FRC, FIRST Robotics Competition was new for students attending Westwood High School in Mesa, AZ. The first year of competition for the Westwood Robotics Team was one to be celebrated. Not only did they take on a new challenge, they turned an out of classroom activity into a laboratory for lifelong learning. They turned their learning into success. And their success went farther than winning the prize. They developed a passion for science, technology, engineering and math. They learned what it means to collaborate, problem solve and persist. Along the way team 2478 became a family - a family of scientists. Most students can name their favorite athlete or movie star, but how many can name their favorite scientist? Students on the Westwood Robotics team can. As one student puts it, “The goal of the competition is to change the culture. The purpose is to ...
I struggle. I collaborate. I create. The FRC game was on! The challenge to build a robot that could travel through an opposing team of robots, carry, pass, catch and shoot a two foot diameter ball into a goal was daunting. It was a challenge Westwood Robotics Team 2478 was up to. They would build a prototype. The design had to be sophisticated, in that it had to be both simple and reliable. Logistics were important. What materials would be used? The robot could not be too heavy to maneuver on the field. The budget had to be maintained and the day to day schedule had to be managed to keep the build on track. The challenge required dedication. Students and mentors worked every day after school until early evening, with two late nights, and every Saturday. Their time was spent in trial and error, building and refining. For some students, they always liked math and scie...
If the purpose of the Arizona Regionals was to get kids excited and celebrate technology, then the competition at Hamilton High School scored big. It was like a sports event; school colors, music, fun, team spirit and fans. Westwood Robotics Team 2478 was there to play the game and had winning on their mind.
In the practice rounds the robot had problems. The team came together. They would move forward by trial and error. They would need to monitor and adjust. For a first year team they did well and finished in the top 12.
I solve. I invent. Westwood Robotics Team did not win in the Arizona Regional competition but they gained experience and were ready to test what they had learned. What the regional in Las Vegas lacked in a spirited atmosphere was made up for in talent and competitiveness. The teams from California were strong. The action on the field was more aggressive. The driving was harder hitting. On the first day of competition, team mentor Tom Saxon was proud of the solid design the students had built, as well as the attitude, enthusiasm and skill they were demonstrating. At the end of the first day Westwood had two wins and one loss. Westwood team member, Emily, credits Mr. Saxon’s favorite phrase, “Don’t worry about it”, as being reassuring for students even when they felt frantic or the pressure was extreme. The final match of the Las Vegas Regional was ...
For the first time, the Maricopa County Fair will have a Robotics display for people to enjoy.
The idea behind the display is to showcase what robotics teams can do but to also encourage kids to look at the careers in Agriculture, many of which involve STEM.
The display features award-winning robots from local middle and high schools. The robots range from basketball throwing devices to a 3D printer.
You can check out the robots yourself at the Maricopa County Fair from Arpil 8-12, 2015 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.