Our Youth

Robotics Celebrates Milestone Victories

Xaverian’s FIRST robotics programs accomplished milestone victories in March. Pictured, John Paul Cashman, class of 2017.
Xaverian’s FIRST robotics programs accomplished milestone victories in March. Pictured, John Paul Cashman, class of 2017.

Three robotics teams from Xaverian School, Bay Ridge, participated in City Championships as part of the 80 best teams from the five boroughs and Westchester.

The Genesis Incinerators won a third place in Strategy and Innovation for their crab drive robot with four-wheel turning ability. The Genesis Oscars won first place in Research for their presentation on recently published studies showing that mealworms can digest Styrofoam. This marks the first time multiple Genesis FLL teams win trophies at the City Championship level in the same year.

In the FIRST Robotics Competition NYC Regional, a three-day event, Xaverian’s Brooklyn Blacksmiths had breakthroughs in several aspects of the game. In this year’s obstacle-filled game, called FIRST Stronghold, the first 15 seconds of every match are for robots to move autonomously with no human driver control. After all eight qualifying matches over the weekend, the Blacksmiths had the highest combined autonomous score out of all 66 robots in the competition. Without fail, the robot, named Castle Crasher, defeated an obstacle every time.

In the tournament of 3-on-3 matches following qualifiers, the Blacksmiths were picked up as part of the No. 1 seeded alliance by the Robotic Plague from Staten Island Tech and the RoboTigers from Queens Vocational. They made it as far as the semifinals, which is the farthest the Blacksmiths have ever gone in an official regional tournament.

Finally, for the second time in four years, Xaverian won the UL Industrial Safety Award, cementing the team’s reputation as a veteran that continues to innovate ways to spread a culture of safety to others. This is the first time that a team has repeated winning the Safety Award in the 12 years it has been awarded in NYC FIRST.

“Our celebrated accomplishments this year are part of a process. We’ve been getting better every year for several years, and that makes the past, the present and the future so thrilling,” said moderator James Schreiner.

“As our alumni mentoring base and student diversity have grown, we have been able to develop as an FRC team in aspects which we only dreamed of branching out to when I was a student. I appreciate the learning experiences that my students lived during the NYC Regional this year even more than I appreciate the milestones we reached.”