Robotics teams headed to nationals

There is a F.I.R.S.T time for everything and the robotics teams at Canyon Crest Academy are a perfect example.

For the first time ever, a high school will send two rookie teams to the international championships of the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or F.I.R.S.T., competition in Atlanta. Canyon Crest’s “Aluminum Narwhals” of the top-tier division will enter their soccer-playing robot in the tournament. The “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto” team will enter a ball-throwing contraption into the second-tier division.

“It feels amazing because it’s something that I would never have the chance to have done before,” said Narwhals team President Logan Mercer, adding that he hopes this year’s success will inspire more CCA students to join the team. “We’re showing other students this opportunity is here, you guys can accomplish this with us.”

The school held a celebration on March 31 that included appearances from County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and San Diego City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner. Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Lesa Heebner and Councilman Mike Nichols read a proclamation to honor the success of both teams.

“It says a lot about this school that you have two teams going to represent you and I think that deserves a round of applause,” Nichols said. “We are very proud of you.”

The competition runs April 15 to 17 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and will pit more than 250 robotics teams against each other. The Narwhal’s 4-foot tall, 150-pound soccer-playing robot is already in Atlanta waiting for its teammates to make the trip.