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Valhalla Teen Advances To State Robotics Competition With Horace Mann Team

The Basement Lions advanced to a state robotics competition at Pace University later this year after this month's second place finish in Queens.
The Basement Lions advanced to a state robotics competition at Pace University later this year after this month's second place finish in Queens. Photo Credit: Provided

VALHALLA, N.Y. – A Valhalla teen and his team of like-minded computer and robotics students have designed a robot that’s headed to a state tournament at Pace University.

Brody McGuinn and the rest of the team from the Horace Mann School in the Bronx designed and built the computerized robot, according to a statement from the high school, which said the Pace competition is scheduled for later this year.

Calling themselves the Basement Lions, the team traveled to Queens last week to compete against other robotics teams and finished second place, earning a spot in the state tournament, the high school said.

Among the tasks testing each robot are climbing a ladder, delivering a ball to a container, shooting a ball into a basket and pressing a button to light a light, according to the statement, which said that the Basement Lions’ robot was completing the challenges while confined to small arena with a second robot attempting the same maneuvers.

Schools officials said such competitions are “raucous events with music, cheerleaders, screaming and a halftime show.”

According to the statement, McGuinn, who is also a quarterback on Horace Mann’s football team, said the robotics competitions have taught him many of the same traits he’s learned on the football field, including mental and physical toughness.

Robotics has another benefit, according to the statement: college scholarships.

Missy Screen, the team’s coach and director, said there are “millions of dollars in scholarship money out there, and building a robot is a great way to earn them.”

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