The Sachem Robotics team is stepping up to assist schools across the region with a robotics parts donation program. Back in 2022, the team attended a regional competition in New York City where an adviser noticed that many of the robots from city schools were made of wood or not finished. After asking around, Sachem Robotics learned that these teams were lacking funding and their robots were at the receiving end of this.
Sachem team members Sofia Karayoff and Stefanie Karayoff felt empowered to help, spearheading what would turn into a collaborative upcycling project between Long Island teams and reaching more than 50 teams in the five boroughs.
“We know that a lot of teams around the country don’t have the same opportunities that our team has luckily been given. We have a very supportive administration and community around us,” Stefanie said.
Sofia, Stefanie and another Sachem Robotics team member, Yash Jani, first took to social media to reach out to Long Island teams that may have extra robotics parts to be donated to city teams. Then, they went around to competitions and spoke to teams in-person about their idea.
Fast forward to today, 70 robotics teams across Long Island are involved in a community project with Sachem at the hub, where they collect and donate parts to less-fortunate teams in New York City.
“We just wanted to lighten their load and enrich their experience in FIRST by donating whatever we possibly could,” Stefanie said.
With the help of Suffolk County Legislator Leslie Kennedy, the team was able to brainstorm and fund ways to transport the parts that are collected at Sachem High School North to the FIRST Robotics site in Roosevelt Island for distribution.
“It’s inspiring because at a point last year I thought this might not happen. Now that it is, it’s kind of unbelievable,” Sofia said.
Sofia and Stefanie graduated from Sachem this past June but are still heavily involved with Sachem Robotics. They help lead the current Sachem team through the community project that they began. Once the FIRST Robotics build season kicks off in early January, the Sachem team expects to see many more donations coming in.
“It’s cool to see that it’s already making an impact and we haven’t even fully started,” Stefanie said.