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GOA Robotics ranks in int’l competition
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GOA Robotics ranks in int’l competition

Golda Och Academy’s RoboCup team members, from left, Nadav Soudry, Ben Soudry, Alex Rothschild, and Aytan Geschwind
Golda Och Academy’s RoboCup team members, from left, Nadav Soudry, Ben Soudry, Alex Rothschild, and Aytan Geschwind

Golda Och Academy's CodeRunners Robotics team came home with honors from the International RoboCup competition in Leipzig, Germany, which took place the end of June. 

The West Orange school’s team, representing the United States in their division, was one of two teams to receive a Robot Design award in addition to receiving a Team Spirit award. 

Team members were high school students Aytan Geschwind, Alex Rothschild, Ben Soudry, and Nadav Soudry. They were chaperoned by upper school principal Christine Stodolski and three parents. 

There were 3,500 participants and 400 teams from 40 countries working on advanced robotics during the five-day competition. The event took place in the Leipzig convention center, ending with an awards ceremony on July 5. The CodeRunners placed 13 out of 22 teams in their division.

The trip, said Ben, “involved putting all our hard work and effort from the past two years into overcoming new obstacles and trying to do the best we can while playing the greatest teams in the world.” Looking back, he said, “we learned so much, and we look forward to implementing all our new ideas.” 

To qualify for the world championship, the GOA CodeRunners won in their division at the RoboCup USA competition in April. They designed and built two robots that were programmed to autonomously play soccer against competitors.

During the Super Matches, GOA partnered with three other teams, Taiwan, Germany, and Great Britain, sharing parts, strategy, and expertise to compete against four teams in one match each day as well as in a final. 

The competition, said Stodolski, “emphasized the importance of teamwork, the sharing of ideas, and competition that supports learning and growth for all participants. Our students thrived in this environment and represented the school with kindness, generosity of spirit, and acumen. We are very proud of their accomplishments.” 

During the event the CodeRunners also met with competitors from Israel, including high school teams from Rehovot and Rishon Letzion, a partner city of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. The GOA team refrained from competing on Shabbat; the team from Manchester, England, agreed to play the CodeRunners on Friday afternoon before sundown. 

“This trip was a great learning experience,” said Alex. “Not only did I learn about working and trouble-shooting under pressure, but I also learned important lessons about cooperation with all different kinds of people. The trip was a cool opportunity to see the directions technology can take and get a glimpse of my possible future.”

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