As reported by Enumclaw School Board member and high school robotics mentor Corey Cassell in this , the school's Techno-Bots robotics team took second place this weekend in the Washington State FIRST Tech Challenge in what he said was "a very competitive championship final match." Said Cassell:
After qualifying 3rd out of 24 teams in a full day of qualifying rounds, the Technobots and their alliance partners won their semifinal round to get to the main event where they lost to the two time defending champions, the Cybernights. The Cybernights will go to St Louis for their third consecutive year to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships. Congratulations to the EHS Technobots for coming so close to winning it all in just their second year in existence! So proud of you all!
Teacher Jim LovellFord said he was also pleasantly surprised by how well Enumclaw did. "Kudos to the kids," he said. "They just worked their butts off, and it's really quite fulfilling to see them accomplish as much as they did."
LovellFord continued, "We might have challenged them [the Cybernights] but we had some technical difficulties with a short wire in the last two rounds in the semifinal and final rounds. They had a robot that could do a bit more than we could, so they could amass a huge amount of points."
The success of the high school's robotics program -- which is only in its second year this year -- is helping fuel educator's desire to expand the program into grade schools and junior high, said LovellFord.
In fact, the program will be offering a four-day summer camp in the last week of June with a morning session geared toward grade school students and the afternoon for junior high students, he said. "Our goal is to see about getting this put throughout the system," he said. "Hopefully we can inspire younger kids to get involved in this. The FIRST Washington program does offer competitions in grade school and junior high."
The robotics program also hopes to build on community outreach as well, getting more parent and community support to help grow the program. This involves everything from financial help to mentoring to just coming to events.
Editor's Note: All photos in this story were shared with us, courtesy of Jim LovellFord.