Nemesis Wows at Citi’s First Annual FIRST Robotics Event
In February 2014, Michael Corbat, the CEO of Citi, enthusiastically proclaimed to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, “We see ourselves as a technology company with a banking license”. This truth could not be any more evident than on Tuesday, October 13th, when the Citi offices in Warren, New Jersey generously opened up their doors to FIRST Robotics Team Nemesis 2590 from Robbinsville, New Jersey and four other FIRST Robotics teams from the area to showcase their robots and accomplishments to hundreds of Citi employees and executives.
“Welcome to Citi’s FIRST Robotics event!” exclaimed Nemesis’ very popular interactive NAO robot to commence a day filled with excitement and education. A selection of individuals including former Mid-Atlantic Robotics President, Gene O’Brien, representative of the FIRST-founding Kamen family, Libby Kamen, and Nemesis’ very own Build Team Executive and senior Samantha Young spoke to an eager crowd of Citi employees, high school students, and young visitors . “I was ecstatic to see the support, interest, and overall enthusiasm for FIRST we encountered at Citi. After presenting to a crowd of people ranging from middle schoolers to technology professionals, I was approached by a Citi employee, and was humbled to hear her tell me that I was an inspiration to her daughter.” Each speaker discussed the importance of investing in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and the lifelong rewards of programs such as FIRST Robotics.
The remainder of the day was devoted to an engaging interaction between STEM-oriented high school students and the professionals who currently fulfill the STEM mission in their daily lives. Nemesis Build Executive and senior Christian Gavalchin stated, “It was an unparalleled experience being able to both learn from and even teach Citi employees implementing the STEM mission and we’re incredibly grateful to Citi for hosting this event.”
In addition to the NAO robot, Nemesis brought their 2014 and 2015 competition robots to the Citi offices. Throughout the day, attendees were certain to stop by Nemesis’ booth and perform a touch of tai chi or dance along to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with the NAO robot. Students enjoyed sharing stories of what they learned about building robots, writing business plans, working with limited time and resources, and participating on a team. FIRST conditions its students to become productive and meaningful global citizens, a fact that was on full display at Citi.
Within the venue, Citi constructed half of the 2015 competition field for the attending teams to give demonstrations of their robots competing in the 2015 season game Recycle Rush. The robots stacked plastic totes as quickly as possible, capped their stacks with recycling containers, and carefully placed plastic pool noodles, representing litter, inside the recycling containers . An official FIRST referee even participated in the event to give spectators the complete exhilarating experience of attending a competition.
Among the hundreds of people attending the event, none brought greater joy to the students of Nemesis than a visiting FLL (First Lego League) Team of seventh grade students. Their enthusiasm for STEM and eagerness to learn inspired each and every member of Nemesis in attendance. “They were so open to learning about what we do and incredibly eager to join a FIRST Robotics team once they reached high school,” expressed Software Executive and senior Andrey Efremchev. The team was especially honored when the younger children enthusiastically approached members of Nemesis, asking, “Can I have your autograph?”
The team thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to present the team and all their hard work. Nemesis is incredibly grateful to Citi for their continuous support and generosity.