It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
1910 Theodore Roosevelt
Alec SolderAlec is a captain of team 577. He is a junior at Staples High School. This is his third year in robotics and the robotics program is run in his home.
Alec is passionate about many aspects of science and engineering. In addition to robotics awards, Alec was a 2013 state finalist and received the honor of doing an oral presentation at the CT Junior Science and Humanities Symposium on a biometrics project he did at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge MA and Yale University. Alec was also a state finalist for both the Alexion Award in Biotechnology and the Pfizer Award in Life Sciences, at the 2013 CT Science and Engineering Fair. Previously, Alec received a CT Science and Engineering Fair Engineering Award for a pneumatically-powered physics science project designed to save swimmers, for which he also received the Goodrich Award for Excellence In Engineering. For that invention, Alec also received the CT Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) Award, CT Invention Convention Recognized Inventor Award, the CT Safety Science Award and the Stanley-Black & Decker Tools Award. This past summer, Alec worked in a social robotics laboratory at Yale on a project to help children with autism.
In addition to his scientific pursuits, Alec has been playing lacrosse for more than six years. More recently he picked up rugby and enjoyed being a member of the Staples rugby team. Alec’s interests also include playing the bass. He plays the upright acoustic bass in the Staples Orchestra, in 2010 received the 1st Place Honors Musician Award and served as the principal bassist in the Fairfield County Strings Honors Orchestra, and he also enjoys playing rock on the electric bass.
Ian is a sophomore at Staples High School. This is his second year in robotics. He has been enjoying building and designing at the Eli Whitney Museum since he was 6. During those years, he learned how to imagine, to create, and to be resourceful using wood, and other materials. Ian has built model ships and planes and equipped them with motors. He is also a member of the math club. In addition to engineering and mathematics, he is passionate about classical music and languages. He won a full scholarship to study mandarin Chinese, Startalk level three at Choate. He has been practicing classical guitar with the summer program of the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal where he combines his love of music and languages; he speaks fluently in French and Spanish with composers such as Roland Dyens, Manuel Barrueco, or Pepe Romero. His desire for excellence in music gave him the opportunity to win first place in his age category in the International Classical Guitar Competition held at Columbia University in Georgia in 2011. In his free time, Ian likes to fence saber.
Troy is a junior at Staples High School and this is his second year on the team.
‘A Journey to Tronozard,’ a science fiction story that Troy wrote when he was 10 years old, won a National NASA award. NASA published the story and sent Troy to the US Space and Rocket Center on an all-expense paid trip.
Troy’s experiment, “Boiling in the Stratosphere” won the Colorado Western Regional Science Fair competition, and won Honorable Mention at the State Competition.
He was also honored at the “Colorado School of Mines” for achieving highest honors with the Western Academic Center for Bright Kids, for scoring in the top .5% of grades 6-10 when he took the ACT in 7th grade.
Troy has worked and interned with the Aspen Physics Institute, in Aspen, Co.
He has been given Principals List Awards for every year of his academic life.
In addition to academic achievements, Troy has starred in eleven musicals and plays, three with professional companies. He also plays piano, saxophone, and is a songwriter.
Other activities include playing varsity rugby on the Staples High School team, snowboarding, playing ice hockey, water skiing and wake boarding. He has recently rebuilt a 1968 Volvo p1800 and a 1988 Kawasaki KDX 200 dirt bike.
Troy moved to CT in the fall of 2010, and has been attending Staples High School, where he is now a junior.
Eric is a Junior at Staples High School. He was a part time member of the Robotics
team last year and decided to join full time this year after catching the
Robotics bug. Eric has always had an
interest in how things work and how to make them work better - from designing
and building a simple wooden car that won in a local Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby
to taking apart mechanical toys and redesigning them to be more efficient.
Eric has spent his summers broadening his knowledge base by attending programs offered by the Center for Talented Youth (2011-Foundations of Programming, 2010-Principles of Engineering Design) and in 2012 he participated in a Video Game Design course at University of Southern California. He has also been mentoring under Dr. Nicholas Morgan at Staples High School while working on a 3-year science research project. The main goal of the project is to develop an optimal process for data transfer over the Internet. Eric also enjoys soccer, skiing, table tennis, and badminton. He played on the Freshman and Junior Varsity teams at Staples as well as on the Everton America Regional Premier Team. Eric is a volunteer at the Westport Public Library.
Will is a junior at Staples High School but new to the robotics team. A leading member of the Staples Television Network and Staples Theatrical Players Tech Crew, Will is the go to man to make things happen behind the scenes. Whether building sets, rigging lights, mixing sound, editing video, or directing broadcasts, Will leverages technology and cajoles teamates to seamlessly bring ideas to life. He was recognized for his outstanding contributions with the Staples Media Department award in 2012. An avid scuba diver, certified Rescue Diver, Kayaker, Sailor and fisherman, Will is happiest in warm weather on the open sea. Thriving on personal challenge, Will completed the Spartan Challenge in 2012 and will be recruiting his robotics and rugby teammates to join in the 2013 challenge to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity, for whom Will has built homes locally. An expert marksman and New England Archery Champion, Will enjoys setting his sights on a goal and meeting his mark.
In college, Max is looking forward to majoring in Engineering and designing more efficient energy systems to create a less wasteful and more environmentally friendly future.
His creativity and perseverance give him a knack for solving problems and allow him to contribute mostly to the design and programming aspects of the robotics team.
Max and his fellow classmates garnered third place during their first year participating in the Staples Spectacular Challenge and are finalists again this year. The Staples Spectacular is a competition where students are challenged to find solutions to community and school-related issues.
One of our newest members is Max Liben. He is a junior at Staples High School who loves to solve problems and challenge himself.Every day, Max balances his passions with his schoolwork. Max has been playing the cello for more than 10 years and participates actively in many local music groups. Max has received numerous awards for his playing. In 2011, he was granted an award by the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity for his excellence is performing. He has performed two concertos with the French Woods Symphony, and is Associate Principal in the Norwalk Youth Symphony. He has also played in the Connecticut Western Regional Orchestra and All-State Orchestra. He occasionally performs for community service with Wreckers In Tune, a club at Staples whose goal is to share the musical talent at Staples with local communities.
During the summer, Max has traveled to Italy and Spain to play with the Norwalk Youth Symphony. He has also performed in Carnegie Hall and will being performing at Tanglewood later this year.
Max is also a counselor-in-training at French Woods Festival over the summer. When he isn't playing in the symphony, he enjoys wakeboarding and performing in aerial circus acts.
He is a long distance runner for the Staples Cross Country and Track teams in all three seasons during the school year.
Wrecker Robotics Alumni
Haris was a founding member of Wrecker Robotics.
Haris is currently attending
Columbia Engineering – The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science in NYC.
He was a master builder and training new team members how to build. Haris has been doing robotics since 2nd grade, with simple Lego and K’Nex. He started with FIRST Lego League in 5th grade. That year, the team—the Cyborgs—won first place in research. In Haris’ middle school years of FLL, the Cyborgs won first in programming several times as well as first in research several times. In addition to his passion for reading science fiction (which is primarily the only genre Haris reads with pleasure), he also enjoys writing S.F( he has written a SF novel and several short stories). His enthusiasm for robotics and S.F. writing/reading combined follow a symbiotic relationship, often fueling each other. Haris also has a love (of course, in addition to robotics) for other sciences, particularly chemistry and the concepts behind the budding field of neuroengineering . Haris is also an editor for Inklings, the Staples HS newspaper, and Captain of the Staples HS Squash Team. In 2011 Haris won the esteemed Scholastic Art and Writing Award: Art Portfolio Gold Award.
Tim was a founding member of Wrecker Robotics.
Tim is currently attending
MIT studying Computer Science
Timothy had been participating in robotics competitions since sixth grade, starting with First Lego League in middle school and continuing with the First Tech Challenge in high school. He is a master programmer and trained the team on how to program. Academically, he enjoys mathematics and physics, which makes sense, considering his draw towards robotics and engineering. Timothy tends to be an introvert , yet he can be very humorous as well. At home, he enjoys watching online anime, preferring subs from dubs, and is currently watching To Aru Majutsu no Index. Stemming from his anime interests is his amusement with drawing, sometimes coloring his sketches in Photoshop. His dislikes include loud noises, loud parties, loud music, chaos, and people who make nonsensical arguments or identical statements sound meaningful through the use of charismatic manipulations. He also dislikes hypocrites, especially when analyzing literature. Musically apt, he is able to play the piano, violin and guitar. Timothy also devised the original idea of a dumpster style robot, stressing the simplicity and robustness of the design, and contributes greatly to the programming and related troubleshooting.
John graduated Staples High School in 2012 and currently attends Yale University in New Haven Connecticut.
He has been engaged in biological molecular neuroscience research at Yale on a project investigating a novel approach to help repair cognition. In October 2011 John was selected as a National finalist in the Siemens/Westinghouse competition. In 2011 and 2012 John was a Regional Finalist at the Junior Humanities and Science Symposium (JSHS) and is invited to the National JSHS and to present to the CT Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), he received Honors at the CT Science Fair and he was awarded 2nd place at the Southern Connecticut Invitational Science and Engineering Fair. John is also a member of the Saugatuck Rowing Team. In addition to science John also plays the bass. He has played the upright acoustic bass as a Principal bassist for the Norwalk Youth Symphony, has served as bassist for 3 years at the Western CT Regional Honors Orchestra and Principal bassist for the Fairfield County Strings Honors Orchestra. He’s also been bringing his electric bass skills to the Staples Jazz Band, serving as their principal bassist for 3 years.
Article on Siemens Regional competition
Articles on "Expert Minds" program that John presented at the Westport Arts Centerhttp://www.westport-news.com/news/article/In-Westport-Speed-dating-for-the-mind-makes-1527838.php
She enjoys math, science, and engineering. She is currently taking Pre-calculus Honors and AP Biology. She is a key member of Staples Math Team, and earned 3rd place in the freshmen ranking for 2010-2011 Fairfield County Math League. She has won Third Honors and a Special Award in 2010 Connecticut Science Fairs for her chemistry project evaluating benzene in soda following sun exposure. She is also the President of Teen PeaceWorks Club at Staples High School.
David KalbDavid Staples High School in 2012 and currently attends Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. He has a second degree black belt in Kempo karate, which he’s practiced for eight years. A varsity volleyball player at Staples, he’s also the captain of his travel club volleyball team. He is the founder of the Service League of Boys, a parent-son community service club at the high school, over which he presided for three years. For all three years, he’s won the award for most service hours. He has visited 39 states and six countries and spent a summer on a field ecology program conducting a study on the American Pika. He will be studying chemical engineering in college next year.