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Tehachapi High School Robotics Team gets a new challenge


Larry LaCom

Students watch a live-streamed video showing a depiction of the game arena for which they will design their robot to compete.

The Tehachapi High School FIRST Robotics Team assembled at THS on Saturday, Jan. 6 for a "Reveal" in which the rules and specifications for a new season's challenge were live-streamed to all of the thousands of participating schools simultaneously.

This event kicked off an intensive six-week period where the team has to fully understand the new game rules, design a robot that can meet the challenge, build and test prototypes, test and debug the systems, and complete their final robot in time to begin competing at the regional level. Winners will then advance to national and worldwide competitions. Teams are involved from all over the world, including Turkey, Mexico and China.

The hour-long video presentation gave vital information, along with downloadable instructions. The team then broke out into small groups assigned different aspects of the instructions. Each group was tasked with understanding their portion of the rules well enough to explain it to the rest of the team.

This is a coordinated group effort with the aim of taking home a national award for the school. Under the supervision of teacher Danielle Evansic, the THS team is a well-oiled machine of bright students who also have a shot at college scholarships through their participation in this program.

Larry LaCom

Here, students in a breakout team study the new challenge rules under the direction of teacher Len Evansic.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) has been created by inventor Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway and other inventions, to help students develop skills they will need to succeed in engineering, science and related careers. FIRST has made scholarships available to the tune of $50 million, with 2,000 individual scholarships available.

These students are not only learning important technical skills, but are also gaining invaluable real-world experience in working together as a team, meeting deadlines, working under pressure, and coordinating their efforts to meet specific requirements – all skills that will help them gain an advantage when it's time to seek employment within the various tech industries.

In short, these students are getting ahead where it counts – preparation for their futures in science and technology. The future looks bright.

For more information, and to find out how you can offer your skills to the team, contact Danielle Evansic at, or go to


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