Bellebots looks forward to upcoming year

first_imgBellebots, the Saint Mary’s robotics club, is looking forward to a year of growth, teaching and competing.Having formed just two years ago, the club is looking for ways to expand its presence on campus, Bellebots vice president and senior Noreen Maloney said.“We’re still kind of discerning our niche,” she said. “We’re always adapting to what we need to do to be really relevant on campus.”Finding a place for an interest in STEM was how Bellebots began. The group’s president and founder, junior Michelle Lester, said robotics was something in which she wanted to participate when she started her first year at the College.“When I got to campus, I wanted to start something that had to do with robotics,” Lester said.With this in mind, she found a faculty member to serve as an advisor for the group she wanted to start. Lester said Bellebots began with sending a survey to students to gauge the student body’s interest in such a club. Upon receiving positive responses, Lester’s desire started becoming a reality.Last year, Bellebots worked primarily with local high school robotics teams to help them prepare for competitions, Maloney said. Additionally, the group worked on gaining members and fundraising for future endeavors. This year, however, Bellebots wishes to compete.“The program we want to do is called VEX U, and they release a new game every year,” Lester said. “It’s always changing.”This annual change is what makes the program enticing to the group, as it allows members to work on more than just maintenance of robots between competitions, Lester said. Instead it would create opportunity for the team to use various skills on projects.Competitions such as VEX U have a registration fee, and Lester said Bellebots has already been fundraising this semester for this purpose.“Doing an actual robotics team is very expensive, so we need to make money … to be able to feel comfortable sending in that registration check,” she said.In addition to having a robotics team, Bellebots also wishes to help people learn and hone other STEM-related skills, Maloney said.“We want to be encouraging to STEM literacy and twenty-first century skills on campus,” Maloney said.Basic computer programming is among the skills the group intends to teach those who are interested. Lester said the ability to work on websites is useful for careers in many fields, not just STEM.“We want to have nights where we talk about STEM skills but in the sense that you could integrate them into your everyday life,” Maloney said. “We’re hoping that as a team, we’ll do somewhat occasional nights that focus on these skills.”The goal of these nights would be to introduce students to these skills and then provide them with the resources to develop them, she said. These nights would enable students to determine if such STEM skills are what they want or need to learn.“We try to be as inclusive as possible,” Maloney said. “No STEM required.”Lester and Maloney said they know some students might be intimidated by things like computer programming and robotics but do not want that to keep people from joining.“We definitely want to start with stuff that’s not scary to people,” Lester said.Maloney said the club has a strong leadership team that is willing to teach people who might be intimidated by robotics but is also interesting in acquiring members with skills in other disciplines to help with other aspects of robotics competitions, such as brochure design and safety.Bellebots is open to all members of the tri-campus community. The next Bellebots meeting will take place Sept. 26 at 9:30 p.m. in 140 Spes Unica Hall.Tags: Bellebots, Robotics, STEMlast_img read more

No regrets in turning down AB de Villiers approach – CSA selection convener

first_imgBy Nick SaidDURBAN, South Africa (Reuters) – Cricket South Africa (CSA) selection convener Linda Zondi said yesterday they have no regrets in turning down an approach from retired batsman AB de Villiers to make himself available for the Cricket World Cup in England.South Africa have lost all three of their games at the tournament, largely because of a soft middle-order that has missed the quality of one of the world’s premier batsmen.But Zondi said an approach by de Villiers to come out of international retirement for the World Cup had come 24 hours before South Africa were due to announce their final squad, and was rejected out of hand.“At no point in the year that he had retired did he make himself available for selection,” Zondi said in a CSA statement yesterday.“It was no option when I received the news on the day of the squad announcement, our squad was finalised and confirmed.“AB is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, but above all else, we have to stay true to our morals and principles, there is no regret in the decision.”There would also have been a feeling of opportunism on behalf of de Villiers, who had skipped South Africa’s build-up to the event, but then sought to be part of the party at the last minute.“I pleaded with AB de Villiers not to retire in 2018,” Zondi added. “Although there was a perception that he was picking and choosing when to play – which was not true – I did give him the option to plan and monitor his season to get him to the World Cup fresh and in a good space.“We made it clear that he would have to play during the home tours against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to be considered for selection, instead he signed to play in the Pakistan and Bangladesh Premier Leagues respectively.“He turned down the offer and said he was at peace with his decision to retire.”Zondi admitted that de Villiers’ request for inclusion had come as a surprise, and they owed it to other players in the squad who had worked towards being part of the World Cup to stick with them.“For (captain) Faf du Plessis and (coach) Ottis Gibson to share AB’s desire to be included in the squad on the day we announced our World Cup squad on April 18 was a shock to all of us,” Zondi said.“AB left a big vacuum when he retired, we had a year to find players at franchise level to fill the gap. We had players who put in the hard work, who put up their hands and deserved to be given the opportunity to go to the World Cup.“The decision was based on principle; we had to be fair to the team, the selection panel, our franchise system and players.”de Villiers retired from all forms of international cricket last May, but has played in lucrative Twenty20 competitions since. He had captained South Africa at the 2015 World Cup, when they exited in the semi-finals against New Zealand.last_img read more

Geno Thorpe, still not 100 percent healthy, bridges key Syracuse stretch in 80-67 win

first_img Published on November 18, 2017 at 11:02 pm Contact Sam: | @Sam4TR Geno Thorpe was trying to will Syracuse into the lead.With Tyus Battle, the team’s best player, on the bench with two fouls, Thorpe played shooting guard and fulfilled the job description. He hit a 3-pointer on a pass from Marek Dolezaj to put Syracuse up by one. Two minutes later, he cashed in a Paschal Chukwu steal with a jumper to put the Orange up by one again. Two minutes after that, he hit another 3 on a pass from Dolezaj to give Syracuse back a lead it never relinquished. On the sideline, Syracuse’s usually reserved head coach Jim Boeheim gave half a fist-pump.For good measure the grad transfer from South Florida, who missed about a month of practice this fall due to a lingering ankle injury, nailed another 3 on the next possession in Syracuse’s (3-0) eventual 80-67 victory over Texas Southern (0-4) on Saturday night in the Carrier Dome.“I’m still working my way back,” Thorpe said after the game. “(Tonight), I feel more comfortable than usual. … I just wanted to come in and do my role. Just making plays and coming in bringing energy and knocking down open 3s.”In all, Thorpe hit 5-of-6 shots in the first half, including 3-of-4 beyond on the arc, for 13 points in 14 minutes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt was the exact half the Orange’s offense needed because it allowed another potential primary scoring option to get reps. It plugged Syracuse’s hole without Battle and ensured the Orange still entered halftime steadily in control. SU could’ve gone back to Battle if it needed to, Boeheim said, but “Geno got going.”“It hurt him to miss all that time,” Boeheim said. “He still doesn’t have the push that he had early in the year off his foot. But … I thought (Thorpe’s first-half play) was a good thing. I thought Frank (Howard) and Geno played well together during that stretch. It was good for them to get some time together.”Todd Michalek | Staff PhotographerWhen Thorpe entered, it enacted the plan the Syracuse coaching staff foresaw when assistant Allen Griffin called Thorpe over the summer. The Orange had two known commodities at guard in Battle and Howard, as well as an unknown in freshman Howard Washington. Adding a fourth guard provided some insurance and protected SU from stretching itself thin if one of the guards got hurt or if one found himself in foul trouble.Finding a combo guard of Thorpe’s skillset — he played some point guard at his two previous stops, South Florida and Penn State — eased the ball-handling burden on Howard when he entered. Howard said he felt like he could be more selective in shooting and move off the ball a little bit. It also gave him another scorer to pass to. Late in the half, from the top of the key, Howard found Thorpe cutting to the hoop, who finished as he was fouled for an and-1.“Overall,” Howard said, “(our offense) got a little stagnant and he showed what he can do individually. … We can just be a two-headed point guard out there.”For his offensive successes, Thorpe several times throughout the night drew the ire of the coaches from his perch at the top of the zone. Thorpe, at 6-foot-3, is the smallest of Syracuse’s regular guard rotation of Battle, Howard and himself. Late in the first half, after an entry pass into the high post led to an easy Texas Southern score, Syracuse assistant coach Gerry McNamara leapt off the bench and pointed at Thorpe: “Play big! Get long! Pick that off!”Late in the second half, Derrick Bruce of the Tigers shot a 3-pointer over Thorpe, who didn’t have his hand up to contest, and Boeheim looked at Thorpe and put his hand out.When asked what role the young players had in some defensive lapses, Boeheim said, “They have to understand. Geno’s not young. You can’t do that, doesn’t matter really who’s in the game. You’ve got to play, you can’t lose your focus on defense.”After his breakout first half on the offense, Thorpe quieted for the second. He played only seven minutes, missing all three shots, dishing out one assist and turning the ball over once. Battle erupted for 16 points and a thunderous dunk. But Thorpe had done everything he needed to do in bridging that gap. He had eased into what the Orange hopes will be his role all season.When asked about when he expects to be back to full health, Thorpe said, “I can’t put a timetable on that, I’m not sure. Tomorrow, I hope.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more