SCUSD robotics teams get ready for FIRST competition kick-off next month
FIRST Robotics Competition teams across the district are getting busy building robots in anticipation of the 2016 qualifying contests next month.
This year’s competition’s theme is “Stronghold.” Teams will be tasked with creating robots that can storm an opposing team’s castle by overcoming obstacles and launching foam boulders into a scoring tower.
Local teams travel to UC Davis for matches and as far away as Arizona and Southern California to participate in regional competitions in hopes to qualify for the World Championship in St. Louis in late April.
Students on robotics teams learn to design, fabricate and program robots that meet international criteria for size, weight and content. Students also build practice fields, develop safety programs, raise money and juggle school work and family commitments. Students have just six weeks to design, build and program their robots and learn to operate them to complete the tasks laid out by the challenge.
For John F. Kennedy High School and other schools with the FRC program, students are hard at work until at least 10 p.m. every night, including weekends and holidays.
And what do they get out of it? History shows that students who participate in FRC are eligible for more scholarships, and are likely to study science, math and engineering in college and continue on in careers in those fields.