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Rebel Robotics Earns International Award at FIRST World Championship

 A South High Robotics Team photo taken at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit.

The South High School Rebel Robotics Team wrapped up a very successful competition season at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit from April 24–27. The team finished 15 out of 62 competitors from around the world, and Rebel Robotics was named the recipient of the 2019 International Championship UL Safety Award.

The Safety Award is sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories and celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards.

The South High Robotics Team 2638, known as “Rebel Robotics,” has established its place in the FIRST international community as a model for safe practices.  This season, Rebel Robotics won the International Championship UL Safety Award at the World Championship in Detroit, as well as the UL Safety Award at both the Finger Lakes and SBPLI Regional Competitions. Since 2013, the team has earned three international championship safety awards and twelve regional safety awards.

Rebel Robotics is committed to the highest level of safety in all areas, and the team has made it their mission to provide others with support and guidance regarding safe practices. In fact, FIRST Robotics Competition judges and organizers were so impressed with the team’s safety presentations at 2019 regional events, that they asked South High students to facilitate safety activities at the World Championship.

Rebel Robotics qualified for the 2019 FIRST World Championship based on their outstanding performances at two regional competitions in March. At the Finger Lakes Regional Competition, the team’s robot advanced to the playoff round and the team earned two top awards: the regional Chairman’s Award and the Safety Award. At the SBPLI Regional Competition, Rebel Robotics won first place in competition with a record of 17-1, and the team again earned two top awards: the regional Entrepreneur Award and the Safety Award.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is a worldwide event with more than 6000 teams competing from over 50 different countries. This year’s FIRST Robotics Competition game was titled “Destination: Deep Space,” and each robot was designed to complete various tasks in a space-themed playing field, such as securing hatch panels to a spacecraft and loading cargo.

Robotics faculty advisors are business/technology department head John Motchkavitz; business/technology teachers Matthew Corrigan and Michael Passuello; and math/computer programming teacher Andrea Zinn.


South High Robotics team members work on their robot at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit.