Like other high schools in the area – namely, Crescenta Valley, St. Francis and La Cañada – the robotics team at Clark Magnet High School – Team 696 – is working hard to design and engineer a robot to compete for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Regional Competition in Long Beach on March 15 through 17.
Team 696, also known as the Circuit Breakers, devotes their time to the project after school and on weekends. The team has six weeks to design, build and test a working robot that’s ready for competition.
Clark Magnet High School principal Doug Dall has made available a new engineering lab for the team to use. This dedicated workspace has an area large enough to store machinery and tools, conduct team meetings and conferences, and physically build the robot. With a new Computer Aided Design – CAD – room, business office and electronics room, the space is a more organized and stress-free environment to work in said team members.
The team has also been receiving high-tech engineering equipment funded by Glendale Unified School District and will be obtaining electrical service upgrades to accommodate the new equipment.
The FIRST Robotics kick-off day for this year’s competition was on Jan. 7. The team crowded around the screen waiting for the rules for the new 2012 game.
The team learned that the game plan was based on basketball and wasted no time in strategizing and coming up with ideas of how to win. Since kick-off day, the Circuit Breakers have been working up to 30 hours a week, all the while maintaining grades and completing homework.
FIRST is an international organization whose mission is “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.” The FIRST Robotics Competition engages over 2,300 teams with about 58,000 high-school students in grades 9 through 12, in 52 regional events; one state championship; one region championship; and 14 district competitions. Robots are built in six weeks from a common kit of parts provided by FIRST, and typically weigh up to 150 lbs.
For information on the Clark Robotics team contact David Black at (818) 248-8324 ext. 5204 or e-mail David at firstname.lastname@example.org.