Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County to represent Florida at Zero Robotics National Competition in August

Summer Cornelius, Malik El-Barati, Jermane Taylor, Elijah Virgo

Media Contact
Maria Curreri
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
(561) 683-3287 mcurreri@bgcpbc.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County to represent Florida at
Zero Robotics National Competition in August

B/E Aerospace joins Boys & Girls Clubs as the sponsor for the national competition.

West Palm Beach, FL – August 9, 2016 – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, in particular the Marjorie S. Fisher Club of West Palm Beach will be representing the state of Florida in the Zero Robotics National Competition for Middle Schools as the state winners. The National competition will take place on August 12 at the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, FL. The Naoma Donnelley Haggin Club of Delray Beach placed third in the competition and will be accompanying the Marjorie S. Fisher team to the national competition as a consulting team. Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County was the only Boys & Girls Clubs to enter this competition in the entire state of Florida.  The organization had a total of four teams enter the competition with two of the teams placing in the top three.

A total of 30 Club members will be traveling to the Kennedy Space Center on August 12th sponsored by B/E Aerospace. The manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products with headquarters in Palm Beach County, is partnering with The Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County and providing the financial support needed for Club members to be able to travel to Titusville, FL. “Without the support and generosity of B/E Aerospace this trip would not have been possible,” said Dennis Young, Director of Technology Programs for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. Young is the coach for all four of the teams. “The kids have worked so hard on this project and we are so proud of their hard work and dedication. But it takes more than coaching the kids. We needed the financial support to take it to the next level and now compete for the national title. We are very grateful to the partnership with B/E Aerospace and we appreciate their support. This is a learning experience the kids will never forget,” stated Young.

What is Zero Robotics?
The Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program is a computer programming competition for middle school students where they learn to control satellites aboard the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION this summer. The five-week STEM curriculum introduces students to computer programming, robotics, and space engineering, and provides hands-on experience programming SPHERES (Synchronized, Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites). The program culminates in a tournament where winning teams’ SPHERES compete aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Middle school participants will get to see the SPHERES operate in space via a live feed from the ISS while NASA astronauts provide real-time commentary.

Who provides this program?
Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program is provided through a partnership between the MIT Space Systems Lab, the Innovation Learning Center, and Aurora Flight Sciences. The Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program is sponsored by NASA, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and the Northrup Grumman Foundation.

The competition
Student participants compete to win a technically challenging game by programming their strategies into the SPHERES. Students’ programs control the satellites’ speed, rotation, and direction of travel. The students program their satellites to complete competition objectives, for example navigating obstacles, while conserving resources such as fuel. The programs are autonomous – that is, the students are not able to directly control the satellites while they are running. Each year’s game is motivated by a problem of interest to NASA and MIT. Students create, edit, save, and simulate projects online. They use a graphical editor to write code, then simulate their programs immediately and see the results using a simulation. The programming interface and simulation are entirely web-based, so ZR does not require any software downloads or computer configuration. The system even allows teams to compete against themselves so that they can test different strategies before finalizing their competition submissions.

What the program offers
Zero Robotics seeks to inspire our next generation of great minds by allowing them unprecedented access to space at the middle school level. By making the benefits and resources of the International Space Station tangible to students, Zero Robotics hopes to cultivate an appreciation of science, technology, engineering and math through healthy, immersive, collaborative competition.

About B/E Aerospace, Inc.
B/E Aerospace is the world’s leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products. B/E Aerospace designs, develops and manufactures a broad range of products for both commercial aircraft and business jets. B/E Aerospace manufactured products include aircraft cabin seating, lighting systems, oxygen systems, food and beverage preparation and storage equipment, galley systems, and modular lavatory systems. B/E Aerospace also provides cabin interior reconfiguration, program management and certification services. B/E Aerospace sells and supports its products through its own global direct sales and product support organization. For more information, visit the B/E Aerospace website at www.beaerospace.com

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County
Founded in 1971, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is a not-for profit youth development organization dedicated to promoting the educational, vocational, health leadership and character of boys and girls in a safe, nurturing environment. The Clubs provide more than a safe, fun and constructive alternative to being home alone – they offer a variety of award-winning developmental programs to help youth build skills, self-esteem and values during critical periods of growth. The thirteen Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Palm Beach County serve more than 8,000 children ages 6-18. For more information, please visit www.bgcpbc.org  or call 561-683-3287. You can also follow Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County on social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.

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