Dragonators Win Diamond State Championship

DOVER, DE. — On Saturday, Jan 26, the Dragonators Robotics Team won the Diamond State Championships in Dover, Delaware.

The team, led by Coach Kindra Liczbinski, Programming Mentors Jim Baker and Steve Fox, Build Mentors Raymond Liczbinski and Mike Justice, has dedicated their time to inspire, guide and teach the 12 member team: Eli Liczbinski, David Justice, Drew Angelone, Matthew Bodman, Natalie Lipietta, Ryan McGee, Stephen Dodelin, Sujay Jukalkar, Sujit Jukalkar, Vincent Fox and Alden Rowlyk. 

This South Jersey First Tech Challenge Team (SJFTC), the Dragonators, gives a nod to the Kingsway Regional School District with a dragon in their name and the team colors of red and black. However, the team members encompass Gloucester County students attending Kingsway Regional Middle School, Kingsway Regional High School, Clearview Regional Middle School, Logan Elementary School and Gloucester County Institute of Technology.

The Dragonators’ most recent win has afforded them a place at the World Championship in Detroit, Michigan in mid-April. A record 70,000 people will travel to Detroit to celebrate inspiring young innovators, leaders and changemakers at the FIRST Championship presented by Qualcomm Incorporated.

The world’s largest celebration of STEM for students includes 30,000 plus students from over 70 countries, supported by 6,000 coaches / mentors and 2,500 volunteers and cheered on by 30,000 sponsors and spectators.

Making it to the First Tech Challenge World Championship is a huge accomplishment and no easy feat. According to Dragonators’ Coach Kindra Liczbinski, “It is an amazing story considering we did not have the most sophisticated robot nor the highest scoring bot, but our strategy to keep it simple and consistent paid off. Our scouting data collection and analyzing method allowed us to quickly choose our Alliance partner team MOE who put our collective scoring over the top. We are a rookie team that stands out as the youngest faces.  Our team is comprised of eight 7th graders, two 9th  graders and one 10th  grader. Most teams are high school sponsored teams and they stand tall next to our team.”

Please wish the Dragonators luck in their World Competition in Detroit. Donations to support the team can be made through their GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/dragonators-are-going-to-worlds. The Dragonators Team would like to purchase new and spare robot parts as well as build a cart to help transport their robot during the week at Worlds and future competitions.

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