News Post

St. Mary's Robotics Team 5563 "Phalanx"
St. Mary's Robotics Team 5563 "Phalanx"

Photo courtesy of Leo Liang

Back row, L-R: William Stark ('19), Landis Lin ('19), Dominic Amore ('21), Derek Quatieri ('19),

Chessie Alberti ('19), Meghan Murphy ('18), Justin Dean ('21), Dr. Oldham, Mentor Emily

Stern, Mentor Karen Johnson

Front row, L-R: Christopher Lutchman ('23), co-captains Arianna Alberti ('18) and Victoria

Rindeiko ('19), Leo Liang ('20)

Not pictured: Alejandro Castrillon ('18), Owen Harvey ('18), Jared Henkel ('18), Shaw Laing ('19),

Evan Munson ('19), Christina Puleo ('19), Anna Nguyen ('20), Chris Rincon ('20), Justin Li ('21),

Mentor Eric Jorgensen

Matching team shirts were designed by William Stark

Last weekend, St. Mary's Robotics Team 5563 Phalanx had their first competition of

2018 in Bridgewater, MA. The competition had a video game theme and robots were

required to pick up boxes and place more boxes on a platform than their opponent. They

successfully finished qualification rounds in 15th place and were selected to join another

team in an "alliance" for finals. Team Phalanx performed well and had a great time! They

are now preparing for their next competition on April 7th and 8th in Revere.

Led by Dr. Oldham, co-captains Arianna Alberti ('18) and Victoria Rindeiko ('19), along

with three adult mentors, the team spent the last six weeks building their robot: "Swiss

Cheese" (because they're the "holy team"). They built the chassis of the robot,

programmed it to drive, and even added an arm to pick up and release blocks. The whole

team worked on building the robot.

Majority of the team consists of seniors and juniors, with some freshmen and Marian

Division students. Christopher Lutchman ('23), the youngest member of the team,

commented on what he thought about working with the high schoolers. "It's fun working

with the high schoolers and really interactive. I still feel included even though the rest of

the teammates are mostly high schoolers." Younger students are especially encouraged to

join the team, as they'll soon be the future leaders of robotics!

Photo courtesy of Jared Henkel and Leo Liang

Victoria Rindeiko gave insight on the main goals of the robotics team:

What does the team do?

We participate in a worldwide competition run by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of

Science and Technology). Each team, starting on January 6th, has six weeks to build their robot

for competition. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday, but usually add another day somewhere

in the week, from 2:30-5:30 pm after school. We meet in the Comcast building across the street

and have two rooms dedicated to the robotics team. People are free to visit and see us working on

the robot and ask questions!

Where do you compete?

Each year, we participate in two events in the New England district. The first one is in

Bridgewater on March 9-11th. The second is in Revere on April 7 and 8. Teams are also

identified in two ways: Team name and number. Our team is called Phalanx, and we're number

5563. Matches go on all day at competition, so knowing our team number makes it easier to find


Team Phalanx kickstarted their program in 2015, but has grown immensely since. In

April 2016, they took first place at the FIRST Boston District Event in alliance with two

other high schools. This year, Dr. Oldham took over the team with three new mentors,

two of which work at GE as mechanical engineers. This has been a year of growth for the

team, since they have doubled their mentors and moved into the Comcast building from

the STEM Lab, increasing space and convenience.

For a better look into a day at competition, watch Leo Liang's vlog here!

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