Jericho’s VEX Robotics Team, Nylock Nuts (Contributed photo)

Jericho’s VEX Robotics Team, Nylock Nuts

Jericho’s VEX robotics team 11753A, Nylock Nuts, shared their enthusiasm for robotics to a full theater of 130 parents and students on Tuesday, April 9 at Jericho Public Library. The program was geared towards children ages 8-14 to encourage robotics engagement at a young age and to teach parents how they can build a competitive robotics team.

The Nylock Nuts team members, eighth-graders Rayan Hasan, Liam Lin, Milo Lin, Vihaan Malik, Ian Tam, and seventh-grader Felix Xiong spoke about the value of learning robotics not only for engineering design knowledge, but for developing broader lifelong skills, such as working in a team to build leadership capacity and strategic thinking. The team’s passion for robotics, under the guidance of volunteer parent coach Joe Lin, led them to further explore applications of robotics in real life at Columbia University’s Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab.

For building a robotics team, the boys spoke about the different team member roles needed and what characteristics make students successful for those roles. VEX robotics benefits students of multiple interests and abilities and there is a role for all types of learners. For example, the Driver must be able to make quick decisions during a match to maneuver the robot out of precarious situations during competition. CADers are the ones who design the robot so it’s a creative role. The CADers use online programs to build the robot using 3D parts. Builders are in charge of assembling the robot so Builders must pay meticulous attention to details and persevere in the face of challenges. Coders on the team must write and use computer programming language to move the robot. The Engineering Notebook Manager needs an exquisite grasp of the engineering design process to be able to organize and document the team’s learning over time. Throughout their year-long journey as a VEX robotics team, the engineering design process played a vital role in the development of team Nylock Nuts’ evolution of 6 different prototypes of their robot, teaching the boys the value of iterative design.

Engaging their young library audience, the Nylock Nuts invited children to join them on stage to drive the robots. A great experience of learning and fun was had by all who attended the Jericho Public Library event.

Team Nylock Nuts is a parent-led, parent-run team since Jericho School District does not offer a VEX robotics program. We wish VEX robotics team 11753A Nylock Nuts all the best as they compete in the upcoming 2024 VEX Robotics World Championship, the largest robotics competition in the world!

—Submitted by Team Nylock Nuts

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