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Connect A Million Minds: Queens Students Test All Circuits Ahead Of Nat'l Robot Battle

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TWC News: Connect A Million Minds: Queens Students Test All Circuits Ahead Of Nat'l Robot Battle
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With the FIRST robotic nationals a little more than a week away, one local team is gearing up to score big. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.

The days were long but the payoff was a slamdunk. The Technotics Team 1635 from Newtown High School in Elmhurst won the "Rebound Rumble" competition last month at FIRST Robotics Regionals at the Javits Center, beating out 66 other teams.

The victory was sweet for a school slated for an overhaul as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "turnaround" plan. But the students are focused on something more immediate and hope to bring home top honors at the FIRST Robotics Nationals taking place in St Louis at the end of this month.

"Waiting four years in my high school life for this moment it finally came," said student Brayan Naula.

The team had six weeks to design and build "Chen Lin Jr" to shoot some hoops. Named after the captain of the team and the Knicks player Jeremy Lin, Lin Jr. was shipped to St. Louis just days after the regionals.

But there's still work to be done right here in New York.

"They're practicing programming, they're practicing sautering, they're practicing wiring. They are also putting together a list of all the things they might need in case something goes wrong in St. Louis," said Newtown High School Assistant Principal Peter Paolino.

This is Stephanie Li's first and last year with the robotics team. But as she heads off to college this fall, Li says her experience here has sparked a new, perhaps life-long passion.

"We started with this aluminum bar and to watch it over the days to become this amazing robot that won New York City regionals, it was incredible to watch that and be part of it. So it really made me consider doing engineering in college," Li said.

As the Technotics tinker away in their workshop, they're also working to raise about $20,000 needed to send the whole team to St. Louis.

For more information on the partnership of NY1 and parent company Time Warner Cable with the Connect A Million Minds initiative to highlight education through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), visit www.connectamillionminds.com.

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