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South High Rebel Robotics Receives NASA Grant

Nine high school students work together around a table during a Rebel Robotics meeting

South High School Rebel Robotics Team #2638 is the proud recipient of a NASA FIRST Robotics Competition Grant Award for the 2021–22 season. NASA’s sponsorship of Rebel Robotics is in recognition of the team’s successes on and off the field, including their emphasis on safety, women in STEM, and community outreach.

South High is one of only five schools in New York State selected to receive this prestigious $5,000 grant, which will be used to offset registration costs for FIRST Robotics competitions this season. NASA awarded a total of 192 grant awards to robotics teams across the country.

Lead team mentor John Motchkavitz recognized two dedicated parents and long-time supporters of Rebels Robotics for their help throughout the grant application process. “Non-engineering mentor (NEMO) Robin Fleishman, with the assistance of NEMO Ellen Dressner, put in tremendous effort with our hard-working team to secure the grant,” explains Mr. Motchkavitz. “Both Robin and Ellen have continued to devote their time to Rebel Robotics, even after the graduation of their children.”

The Rebels Robotics program boasts 145 student members this year. Students have started prototyping potential robot designs and developing a strategy for the 2022 Rapid React Competition, and the team is looking forward to an exciting competition season ahead.

Faculty advisors for Rebel Robotics Team #2638 are John Motchkavitz, South High business/technology department chair; Matthew Corrigan, business/technology teacher; and Andrea Zinn, mathematics teacher.