Press Release Article


Date: May 05, 2005
Press Release Number: 52-2005

Financial and Technical Support Helps Team
From Port Richmond High School

The Port Authority has donated $3,000 to Port Richmond High School to help offset the cost of entering robotics competitions – national engineering contests geared toward introducing high school students to the world of engineering and technology.

The Port Authority also provided tee shirts and a banner, and has volunteered personal time to mentor and assist.

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 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.”

New York City Councilman Michael McMahon said, “Congratulations to the robot-building team. Thanks to the ingenuity of these student and the generous contribution from the Port Authority, the ‘future’ has a bright future at Port Richmond High School.”

Port Authority Assistant Engineer Jacquelene McCarthy volunteers her time to mentor the team, under the leadership of Assistant Chief Mechanical Engineer Paul Johnke, answering design and construction questions, and helping to encourage the team members.

“This has been as great a learning experience for me as it has been for the kids,” Ms. McCarthy said. “I have learned how creative young people can be. Their rich imaginations often allow them to conceive solutions to projects adults would not. I am proud to work for an agency that sees the value of introducing and exposing high school students to the engineering field.”

The Port Richmond team showed great promise in its first outing by placing 11th out of 60 teams at the 2005 New Jersey FIRST Regional Competition. The acronym stands for, “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The Port Authority also supports a robotics team at Morris High School in the Bronx, which took first place in both the Pittsburgh and New York City FIRST regional competitions this year. Morris High also won first place in the 2003 Southeast Regional Robotics Competition.

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.

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.

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