West Grand High School Robotics competes in Denver Regional for FIRST robotics | SkyHiNews.com

West Grand High School Robotics competes in Denver Regional for FIRST robotics

Some may ask themselves what is FIRST Robotics? The acronym means: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, it was founded by Dean Kamen inventor of the Segway as a way to inspire students to become excited about science and technology.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an exhilarating, multinational competition that teams, professionals and students, to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. It is a “varsity sport of the mind” challenging students and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week time frame using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrating team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, as well as the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last. The competitions are designed with an entire season and playoffs spread out over three days which requires students to problem solve and think on their feet when troubles occur.

This year’s game of Breakaway was a game of soccer with robots and obstacles. West Grand’s robot “Jose” featured a tank drive system with a cam driven kicking mechanism and a winch hanger. The robot excelled in maneuverability and kicking allowing it to score 9 points overall in the competition. This allowed us to excel throughout the competition but not quite enough to make it to the playoffs on the last day. Our team was mentored by Dave Brence and other engineers from Climax Molybdenum Freeport-McMoran. This relationship allows students to work with engineers to follow the same designing and building process that they use in these occupations which is a relationship that can really make a difference in the lives of students.

With the wonderful opportunities that this program offers it comes at a price of $5,000 dollars per year just for the kit of parts. Our team depends on sponsors from the community which are greatly appreciated. Our sponsors for this season include: Climax Molybdenum Freeport-McMoran, Everist Materials, Blue Valley Ranch, Fraser Valley Lions Club, Mountain Parks Electric and Mountain Parks Concrete. If you are interested in this program contact Lori Haack at West Grand High School. 

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