RoboRaiders visit Hillsborough

Sam Romano, left, and Sean Proske of the Hillsborough High School RoboRaiders robotics team demonstrate how a light box works to Matheny adult community resident Chet Cheesman.

Members of Team 75, the RoboRaiders, Hillsborough, NJ, High School’s FIRST robotics competition team, visited the Matheny Adult Learning Center, also in Hillsborough, and brought with them special switch-operated light boxes that they donated to the Matheny adults. They are also creating a switch-operated camera for use by Matheny adults.

FIRST, an acronym for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a Manchester, N.H.-based organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, that seeks to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Team 75 is the oldest active FIRST team in New Jersey and, since its inception in 1996, has won a variety of awards regional championships, national excellence in 3-D design and the prestigious Chairman’s Award. During the off-season, Team 75 participates in a variety of community service efforts, including car washes, bake sales and the packing of boxes to be sent to troops in Afghanistan for Operation Shoebox.

According to Todd Deremer, an adaptive physical education instructor at the Hillsborough Adult Learning Center, the light boxes help Matheny’s adults in several ways. “They use them to improve coordination, by accessing one of the four buttons with their hands or feet,” he says. “The light boxes also help with color recognition, perception of cause and effect, tactile stimulation and visual stimulation.”

Matheny adult resident Bo Geraghty operates a light box with her feet, assisted by adaptive physical education instructor Todd Deremer.