the core values where they are judged on how effectively they help other teams."

The team has traveled out of state in the past to California and Missouri to compete.

The Hawks, who are sponsored by the borough's education fund group, won first place in the regional competition in November 2015. The team also earned first place in the Gracious Professionalism Award category at The Robotic States Tournament.

“As a coach, you have to continually guide," said Andrew Eisler, a teacher who's watched the team grow.

"They do all of the work, come up with the ideas, come up with the prototypes," said Eisler of the students.

"They placed in one of the highest this year in their history out of dozens of competing schools."

This year, five girls and five boys participated in the competitions. Other schools have approached the team's coaches asking for tips or advice.

“It’s about learning and sharing ideas with others," Hefferman said.

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