Area legislators pay tribute to Southern Tier robotics team

Thomas F. O'Mara

June 14, 2024

Senator O'Mara

Senator O'Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano joined the team for a tribute to their achievements.

Team TARDIS represents some of our best and brightest students from the Southern Tier who have had amazing success throughout the past year.

Horseheads, N.Y., June 13--State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning), and Assemblyman Chris Friend (R-C, Big Flats) last night honored the Southern Tier robotics team, Team TARDIS 5356, for the team’s success at the New York Excelsior Regional Championship and the FIRST World Festival earlier this year.

Team TARDIS, founded in 2011, is one of three high school teams at Corning Robotics, sponsored by Corning, Inc. Team TARDIS is a 14-member team with students from Corning-Painted Post and Horseheads high schools.

In March, Team TARDIS received the Inspire Award, the competition’s top award, at the New York Excelsior Region Championship held at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica. The Inspire Award recognizes the competition’s superior team in robot design, innovation, programming, and performance, as well as for STEM outreach to area professionals and youth.

The team’s victory in March earned Team TARDIS a spot at the FIRST World Festival in Houston, Texas, April 17-20. Team TARDIS was one of 224 teams representing every state in America – and one of only three teams from Upstate New York – and international teams in the competition. The team finished ranked No. 16 out of the 224 teams competing.

O’Mara and Palmesano joined the members of the team and their coaches and mentors last night [see the attached photo] at the team’s headquarters in Horseheads to present an official Legislative Resolution (J2485/K2178) they sponsored honoring the team’s success at the state, national, and international levels. The resolution was approved by the state Senate and Assembly in May.

In a joint statement, O’Mara, Palmesano, and Friend said, “Team TARDIS represents some of our best and brightest students from the Southern Tier who have had amazing success throughout the past year. Their commitment, creativity, enthusiasm, expertise, and vision stood out this year in prestigious competitions against local, state, national, and international teams. It’s been an outstanding and memorable year for Team TARDIS. It has been a true testament to the excellence and hard work of these stellar students and their coaches and mentors, as well as to the incredible support from their families, communities, and Corning Incorporated. We appreciate and welcome these opportunities to honor success throughout our school communities. They represent inspiring stories, promising futures, and enormous pride for our entire region.”   

Team TARDIS Assistant Coach Mike Simons said, “All of us coaches and parents couldn't be more proud of the work Team TARDIS did this season. From the start, they set a goal qualifying for the championship in Texas, and they reached it — and then some! They built an incredible robot that competed with the very best our Excelsior region has to offer, and won the top prize, the Inspire Award, at regional championships in March. That earned them the ticket to the FIRST World Championships in Houston back in April, where they got to compete with the very best teams on the planet. The numbers speak for themselves. TARDIS finished ranked #16 of 224 teams at Worlds and wrapped up the season ranked #49 of 7,400+ teams globally, a Top 50 finish for our kids! The most important number this season, though, is the 900+ hours of STEM education outreach the team contributed to our Corning-Elmira community, reaching more than 1,600 kids, and teaching them about robotics through the power of science, technology, engineering, and math. We're grateful to Corning, Incorporated and our other sponsors in helping so generously to support our team members and families in making the trip to Texas a reality.” 

The O’Mara-Palmesano-Friend resolution recognizes the achievement of the Team TARDIS members: Adam Perry, Thang Tran, Thai Tran, Isaac Moyer, Luke McNaughton, Eavan Qin, Victor Roussey, Dean Simons, Nicole Miller, Tristan Lint, Graham Simons, Michael McNaughton, Seojun Cho, and Daphne Karacay.

The resolution also recognizes Paul Dohn, a founding father of Team TARDIS in 2011 and now its senior mentor. Following a nomination by the team in recognition of Dohn’s dedication to STEM education and the Corning Robotics program, Dohn was a second-place global finalist for the Compass Award honoring the best coaches and mentors in the world competition.

The resolution reads, in part, “Poised eagerly with enthusiasm and determined purpose, these students now stand honorably, with just pride in their accomplishments and in eager anticipation of future challenges and understanding and appreciating the caring counsel and support provided by teachers, mentors, and parents.”