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Carmel High Students Ready To Test Skills In Robotics Competition

Carmel students at work.
Carmel students at work. Photo Credit: Contributed

CARMEL, N.Y. - The robotics competition is on.

The Bad News Gears of Carmel High School, aka Hudson Valley Regional (HVR) FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC)Team #5943, have spent the last six weeks conceptualizing, designing, building, programming, and testing their robots to meet the HVR FRC’s engineering tour de force taking place from Friday, March 24 to Saturday, March 26 at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY.

Led by Carmel High School technology teacher Don Saldicco, the Bad News Gears will compete to win a place in the FIRST® Robotics World Competition, taking place in St. Louis on April 26 – 29, 2017.

Winners of this prestigious international competition receive recognition and opportunities associated with their engineering skills and achievements, including coveted internships and job opportunities with organizations, such as NASA and SpaceX.

“Aside from the tremendous hands-on learning and real-life STEM skills implementation, students learned more about collaboration and workplace professionalism on this project than they did the entire school year,” said Saldicco. “What made the biggest impact on me was the growth of my team. I have seen this before, but not to this degree. The energy and sheer determination displayed by the students is palpable – They’re ready to win this.”

The community is encouraged to attend this free event at Rockland Community College on March 24 – 26th. For more information, visit Parents, prospective mentors, and students interested in getting involved or starting a team to compete in 2018, may contact and visit:

FIRST® Robotics Competition Team #5943, the Bad News Gears, was formed in 2015. The team was founded by FIRST Coaches Don and Jenn Saldicco of Carmel High School.

Carmel has participated in FIRST Robotics FTC division since 2008 from a grant provided by PACE University. The extra-curricular club has evolved into a determined team with the motto “No Excuses.” The team is comprised of an eclectic group of Carmel High School students and parent mentors labeled “Super Dads and Robotic Moms”. The “Gears” have a unique position as they border the new Hudson Valley Region and the New York Tech Valley Region. The Gears were awarded the “Rookie Inspirational Award” from the NY Tech Valley Regional at RPI last year. The Gears are new to FRC but not to FIRST. The team has been stewards of community outreach and FIRST promotion for years and has a strong influence on Carmel and its surrounding communities.

The Bad News Gears are Putnam County’s first FRC Team. Our sponsors include GlobalFoundries, PepsiCo, and new this year, NASA, just to name a few.

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