Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

AngelBots Test Their Robot at ‘FIRST® Tech Challenge’ Qualifier Meet 

Demarest, NJ: Six members of AngelBots, the robotics club from the Academy of the Holy Angels, just attended the club’s inaugural FIRST® Tech Challenge qualifier meet in Hightstown, NJ. The students who attended field tested the robot the club designed, built, and programmed against those made by teams from other schools.

The FIRST® Tech Challenge was developed for students in grades seven through 12. Participants design and construct their own robots, which are used to play a game. According to, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit that was founded by Dean Kamen to encourage students to develop problem-solving, building, science, technology, and engineering skills. FIRST® is comprised of multiple, distinct programs that include robotics and LEGO® competitions. Participants have the opportunity to earn college scholarships for their work.

All 36 teams that attended the Hightstown event underwent hardware and software inspections, a complete engineering notebook review, and a 10-minute interview before they entered their robots in the multi-round competition.

“It was a great success even though we did not make it to the state (level),” said AHA mathematics teacher Jing Loo, who is now serving her second year as the club’s adviser. She pointed out that AngelBots was the newest participant at the meet, and she is delighted with what the club has accomplished so far.

“They did well. I am so proud of them!” she added.

The six students who participated in the event included Christina Colan of New Milford, Victoria Colan of New Milford, Milena Correa of Edgewater, Julia Nuñez of New Milford, Nicole Dattolico of Emerson, and Antonia Thompson of Cliffside Park. The AngelBots also include Veronica Andrade of Woodcliff Lake, Jillian Busetto of Pomona (NY), Haojing Chen of Paramus, Victoria Lakowski of Pearl River (NY), Kerry Limberg of Mahwah, Anika Maurer of Tuxedo Park (NY), Kym McGowan of Clifton, and Jiayu Shen of Teaneck.

Ms. Loo, AHA science teacher Sharon Jureller, and parent volunteer Charles Sommers escorted the AngelBots during the event. The group gathered at AHA at 6:30 a.m., traveled to the event, and returned to Demarest at 5:30 p.m.

“It was a fun, long, tiring, and rewarding day,” Ms. Loo summarized.


Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, by offering a first –rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity and giving service to others.

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