Robotics — exercise for the mind!

By Nic Stone, Canyon Crest Academy senior and De.Evolution team captain

FIRST robotics is a program focused on developing an interest towards science and engineering among students of all ages, and it is quickly becoming more and more popular among local students, parents and teachers.

Many local schools are not only offering robotics afterschool programs, but also developing robotics and engineering classes to add to the school’s curriculum.

One of Canyon Crest Academy’s robotics teams, De.Evolution, is helping to spearhead this growing movement in the community.

The team, composed of seven juniors and seniors from Canyon Crest Academy, has been competing in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition for two and a half years, and was the second place finalists at the World Competition in St. Louis two years ago.

This season, they have won two out of their three regional qualifier competitions, and will be competing at both the Feb. 23 San Diego regional and March 2 Los Angeles regional in the hopes of again qualifying for the St. Louis international competition in April.

As well as mentoring several existing FTC robotics teams in the San Diego area, De.Evolution has given engineering and FIRST robotics focused presentations to local sixth-grade students at Del Mar Heights Elementary and Solana Pacific Elementary this past month.

These demonstrations provided students and teachers an opportunity to observe firsthand the team’s robot in action, as well as hearing about the different aspects of the program from members of the team. The principals and many of the school’s teachers were given the chance to try driving the robot around, much to the enjoyment of their students.

De.Evolution encourages any students or schools interested in starting a team or hearing more about the FIRST program to contact them through their website at

De-Evolution team members look forward to helping develop understanding of robotics and engineering to middle and high school students, and spreading the message of the excitement and team spirit the FIRST program provides.