Great Neck South High School Rebel Robotics Team #2638 (Contributed photo)

Rebel Robotics Wins Prestigious Award at 2024 World Championship

Great Neck South High School Rebel Robotics Team #2638 is the proud recipient of the FIRST Engineering Inspiration Award, one of the most prestigious team awards presented at the 2024 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) World Championship in Houston, TX, from April 17-20.

This monumental award—the second-highest team award in all of FIRST—recognizes the team’s commitment to advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within the community. As the recipient of this award, Rebel Robotics receives automatic entry to the 2025 FIRST World Championship along with a $6,000 grant from NASA to cover entrance and registration fees.

“This award is the single biggest achievement in the 17-year history of our team,” says John Motchkavitz, lead team mentor for Rebel Robotics. “The students work so hard on many aspects of the team, especially outreach, which spans from local to global efforts. We try to instill the importance of STEM wherever we go and to learners of all ages. To be recognized at the World Championship for all these efforts is really a testament to our dedicated students who are committed to Rebel Robotics.”

The 2024 FIRST World Championship featured the top 600 robotics teams from around the globe, with over 100,000 participants in attendance. The Engineering Inspiration Award is the pinnacle of an impressive 2023-24 season for Rebel Robotics, which also included awards from three regional competitions.

At the Greater Pittsburgh Regional in February, Rebel Robotics won the Judges’ Award and a Regional Dean’s List Finalist Award, recognizing the outstanding achievements of team member Kushagra Saxena.

At the Long Island Regional at Hofstra University in March, the team received the Sustainability Award in celebration of the team’s sustainable practices, positive environmental impact, and efforts to achieve long-term continuity.

During the team’s final regional competition in April at the Rocket City Regional in Huntsville, Alabama, Rebel Robotics was presented with the Regional Engineering Inspiration Award – which advanced Rebel Robotics to the World Championships later that same month.

The team’s robot also met with great success this season, competing in the playoffs at two regional competitions and serving as an Alliance Captain in Rocket City.

In addition to the team’s memorable experiences at the World Championship in Houston, team mentors arranged for special learning activities for students along the bus ride back to New York. During a stopover in Washington D.C., students visited Arlington Cemetery, the Udvar-Hazy Center (home of the Space Shuttle Discovery), and monuments throughout the city.

Rebel Robotics boasts nearly 100 team members in grades 9-12. Team mentors are John Motchkavitz, business/technology department head at South High, and Matthew Corrigan, technology teacher at South High.

—Submitted by the Great Neck Public School District

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