The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Students Robotics Challenge is moving along

 

Larry LaCom

Teacher Len Evansic and students Graeme Robbins and Charles Johnson study a 3D computer model for the First Tech Challenge team consisting of 7th-9th graders.

The Tehachapi High School's Robotics challenge for all Tehachapi students from 1st through 12th grade has made significant progress since the first article that appeared in The Loop in September. This year's participation is continuing the trend of more students being involved. 170 students are in the program this year, up from last year's number of 140.

The projects from the 1st – 3rd graders, at the time of writing, were nearing completion for their exhibition on Nov. 11 at THS. Those students are looking forward to their trip to LegoLand in early 2018. The 4th and 5th graders' projects are also nearing completion toward readiness for the regional competition on Dec. 2 in Visalia, Calif. The 7th and 8th grader's projects are also moving forward toward entry in the competion in the Los Angeles area.

The 9th through 12th graders are making great strides toward entering their team project in the Las Vegas, Nev., competition in April. I got to see this project up close and personal as they were working on it, hosted by THS senior Rocky Ramirez, president of the THS Robotics Team. She is among the more experienced student mentors in the program, and explained to me the project requirements, as well as some of the design and construction details. It's a technically involved and highly challenging engineering task to complete a robot that will be able to maneuver a specific course and complete required tasks within a limited time, while being no larger than a specific size and able to operate autonomously.

Larry LaCom

Detail of one of the projects from the 1st-3rd grade groups.

Rocky also explained that the THS program has been awarded a monetary grant from the United States Air Force Research Lab, which will enable them to purchase advanced computers, 3D scanners and printers and other advanced equipment that will make the program even better as time goes on. Next year looks like it will be even better than this year for technically-minded students to sharpen their skills.

As an important note, this program is not limited to Tehachapi Unified School District students. Homeschoolers and private school students are all welcome to participate. So if you have a young person in your life you'd like to see get involved in a technically challenging after-school program, check it out.

For further information, contact the program coordinator, Danielle Evansic, at devansic@teh.k12.ca.us, or go to http://www.firstteam585.org.

 
 

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