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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

High School Teams Win Robot Contest Hosted by New Jersey Institute of Technology

High-school teams from across the state competed in a robot-design competition hosted by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The contest was part of the annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, whose keynote speaker was a NASA astronaut.

Using Lego Mindstorm kits, the student teams assembled robots that simulated the performance of surgical tasks. Each of the following high-school teams won a plaque and a cash prize. The judging was based on the following: originality, design quality, ability to accomplish the assigned task, teamwork and overall presentation.

Union County Magnet High School, Scotch Plains, took first prize and $500 for designing a robot that reattached a severed hot dog. The surgery simulated the reattachment of a severed human limb. The team included Crystal Gonzalez, Union, Lucy Guanera, Hillside, and Marissa Cotroneo, Kenilworth. Their advisor was physics teacher Brian Holton, East Brunswick. “The team showed that they had done in-depth research on their robot design project through their presentation and also during a question and answer session,” said Cynthia Camacho, an NJIT student who judged the contest.

Westside High School, Newark, won second prize and $300 for designing a robot that also reattached the amputated tip of hot dog. The team included Alphonse Anderson, Jamal McCormick, Jamar Jones and LeBaron Hill, all of Newark.

Two schools tied for third place. Manalapan High School, Manalapan, won third prize and $100 for building a robot that surgically removed a seed from a grape. The surgery simulated the removal of a tumor. The team included Christina Wright, Sahi Kaveri, Adam Gashin and Andrew Godbehere, all of Manalapan. The Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies, Edison, also won third place and $100 for designing a robot that also reattached a severed hot dog. The team included Rohit Sodhia, Edison, Greg Schmitt and Pamela Ahn, both of Woodbridge Township, Evan Raffel and Deval Patel, both of Old Bridge Township.

Other teams that competed in the contest were Cape May County Technical High School, Cape May Court House, whose team included Jennifer Coughlin, Villas, Corinne Maxwell, Wildwood Crest, Linda Cassel, Cape May, and Jon Edmunds, North Cape May; Bergen County Academies, Hackensack: Scott Isenberg, Glen Rock, David Kafrouni, North Arlington, Vlad Pop, Lodi, Michael Rykowski, Ridgefield Park, Melissa Worthington, Cliffside Park, and Matthew Mendoza, Hillsdale; Freehold Borough High School, Freehold: Danny Jassal and Abby Lin, both of Marlboro, and Lauren Marino, Freehold; Ramapo High School, Franklin Lakes: Matti Makela and James Muliawan, both of Wyckoff, and Alan Radvinsky, Franklin Lakes; and Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy: Drew Pennyfeather, Perth Amboy, Fransisco Flores and Carlos Lopez, both of Perth Amboy.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.