Boston University Academy Students Mentors BPS Robotics Team for Upcoming Competition

Contact: Lauren Davalla, 617-358-1688 |

(Boston) – Boston University Academy (BUA) seniors Samuel Birch and Betsy Riley participated in a hands-on outreach workshop for teachers from four Boston Public Schools (BPS). The workshop took place at the BUA robotics lab on December 9 and offered the BPS teachers information about the materials needed for their students to participate in the VEX robotics competition and how to integrate automation into their curriculum. BUA is a known leader in robotics and the BUA team, of which Riley is the captain and Birch is a member, successfully competes in numerous national competitions each school year.

BUA physics teacher Gary Garber, who helped write a grant which secured VEX robotics kits, including $800 worth of materials, to the BPS schools said: “Sam worked really well with the BPS teachers and offered them a high level of respect and rapport. Betsy also did a great job by reflecting back on her own experiences and offered incredible insight to workshop attendees.”

Birch was responsible for giving a brief talk and explanation of how to program the robots. Riley was responsible for discussing the “platform,” or the basis for the robots to be built, and for explaining how the BUA team typically uses it to learn engineering principles. Each BPS teacher built a robot on-site with guidance from the BUA mentors. Participating BPS schools included Boston Latin School, John D. Brighton High, Tech Boston Academy and Dorchester Academy.

Boston University Academy is a small, day school for students in grades 9 through 12. Founded in 1993, the Academy offers a “ceilingless” educational experience, one in which students’ zeal for learning takes them as far as they are capable. Academy students may begin taking courses at Boston University in their junior year, earning college credit in up to twelve courses by graduation. For more information, please visit