Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS -

A team of four Ul­ster BOCES Ad­vanced Ro­bot­ics & En­gi­neer­ing stu­dents earned a cham­pi­onship tro­phy at the 2016 New York Tech Val­ley Ro­bot Rum­ble Off-Sea­son ro­bot­ics com­pe­ti­tion at Ball­ston Spa on Nov. 5.

This was the first time the Ul­ster BOCES stu­dents com­peted in such a com­pe­ti­tion. The team con­sisted of stu­dents Cody Heller of New Paltz High School, along with Joshua McCormick, Ni­cholas Den­nis and Christo­pher Backus, all of Saugerties High School. They faced off against 23 other teams from New York and Con­necti­cut.

As an off-sea­son com­pe­ti­tion, the event was struc­tured dif­fer­ently than other sea­son chal­lenges. Typ­i­cally, a team be­gins with an unassem­bled ro­bot, which they first must build. Since the school year is still in its begin­ning stages, this com­pe­ti­tion did not have the robot­build com­po­nent and fo­cused more on the teams’ abil­ity to con­trol a unit through the var­i­ous chal­lenges.

The new Ul­ster BOCES team does not yet have its own ro­bot, but was able to par­tic­i­pate us­ing a unit bor­rowed from Shenen­de­howa High School.

The con­test rules in­cluded strict guide­lines de­signed to hone prob­lem-solv­ing and team-build­ing skills, while also re­quir­ing stu­dents to demon­strate pro­fes­sion­al­ism to per­form pre­scribed tasks against their com­peti­tors.

The Ul­ster BOCES team is plan­ning to com­pete in the up­com­ing FIRST Ro­bot­ics Com­pe­ti­tion Kick­off this win­ter at Rens­se­laer Polytech­nic In­sti­tute in Troy.

••• Mount Mar­ion El­e­men­tary School Stu­dent Coun­cil mem­bers chal­lenged their class­mates to “Stuff the Bucket” with non­per­ish­able food items. The items col­lected with go to a lo­cal food panty and

the Back­pack pro­gram for Saugerties Cen­tral Schools. The Stu­dent Coun­cil is com­prised of 17 stu­dents from grades 3 through 6. Each month, the stu­dents put on var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties that ben­e­fit the school and lo­cal com­mu­nity. Two high school stu­dents nom­i­nated by Dutchess County BOCES — An­drew Hape­man from the Red Hook School District and Me­le­nie Tay­lor from the Ar­ling­ton School District — were hon­ored as Stu­dents of the Month by the Pough­keep­sie-Ar­ling­ton Ro­tary Club at a re­cent lun­cheon at Chris­tos Restau­rant in Pough­keep­sie.

Their so­cial worker, Melissa Katz, spoke of how far both stu­dents have pro­gressed dur­ing their time at BOCES Al­ter­na­tive High School. Said Eleanor Char­wat, Ro­tary Club li­ai­son, “These stu­dents are out­stand­ing con­trib­u­tors to both their schools and their com­mu­nity. They re­ally de­serve this recog­ni­tion.

Each stu­dent re­ceived a cer­tifi­cate and an open­ing de­posit in a sav­ings ac­count at the T.E.G. Fed­eral Credit Union.

The Pough­keep­sie-Ar­ling­ton Ro­tary Club meets on Thurs­days at noon at Chris­tos. For more in­for­ma­tion on Ro­tary, visit Ro­ Ar­ling­ton.

From left, Ul­ster BOCES Ad­vanced Ro­bot­ics & En­gi­neer­ing stu­dents Cody Heller, Joshua McCormick, Christo­pher Backus and Ni­cholas Den­nis at the New York Tech Val­ley Ro­bot Rum­ble.

From left, El­lie Char­wat, Melissa Katz, Me­le­nie Tay­lor and An­drew Hape­man.

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