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NH Boarding School Claims First Robotics District Rookie of the Year Award

BETHLEHEM, NH, UNITED STATES, March 10, 2019 / -- The White Mountain School’s First Robotics team, Northern Horizons, is having an outstanding rookie season. The team, composed of 15 students (eight girls and seven boys), recently competed in the New England District Granite State Event that took place February 28-March 2 in Salem, NH. They left their first competition with an event win and several awards.

First Robotics is a challenging program that brings students with various skills together under a common goal. Students focus on fundraising, branding, community outreach, and constructing a robot designed to compete in a challenge designed by First. The White Mountain School team members approached local businesses for sponsorships, designed a mascot and website, and constructed their robot, Murphy – all in a matter of a couple of months. "Our robotics team, Northern Horizons, spent a lot of time together during our six week build period in order to create a working lift and to allow for our robot to climb,” explained Emani Gonzalez ’19. “We would discuss and rotate positions to make sure we accomplished all of our goals. We were always working together and making sure to support one another the whole time through our successes and our challenges.”

After 12 strong qualifying rounds at the Granite State Event, The White Mountain School’s robot was selected as part of the Red Alliance for the playoffs. The three team alliance went undefeated through the six playoff matches, earning The White Mountain School a District Event Winner award. The team also claimed the Highest Rookie Seed award and was recognized for their efforts with the Rookie Inspiration Award sponsored by National Instruments, recognition that came with a $7,500 grant for The White Mountain School.

The Team is based in The White Mountain School’s new Inquiry, Innovation, and Impact Lab which the School opened in September 2018. State of the art equipment, lots of inspirational design space, and a woodworking and fabrication shop are available to all students in the evening and throughout the academic day. Some other projects students have worked on consist of geometry classes building 3D models of a new dorm for the School , probability classes designing games of chance for a School-wide game day, and biology classes constructing hydroponic growing systems. Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning, Mike Peller, described the connection between First Robotics and The White Mountain School’s academic program, "The FIRST Robotics challenge falls perfectly in line with our academic ethos: student-driven inquiry. FIRST robotics asks students to engage in authentic problem solving, requiring creative solutions and collaborative efforts. These are precisely the Essential Skills and Habits that we encourage and teach at The White Mountain School. The ingenuity and creativity I witnessed over the last two months while watching them build and program their robot in our Inquiry, Innovation and Impact Lab was truly inspiring. We could not be more proud of our students and coach!"

Set among the beautiful mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a college preparatory boarding and day school of 135 students in grades 9-12. Since our founding in 1886, we have remained true to the original focus of New England boarding schools: the development of mind, body and spirit. We develop the mind through our college preparatory curriculum and through a campus-wide ethos of inquiry and engagement in learning. We develop the body through sports and other physical activities, making full use of our spectacular natural setting. We develop the spirit through reflection, exploration of meaning and purpose, and service in the broader world.

Mike Peller
The White Mountain School
+1 603-444-2928
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