Career Students off to Robotics Nationals

See New Haven Register Coverage here.
Press release and more photos below:

Elm City Robo Squad from Hill Regional Career High School in New Haven, Connecticut, competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition Hartford District Event on Saturday, April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd 2017, at Hartford Public High School in Hartford, Connecticut.  They also competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition Waterbury District Event on Saturday, March 4th and Sunday, March 5th 2017 at Wilby High School in Waterbury, Connecticut.  The team was vying for a spot in the FIRST Robotics Competition New England Championship at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH later in April.  After winning both events, the team qualified for the New England Championship and ranks 10th in New England in a field of 194 teams from the region.  At the FIRST Waterbury District Event, Elm City Robo Squad, also known as FIRST Robotics Competition Team 558, took home the Entrepreneurship Award, which celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit by recognizing a team that has developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan to scope, manage, and achieve team objectives.  And at the FIRST Hartford District Event, Elm City Robo Squad also took home the Chairman’s Award which is the most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. 

Also, Selma Abouneameh is a Dean's List finalist and will compete at the NE District Championship at the University of New Hampshire in April for the opportunity to go to the World Championship in St.Louis. Dean's list is named in honor of the Founder of FIRST, Dean Kamen, and is an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding secondary school students.

Elm City Robo Squad at FIRST Hartford District Event


The Elm City Robo Squad robotics program is an after-school activity designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Student team members, guided by adult volunteer mentors, design and build complex robots, learn business skills, win scholarships and simply have a great time.  The program is based at Hill Regional Career High School, a Title I school, and is open to inner-city high school students, young women and men in grades nine through twelve, in New Haven, Connecticut.  The team’s primary robotics education is focused around the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotic Competition (FRC) program and they are FRC® veteran team number 558 established in 2000.  Elm City Robo Squad’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills in a diverse urban setting with a diverse student body where we create a culture of acceptance, pride, respect and excellence.


Each year Elm City Robo Squad receives a new unique challenge from FIRST and has six weeks to build a robot according to the challenge. The six weeks of experiential learning include high intensity work with a hard stop. This includes planning and thinking, assigning tasks, applying formulas and knowledge, arguing and collaborating, trusting and challenging one another, trial and error, success and failure.  The challenge begins in January and the build ends in February. Competitions begin about a week later. Re-engineering and redesign in a time-limited format follows through the 8-week competition season that culminates at World Championship in April.  Most recently, Elm City Robo Squad attended FIRST World Championship in April 2014, 2015 and 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri,  finishing as a semifinalist in its division each year .


For 2017, Elm City Robo Squad built a robot nicknamed “Brick 2.0” to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition game Steamworks that invites two adventure clubs from an era in which technology relied on steam power to prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race. 

 3 people, people smiling, people standing

Chairman’s Interview Team: Seth Dalmacio, Moxa Patel, Shamla Fazl

Brick 2.0 boarding the “airship”


Elm City Robo Squad is sponsored by: United Technologies Corporation, United Illuminating Company, Yale University, Comcast NBCUniversal, Hill Regional Career High School/New Haven Public Schools, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Forbes Premium Fuel, Svigals + Partners, MEA Mobile, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, National Instruments, Square 9 Softworks, BAE Systems, Walmart, State Farm, Subway, Platt Tech,  IEEE Connecticut and Bolduc Mechanical Services.  To learn more about sponsorship, visit or contact Cynthia Scheetz, Science Teacher/FIRST Robotics Mentor at Hill Regional Career High School at 203-693-1558. The team is looking for new sponsors as it raises funds so that it can compete in the FIRST World Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Missouri, April 26th-29th, 2017.

Team Contact Information:

Lead Teacher: Cynthia Scheetz, Science Teacher/FIRST Robotics Mentor

Phone: 203-693-1558


Address: Elm City Robo Squad, Hill Regional Career High School, 140 Legion Ave., New Haven, CT 06519