The Official Newspaper Website of Brewster High School

Brewster Bear Facts

The Official Newspaper Website of Brewster High School

Brewster Bear Facts

The Official Newspaper Website of Brewster High School

Brewster Bear Facts

Unveiling the CyBearBots’ Treasures in the Science Wing

From Local Success to Regional Recognition: The 2024 Journey of Brewster High’s Robotics Team Showcases Brewster’s Dedication to STEM

March was a whirlwind for Brewster High School’s Robotics team, the CyBearBots. Amidst the bustle of the Hudson Valley Regional from March 6th to March 9th and the New York Tech Valley Regional from March 20th to March 22nd, the team not only competed but triumphed in bear helmets, bringing home a FIRST trophy, royal blue banner, signed t-shirt, and a sense of immense pride. These items, along with prior accolades, are now proudly displayed in a glass case near the end of the science wing of the high school.

The journey to these victories began early in January on Kick-Off day. Gathered at Brewster High School, the CyBearBots watched the unveiling of this year’s game, Crescendo, and immediately set to work.

The Crescendo competition challenged teams to perform musically themed tasks with robotic precision. Robots were required to place notes into “amps,” shoot notes into a “speaker,” and hang onto a chain on the “stage” either alone or in “harmony” with an alliance team. Additional tasks included dropping a note into a “trap” while hanging and landing a note onto a pole on the “stage,” performed by the team’s designated “human player.” Notes played through an amplified speaker garnered extra points, highlighting the strategic depth of the game. Emphasizing the FIRST core value of cooperation, teams could earn a “Coopertition Bonus” by collaboratively scoring 15 points with their opponents. However, penalties were enforced for any contact that disrupted another robot at its home base or while off the ground. This intricate set of challenges demanded not just technical skill but also strategic collaboration.

Drawing on lessons from the previous season, the team, composed of 20 dedicated members, met multiple times a week to ambitiously tackle almost every challenge of the competition. Over eight weeks, the team built a multifunctional robot from scratch, designed for robotics competitions. It features a ramp-shaped shooter that launches rings upward and outward, with adjustable side plates for targeting at various heights and distances. The robot’s MECANUM wheels enable smooth, omnidirectional movement, essential for competition. Its intake system uses rollers or belts to efficiently collect rings and feed them to the shooter without jamming. Additionally, the robot uses extendable arm hooks to lift itself and hang from a chain for extra points. This robot excels in collecting, handling, and deploying rings, as well as performing climbing tasks.

Our team, a dynamic ensemble of talent and dedication, was strategically segmented into specialized units to maximize our performance in the competition. The Drive Team skillfully maneuvered the robot across the playing field, while the Mechanical Team was ever-ready, repairing any damages that occurred between matches. Under the leadership of Alex Sosa, the Coding Team fine-tuned the robot’s software, enhancing its functionality match after match. Meanwhile, the Scouts gathered crucial intelligence on competing teams, providing the Drive Team with invaluable insights into their strategies and weaknesses. Our safety officers played a pivotal role in ensuring that both our robot and team members adhered strictly to all safety protocols.

Members fix the bot and attend to repairs after a match

During the Hudson Valley Regional, located at Rockland County Community College, the CyBearBots showed off their bot for the first time in its ability to aim for speaker, aim, stage, and harmony, and even had a bear mascot with us to network with teams and to promote the Brewster spirit.

Alex Sosa gets Joseph Jimenez psyched up for an upcoming match while dressed in Bear helmets made by the BHS Career Skills class.

Our collaborative efforts propelled us to the semi-finals at the Hudson Valley Regional, part of the SteelHawks #3 alliance. This experience was great because the last time we were selected beyond qualifications was during the 2022 competition.

Beyond our ranking, the highlight of the first competition was the prestigious Woodie Flower Finalist Award. The essay Ariana Torke and Riya Gupta submitted in honor of Dr. Kozlenko, the esteemed advisor, won at the Hudson Valley Regional. This victory not only celebrated Dr. Kozlenko’s inspirational guidance but also marked a historic moment for our school by winning our first FRC Regional banner and trophy. “I am extremely proud and grateful we shot for the essay. Dr. Kozlenko is truly one of the guiding forces behind our team’s success, and I can’t wait for our team to nominate other advisors, like Mrs. Riley and Mrs. Schneider, for the award in the future,” Ariana Torke exclaimed. The first competition fostered a sense of pride and accomplishment that resonated throughout our team, boosting our morale and strengthening our resolve for our next competition two weeks later in Albany.

The “Drive Team” who controls the bot on the playing field

After the Hudson Valley Regional, the CyBearBots dedicated an intense two weeks to refining their robot for the season’s final competition. During this period, Alex Sosa enhanced the software to enable the robot to autonomously pick up and shoot three rings in the initial 15 seconds, a significant improvement from the previous capability of two. Meanwhile, the Drive Team increased their practice time, significantly enhancing the robot’s speed and maneuverability.

At the New York Tech Valley Regional, the CyBearBots’ robot not only outperformed its previous showing but also demonstrated remarkable consistency, making it one of the most reliable bots the team has constructed in years. Although they only secured a commendable 17th place among 51 teams as the second backup bot to one of the top alliances, the performance underscored the team’s growth and potential for future competitions.

These final two competitions were not just contests; they were the culmination of years of dedication, learning, and camaraderie. Some team members, following in the footsteps of their siblings who founded the team in 2018, have witnessed the CyBearBots’ evolution from its inception; they leave behind not just a legacy of achievements, but a testament to the enduring spirit of innovation and teamwork. Riya Gupta stated, “Robotics, a sport of the mind that ignites the imagination, has been a field where the CyBearBots have not only competed but also thrived, learned, and inspired, even as the world around them changed.”

As the CyBearBots veterans, including Charlie Bloss, Mark Fedio, Kevin Fox, Riya Gupta, Joseph Jimenez, Colin LaMoreaux, Alex Sosa, Markian Syrko, Matthew Thompson, Ariana Torke, and Sam Whitney, pass the torch to the next generation, the CyBearBots leave a legacy that is not just about robots, but about the power of collaboration, perseverance, and intellectual curiosity. The CyBearBots’ journey echoes the essence of what it means to be a part of something greater than oneself—a bittersweet legacy that will resonate within the halls of Brewster High for years to come.

Qualifying match where the bot is working to achieve “harmony” for the team
Dr. Kozlenko with her award

Contribute to this legacy by joining the CyBearBots in their future endeavors. Every meeting, team members design, code, and plan for competitions. Here, you’ll gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology, develop professional skills, and forge lasting friendships. Whether you’re interested in engineering or strategy, there’s a place for you. Come to Room 270 every Thursday and be a part of something bigger with the CyBearBots.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

Our writers and editors look forward to hearing what you have to say! Bear Facts is interested in relevant, well-informed, articulate comments in the form of advice, criticism, and feedback. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section in a respectful, insightful, constructive manner.
All Brewster Bear Facts Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest