A Sparta High School robotics team is heading to the VEX Robotics World Championship next week in Dallas.
Meanwhile, Mark Meola, head coach of the high school robotics team, has been nominated for the state and national Air and Space Force Association STEM Teacher of the Year.
The awards honor exemplary educators in grades K-12 specializing in science, technology, engineering and math.
Meola has taught Applied Technology, Robotics and Engineering at Sparta High School for 23 years.
The high school robotics team 5249 Z “Artemis” won the Innovation Award at the VEX New Jersey State Championships on March 4 to qualify for the world championship.
Millen Duberry is captain of the “Artemis” team, and its members are Cassidy Pry, Shannon Lloyd, Liam Askin, Nic Audino and Brandon Louissaint.
Sparta also sent a team to the world championship last year, putting the high school’s Robotics Club in the top 2 percent worldwide.
Duberry said he is excited about competing at a competition of this size and skill level. “Preparation for this competition consists of minor tweaks and changes with an emphasis on driver practice.”
Lloyd, who is responsible for the team’s technical journal,
The journal had 49 entries from Sept. 13, 2022 to March 5. It includes information on the team organization, game overview, scoring guide, game parts, the design process, daily logs, color keys and calendar overviews for each month.
“I think something that sets us apart is our connection to one another,” she said. “During both club meets and competitions, we understand our roles and are able to bounce off each other effectively.
“Whether it be Millen’s ability to interact with other teams, Cassidy’s coding skills, Nick’s driving skills, Liam’s design or Brandon’s strategy, we can each focus on individual elements of our robot that come together to form our unique team.”
The team is raising funds for the trip to Dallas online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/sparta-robotics-team-5249-z-world-championships?utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer
Check may be sent to the Sparta Robotics Booster Club at Sparta High School, 70 West Mountain Road, Sparta, NJ 07871 Attn. Sparta High School Robotics.