By providing an $8,500 sponsorship to the William S. Hart Union High School District’s Project 691 robotics competition team, College of the Canyons has helped the group of talented young intellectuals follow through on an opportunity to compete at the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) World Championship in St. Louis from April 22 to 25.
Founded in 2000, Project 691 offers hands-on technical and life experience for young future engineers and entrepreneurs, while placing an emphasis on building confidence, professional work ethic and leadership skills.
Project 691 alumni have gone on to study at universities such as UCLA, UC Berkeley, Cal Tech, Cal Poly and more.
This year marks the first time in a decade that the student-led, mentor-guided competition team has earned eligibility to participate in the popular FRC World Championship event.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, which works to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders. The organization supports more than 38,700 student robotics teams from around the world.
As part of the annual competition, students are tasked with designing a team brand, honing teamwork skills, and building/programing robots that can perform specific tasks.
This year’s challenge required teams to design a robot that stacks large boxes on top of each other. The catch being that each team had just six weeks to design, wire and program their creations.
However, upon selection to the worldwide tournament funding became a concern, as the team, along with its robot and corresponding supplies, needed to travel to Missouri for nearly a week.
That’s when College of the Canyons stepped in to help.
By utilizing funding from a recent National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Manufacturing and Processing Training (AMPT) grant (#1304874), the college was able to provide the team with a sponsorship of $8,500 to help make the trip a reality.
“We are excited to be able to help support an endeavor that creates pathways to programs in manufacturing, welding and electronics,” said Gabrielle Temple, NSF AMPT co-principal investigator and instructor of communication studies. “This is a wonderful opportunity for these high school students to test their skill sets among a worldwide audience.”
The sponsorship will cover more than half of the team’s planned expenses.
“It's a great honor to myself, but as president of the team, it's an even greater honor to know that so many people are supporting the team and our efforts to go to the world championship,” said Tyler Arrowsmith, president of Project 691. “We are truly thankful.”