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NAWCAD Lakehurst-sponsored FIRST Robotics team presents at TEDx Event

Students from Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team “Nemesis” demonstrate their competition robot “Aerial Assist,” which can throw and catch a large inflated ball, during their TEDx presentation at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Oct. 25. (U.S. Navy photo)

Students from Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team “Nemesis” demonstrate their competition robot “Aerial Assist,” which can throw and catch a large inflated ball, during their TEDx presentation at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Oct. 25. (U.S. Navy photo)

Oct 31, 2016

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Students from Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team “Nemesis” discuss motivating students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, during their TEDx presentation at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Oct. 25. (U.S. Navy photo)

Students from Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team “Nemesis” discuss motivating students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathemat ...

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Members of the Robbinsville High School Robotics Team “Nemesis” were invited to present at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst second annual TEDx event, held at the Air Force Expeditionary Center here Oct. 25. 

The students presented ideas on how to get future generations interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, also known as STEAM. 

Team Nemesis has been a regional powerhouse in the nationally acclaimed “FIRST” Robotics Competition, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” said Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, or NAWCAD, Lakehurst’s Education Outreach Coordinator Gaetan Mangano.

“When I saw how enthusiastic, curious and capable these students were and how kind and supportive they were amongst each other, I knew there was something special going on and we had to support them,” said Mangano. “Joy Wolfe, the team’s coach, is nothing less than extraordinary in how she’s orchestrated such a successful program on so many levels.”

NAWCAD Lakehurst has supported the Robbinsville FIRST Robotics team for the past three years as part of its commitment to supporting STEAM education.

At the TEDx event, Team Nemesis presented ideas on how to get Generation Z motivated in STEAM and demonstrated one of its robots from a previous year that can throw and catch a large inflated ball. The team has won awards at the FIRST Robotics World Championship and regional championships.

“If our team’s success demonstrates anything about Generation Z, it’s that we seek real, relevant and unique challenges. Make it interesting, make it intense, make us realize it’s worth our while,” said one team member during the presentation.

FIRST Robotics is a competition in which high school students design and build a complex robot that can perform a specific “challenge” task, all in only six weeks.  Students also learn business skills as they raise their own funds and brand their team to sponsors. The teams then compete against other teams' creations in regional championships. Team Nemesis works tirelessly every evening after school and then all day on Saturdays, said Mangano.

“This is why we love what we do and this is what brings an overwhelming number of new members to our tech lab each year. We all seek a real challenge, and this is where we find it, managing a team and building robots,” shared another member of the team during the presentation. 

FIRST has programs for all ranges of ages and grades, with the FIRST Lego League, Jr., ages 6-10, FIRST Lego League, ages 9-14, and FIRST Tech Challenge, grades 7-12.  The next FIRST Robotics competition cycle kicks off in January 2017. For more information on how to get a team started visit: http://www.firstinspires.org/

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Team Nemesis visited NAWCAD Lakehurst in June 2016 and expressed its excitement at seeing the Robotics and Intelligent Systems Engineering (RISE) Laboratory: “Thank you to NAVAIR, for your generous sponsorship, and also your invitation to tour a real-life robotics lab!”  A full story of their visit through the eyes and ears of Team Nemesis can be found here

TEDx events are a branch off of the larger TED Talks where presenters share ideas on various topics. The Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst TEDx event was hosted by the 514th Air Mobility Wing and included presentations from military and local community members.

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