New Hartford RoboSpartans win trophy at Vermont Championship

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

The New Hartford RoboSpartans completed their third season last weekend at the University of Vermont, winning the FIRST® Tech Challenge Connect Award at the State's inaugural event. The Connect Award is judged award given to the team that best connects with their local and engineering communities.

The recipient of this award is recognized for helping the community understand FIRST's goals and values (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the team itself.

The team that wins this award is aggressively seeking engineers and exploring the available opportunities in the world of engineering, science, and technology. The team has had unprecedented success this season, returning home from each of their three tournaments with trophies. Prior to winning the Connect Award, the team won the Think Award at Pace University in January and the Inspire Award, the
League's top honor, at Clarkson University in November.

As winners of the prestigious Inspire Award, the RoboSpartans will be attending the FTC World Championship Event, April 24-27, 2013, in the Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis. They will be one of 128 teams chosen to represent this season's 2,500 teams worldwide. During the next two months the team will be making improvements to their robot, providing robotics demonstrations to promote their sport and aggressively fundraising to support their bus trip to Missouri.

The RoboSpartans are Michael Betro and Maysara Elazzazi from New Hartford High School, Ryan Payne, Alex Catera and Dave Nopany from Perry Junior High, Zachary Goldsmith from Frankfort-Schuyler High School and Jason Martino from JFK Middle School in Utica. The team coaches are Bob and Lisa Payne of New Hartford.

RoboSpartans #4082 is a privately funded, basement-based team and after school program that is not affiliated with local school districts. The team meets six to nine hours per week year-round and has logged nearly 1,500 hours of on-site community outreach for their third competition season. In addition to building a highly competitive robot, they host local FIRST Tech Challenge events, volunteer at FIRST LEGO League events, mentor teams and facilitate summer robotics camps at SUNYIT.

The team relies on fundraising and donations to support their STEM activities. The RoboSpartans are asking for public donations to insure the entire team's participation in this year's World Championship. If you would like to make a contribution, contact the team at Donations are tax deductible when made for them through the SUNYIT Foundation (501c3), Account #700.

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