Members of the Xaverian High School and Fontbonne Hall Academy robotics team, the Brooklyn Blacksmiths, successfully competed in the New York FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Regional tournament last weekend. The team was awarded with the Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Safety Award and their alliance ranked third overall.
The Brooklyn Blacksmiths were one of 66 teams that competed in the tournament, which was held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Each team was required to build and program a robot that could play this year’s game, Stronghold. The game consists of scoring points by disabling traps and shooting foam cannonballs into small goalposts.
Co-captains John Paul “JP” Cashman and Edward “EJ” McCabe, who also serve as the Blacksmiths’ robot drive team, helped lead the team to semifinals, the furthest they have ever gone in a regional competition.
“Our celebrated accomplishments this year are part of a process. We've been getting better every year for several years, and that makes the past, the present and the future so thrilling,” said Brooklyn Blacksmiths coach James Schreiner, who also teaches religion at Xaverian High School.
Schreiner also remarked, “As our alumni mentoring base and student diversity have grown, we have been able to develop as an FRC team in aspects which we only dreamed of branching out to when I was a student. I appreciate the learning experiences that my students lived during the NYC Regional this year even more than I appreciate the milestones we reached.”
Under the leadership of safety captain Elyssa Silverman, the team also earned the Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Safety Award for the second time in four years.