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Queens Chronicle

SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT Recent activities at Martin Van Buren High School

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Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 12:03 pm

The robotics team aims for first

In January, at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village, the Robotics Team started working on building a robot as part of the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology (FIRST) nationwide competition. Thousands of schools across the United States each receive an identical box of parts, and 4 aluminum poles. From this material each team builds a robot that is designed to perform certain tasks.

At MVBHS teachers Sanjay Patal, Yea Kang and Antonio Montalvo are the advisors. The student Co-captains are Avik Kadakia and Alfi Amin with Charie Ramirez the vice-captain. Their sponsoring company is AndyMark, which sells motors and supplies the team with the base of the robot and other supplies. They had to complete the robot then participate in the local competition at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. The winners advance to national competitions.

The specific challenges for the robot change each year and are announced in September. In this year’s game there are two wooden castles about 15 feet tall. There is a red and a blue team. The robot has to pass five defenses such as gates or a piece of metal raising from the floor and then throw a ball through an opening in the castle. It also has to climb up the wall of the tower. The robot has to not only perform the tasks, but also not break down during the competition.

Above, the current Martin Van Buren High School robotics team of students and advisors, in their basement room, with the robots built in 2014 and 2015. Building such robots requires teamwork, creativity, sound engineering principles and perseverance. It is fun but hard work with long hours spent after school and when the other students are not in school such as during Regents Week.

Kadakia, Amin and Ramirez are shown below left. These leaders were chosen because of their senior leadership skills and experience. They direct their fellow team members who come every day after class to work on the robot. There is an assembly team, a programming team, and a fundraising and safety team. Each captain heads a different team.

Beautifying Van Buren

Mr. Antonio Montalvo’s extended learning time cartooning class has been painting over the decrepit lockers around halls of Martin Van Buren and decorating them with murals for the past three years. The class meets in the late afternoon and is currently working on lockers in the basement outside the robotics workroom where he is one of the advisors. One photo show students putting an undercoat on some lockers and the other shows finished murals on other lockers in the basement.

Van Buren 2016 yearbook

Shown is Coordinator of Student Affairs Brian Greenspan at Van Buren taking a yearbook photo of Alfi Amin and Ashley Longchamp, voted the “best singers” by the senior class. Students were chosen in many different superlatives categories and placed in a section of the yearbook. It’s very popular with the graduating seniors.

If you would like to be featured on a

School Spotlight page,

call Lisa LiCausi, Education Coordinator, at

(718) 205-8000, ext. 110.

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