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Lording Over The Lego League

Garden City Lego teams dominate

qualifying tournaments

It was a successful rookie year for Garden City’s Crazy Creators, one of several Garden City FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams to snap up awards at the 10th annual Long Island FLL Qualifying Tournament, held on Feb. 1 in Central Islip. The Crazy Creators walked away with two of the 12 awards: First place for ‘Robot Performance,’ which is given to the team with the highest score in the tournament’s robot game, and first place for ‘Programming,’ which is given for innovative programming of the robot used in the competition.

Under the guidance of coach Ken Ambach and mentor Dino Stamidis, fourth-graders Charlie Ambach, Julian Bubniak, Max Sclafani and Nicholas Stamidis, who all attend Stratford Elementary, along with Riley Sanz, a student at St. Anne’s,  tackled this year’s theme of ‘Nature’s Fury.’ The teams were challenged to build, test and program a self-directed LEGO robot that could complete a series of missions on a specially-designed obstacle course dealing with a natural disaster, and dream up and present an invention to help people in the event of a catastrophe.

For the project component of the competition, the Crazy Creators decided to focus on earthquakes, specifically the 125th Street fault line in Manhattan. After extensive research, the team invented a debris-clearing machine that would enable rescuers to help those trapped in rubble in densely populated areas, conditions that would exist if a New York earthquake were to occur. As the team discovered, it could very well happen in New York City, as it happened back in 1884, when a tremor struck Brooklyn’s Coney Island.

The Crazy Creators brought their invention and robot to Central Islip Senior High School, site of this year’s FLL Qualifying tournament, where 109 teams competed from across Long Island. In the robot game, teams operated their Lego NXT Robots in several matches against each other in the school’s gymnasium. Divided into groups of two, they raced the clock to complete several tasks in two-and-a-half minutes, on tables containing the obstacle course. Points were awarded based on Lego pieces used for the project (no outside materials are allowed) as well as the successful completion of several pre-assigned tasks.  A new ‘alliance’ match, introduced in this year’s competition, required teams to double up to run the missions together.

In addition to the matches, each team also met with judges in breakout sessions to discuss their work and answer questions about their project, their robot and programs, and complete a teamwork challenge. The Crazy Creators presented a LEGO model of their invention, the Rubble Rescuer, and described how their invention featured an infrared sensor to help it detect humans in rubble, as well as a conveyor belt to help haul away debris.  

Coach Ambach said of the day, “What an amazing morning. We are so proud of the team today. From our innovative project model and presentation to our simple yet highly effective robot, each boy contributed to the success of the team. As a young rookie team, they wildly exceeded all of our expectations and we are thrilled with the results.”

The Crazy Creators weren’t the only winning Garden City team on Saturday. The Thunder Chickens, under coach Kim DeMaro and assistant Martha Yasso, captured the tournament’s highest honor, the first place ‘Champion’s Trophy,’ while the Robotic Rebels, led by Coach Steve Giammona, rounded out the pack by winning the second-place ‘Champion’s Award.’ In the afternoon competition, the Garden City Middle School team, also in its first year of competition, won first place for ‘Robot Performance’ under the guidance of Coach Mike Stano.

With these wins, the teams advance to the next round, the SBPLI-LI FIRST Championship Tournament, to be held at Longwood High School on March 2. The teams invite you to come out and cheer on all of the Robotic League teams. Those interested in learning more about the Garden City Robotic League should contact Garden City Robotic League Director Trish Lynch at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

News

Department headed by former assistant director

The Garden City Public School District is excited to welcome Lynette Abruzzo as its new director of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS). The position was vacated by Catherine Wheeler, who retired this summer. Abruzzo began working in the district earlier this year in January as the assistant director of PPS. 

 

“I look forward to supporting the students here. To support their growth, help prepare them so that they have all the tools they need to be successful when they leave here. To be successful in their life and maximize their potential,” Abruzzo said of her plans for the new position. 

Blakeman and Rice to speak at Chamber Luncheon

On Sept. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Garden City Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its season kick-off luncheon program at the Garden City Hotel, where the keynote speakers will be the Democratic and Republican nominees for the U.S. Congress in New York’s  Fourth Congressional District. Bruce A. Blakeman (R), Conservative and Independence nominee and Kathleen Rice (D), Nassau County District Attorney, will speak separately expressing their respective views on the future of the district and impact upon its business community. This is not to be a debate.


Sports

Fall Children’s Tennis Classes

Registration for the start of the Fall 2014 Indoor Tennis Program for Children has begun at the Community Park Tennis Center. Walkins and non-resident children attending Garden City Public Schools* will be accepted beginning Sept. 11. Please make checks payable to the “Inc. Village of Garden City." Please note—classes are not considered day care and can not be declared for tax exemption.

* Non resident children who would like to register for the tennis program must prove they attend one of the Garden City Public Schools. Proof must accompany registration. An additional $50 fee will pertain to anyone in this category.

10 weeks of classes—classes will begin Thursday, Sept. 18

Locals run for themselves

and a cause in triathalon

At 6 a.m on a blustery Saturday morning, 1600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay Triathlon and Tri-Relay Race. The participants were drawn from a wide age range. They came from all over Long Island and upstate New York, a few were from out of state, and in some cases, had disabilities. But they all came with one goal in mind — to finish.

Jeffrey Hussey, a 28-year-old Garden City resident, has done this race three times and this was his fifth triathlon this summer.


Calendar

9/11 Memorial Program

Thursday, September 11

Zing Went The Strings

Friday, September 19

Marvelous Movie Matinee

Monday, September 15



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com