The Rock Academy Warriors Robotics Team won two prestigious awards at The First Tech Challenge (FTC) San Diego Championship Tournament at James Madison High School on Jan. 14. Over 500 students from Southern California competed for recognition and Rock Robotics took home the Connect Award and the Think Award.
The Connect Award is given to the team that most connected with their local community and the engineering community. The Warriors Robotics Team was acknowledged for several outreach events, including visits to the Ronald McDonald House, to "spread the word" about robotics.
The team also brought back the Think Award, which is awarded to the team that best reflects the "journey" the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The Warrior's engineering journal was recognized for its comprehensive information and well-organized format.
Additionally, the Warriors were one of three nominees for the Inspire Award, the most prestigious FTC award, given to the team that truly embodies the "challenge" of the FTC program. Rock Academy outreach partners won awards as well: Team Fusion from Dehesa Charter School won the Inspire Award and the Robochicks, an all girl middle school rookie team from Correia Middle School placed 5th overall in the Tesla division.
A tradition of excellence continues for Rock Warriors as the team gains awards at other competitions, including the FTC Los Angeles Championship Tournament on December 10th, 2011. The team left winning the Think Award and 2nd place overall at the Alliance competition.
The FTC robotics events are part of the US FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) program. The Rock Academy FTC Robotics Team is only two years old, but has already been identified as a model for such teams. With only one junior, five sophomores, and two freshmen, the core team will be around for at least two more years and hopes to recruit and mentor some new teammates interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
The team is preparing for their next competition in Las Vegas, where they hope to qualify for the World Championships.
The original article was written by Rock Academy High School Student, Chad Doran.
More tournament photographs available here: http://bit.ly/zgR6DG.