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Student robotics teams from area battle for top spot

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HARTFORD -- The top robotics teams in the area battled it out this weekend hoping to advance to the New England district championship next week at the University of New Hampshire.

You could say robotics runs in David Nisky's blood.

“My brother was on the team and my dad was actually one of the founding mentors. Once robotics season comes around its nothing else just robotics. It’s as much dedication if not more than any other sport,” said Nisky.

Nisky is part of the Gaelhawks Robotics team from Shelton High School. He and his teammates have spent the last six weeks raising money, designing a team brand, and building a robot to go head to head against 40 other high schools.

“Oh I’m very proud. it makes me happy. It’s something I love and I’m happy to be a part of it,” said Nisky.

“In the classroom they’re learning basic science and technology skills. This is putting it to practical use,” said David Givens, the Production Manager for FIRST Robotics Competition.

The students spent weeks programming and practicing their robots. They worked alongside professional engineers in the process.

“We have to do a lot in a short amount of time so we have a lot of schedules … and we have to work fast and together,” said Amanda Kiley.

Brianna Gaynor and Amanda Kiley came from Massachusetts to represent Agawam high school.

“I want to own by own business someday so being in marketing and being the nontechnical co-captain really helps be because it gives me a chance to be like, hey, this is what I have to do and this is what I need to learn how to do it,” said Gaynor.

It’s a career jumpstart for many of the students who are already thinking about how to pay it forward.

“I can’t wait till I can mentor, till I can be an alumni volunteer. And I cannot wait till my hopefully future kids can be a part of this so they can have a bright future,” said Nisky.

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