Mount Saint Mary Robotics Team Prepares To Compete In State Finals

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WATCHUNG – Mount Saint Mary Academy’s robotics team has advanced to the New Jersey State Tournament of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition. The CyberLions, as the team is known, will compete for the state championship this Sunday, Feb. 12 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

The Mount squad is the only team from an all-girls school in its division of the FIRST Tech Challenge, a national robotics league for high school students. In only their second year of competition, the CyberLions have made great strides in a league dominated by more experienced opponents. The team is responsible for building and programming a new robot each year and the improvements continually made to their machine have gone a long way in helping them advance through the competition.

“We’re very excited to represent our school on Sunday,” said Mount junior Kaitlyn Pellicano of Dunellen. “Our robot is a lot more advanced and our knowledge as a team has grown throughout the two years that we’ve been competing.”

In addition to the exceptional performance of their robot, the team has earned a number of additional honors for their approach to the competition and their activities in the community. In their most recent match, the Snow Day Showdown on Jan. 22, the team earned the Motivate Award for spirit, enthusiasm, and collective effort. They also earned honorable mention for the Connect Award, an honor given to the team with the strongest connection to their local community and the engineering community.

Pellicano has also been recognized for her programming ability and ambitions in the computing field. Most recently, she was awarded the 2011-2012 National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing for the Philadelphia region.

Teams that compete successfully on Sunday will advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri.

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