The CodeRunners, the robotics team from Golda Och Academy in West Orange, is one of only six teams in North America qualifying to enter the International RoboCup Junior Soccer Competition taking place June 30-July 4 in Leipzig, Germany.
The only team in their division to represent the United States in the international contest, the CodeRunners secured a first-place win at the RoboCup Junior USA soccer competition at The Horace Mann School in the Bronx April 17.
The international competition brings together more than 500 teams from 40 countries showcasing STEM education, advanced robotics, future technology, and international cooperation and sportsmanship. CodeRunners members Aytan Geschwind, Benjamin Soudry, Nadav Soudry, and Alex Rothschild will represent GOA in Germany.
In the soccer challenge, teams of two autonomous mobile robots compete against another team in matches. The robots play on a six-by-eight-foot field with an infrared light-emitting ball, trying to score into a color-coded goal in a special field.
“The team has been working incredibly hard on designing, building, and programming their soccer robots during the past two years,” said CodeRunners adviser Dr. Arco Jeng.
With the addition of the Dr. Lynne B Harrison STEM Center at the Eric F. Ross Upper School campus in West Orange, the team was able to design their robots in a dedicated space and test their work on a full competition field. Team captain Benjamin Soudry said, “This was a really interesting challenge that taught us many engineering and computer science skills.”
“The fact that the CodeRunners were invited to compete in the RoboCup Junior World competition after only their second year competing is truly a testament to their skill, drive, and commitment,” said GOA STEM coordinator Dr. Shira Kelmanovich. “Traveling to Germany to compete with robotics teams from all over the world is going to be an incredible experience for them, and we know they will represent GOA beautifully.”
GOA head of school Adam Shapiro said, “This is a remarkable achievement for the CodeRunners and a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain valuable insight into how STEM is advancing on an international level.”