TMLA is the only all-girls school with a Robotics Team in New York State. TMLA is one of only two all-girls teams in New York City.
TMLA Robotics Team 3204 has turned a fun team program into successful competition at the NYC FIRST Championships.
Team TMLA Members
Team TMLA includes young women from all 4 years. Together the students design, build, test, and program the robots, applying real-world math and science concepts, researching challenges facing today’s scientists, and learning critical thinking, team-building, and presentation skills for competitive tournaments.
In 2018 as part of TMLA’s development of the robotics program and efforts to extend interest in the field of engineering, TMLA robotics team visited Columbia University’s esteemed Fu Foundation for Engineering Sciences. Robotics team members toured the Plasma Physics Lab and discussed the use of plasma as an alternative energy source for future power plants to generate, all of which was led by a MacArthur Genius Award recipient. They toured the campus and had a visit from Mary Louis alumna, Dr. Melissa Begg, a Professor of Biostatistics at CUMC and Vice Provost for Educational Programs at Columbia.
TMLA has competed in eight USFIRST Robotics Competitions.
The story of the winning 2019 team and of the winning 2022 team follow:
On April 6, 7, 2019 TMLA’s FIRST Robotics team competed in the New York Regional Competition. The Steampunk Penguins (FRC team 3204) won the prestigious FIRST Jack Kamen Imagery Award for incorporating the theme of “Women in Space”. This award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance. The team referenced the recent female NASA recruits as well as “Sally Ride”, who was proudly emblazoned on their robot and team buttons. The judges found our team inspiring and we are proud to accept this honor!
TMLA alumnae Tori Quan ’17, Loriana Donovan ’16, Jessica Morales ‘18, Yesenia Morales ’17 and Tiffany Camusci ’14 were mentors who helped the students build the robot and develop the theme.
TMLA Physics and Computer Science teacher Mr. Anthony Gadaleta is Robotics Moderator. Head Mentor for the team is Ms. Kathy Rutherford ’79 BEEE MS BME who in 2009 was the one who encouraged Mary Louis to begin this Robotics program.
The 2019 robot was named Sally Ride and honored women of NASA Class of 2017. A reflection from Sophomore members of TMLA Robotics Team provides their view of the impact of these women. A link to this insightful reflection may be found here.
For a look at some former members of TMLA Robotics teams and more photos of 2019 members at work and in competition, click here.
Here are members of award winning TMLA Robotics Team 2019 and alumnae who assisted them:
Congratulations to 2022 TMLA Robotics Team, the Steampunk Penguins, who competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition for the first time since 2019 and won the Jack Kamen Imagery Award for 2022. The robot and our team’s theme were based on the 6888th Battalion that helped to sort and deliver mail quickly and efficiently to boost soldier morale during the war.
The 6888 was the first and only all Black Female Women Army Corps unit to be deployed overseas during WW II. The leader of this battalion was Lieutenant Colonel Charity Adams Early, who was known as Major Charity Adams during WW II. A visionary and strong leader, she led the battalion to success and stood up to the forces, both external and from within the military, which would compromise their mission or respect for her troops. The motto of the group was “No Mail, Low Morale”- in recognition of the importance of their work on the US fighting troops waiting for mail and packages from home.
This theme was the ticket for our team to win. The team would like to thank Loriana Donovan ’16 for developing the theme. The team also could not have won this award without the t-shirt and button designs from SMs Erika Yik, Angelina Concepcion, Angelina Perez and help from Mrs. Lynch.
The team and their robot, Major Charity Adams, competed in 10 matches going 4 and 6 and ranking 27 out of 48. They were led by a drive team of SRs Katherine Colin- Keita, Sharmaine Jabrica and Angelika Falandysz; JR Elizabeth Paul; and FW Hanna Vojar and Serena Bazile.
Special thanks to their alumna mentors, Kathy Rutherford ‘79, Loriana Donovan ’16, and Tori Quan ’17 and their moderators, Mr. Gadaleta and Mr. Kempski.