UC Davis to Host 56 High School Teams At First Robotics Regional Competition

Last year’s competition

(From Press Release) -High-school students from across California, Nevada and Hawaii schools will have the opportunity to showcase their hard work after an intense six weeks of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (www.firstinspires.org). This week, at University of California, Davis, Pavilion at the ARC, 56 teams of students and engineering and technical Mentors will demonstrate their skill for science, mathematics, and technology.

Locally, three Yolo County high school teams are competing: 1678 Citrus Circuits from Davis High School, 5458 Digital Minds from Pioneer and Woodland High Schools, and 6174 Kaprekar’s Constant from Winters High School. Citrus Circuits has won the Sacramento Regional for three years in a row, and Digital Minds joined Citrus Circuits on the 2015 winning alliance. Citrus Circuits was on the 2015 World Championship alliance as well. (You can learn more about Citrus Circuits at www.citruscircuits.org.)

Students learn problem-solving and teamwork in addition to designing and building robots by working with professional mentors. They then compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities. The high-energy atmosphere at the events rivals that of high school basketball games as students cheer on the “Sport of the Mind.”

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the IBOT Mobility System and the Segway® Human Transporter (HT), FIRST was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools, and their communities. The FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates 3,336 teams in the U.S. and 24 countries worldwide will compete in 55 Regional Events and 80 District Events. More than 1,200 students will compete at the Sacramento Regional to earn a spot at the FIRST® Championship to be held April 19-22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

In the 2017 challenge, FIRST STEAMWORKSSM, two adventure clubs from an era in which technology relied on steam power must prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race. Each three-team alliance scores points and prepares to take flight by building steam pressure, gathering materials to start the rotors, and boarding robots onto their airships. The adventurer club with the highest score at the end of the match is the best prepared for the race and wins.

FIRST isn’t about competing, it’s about cooperating, and recognizing that if you have the right tools, you’ll be able to make this world a better place for yourself and for the country,” said Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development and founder of FIRST, adding, “There is no stimulus package that will have as much return as stimulating a bunch of kids to become the workforce of the future, the problem solvers, the creators of the future.”

This season, participating FIRST students are eligible to apply for more than $50 million in scholarships being made available by nearly 200 scholarship providers.

Over a six-week timeframe, students work with professional engineering Mentors to design a robot that solves a problem using a prescribed set of parts, a standard set of rules, and their own resourcefulness. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

FIRST Robotics Competition Sacramento Regional Sponsors and Volunteers come from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area, including The Brin Wojcicki Foundation, UC Davis College of Engineering, US Army, and FIRST California Robotics. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional Mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions, and Volunteers.

Other Local teams attending, listed by high school, include:

Sacramento: 692 St. Francis, 2073 Pleasant Grove, 3250 Kennedy, 3598 School of Engineering and Sciences, 3615 McClatchy, 3859 Consumnes Oaks, 4698 Rio Americano, 5250 Capital Christian, 5274 Rosemont

Placer & El Dorado Counties: 295 Granite Bay, 3189 El Dorado, 3257 Placer 4H, 6644 Rocklin

Solano County: 701 Vanden, 2085 Vacaville, 5496 Buckingham Charter, 6474 Armijo

Butte County: 4643 Butte County schools

Teams who qualified for the FIRST Championships at earlier competitions this season include:

1323 Madtown Robotics (at Central Valley), 1678 Citrus Circuits (Central Valley), 2073 Eagleforce Robotics (Utah), 2102 Team Paradox (San Diego), 3128 Aluminum Narwhals (San Diego), 4135 Iron Patriots (Arizona North), 6305 Stable Circuits Robotics (Central Valley)

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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