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Robotics Workshop and Community Outreach

PARSIPPANY — eBorg Robotics participates in the FIRST Tech Challenge competition (FTC). The goal of FTC is to ensure students develop STEM skills by designing/building robots to solve annual challenges, raising funds, and spearheading community outreach events. FIRST Robotics Competition teams are guided by principles of teamwork and gracious professionalism. eBorg Robotics, Team Lead, Neil Mathew says that “FTC provides a setting that deepens my understanding of pressing engineering issues and applications of technology, a truly incredible experience”.

On January 26, 2020, eBorg Robotics hosted a very successful Robotics Workshop and Community Outreach at the Parsippany Library from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reaching out to many FIRST robotics teams in the area, including Cruise Control, Reboot, the Juggernauts, the Livingston Lancers, RedBots, SmartStarz, and Invincibots, they were able to host an exhibition style outreach with various booths and workshops for students from all over Parsippany to try driving and building robots for themselves. Notable guest included Mayor Soriano, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Sargent, and Mr. Bill Scalise, the CEO of Chase Partitions. “Planning this event to synergize several teams that graciously participated to outreach as a combined force to the community, has been a truly exhilarating experience” says STEM connect lead Mihir Vemuri.

In the April of 2018 and 2019, eBorg Robotics competed in the World Championship for the FIRST Tech Challenge competition. Only approximately 150 out of over approximately 4,000 teams, selected through a rigorous process of qualifier, state, and regional competitions, were able to compete. This year eBorg Robotics won the inspire award and has been the Winning alliance captain at NJ Qualifier and advancing to State Championships. Team also won the Think award from PA qualifier and advancing to PA State Championships.

Team Coach Amit Joglekar describes the team saying, “What powers the human hands are not just one or two fingers, but it’s the synchronized effort of all the uniquely gifted yet diverse tactile members. I believe the same is true for the power behind our team.”

Lead Technical Writer Tej Shah said, “Through various setbacks and challenges, we as a team have grown significantly, developing stronger technical and communication skills. Solving tough challenges that have long eluded us is what makes it all worth it in the end!”

eBorg Robotics strives to inspire and encourage students to pursue STEM in our local and global communities. Throughout this season alone, eBorg Robotics was able to make great strides in spreading STEM, specifically to students that may not have many opportunities. Through various outreaches and events, the team has conducted sessions with underprivileged children and students on the autism spectrum with non-profit organizations like Greater Life Center and Autism Foundations.

STEM Connect Lead, Mihir Vemuri says “Invoking the curiosity and potential of Autistic minds and instilling the self confidence in them to move a Robot is an extremely gratifying wonder.” Vemuri is facilitating team discussions with International Engineers to help underprivileged with STEM technologies and pay it forward by mentoring students in Rural India to build a motorized arm.

To reach people both locally and globally, Social Media and Digital Graphics Leads Arnav Khanna and Anish Chidella have made significant strides in the marketing department. Arnav has worked on increasing social media presence while Anish has worked on developing material that represent the face of eBorg for the FIRST competitions and the eBorg Robotics team to share with the community. Khanna also works on technical presentations and raising funds from the community.

FLL Mentoring Lead Rahul Mehta facilitated the growth of FLL teams locally. His advice and dedication was helpful in leading the Jagarnauts, an FLL team, to the State Championships. Also, internationally, Rahul Mehta inspired students in Indian metros to pursue opportunities in STEM and taught building basic Robots.

As part of the community aspect of FIRST, eBorg Robotics has sought to effect meaningful impact both locally and globally. This past summer, Marketing Manager Tesia Thomas conducted a two week long robotics workshop at an all girls home in rural Tanzania for girls coming from either physically/emotionally abusive or neglecting households. After developing a specialized curriculum, eBorg Robotics donated 2 EV3 kits to these girls. Tesia Thomas spoke of the continuous impact of this outreach saying “The girls I worked with in Tanzania were some of the most brilliant and innately interested students I have ever worked with. With the right exposure, they are now excelling and continuing to work with the kits which goes to show just how far one push can go!”

More recently, on January 3, the eBorg Robotics team conducted a workshop with several students to promote awareness of increasing accessibility of STEM career paths for women. The event was a success and all of the students had fun participating in engineering design activities that are instrumental in engineering tasks: teamwork, ingenuity, and collaboration.

Software Testing Lead Emily Liew said, “Seeing the gears in their minds turning and their flames of curiosity sparking is truly an unforgettable experience and opportunity that was gratifying. Connecting with the students and children in our communities and giving back allows me to believe that we are truly making an impact in their lives and leaving the world a little bit brighter than it was before.”

The team hopes to continue inspiring more children in their local and global communities to learn about Robotics and pursue careers in STEM.

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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