CCA’s FRC robotics Team 3128 Aluminum Narwhals wraps up a season of many accomplishments

The Aluminum Narwhals receiving their Gracious Professionalism award at the San Diego Regional.
The Aluminum Narwhals receiving their Gracious Professionalism award at the San Diego Regional.
(Mayank Tiwari)

Team 3128 Aluminum Narwhals, the local FRC robotics team from Canyon Crest Academy, continued to make waves in the world of FRC robotics this season with their new competition robot, Gorbius. Programmed within eight weeks, Gorbius was the Narwhals’ first robot in years that uses a swerve drive train, giving it leeway for adaptability and creativity. Gorbius and the team attended two regionals: the Hueneme Port Regional and San Diego Regional.

The Hueneme Port Regional officially opened the season for the Narwhals March 2 through March 5. Diving into the very first match, the Narwhals demonstrated their competitive spirit and skill, securing a win for their team. However, their impact extended beyond the field. The Narwhals’ service system, Aluminum Assistance, went above and beyond, providing assistance to fellow teams such as Team 1266 Devil Duckies and 3328 NohoRobo, helping them with bumper assembling and robot repairs between matches. Their stellar performance and team dynamics earned the Narwhals a spot in the semifinals. Team 2102 Paradox, the 6th Alliance captain, recognized their potential and selected them, along with 3881 WHEA Sharkbots, to form a formidable alliance. By the end, the Narwhals finished the Hueneme Port Regional ranked 21st out of 44 teams. Gorbius won the Narwhals the Autonomous Award for its consistent and high-performance robot operation during autonomously managed actions – its ability to sense its surroundings, position itself or onboard mechanisms appropriately, and execute tasks.

Kicking off their second competition of the season, the Aluminum Narwhals team attended the San Diego Regional hosted at UCSD. From March 23 onwards, the Narwhals came out with new and improved parts adapted from changes made after the Hueneme Port Regional two weeks before – specifically, a redesigned roller intake and the new ability to pick up cubes from the ground.

The Mechanical Department CADing during their week 5 of Build Season.
The Mechanical Department CADing during their week 5 of Build Season.
(Marketing Department, CCA FRC robotics team)

After many rounds of qualification matches, they ended up ranked 14th among 50 teams. One particularly memorable match was when the Narwhals emerged victorious against a three-time world champion team. Thanks to their remarkable performance, they were chosen by the Alliance Seven captain, 3473 Sprocket, along with 2543 Titanbots, forming a cohesive alliance of three highly ranked teams for the elimination rounds.

By overcoming various setbacks, the Narwhals persevered through every match and performed to the top of their abilities. Despite being eliminated in their second match by the second-ranked alliance, the Narwhals continued to show incredible sportsmanship and support for their fellow competitors. Their Aluminum Assistance initiative persisted in being a remarkable aspect of the Narwhals’ journey. In addition to their on-field achievements, the team extended their help to two foreign teams from Taiwan: 7589 Lishan Blue Magpies and 8020 Cyberpunk. In fact, beyond Aluminum Assistance help during competitions, the Narwhals went out of their way to ensure that the two teams were well-situated for the entire duration of their stay in sunny San Diego, inviting them to visit their workshop, facilitating communication between the teams, and helping with their meal planning. The selfless efforts of the Narwhals, especially the marketing department, and their dedication to teamwork earned the team the Gracious Professionalism award, a recognition they have been familiar with over the years due to their consistent embodiment of this core value.

The Narwhals’ performance throughout the season showcased their unwavering commitment to innovation, collaboration, and community engagement that ultimately extends beyond their competitive season. In their quest to inspire and empower the next generation of roboticists, the Narwhals are launching three robotics summer camp programs that will be hosted at Canyon Crest Academy. Starting July 17 and ending on Aug. 4, these weeklong programs, catering to students entering 1st through 9th grades, aim to provide hands-on learning experiences and explore various STEM topics. The three camp programs, namely Insight (incoming 1st-4th graders), Curiosity (incoming 5th-6th graders), and Opportunity (incoming 7th-9th graders), offer comprehensive curriculums designed to nurture students’ interest in robotics. With a four-to-one student to counselor ratio, campers receive personalized attention and support from Team 3128 members throughout their learning journey. During the camp, students have the opportunity to build and program their own robots using VEX IQ kits to compete against their fellow campers, allowing them to tackle interesting and complex challenges.

For the convenience of parents, aftercare is available until 5 p.m., ensuring that campers can continue to explore and engage in STEM activities beyond the regular camp hours. To learn more about the summer camp programs offered by Team 3128 Aluminum Narwhals, visit for registration details and email for any additional questions. Also, follow @3128aluminumnarwhals on Instagram for the latest updates and news.

—Michelle Yuan, is head of marketing for Team 3128 Aluminum Narwhals