Week 5

As the build season is coming to an end, the team is making some big pushes to make it to the finish line.  The Build Team is working around the clock on improving the robot to meet all the requirements necessary for this year's competition. On the other end, the Business Team and Art Team have started to create a banner to showcase all of the amazing sponsors that have helped us in this year’s season, while the media team is constantly making improvements to the website along with keeping all of our followers up to date on our social media accounts. Each department in our team has their specific task, these past four weeks we have been working as a united group to get everything, including the robot, in tip top shape and ready for the challenges ahead.  Treasurer , Robbie Elliston, said about this season so far that “things are coming along in a delightful manner. Everyone is feeling fulfilled as projects being worked on are reaching completion.” The team is excited for competition season!

Beginning of Week 3

We are almost at the halfway mark for this years build season and we are getting a good start to our week 3.  The build and business team have come in on their cold and blustery day off, to continue our progress. The build team is focused and driven to build the robot in the short six weeks we have.  They are here almost everyday working hard from 3 in the afternoon until 10 at night. Right now, they are concentrating on cargo and hatch intake, as well as brainstorming ideas on how to tackle HAB platform.  The business team is in the library working hard on updating our business plan. In addition, the website is being revamped, the spirit team is working on giveaways, the safety team is working on exploring the manual to ensure safety at all of our competitions, and the media team is working to capture these moments through pictures and videos.  We are excited for competition season but we know that the harder we work now, in build season, the better we will perform at competitions.


This past Saturday, January 5th, the game for this season was announced! Destination Deep Space.  All of Team R.I.C.E 870 gathered into the Southold auditorium to watch the live announcement of this years game.  Sponsors, parents, members, and mentors sat in suspense as we watched the clock count down the minutes. When the clock finally hit 0, the auditorium went silent.  Everyone could not wait to hear about the game for this season. We all sat and watched as we learned the rules and explanations for the game.

         After a fun kickoff morning filled with bagels, coffee, and juice, the members and mentors went straight to the build room to talk about ideas for this season.  Everything from ways to build the robot, to strategies to gain the best advantages, was discussed. Everyone was ready to get down to work for the intense 6 week build season ahead.  We are excited for this year and are hoping to do better then we have ever done in the past.

Post Build Season

Although we are almost done with the Build season, our team has been meeting for many months, preparing our temporary workspace and securing our funding for the season.  Of our 26 team members, 15 of them are new to the Robotics program.  Hear what they have to say about the experience so far!  


Will Dickerson- Business Department: “It’s been a great learning experience for me, and I look forward to the competitions.”

Ethan Magnuson- Business Department, Build, Programming Teams: “In my first year of robotics, I’ve learned how to use power tools and how to code with Java. In addition, I’ve learned a good amount on teamwork and comradery and have made many new friends.”

Aidan Crowley- Build, Programming Teams “I am thoroughly enjoying the program. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and I feel like I met a lot of people. I have gained a basic understanding of javascript and successfully coded a robot”

Carlos Gomez-Build Team: “I have gotten closer with peers from both Southold and Greenport. In addition to this I have learned practical skills from building the robot.”

Jackson Volosik-Build Team: “It’s a lot harder than I thought it was, but a lot more rewarding. I have become better friends with more people because of this program.”

Jacob Kahn-Build Team: “Fun. Great environment to learn and improve myself as a person.”

Xavier Kahn-Build Team: “It has been very interesting and fun. It’s been a learning experience”

Saylor Hughes-Business Department: “This year during my first year of robotics, I had a lot of fun. I learned more about advertising and had a blast hanging out with my pals!”

Shane Costello-Business Department: “During my first year on the robotics team, I participated on the business team. This taught me many skills that will most definitely help me throughout my life. No regrets. And all the cool kids do it!”

Sam Tondo-Business Department:  “I am enjoying the season very much. And learning a lot!  I can’t wait to to cheer for Team 870 at Pittsburgh and meet other FIRST participants!.”

Simon Mraz-Business Department: “So far, it’s been a great learning experience and I can’t wait to compete.”

Jake Mazzaferro- “It’s been a cool, fun time. I’ve met a lot of people and made friends.”

Cole Hilary-Build Team, Media Team

Jillian Golden

Thomas Haley

Kai Kaufman




Build season is flying by and Week Three has come and gone. We have now ventured into the heart of build season, and we are progressing at a fantastic rate. This week, the team has been working hard in the build room, logging hour after hour of intense critical thinking and creative productivity. The team has made strategical prototypes, following paths relating to our intake system, shooting system, and the ever-important climbing mechanism. Parts were retrieved from old robots that had served us in previous years. We chose to disassemble parts of these robots to free up space for the anticipated school renovation, in which the technology room will be relocated and refurbished. Finally, we started playing with coding systems to try and determine the skill sets of our Programming Team. Our Media Team has been hard at work updating the team website, the Art Team spent their hours laying out team apparel, while the Sponsorship and Fundraising Team has been pursuing sponsors and raising money through a few individual fundraisers. It has been a very positive and productive week for Team 870.


week two

    Week Two began on a chilly Martin Luther King, Jr. day. A group of students showed up to help build on their day off, while others were forced to stay home due to a number of contagious illnesses. Luckily, I’m fine and perfect as always. Nevertheless, we progressed onwards towards the perfect 2017 robot. The build team has been working on various shooting/collecting prototypes, picking and choosing methods that might win us this year’s competition. We also broke out last year’s robot, The Killer Rabbit, and took it for quite a ride. This allows our drive team to practice working the controls, while they simultaneously sharpen their skills and abilities. Our main priority this past week has been to strategize for this year’s epically complex game. We’ve been updating our game knowledge, utilizing the FIRST website and the brains of our wise mentors, all the while constantly studying the rules. So far, the students have shown no signs of fatigue or extreme dehydration on these long winter nights, but we’ve still got a long way to go before competition .

week one

    Steam engines roaring! We are ready, set and going to FIRST Robotics Steamworks. Week one has been “bagged and tagged” and we are all thrilled to be back. Robbie Elliston, of the media team, told us how that he thinks that “This year's competition is a ‘game changer’ like no other! The increased human player aspects really diversifies play, which has influenced us a lot.”

    The build team has been busy working on the robot's design and trying to determine which kind of strategy we want to use. Shoot high? Shoot low? Gears? It’s currently too close to call but it certainly looks like we’ll be a strong contender this season.
     After our loss of critical drive team leaders Pete Fouchet and David Gammon, college freshman who are studying at the Illinois Institute of Technology and SUNY Cobleskill, a core group of members are putting in a lot of hard work to become a stronger team. We would like to thank Team RICE 870 alumni, Alex Lincoln, David Gammon, Michael Cosmadelis, and finally Julia and Michael Schade for helping us out in this critical  FIRST  week.


This year we aim to produce one video a week during build season.

This weeks Video



Anakin: Why did the robot go back to robot school?

Robbie: Tell me.

Anakin: Because his skills were getting a little rusty!


week zero

Due to a snowstorm, Team RICE 870, did not attend kickoff. Instead, cooped up inside,  we watched kickoff online. The game was released and for the first time we all learned what the game was and how it was played. Immediately, we started to brainstorm, strategize and design.  Last Sunday the team met on a brisk, snow covered afternoon in the technology room. Together as a team we shared our thoughts on the game, ideas on strategy and build . Build season has begun and we have six short weeks to build, test and program our robot. Check back every Friday for a new blog this build season.


Half Hollow Hills

A few weeks ago, Team 870 competed in the Half Hollow Hills Invitational. At 6 am a tired and eager group of members were ready for the bus ride ahead. The gym at Half Hollow Hills West was filled with anticipation and excitement. The teams competing had a wide range of experience, ranging from a pre-rookie team, to teams who've been to St. Louis. The day began with several qualifier rounds and at noon, we broke for lunch and the alliances were picked. Unfortunately we lost in the first round of Quarterfinals. The time we spent at Half Hollow Hills was priceless. The young drive team bonded with the team and earned valuable experience. Half Hollow Hills was an important step to secure Team 870’s  future as a competitive team.   


To Worlds and Back.

It has been almost a month since we last were together as a team, Robotics Worlds, something we’d never forget. The team was hailed as heros. We made it to the quarterfinals of the Galileo division after we got selected from the 46th rank by the third seeded team, former world champions themselves 365, the Miracle Workers.

We played an amazingly and our robot was adjusted to play defense. We didn’t make it out of the quarterfinals but, to make it that far was a pleasure.

    It seemed simply so far away for this to happen where we were at the beginning of the season. This truly showed the resilience of the team.



Time runs out.

The clock ticks out…


We are sad to see these days come, yet, competition is dawning.

We asked Sophomore, Jack Koslosky, what do you think of the final week;

“I’m very sad for these final days, it really concludes a fantastic time of year. I can’t wait for competition!”

“We really see the coalescence of the time, we really did work together.

We are a team!

We are a cohesive unit!

We work together.

We are Respect

We are Impulse Control

We are Compassion

We are Equity.

We are Team RICE 870”

Week Five, Stayin' Alive

Week Five!
Buckle Up! We are getting ready for Stronghold.

Build season is over in the next week.

We already lost Monday to more snow, so now we all are out of sync.

Working hard for the robot to be bagged soon! Next week build season will extend over our break we are ready!
Those in the shop are working hard. We are getting all competition ready! Making all the bells and whistles, preparing tee-shirts.

Grinding hard.
Week Five, was short and sweet, yet all about work. Good job Jack! ;)


Pictures From the All Important Media Meetings.


  • John Bertschi
  • Joey Chicanowicz
  • Rob Elliston
  • Alex Kandora
  • Anakin Mignone
  • Walker Sutton

Featuring Build Team Member

  • Peter Fouchet



As the Days Near End... (Week Four)

Weather can influence everything. We learned the true test of weather when it took days away from us in Week 4 and Week 5. A snow storm restricted much of the work able to happen on the Robotics team.

In between Build Season Week 3 and 4, we held a spaghetti dinner at our local legion hall. It was a massive success! Raising much over the targeted amount. We brought in hoards of people and had a great time playing some bingo and participating in our Chinese auction.

Check OUT the Article Here!


Also during the Robotics season we have made a zamboni to clean up after and during basketball games! It is also equipped with functioning tee shirt cannons to spread the team spirit among our school!


Check the Video Here!


Award winning Sophomore Jack Kolosky, believes “This has been the best build season yet!” from what he see’s.


John Bertschi also thinks “We have all really pulled through as a cohesive unit this season”


Week Four seems to be setting us up for our final days....





Week Two, Ready For Everything

As week two beckons, we begin to settle into the rest of the season.

The robot’s construction has started and 870 is preparing for “Stronghold”. All the teams have been working profusely on achieving our goals. Sophomore Jack Koslosky says “This week we have accomplished so much, we are all pulling our own and working together through week one”.

Robotics has really taught the team how to work together and responsibility. Many aspects of the program are applicable to real life.

With a new season, rebranding always comes up. Multiple team members have been putting in hard work to design a new logo design. For the past two years we’ve had the same logo, yet finally we're considering change.

The team also has also held some fundraisers recently. In the past couple of weeks, we had a bowl-a-thon to offset the cost of our trips. This week, we will be having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. We encourage all of those close to Southold to try to attend.

That’s all for week two!


Another Year of Robots

As the new year begins, we welcome yet another year of excitement in every sense of the word. We'll be working late into the night, dedicating our time, and working hard in school for the new season. We have just begun, and there’s a bright future ahead of us. Many days and nights will soon be filled with fun and adventure.

This year we will be going on two trips. The beginning of competition season has us traveling 10 hours by bus to Cleveland, Ohio. Here we will take part in the Buckeye Regional Competition! Our robot is going to take action and fight for the top. Later in the month, our team will compete close to home for the SBPLI Long Island Regional Competition at Hofstra University. We welcome everyone who’d like to spectate and see our robot win big!

On January 9th, we went to Kickoff at Stony Brook University, and as soon as we got back on the 11th, we were off to the races. Our robot is being built for the game, “Stronghold”, a point action game involving two teams fighting for the win. Each team infiltrates their opponent’s side by conquering audience chosen barricades. This year, points can be acquired by shooting “boulders”into the tower, pushing them into lower passages, or scaling our opponent’s tower during the final seconds.

Freshman Joey Cichanowicz said, “It looks like this will be the most exciting game yet.” Meanwhile Charlie Poliwoda noted,“I am very happy that FIRST is bringing back the good ol’ bumpers. I think that’ll provide a more entertaining game and a stronger sense of competition this year.”

Team 870 is definitely ready.