BPHS robotics team sweeps tournament, heads for World Competition

BPHS robotics team poses with awards
The Nut Jobs robotics team accepts their awards at the FIRST Tech Challenge NY Excelsior Qualifier at Clarkson University.

Congratulations to the Nut Jobs, Broadalbin-Perth High School’s robotics team, which had its best tournament ever on Feb. 29 at Clarkson University by winning the entire competition and walking away with the contest’s top award. The team expected to compete next in the Excelsior Regional Championship at SUNY Poly-Utica, but the campus canceled that event due to concerns related to COVID-19.

So, the Nut Jobs’ next stop will be the World Championship starting April 29 in Detroit!

Established in 2014, the Nut Jobs belongs to FIRST Tech Challenge, an organization that challenges its members to design, build, program and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.

Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles while learning about innovation and teamwork.

The team’s members are sophomores Robert Hernandez, Emily Mickan, Claire Murphy, Joseph Simonds, Andrew Simonds, and Greta Spilken. They were undefeated in the Feb. 29 tournament, emerging with a 9-0 record by day’s end.

During the awards ceremony, the team took second place in the Think Award and won the day’s highest honor, the Inspire Award, which goes to the team that performed well in every aspect of the competition, including presentation, interaction with judges and actual competition on the field. The award automatically advances a team to the next level, which, in light of the regional cancellation, will be the Worlds in Detroit.

The team has fundraisers in the works to help cover expenses, including items for sale during the Fulton-Montgomery Home Show on March 21-22 at BPHS and a Parents Night Out on May 15. Members of the community also can make a direct donation to support the team’s fundraising efforts by sending a check, payable to Broadalbin-Perth CSD with “Nut Jobs” in the memo line, to the district office, 20 Pine Street, Broadalbin, NY 12025.