Riverhead School District

Riverhead High School robotics team named tournament champions

The Riverhead Robotics team was among this year’s tournament champions at the Southern NYS competition, district officials announced this week.

The group of Riverhead students — who share the tournament champion title with Farmingdale and Newfield — received $50 gift certificates from iDesign solutions and qualify to participate in this year’s VEX Robotics World Championship Competition in Louisville.

Additionally, the team was also named a recipient of the Judges Award at the March 4 event, which was held at Massapequa High School.

Click here to watch a YouTube video of Riverhead students competing

The team included the following students: Connor Batjer, Eric Behr, Hosea Blancarte, Alec Buczynski, Kyler Driscoll, Brandon Escobar, Quint Nigro, Forrest Vail, Jorge Varela, and Darwin Viera.

“Being one of the newest and most inexperienced teams, it was great to see our hard work pay off,” sophomore Kyler Driscoll said.

“Given that we hadn’t even anticipated going to states, the fact that we qualified for worlds is a very pleasant surprise, and a responsibility we are all taking very seriously,” sophomore Quint Nigro said.

In its second year, the high school’s robotics team sent two “vastly different” robots to the competition, according to Luke Ferland, the team’s coach and a high school technology teacher.

One project focused on plowing scoring objects, which included stars and bean bags, under a fence. It also knocked stars perched on top of the fence off so they’d fall to the other side, he added.

The second robot used its arms to collect the scoring objects and would then dump them over the fence.

“It takes an understanding of the math used to program the robot and a knowledge of physics to make this happen,” Mr. Ferland said.

A year-long course, the robotics class focuses on mechatronics and computer programming and teaches students to solve problems using various engineering disciplines and principles, he added.

Now entering its 10th year, the VEX Robotics World Championship brings together the top 1,400 student-led robotics teams from around the world. The competition will be held April 19-25. 

Below is a video detailing the competition:

Photo Caption: Left to right  – Kyler Driscoll, Jason Thompson, Quint Nigro, Eric Behr, Darwin Viera, Brandon Escobar, Forrest Vail, Alec Buczinski, Alae Mohammad, Connor Batjer, Yash Patel, Jorge Varela, Jonathan Drozd, and RHS Robotics coach Luke Ferland (Courtesy Photo).

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