May 16, 2023

GCS Student Takes Robotics Global

Brandon Neblett

Alex Peirera (left) stands with teammates during a recent robotics competition.


Alex Pereira ’23 recently competed with FRC Robotics Team #2199 at the FIRST World Robotics Championships in Houston. At the competition, Pereria’s team competed in 12 matches over several days, maneuvering its robot around a basketball court-sized field as it attempted a series of increasingly complex tasks in a specific time. In the fourth match, the team maximized the lessons learned in its previous rounds, performing “phenomenally,” as Pereira described it, “with all the robots in our alliance of three teams working perfectly….it was so much fun.”


At the end of the competition, the team increased its ranking from 635th in the world to 260th by placing 39th in their division. In addition to the competition, Pereira attended several presentations on computer science, intelligent robots, and the transition to college sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to educate participants further.


A member of the exclusive ASPIRE program for high school students at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Pereira designed a system that translates English to American Sign Language, and vice versa, as part of his research there. The system’s physical component, a life-sized robotic hand, quickly became one of the lab’s most popular and recognizable features this year and was featured in several STEM events around campus.


Pereira’s team is led by former GCS physics teacher Rose Young, whose devotion to robotics has continued unabated since retiring from GCS. Young was named the Woodie Flowers Award winner for the FIRST Chesapeake District, recognizing her incredible coaching and mentorship. Pereira, a fixture of the Innovation Lab throughout his Upper School career, will major in bioengineering next year at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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