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04/25/2013
Tech Valley Robot Rumble Brings High School Teams to TEC-SMART for a Robot Exhibition in May Event Presented by Time Warner Cable

Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180, d.renfrew@hvcc.edu
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, April 25, 2013

High school student robotics teams from 11 area school districts will exhibit the functions and capabilities of their robots and demonstrate robot construction at the Tech Valley Robot Rumble at Hudson Valley Community College’s Training and Education Center for Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies (TEC-SMART) in Malta from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, presented by Time Warner Cable. The public is invited to this exhibition, free of charge, in addition to high school students seeking information about forming robot teams and community adults interested in becoming team mentors.

Each student team designs, programs and constructs a robot for participation in the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, the highest level of all activities offered by US FIRST, a New Hampshire-based, non-profit organization whose mission is to engage students in science and technology. In competition, the robots perform human-like maneuvers such as walking, running, climbing, throwing and more. The entire design and construction process is completed in six weeks, and team members build a new robot with different capabilities each year.

The exhibition, being held during the off-season for competition, includes teams from Albany High School, Shenendehowa High School, Ballston Spa High School, Colonie High School, Shaker High School, Hudson High School, Amsterdam High School, Saratoga Springs High School, Schuylerville High School, Schenectady High School and Mohonasen High School.

Time Warner Cable is joined by Hudson Valley Community College, Malta Sunrise Rotary Club and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in sponsoring the event.

“Engaging today’s youth in hands-on ways to explore science, technology, engineering and math is what Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds initiative is all about,” says Steve Trippe, Area Vice President for Operations for Time Warner Cable. “The Tech Valley Robot Rumble is a perfect way to showcase and celebrate how area students are engaging in STEM activities and preparing to be the workforce of tomorrow. We are thrilled to sponsor this event and look forward to seeing our community come out on May 11th to support and cheer on these fantastic robotics teams.”

The rotary club is also seeking donations and sponsors for future competition expenses. Please contact Larry Levine at llevinepe@gmail.com or Craig Warner at Warner.craigm@gmail.com to help out.

“Participation in competitive robotics provides an avenue for students to develop knowledge and skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects in an environment of fun and success. STEM skills are vital to those entering the 21st century workforce. Malta Sunrise is passionate about community involvement and helping to improve participation and performance of Tech Valley students in STEM,” says Craig Warner of the Malta Sunrise Rotary Club.

The exhibiting teams represent the Capital Region among 140 FIRST teams from New York State and 2,548 from US, Canada, Mexico, England, Turkey, Chile, Israel and other countries. With three regional events in New York already at capacity, FIRST is looking to add the Capital Region as a site for regional competitions beginning in 2014. In addition to robotics, FIRST programs include the Junior FIRST LEGO League, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge.

“Hudson Valley Community College is 100 percent behind the promotion of STEM skill development at all age levels. We are glad to provide the perfect space for this high-tech event in our state-of-the-art facility that trains the workforce in semiconductor manufacturing and green technologies for 21st century careers,” says Andrew Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College.

“STEM initiatives are essential in supporting Governor Cuomo’s call for a highly skilled and trained workforce in New York that can compete in the global marketplace,” says Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “The Tech Valley Robot Rumble is a great example of how high schools are using real-world experiences to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM fields.”

For a complete list of the day’s activities, call (518) 727-4279 or e-mail Warner.craigm@gmail.com. For directions to TEC-SMART, go to www.hvcc.edu/campusmap.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 13,250 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has 75,000 alumni.

Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) is a five-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which puts our children at risk of not competing successfully in a global economy. Using its media assets, TWC creates awareness of the issue and inspires students to develop the STEM skills they need to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. Program highlights include: original PSAs that challenge public perceptions of STEM; a unique website, www.connectamillionminds.com, where parents and community members can pledge to connect young people with the wonders of science; “The Connectory,” a one-of-a-kind online resource that makes it simple and easy for parents and students to find informal science and technology learning opportunities in their communities; grants to support non-profit organizations that bring stimulating, high-quality and affordable after-school STEM learning to students.