In The News

altJanuary 18th, 2011


Nerdy or cool

“Kinda both,” decides Niral Patel, 16, one of the two dozen – give or take – members of the Fitch High School FIRST robotics team, the Aluminum Falcons. These days, nerdy is the new cool. So when one sees Patel ‘driving’ a funky robot chassis down the main corridor at Fitch -- with a small audience gawking – mentor Josh Miller coaching him in robot driving technique, it’s well, really kinda cool.

This year’s competition kickoff in New Hampshire featured performing artist and member of the Black Eyed Peas, telling kids: “You are cool, and I’m going to turn it up so everyone knows it.”

Ellyn Santiago/Groton Patch

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altOctober 3rd, 2010


Mentor Josh Miller, center, gives Nick Nado, a freshman, right, directions on how to control the robot of Fitch High School's Aluminum Falcons team Saturday at the 12th Annual Bash@the Beach robotics competition.

Dana Jensen/The Day

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altJanuary 9th, 2011

Saturday morning, five teams from local high schools participating in the international FIRST robotics competition gathered at the training building at Millstone Power Station. A kickoff event was planned - a live broadcast from the FIRST headquarters in Manchester, N.H., to all the teams worldwide to announce this year's challenge.

Brian Chidley, the Fitch teacher who is mentor to that school's 30-member team, said the teams have six weeks and three days to build a robot ready for the next tier of the challenge, competing in an arena in a sports-like game against other team's robots. A few of his team members were dispatched to the Connecticut pick-up site for the parts kits, and the entire team would begin work this morning at 10, Chidley said, starting an intensive meeting schedule.

"It's essentially every day," he said.

Judy Benson/The Day

altOctober 13th, 2011


Members of Team 2168 were recognized for their participation at the 2011 offseason event, Bash At the Beach, in the local newspaper: The Day.

Shriji Amin, left, a Fitch High School student, and Aluminum Falcons teammate Josh Miller discuss their team's robot as they align it on the field of play during the 13th Annual Bash at the Beach at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School in Old Lyme on Saturday, October 1, 2011. Twenty two northeast regional high schools participated in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology robotics competition. Student teams built remote controlled robots that had to pick up inflated rubber shapes that resembled inner tubes and place them on tall hooks to score points within a time limit. Robots had to complete additional maneuvers, such as defensive blocking and deploying a smaller robotic device that could climb a pole.

Photo: Abigail Pheiffer/The Day

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altMay 27th, 2011


NASA astronaut U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen Bowen, right, poses for a photo with the Fitch High School robotics team Thursday prior to addressing a packed auditorium at Fitch High School in Groton.

In the spirit of things high tech, Fitch's robotics [team], the Aluminum Falcons, gave Bowen a plaque that was presented to him by the [team's] award-winning robot, "Talyn."

Sean D. Elliot/The Day

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