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RoboRaiders Visit Matheny Adult Learning Center

Sam Romano, left, and Sean Proske of the Hillsborough High RoboRaiders robotics team demonstrate how a light box works for Matheny adult community resident Chet Cheesman.
Sam Romano, left, and Sean Proske of the Hillsborough High RoboRaiders robotics team demonstrate how a light box works for Matheny adult community resident Chet Cheesman.
Members of Team 75, the RoboRaiders, Hillsborough High School's FIRST Robotics Competition team, recently visited the Matheny Medical and Educational Center's Adult Learning Center, also in Hillsborough, and brought some special switch-operated light boxes with them, which they donated to the Matheny adults. Matheny, based in Peapack, is a special hospital and educational facility for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a Manchester, NH-based organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989. It 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 and regional championships including 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 packing boxes to be sent  troops in Afghanistan for Operation Shoebox.

According to Todd Deremer, an adaptive physical education instructor at the Hillsborough 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, adding that, "They also help with color recognition, cause and effect, tactile stimulation and visual stimulation"                                                    

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