Date: May 06, 2005
Press Release Number: 52-2005
The Morris High School robotics team from the South Bronx finished first in two FIRST Robotics Competitions in New York City and Pittsburgh, taking top honors in national engineering contests that introduce high school students to the world of engineering and technology by teaching them to build robots.
FIRST stands for, “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”
Port Authority Associate Engineers Paul Lucien and Morys Guzman are the team’s official mentors under the leadership of Assistant Chief Mechanical Engineer Paul Johnke. Members of the Port Authority Engineering Department have volunteered personal time to mentor the team since 1989. Over the years, the agency also has donated money to the team to help offset the cost of supplies and entry fees.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Competitions like these are a great way for youngsters to develop an interest in technological professions. We are proud of Paul and Morys for donating their time to support this team.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “We’re investing today to ensure that we have a talented pool of engineers and scientists tomorrow. We believe that this program will someday pay handsome dividends for years to come.”
The competitions challenge teams of students to solve a common problem within six weeks using standardized parts and a common set of rules. Twenty-three competitions held nationwide so far have attracted more than 800 teams and 20,000 students.
Morris High also won the Virginia Regional in 2003 and the FIRST New York City Chairman’s Award in 2004.
The Port Authority also supports a team of students in Port Richmond, Staten Island. This team – mentored by Assistant Engineer Jacquelene McCarthy – showed great promise in its first competition by placing 11th out of 60 teams at the 2005 New Jersey FIRST Regional Competition.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the New York Container Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.