Chester Community Charter School’s Robotics Team Receives Honors from Mayor Kirkland, Prepares for National Robotics Competition in California

“The Bionic Beasts” Prove That STEM Can Have a Major Impact on Urban Education

Chester, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

Chester, PA, May 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- “The Bionic Beasts,” the Chester Community Charter School (CCCS) robotics team, was honored Friday by Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland at a ceremony attended CCCS board members on the school’s East Campus. At the program, CCCS CEO Dr. David Clark presented the seven-member team and its coaches with trophies and certificates to recognize their achievements.

The Bionic Beasts most recent accomplishments include being awarded first place for Robot Performance, and second place overall out of 45 teams at the First Lego League (FLL) competition, held at Central High School in Philadelphia earlier this year. In February, after competing in regional championships at the University of Pennsylvania, the team qualified for the National Competition, in California, which will take place on May 18. There, they will face off against approximately 80 robotics teams from as far away as Japan and South Korea.

The Bionic Beasts had to identify and solve a problem that exists between humans and animals. The team focused on house cats, and how susceptible the domesticated animal is to suffering from conditions such as OCD and depression, as compared to their feral counterparts. The Bionic Beasts learned carpentry, market analysis, and applied engineering in order to create an environmental enrichment toy that cats would be able to activate on their own.

At the National Robotics Competition, The Bionic Beasts will also compete in a “robot game,” in which they will use a robot they built and programmed, to score points against an opposing team.

At the reception on Friday, Mayor Kirkland addressed the students: “All of you should be proud of yourselves, and what you have accomplished. You represent the best and the brightest, here, in Chester, and I look forward to you representing us in California, as we cheer you on from back home.”

According to the Level Playing Field Institute, an organization of the Kapor Klein Center for Social Impact, “African-Americans and Latinos makeup 39 percent of the U.S. school-aged population, yet comprise just 17 percent of high school AP math and science test-takers; 11 percent of science and engineering degree-holders, and nine percent of the entire U.S. science and engineering workforce.”

Through the success of its award-winning robotics program, CCCS’s “Bionic Beasts” continue to challenge research that shows a lack of people of color in STEM, and barriers that get in the way of their achievement.

Coach Daniel Aulisio, who started a Lego-building and robot club, after receiving Lego Mindstorms Robot kits for CCCS’s after-school program, founded CCCS’s robotics team in 2013. He saw the untapped potential in the school’s students, and believed that the FLL would be something students could enjoy while also broadening their understanding of applied engineering.

About Chester Community Charter School

Chester Community Charter School opened its doors on September 9, 1998, serving 97 students from its modest, four, meeting rooms, in the lobby of the Howard Johnson Hotel, in Chester, PA. Since that time, the school has steadily grown to include more than 3,000 students in 11 state-of-the-art-buildings, spanning three campuses.

Through collaboration with the Gureghian Charitable Foundation, and CCCS’ High School Search and Selection Program, more than $9.5 million in scholarships and financial assistance to prestigious private secondary schools has been awarded to 225 of the school’s graduates, since 2009.




A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


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01-Photo Captions – CCCS Robotics Reception.pdf