Shelton robotics tournament called ‘athletics for the mind’

Jacob Cyrgalis, left, and Francis Jones of the Perry Hill Predators with a Lego robot built by a fellow team member during the first “Circus Robotix” Lego robotics qualifying tournament at Shelton High School. Jacob and Francis are fifth-grade students at Perry Hill.

Mark Holden, Board of Education chairman, said Shelton is building a reputation for its robotics abilities on a statewide basis. “I wish they had something like this when I was in school,” Holden said. “I think of it as athletics for the mind.”

Fun and educational

The Predators coach, Josh Cayer of Shelton, said he’s having almost as much fun as the youngsters and wishes he could compete as well.

“I want to do it,” he said. “A lot of parents would like to try it, too. It’s fun and the kids are learning.”

Cayer said it’s also a good way to spend time with his daughter, Jules, a fifth-grader who is a member of the team. Josh Cayer is a computer software engineer.

Two dozen teams involved

Twenty-four teams from across Connecticut participated in the tournament, including two teams from Perry Hill School and two teams from Shelton Intermediate School.

Members and mentors of the Shelton High robotics team served as judges, officials and mentors during the event.

Holden was impressed with what he saw at the tournament. “This is an incredible program,” he said. “You’re seeing kids work together — the spirit of cooperation. It’s all about working as a team.”

Shelton is building a reputation for its robotics abilities on a statewide basis, Holden said.