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The Team

Our mission is to inspire urban minority students to become the innovators and engineers of the future through the exciting challenge of designing and building a robot capable of competing in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. With the support of faculty and volunteer mentors, the Harlem Knights Robotics Team fosters important life skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership and gracious professionalism while seeking to raise awareness and appreciation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the Harlem community.



  • Inspire innovation and creativity

  • Provide mentorship through faculty, professional engineers, and team alumni

  • Apply math and science concepts in a practical and fun way

  • Cultivate teamwork among students and mentors

  • Develop effective communication skills

  • Increase self-confidence

  • Develop and demonstrate gracious professionalism by supporting and mentoring other teams during the FIRST Robotics Competition

  • Explore opportunities available in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

  • Offer a safe community where students can use their time constructively

  • Raise awareness and support for STEM in the Harlem community

Our Mascot "Tinko"

Our mascot, "Tinko", was created by Julian Frost in 2013; it captures the child-like imagination that anything conceivable can be come to life with persistence, even a robot-knight made of cardboard. This idea is something that we wish to foster once more in minority high school students who have been dissuaded from pursuing STEM careers and following their dreams. In annual logo competitions, our members are challenged to use their imagination to create a version of Tinko which corresponds to the years FIRST Robotics Competition concept. In essence, Tinko portrays how one should preserve the idea that whatever they dream of can be built.

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