Robotics team goes to Israel

Roger Kassebaum with members of The Milken Knights. Photo courtesy Andrea Smith.

Gabi Kamran

Staff Writer

From March 10-12, Milken’s Robotics team, The Milken Knights, competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Milken Knights placed number eight in the competition, making them regional finalists. Throughout the competition, Milken’s team was partnered with an Israeli robotics team from Mizgav High School. The competition took place in the Nokia Arena.

Each of the 49 teams entered in the competition was challenged to design a robot that could pick up and shoot frisbees. If a team made it to the final round, their robot would also have to climb a pyramid.

Despite some technical difficulties, the Milken Knights had a fun and rewarding experience at the competition.

“The boys work effort was very commendable, even after bumpers broke a couple times. I’m very proud of us,” Zoey Lieber ’14, Co-Captain of Outreach, said.

Michael Bick ’16, Drive Captain and Mechanical Captain, added that the FIRST competition in Israel was unlike any other robotics competition that the team has participated in.

“For one thing, it was louder,” he said, “And the Israeli robots were a lot different.”

The choice to enter a competition in Israel was natural for Roger Kassebaum, Director of the Mitchell Academy for Science and Technology.

“We’re a Jewish school. We love Israel and want to make connections with Israel,” Kassebaum said, adding that, “Israel leads the world in a lot of science and technology areas, and we want to expose our students to the Israelis’ scientific endeavors.”

Although The Milken Knights did not make it all the way to the top of this competition, Kassebaum and the team plan to return to Israel and gain further success in the future.

“One of our goals is to some day win the Israeli regional and go to the national championship,” Kassebaum said, “We’d love to see the Israeli team and ours win the world championship together.”