Judgement day at Adelphi, as the robots rise again

Machine learning: Young engineers from Long Island and elsewhere will show off their big brains Saturday during the sixth-annual statewide robotics competition at Adelphi University.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

The robot revolution is coming this weekend to Adelphi University, but don’t be alarmed.

We won’t be bowing to our new mechanical overlords anytime soon – but a few ingenious students may take some well-earned bows when all is said and done with the sixth-annual Statewide Middle School and High School Robotics competition.

Featuring 30 middle-school teams (from 19 statewide schools) and 13 high school-aged squads (each representing a specific college or university, including Suffolk County Community College and hometown Adelphi), the day-long event challenges quick-thinking participants to collaborate, create, brainstorm and build, giving their STEM skills (for science, technology, engineering and mathematics) a good workout along the way.

Specifically, the annual competition incorporates Vex Robotics Competition and Lego Robotics protocols in a series of challenges that task young engineers with creating automatons that can detect colors, move cubes, topple Lego figures and more.

There’s also an optional “Lego obstacle course” for more nimble machines and their middle school operators.

Robocall: See you Saturday, Mr. J.

Long Island-based middle schools participating in Saturday’s competition include Island Park’s Lincoln Orens Middle School, Long Beach Middle School, Merrick Avenue Middle School, Oyster Bay Middle School, Syosset Middle School, East Meadow’s Woodland Middle School and Westbury’s W.T. Clarke Middle School.

Also sending teams are Baldwin Middle School, Port Washington’s Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School, Franklin Square’s Washington Street School, Bellmore’s Grand Avenue Middle School, Great Neck Middle School, Hicksville’s Holy Family School and Jericho Middle School.

Middle school teams representing New York City-based public schools and programs are also expected to compete, as is a team traveling down from Syracuse.

In addition to Adelphi University and SCCC, colleges and universities backing high school-aged teams in Saturday’s competition include Syracuse University, the University at Albany, Binghamton University and the Brooklyn-based New York City College of Technology.

The event is presented by Adelphi University’s School Science Advancement Program, part of the university’s Science Technology Entry Program, which works with Long Island school districts to prepare students from “underrepresented backgrounds” to enter into STEM fields, according to the STEP website.

The sixth-annual Statewide Middle School and High School Robotics competition is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday inside the Adelphi University Center in Garden City. The event is open to the public.