Robotics Season in Full Swing: Report From Team Chaos

A new season of FIRST Robotics kicked off this past weekend, with Team Chaos travelling to Hatboro, Pennsylvania, for the group’s first competition of the season. The theme for the 2019 season is deep space, and the robots have been designed to collect hatches (disks) and cargo (balls) and then load these items into the cargo bay in the rocket ship. Then the robots must mechanically lift up onto a habitat.
 
This year, Team Chaos had the greatest number of participants at the competition since the club’s founding more than a decade ago. According to head coach Hayley Katz, “We have learned a lot this year and we are working on really developing the culture of our team. Even though the rank at the end of the competition wasn't what we had hoped, we were able to perform well and ended up winning the Judge's Award, so that's very exciting and a huge honor!" Katz is a materials engineer for the US Army at the Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal. She advises Team Chaos in conjunction with Upper School science teacher Len Grabowski and robotics teacher Stuart Brown.
 
While the team was not selected for the final round, it is the second time in three seasons that the team has won the Judge's Award for a creative design element. Eighth-grade team members Brendan Halstead and Kevin Li came up with the concept and design that garnered this year’s award. Their idea was to use suction cups to pick up hatches and disks working with a pneumatic piston-driven mechanism, i.e., a vacuum created out of three pistons.
 
During the next three weeks, the team will be working hard to fine tune the robot for the next competition: March 29-31 at Montgomery High School in Skillman, New Jersey. If you would like to attend, the team would greatly appreciate the support.
 
Congratulations to the Team Chaos members who were able to attend the competition in Hatboro (listed alphabetically by class year): Sebastian Laboy ’19, Trevor Wills ’19, Gary Bossert ’20, Luke Mariak ’20, Teddy Lazar ’20, Andrew Margolis ’20, Niels Rongen ’20, Steve Vecchio ’20, Robby Covello ’21, Cat D'Arcangelis ’21, Zak Griffin ’21, Ethan Shi ’21, Dylan Towle ’21, Jack Brucker ’22, Alex Chotai ’22, Isha Vemuri ’22, Lexi Jacobson ’23, Brendan Halstead ’23 and Kevin Li ’23.
 
Thank you to the coaches, parents, sponsors, and mentors who helped to support Team Chaos this season. Stay Chaotic!
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Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.