Four Mineola Middle School robotics club teams recently competed triumphantly at a LEGO League Robotics Tournament. (Courtesy of Mineola Middle School)

Mineola Student Roboticists Compete In Local Tournament

It may be cold outside, but the extra-curricular robotics season at Mineola Middle School has been heating up.

In January, members of the school’s robotics club competed at a local LEGO Robotics Tournament, held at nearby Mineola High School.

Four teams from Mineola High School competed in the two-day event in late January, with well-earned feelings of achievement and general fun times had by all.

Cheered on by coaches Vince Interrante, Austin Nowak, and Adrianna Guidetti, the teams who competed for robotic glory included the Mineola Monkeys, the Cyber Mustangs, the One-Eyed Jack Bots, and the Robo Sharks.

Two teams, the Mineola Monkeys and the Cyber Mustangs, are now moving on to the Long Island First LEGO League Championship Tournament in March. The Cyber Mustangs also won first place at the tournament for their project focusing on culture, language and diversity in the Innovation category.

The competition is broken into two parts. In the first portion, students compete using their robots to solve missions and score points.

In the other portion, young roboticists create an innovative project to seeks to solve a specific problem. Their prompt for this recent tournament was: “How can we use technology and the arts to help engage others or increase participation in what we love to do?”

Seventh-grader Daniel Luning commented on the experience, “Being part of the Mineola Monkeys is very special. When you are part of a team like robotics you have to use teamwork and gracious professionalism. We had a lot of obstacles throughout this robotics year. We overcame them by having team meets and we talked about how we could solve the obstacles.”

Seventh-grader Charlotte Ruyle wrote, “Being a part of the Mineola Monkeys helped me to learn how to communicate, collaborate, and work together with my teammates. These values definitely came into play when we had team meetings, discussions, disagreements, or when we were brainstorming ideas for our innovation project or ways to complete the robot challenges.”

Sixth-grader Rebecca Portillo of the Cyber Mustangs commented, “Sometimes it’s very exciting, but it can also be frustrating not knowing how to make improvements. Our project focused on language, culture and diversity and how that could get more people to enjoy robotics.”

Sixth-grade Cyber Mustang Bella Portillo noted, “Being in Robotics is a big privilege. I loved getting to know my team.”

Seventh-grade Cyber Mustang Brandon Chen said, “Being in robotics is a great experience, you get to be a part of a team and bond. During the competition our team didn’t have the best start but we pushed through and worked as a team to improve for our other runs.”

Seventh-grader William Klauck of the Mineola Monkeys also commented, “We faced a lot of challenges as a team and we overcame them by working together and having team meetings to finalize on what we were going to do.”


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