January 12, 2016

SUNY Poly to Host Top Robotics Teams at Regional Championships

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Young innovators face off in weekend of robotics challenges showcasing science, technology and teamwork skills

Utica, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute today announced teams from around New York State will compete in regional robotics championships, held in conjunction with the international program FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), on January 16 and 17 at the Wildcat Field House at SUNY Poly’s Utica site. SUNY Poly was recently named an Affiliate Partner for FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), authorizing SUNY Poly to host and promote multiple robotics events.
 
“The robotics programming we provide in conjunction with FIRST is a perfect example of SUNY Poly’s commitment to inspiring young minds through experiential learning opportunities,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.  “We are delighted to partner with FIRST and to host exciting events like the regional robotics championships, which is like the Super Bowl for these young innovators.  We applaud all the teams that have advanced to the championship round and wish them the best of luck.”
 
The international FIRST organization helps to develop critical science and engineering skills in young people through engagement in exciting mentor-based robotics programs.  The weekend championships at SUNY Poly will bring together the top teams in FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) divisions.  On Saturday, January 16, FLL teams, made up of children ages 9-14, will collaborate on robot design using LEGO Mindstorms as they compete in this year’s “Trash Trek” challenge to solve real-world problems associated with refuse and recycling.  On Sunday, January 17, FTC teams, comprised of students age 14 and up, will participate in the “RES-Q” challenge and design, program and deploy robots to compete in mountain rescue style missions, including resetting beacons and delivering climbers to a shelter.

“The best learning opportunities for problem solving and critical thinking ​for students are through hands-on, real-world experiences. Opportunities like those presented by SUNY Poly and FIRST are a wonderful example of how that learning can produce groundbreaking thinkers and innovators," said Dr. Robert Geer, Senior Vice President and COO of SUNY Poly. "Students produce some of the most incredible results when given the freedom and opportunity to show what they are capable of."

"SUNY Poly prides itself on innovative, experiential learning that provides exceptional opportunities for our students as well as making substantial contributions to the community, " said Dr. William Durgin, Provost of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.  "While a strong academic foundation is incredibly important for young minds, so is having a solid understanding of how to put that knowledge to work in real-world applications."
 
“We are proud to bring in FTC to the family of FIRST robotics programs for which SUNY Poly serves as partner. This new role has brought collaboration opportunities with Sauquoit Central School District, St. John Fisher College and Corning Inc.,” said Elizabeth Rossi, K-12 Outreach Coordinator for SUNY Poly. “The STEM pipeline for grades K-12 is certainly on display through these programs. It is so gratifying to see how FTC teams support FLL teams. We have been grateful for the frequent volunteer assistance provided by both FTC and FLL teams to create and enhance the FIRST ecosystem of hands-on STEM exploration in upstate New York.”
 
The weekend championship events are the culmination of three qualifiers in both FLL and FTC robotics programs held in November and December throughout New York State and hosted by SUNY Poly.  All events will take place in the Wildcat Field House at SUNY Poly in Utica and are free and open to the public.
 
For more information, please visit: sunypoly.edu/stemoutreach

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SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $43 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 4,000 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff, in addition to Tech Valley High School. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in Troy, the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua, and the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester where SUNY Poly also leads the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at its Utica location and also manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit www.sunycnse.com and www.sunypoly.edu.

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Jerry Gretzinger, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Public Relations
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