On April 19th to the 22nd, a group of students from Escondido Charter High School (ECHS)–dubbed Team Daedalus–participated in the national championship of the FIRST Robotics Challenge in Houston, Texas after winning the San Diego Regional.
The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Challenge aims to promote interest in science and engineering education among high-school aged students by getting them to participate in building industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game. Building the robot is half the challenge. Teams must enlist mentors who specialize in technology to help them create and edit their robots’ design, raise funds for materials and travel, and place in a regional to earn a spot in the championship. Prizes include a total of $50 million worth of scholarships.
The program has seen successes in getting students more engaged in academics, as well as pursuing careers within the science and technology field. In 2016, 92% of the robotics competition participants expressed interest in pursuing college and 83% said they wish to pursue a career as a scientist or engineer.
With Team Daedalus, the students participated in building all aspects of the robot from creating 2D drawings, to fabrication, electronic wiring and even software coding. During the San Diego Regionals, held on March 8th-11th, the challenge was following a steampunk theme that required robots to deliver large plastic gears to a human player on an airship, shoot whiffle balls/fuel into a boiler, and climb a rope to secure a spot on the airship. The Daedalus robot was able to perform all of these functions well as it moved swiftly from one end of the field to the other. Among 66 teams that participated in the event, Team Daedalus secured a spot in the national championship after setting the highest score.
Manufacturing Engineering Professional and Team Daedalus Mentor Andre White said, “As a mentor and parent, ALL OF THE STUDENTS WON! They learned core skills in fabrication, electronics, and programming. They also learned to assess a challenge as a team and create solutions by conceptualizing ideas to creating fully functional devices that achieved their objectives. These skills of creating actual solutions to challenges will go with them in any future endeavors they wish to pursue.”
SoloPoint Solutions was among Team Daedalus’ supporters who helped in funding to get them to their first national championship in Texas. Though the team did not place in the championship this year, we want to congratulate the students for their hard work and look forward to what they are capable of in the future.
To learn more about Team Daedalus, check out this video:
Uploaded by ECHS Football on 2017-03-23.