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"Rockland Star" featured Pace University's Seidenberg School Associate Professor Dr. Rick Kline in "FIRST Tech Challenge Draws Tech Savvy Teens to Pace University for Robotics Competition"

03/07/2019

"Rockland Star" featured Pace University's Seidenberg School Associate Professor Dr. Rick Kline in "FIRST Tech Challenge Draws Tech Savvy Teens to Pace University for Robotics Competition"

Twenty-seven teams of middle- and high-school students from across the Hudson Valley, Capital Region, and Adirondacks competed head to head in the 10th Annual FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competition Sunday, Feb. 10 at Pace University’s Pleasantville Campus.

Widely known for its leading edge computer science and technology programs at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace has been a partner with FIRST, providing exciting and effective STEM programs for children since 2003.

Dr. Rick Kline, Associate Professor at the Seidenberg School who coordinates the competition at Pace, said that students from the Seidenberg School played an integral role in the day, assisting teams and running challenges.

More than 40 Pace students and about a dozen alumni, staff, and faculty were among the 100 or so volunteers who ran the event under the guidance of volunteer coordinator and Seidenberg School staff member Jill Olimpieri. Students helped with setup and logistics as well as served as referees, judges, inspectors, and robot technical advisors.

“FIRST is an international, K-12 not-for-profit organization founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.  Having a competition like FIRST here at Pace is in keeping with our mission to train the next generation of STEM, computer and technology experts,” said Kline.”

Students in grades 7-12 competed in this year’s space-themed game Rover Ruckus with robots they have been designing, building and programming since the start of the school year. The 27 teams had advanced from a field of 60 teams who participated in other competitions. Sunday’s top three winners were the Roboraiders from Red Hook High School, Red Hook, NY; Suffern Robotics from Suffern Senior High School, Suffern, NY; and Beta, CCE Clinton County 4-H, Plattsburgh, NY. The teams will advance to the world championship in Detroit in April.

In addition to Suffern, local schools who competed included: Blind Brook High School; John Jay High School; Mamaroneck High School; Peekskill High School; Riverside Computer Design High School in Yonkers; and Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson in Pleasantville.

“I have been volunteering for the FTC event at Pace since I was a Freshman,’’ said Graduate student Joel Thomas. “I am always impressed by the innovation and creativity that each team brings to the field.”

Read the full article.