Canyon Crest Academy’s robotics team 4278 – de.evolution – is headed to the world championship robotics tournament in St. Louis next month, after competing at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Super-Regional competition held in Sacramento March 20 to 22.
De.evolution earned a spot at the world competition after winning the coveted Connect Award, which, according to organizers, “is given to the team that most connected with their local community and the engineering community.”
The Super-Regional tournament brought together 72 teams from 13 western states. California sent 21 teams, seven from the San Diego area.
The FIRST organization places as priorities other achievements besides winning the game on the field, by presenting six different awards: Inspire, Think, Connect, Innovate, Design and Motivate. The teams judges select for these awards are honored and qualify to advance to the next round.
The world competition in St. Louis is the fourth level of advancement and the culmination of a season that began last fall.
FIRST defines the winner of the Connect Award as “more than a sum of its parts and [one that] recognizes that its schools and communities play an essential part to their success.
“The recipient of this award is recognized for helping the community understand FIRST, the FTC, and the team itself. The team that wins this award is aggressively seeking engineers and exploring the opportunities available in the world of engineering, science and technology. In addition, this team has a clear Business or Strategic Plan and has identified steps to achieve their goals.”
Judges in Sacramento cited de.evolution’s outreach to the community, the positive influence the team has had on its own school and other local schools, its comprehensive strategy to expand understanding of FIRST, and the team’s efforts to highlight the benefits of robotics for students interested in science and technology.
According to FIRST, the FTC games, different each year, use “a combination of motors, controllers, wireless communications, metal gears, and sensors, including infrared tracking (IR) and magnet seeking.” Students “program their robots to operate in both autonomous and driver-controlled modes on a specially designed field.”
De-Evolution is a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team, with eight members this year, and is CCA’s after-school FTC robotics team. FTC teams are limited to 10 students in grades 7-12.
Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international robotics competition founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989. A non-profit organization, FIRST [www.usfirst.org] was created to inspire and motivate students to excel and pursue careers in engineering, science and technology.