Tehachapi High senior Brooke Neufeld demonstrates an Arbitrary Quadrature Encoder that she designed for use on rotary or linear applications to FIRST regional robotics competition judge Warren Hioki from the College of Southern Nevada as THS senior Nick Horn looks on. (Contributed)
› View Larger Image Two of three high school robotics teams sponsored in part by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center saw their competition season the first weekend in April, as they failed to advance to the finals at the FIRST Robotics Competition regional meet in Las Vegas.
Although the Cyber Penguins team 585 from Tehachapi High School and the Robolopes team 2339 from Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster did not make it past the semi-final rounds, their season isn't entirely over. Both teams will be giving demonstrations of their 2013 robot at community events over the next month or two, including the Lancaster (Calif.) Poppy Festival at which the Robolopes robot, named "Leroy Jenkins" will be showing its stuff.
One of the Cyber Penquins members, THS senior and team vice-president Brooke Neufeld, was named a finalist for one of 10 Dean's List awards to be presented at the FIRST Robotics Competition championships in St. Louis April 26-27. She is the third Tehachapi High School student to be recognized as a Dean's List Finalist since the award's inception in 2010.
Neufeld was nominated for the Dean's List "based on her commitment to community outreach and her passion for engineering and discovery," said the team's faculty mentor Danielle Evansic. "The Dean's List Finalist award is a great recognition of a student's personal growth and commitment to promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering amd math)," she added.
In addition, the Tehachapi High team won another Underwriter's Laboratories Safety Runner-Up award as they had done the week before at the San Bernardino competition.
AVHS Robolopes mentor Merle McLernon said the team was ranked 17th overall out of 48 team s competing at the conclusion of the qualifying matches.
Tehachapi High Cyber Penguins 2013 robot appears to be part of the conversation as team member Andrew Bartels and other team members explain the robot's design to a judge at the Las Vegas FIRST Robotics regional competition. (Contributed)
› View Larger Image "The robot performed well and the students were able to work hard and have fun at the same time," he added.
The third team co-sponsored by NASA Dryden and other community organizations and businesses, the Lancaster High School Eagle Robotics team 399, will compete in the FIRST international robotics championships in St. Louis, after the team received a coveted invitation to participate at the conclusion of the Inland Empire a regional robotics competition in San Bernardino March 30.
The Eagle Robotics team was invited to participate in the championships after winning the Engineering Inspiration Award, the second highest award at the regional competitions, at the conclusion of the San Bernardino meet. The Engineering Inspiration Award signifies a team's outstanding efforts in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school and their community.
The Lancaster High team has either qualified for or received an invitation to participate in the championships every year of its 14-year existence. In addition to students from Lancaster High, the team also includes members from nearby Quartz Hill and SOAR high schools.
FIRST, an acronym denoting For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is an international organization that promotes science and technology education. This year's competition features robots designed to shoot Frisbee-like discs through a series of rectangular slots in walls at each of the competition court, with discs making it through the higher slots scoring more points for the team. Near the end of each match, the robots have a few seconds to attempt to climb pyramid-like racks on the court to score additional points.