TMLA Junior Robotics Program

TMLA is the only all-girls school with a robotics team in NY State and one of only two all-girls teams in NYC.

The Mary Louis Academy Robotics Program was formed in 2009 by Kathy Rutherford, a 1979 TMLA graduate who is an electrical and biomedical engineer. She knew the students from her alma mater would be successful with a robotics and engineering program. “It’s really about how you inspire the next generation,” says Rutherford, who generously provided the seed money for the program.

TMLA Robotics has grown tremendously since its inception in 2009. This is due in large part to the dedication of TMLA science teacher, Mr. Vinod Lala, who serves as the program’s moderator. Another key member of the Robotics program has been Mr. Gregory Ronan, father of Vanessa, ’11. Mr. Ronan, an engineer, devoted countless hours of instruction and which allowed us to bring the TMLA Robotics program alive. An additional moderator, Mr. Joseph Lipani, of TMLA’s Science dept joined the team in 2011. The girls have now competed in 3 USFIRST Robotics Competitions, garnering one national 1st place win in the New York City Regional Competition.

Team TMLA is made up of 20 girls from all year levels, freshman through senior. The students and their moderators meet nearly every afternoon and even during school vacation periods researching, learning, practicing, building and more, all in preparation for creating their robots.Together the girls will design, build, test and program robots, apply real-world math and science concepts, research challenges facing today’s scientists, learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills and participate in tournaments and celebrations. TMLA is the only all-girls school with a robotics team in NY State and one of only two all-girls teams in NYC.

The TMLA Robotics Program is now (May 2012) moderating a Junior Robotics Program comprised of 7th and 8th grade girls selected from the elementary schools in the area. Just as the TMLA Robotics Team was nurtured and guided in their first endeavors, so now the high school girls team is providing the same opportunity for younger girls. Under the guidance and direction of the TMLA Robotics girls, the elemenatry school girls will compete in the USFIRST Robotics Junior Competition in April 2013.

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