As Robotics season gets under way, meet the leaders of the 2023 team


Samira Li

President of Steel Hawks, Matthew Algenio (left) and Vice President, Matthew Goldstein (right).

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With 2022 now over, the Steel Hawks Robotics Team has kicked off the start of the robotics season. The new year of 2023 has introduced a new president and vice president: seniors Matthew Algenio and Matthew Goldstein, respectively. The two have already served on the team in previous years and are eager to share their voices in both STEM and robotics.

The current president, Matthew Algenio, has been a part of the Steel Hawks since his freshman year. From a young age, he started playing with legos where he developed a love for turning ideas into reality. “I had no experience with robotics prior to joining, just a will to absorb everything I was taught,” he said. However, the COVID-19 pandemic influenced a big aspect of the way he thought about robotics. 

Before the pandemic, Matthew was uninterested in any form of digital design; it was during the pandemic that he opened up to new things and was intrigued by virtual designing processes such as CAD (computer aided design). CAD itself has been an extremely useful tool in software today, as it’s used to create designs online to be 3D printed, thus helping the robotics team advance to where they are today. 

Previously the lead of FIRST Impact, a subteam designated to guide the team to win the most prestigious awards at competitions, Matthew Goldstein has worked his way up to vice president. During his time on the robotics team, he’s been able to find his place. “While being a part of robotics, I learned programming isn’t something I enjoy too much. However, without question, robotics helped me find my voice. Being able to lead operations and make it possible for the sustainability and impact of the team has been something I’ve held very dear,” he said. 

Still holding on to the values of FIRST impact, Matthew Goldstein created the team’s new outreach program that was introduced this year, Project SHIFT, where veteran members of the team travel to elementary and middle schools to mentor students there about STEM. 

When questioned about the challenges he faced being a leader, he shared with us his passion for robotics. “I think it’s a great experience for our team and other students that we are able to share our knowledge and inspire a love of STEM,” he said. Senior Leo Zhang, a member of robotics since freshman year, said, “I’ve been on the robotics team with both Matthews for all four years of robotics, and they certainly make robotics much more fun, enjoyable, and bring up the mood with their presence and humor.”

When asked about any advice he had for people with hesitations about joining robotics, Matthew Algenio said, “High school is the time to really explore your passions and figure out what you may want to make a career out of. I’d really suggest for you to at least try out robotics because it provides the opportunity for hands-on experience in STEM and even things like graphic design, finance, writing, or being a barista [referring to the team’s own bubble tea and espresso machine].” He said he wishes to help as many people as he can, fostering their curiosities in STEM. 

Sophomore Jasmyn Pillay, a rookie on the team said, “I admire Matthew A’s commitment to the team. It’s quite evident that when he’s standing in front of the room, running a meeting, he truly enjoys being on this team. Though I am a rookie, I can tell how much this team means to him.”

In regards to the team’s future goals, physics teacher Joshua Raghunath, a mentor of the team for many years now, said, “Matthew Algenio and Matthew Goldstein have been fulfilling their roles as president and vice president well. Our hopes for them are to help drive the team towards another successful year.”

Photo by Samira Li