December and January are big months for SUSD’s school robotics programs ‒ at all levels!
December saw Saguaro High School’s robotics organization host a state championship-qualifying event for First Lego League (FLL) teams. Desert Canyon Middle School’s DC Voltz and Cheyenne Traditional’s Coding Kings will represent SUSD at next weekend’s big state tournament at ASU! The Voltz also won an award for their Robot Design, with their coach, teacher Larry Bloom, picking up Coach/Mentor top honors.
Other SUSD teams received event recognition, too: The Cocopah Blues team was awarded the Core Values medal; DCMS’s other FLL team, the DC Jigawatts, took the Innovation Project award; and Navajo Elementary’s RoboBuffs received the Motivate Award.
This was the first time Saguaro hosted the FLL event, although the Saguaro Robotics team has been its longtime organizer. It is always an all-hands-on-deck affair, supported behind the scenes by robotics team and Sisters in STEM volunteers, as well as former Sabercats. This year, the alums included Laney Olson (tournament director), Ben Nearing (judge advisor), and Lewis Ruskin, Eli Arnold and Jacob Ellsworth (technical team). Thank you!
The following December weekend, Saguaro’s two VEX robotics teams competed in the Spin-Up qualifier at Desert Ridge. They have a final chance to qualify for that robotics platform’s state tournament next month.
But before that, Saguaro is hosting the ‘reveal’ event for this year’s FRC mission. More than 400 students who are part of 40+ FRC robotics teams statewide are descending on Saguaro this weekend to pick up their robot kits and learn what this year’s ‘mission’ is in a live-stream event from FIRST headquarters. Chaparral High School will host the Arizona East Regional FRC competition over spring break in March.
Staying on the topic of STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics ‒ next weekend, Chaparral’s Firebirds Robotics team is sponsoring its first Valley STEM Festival, an opportunity for families, and especially children, to learn about STEM studies and local STEM careers. The free, outdoor, Jan. 14 event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Read more here.