Double win for CCA’s De-Evolution robotics team


Canyon Crest Academy’s robotics team, De-Evolution, has now qualified to compete in the Los Angeles regional competition, after the team’s double win at the L.A. qualifying tournament held Jan. 25 in Glendale.

De-Evolution has already qualified to compete in the upcoming San Diego regional competition with the team’s double win in December at the Escondido qualifying tournament.

Going into the semi-finals at the L.A. tournament, De-Evolution was ranked Number 1 out of 30 teams and maintained its top position, remaining undefeated the entire day.

A double win means the team qualified twice for Regionals, by being named the winner of the coveted Inspire award as well as being the captain of the Winning Alliance.

De-Evolution placed second internationally three years ago, as a rookie team. Four members of that rookie team, now CCA seniors, remain on the team.

De-Evolution has now won the Inspire Award at both qualifying tournaments, which is considered more prestigious than winning on the field. The Inspire Award is described by tournament organizers as a team that is “a top contender for all other judging categories and is a strong competitor on the field.”

The Inspire Award winner, organizers say, “is able to communicate their experiences, enthusiasm and knowledge to other teams, sponsors, and the judges, [and] will have demonstrated success in accomplishing the task of creating a working and competitive robot.”

De-Evolution received a standing ovation from the other teams when it was announced the team had won the Inspire Award.

“Winning the Inspire Award is an unexpected honor,” said Noah Sutton-Smolin, De-Evolution’s co-president and programmer. “We never strive for the Inspire Award for its own sake. Historically, our team has been about building the best robot possible. This year, though, the focus of our team has shifted from winning the competition to helping others succeed.

“The teams at the competitions are wonderful, as always. The cooperative spirit of the events is fundamentally perspective-altering, as it grows into more than simply a competition for awards.”

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 [] was created to inspire and motivate students to excel and pursue careers in engineering, science and technology.

De-Evolution team members are committed to advancing understanding of robotics in middle and high schools and to spreading the message of the excitement, team spirit and intellectual stimulation that FIRST competitions provide. Any local schools wishing to start a robotics program are encouraged to contact De-Evolution to schedule a visit or demonstration.

De-Evolution will now compete at the San Diego regional competition Feb. 15 and at the Los Angeles regional competition Feb. 22. The winning teams at Regionals will advance to the Super-Regionals in northern California in March. The winner there will compete internationally in April.

The public is welcome to attend and cheer on De-Evolution at the San Diego Regionals on Feb. 15 at Madison High School in San Diego.