Dreamworks Visit Results in Partnership for Students

The Crescenta Valley High School Team 589 Falkon Robotics students, shown above with Kate Swanborg, the head of enterprise marketing and CTO Ed Leonard, had the opportunity to visit Dreamworks to give a demonstration of their work to the studio staff.


The Crescenta Valley High School Team 589 Falkon Robotics had the chance to present their robot to the Dreamworks Technology department on Friday. The robotics team, consisting of about 40 students from Crescenta Valley and seven adult mentors from Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the high school led by Dr. Greg Neat, participates annually in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – F.I.R.S.T. – Robotics Competition. F.I.R.S.T. is a non-profit organization that challenges students with a worldwide competition.

The CVHS robotics team gave a demonstration to the Dreamworks staff of how the robot moves. Many staff members were surprised to learn that all aspects of the robot were completed solely by students.

A highlight of the visit for the students was meeting Dreamworks co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Katzenberg was impressed by the quality of work the high school students produced. They were also introduced to the studio’s Chief Technology Officer Ed Leonard.

After the public presentation, the team met with Kate Swanborg, the head of enterprise marketing. At the meeting, sophomore Heather Abrams showed a PowerPoint presentation in addition to a video from the team explaining their favorite aspects of the F.I.R.S.T. season. Swanborg then explained to the group the importance of technology and engineering to society, saying how if engineering is influential to animation, it is needed for anything.

The Dreamworks Animation Technology department now sponsors the 589 robotics team. The donation will be used to not only build the robot, but to also enter competitions and explore new technology.