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!