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Cybears Robotics Club Qualify for FIRST Robotics Competition District Championship

Cybears Robotics Club Qualify for FIRST Robotics Competition District Championship
NPS Communications

Congratulations to the Cybears Robotics Club on their remarkable achievement!

The club is headed to the New England FIRST Robotics Competition District Championship, an incredible milestone in the club’s eight-year history.

Cheer on the Cybears and help them achieve their goals at Districts by clicking here to donate to the club.

The District Championship will be held April 3 to 6 at the Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts where the Cybears will compete against 96 other teams from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Cybears alliance earned second place out of 32 other teams in their final qualifying competition, an achievement that speaks volumes about the students’ talent and dedication. With students from all four high schools participating, the team’s unity and strength shined through.

Cybears who participated in the qualifying competition were: Sophia Chen (P-TECH), Tyler Consolati (NHS), Vladimir Flores (P-TECH), Charlie Hernandez (P-TECH), Daryl Jimenez (P-TECH), Harsleen Maldonado (P-TECH), Maria "Marcie" Rivera (BMHS), Jesus Torres (P-TECH), Mihika Vanarase (BMHS), Robert Walsh (out of district), and Terry Yang (NHS).

The current Cybears roster is comprised of 12 students, each team member embodying the spirit of innovation and teamwork. Their involvement in FIRST competitions and local Battle Bots tournaments showcase their passion for robotics year round.

In 2016, Beth Ann Karlehag, along with her husband Fredrick and their son Mattias, teamed up with Mattias’ friend Ryan and his parents, Stephanie and John Stelly, to establish the robotics team. Beth Ann and Fredrick now serve as the co-lead mentors, guiding the team alongside engineers from local companies such as ASML and PDC International Corp. 

The Cybears also extend their heartfelt gratitude to Win Baum of WEB Realty Company at 25 Van Zant Street for generously providing free space for the team’s building and practice sessions.

FIRST calls its FIRST Robotic Comptition the ultimate Sport for the Mind, combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. More than 90% of FIRST participants express interest in attending college and FIRST offers $80 million in scholarships to colleges, universities, and technical Programs.

Under strict rules, limited time and resources, FIRST teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship.

About FIRST: Founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a global nonprofit (501(c)(3)) organization that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12). Our programs are suitable for schools or structured afterschool activities and receive support from a vast network of volunteers, educators, and sponsor/donors, including over 200 Fortune 500 companies.

Because our programs are More Than Robots®, FIRST participants are guided by a signature set of Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements. Our thrilling, sports-like challenges build their self-confidence and collaborative problem-solving skills and have a proven and lasting impact on STEM learning and interest. Our participants and alumni gain access to education and career discovery opportunities, connections to exclusive scholarships and employers, and a place in the FIRST community for life.

If you know a Norwalk Public Schools student who is interested in joining the Cybears Robotics Club, reach out to Beth Ann Karlehag at