Learning about robots is just one tip of the iceberg for students taking part in robotics competitions. | Monterey County NOW Intro

Celia Jimenez was here, thinking about the excitement of hundreds of students who will take part in the first Silicon Valley robotics regional event over the weekend in San Jose. Last month I participated in the Monterey area, where 36 teams from different cities, including Greenfield, Sisyphus, Salinas, Grove and Marina – competed for the opportunity to participate in the regions and take part in an international event in Houston Texas, where 450 teams from around the company competed. the world participates.

I was surprised when I arrived at the event. The basketball gym was packed with the largest crowd I’ve seen in a while – more than 400 people. Participants, teachers, organizers and volunteers all attended. I felt like I was in a modern college. On the basketball court, there was a metal structure with a gutter ring in the middle. On either side were three teams, each trying to throw its robot out of the ring. In the stands, children armed with colorful pom-poms and wearing the colors of their teams sang and rejoiced.

In rune it looked like a spectator – but more than that. “It’s not just about building robots and competing with each other,” says Theresa Bateman, the first regional director of robotics in Northern California. Instead, throughout the process, teens learn soft skills such as time management, fundraising, and how to develop a business plan.

Of course, the robotics part is important. Students from different nationalities work together to design and build a robot. “We accept students from all parts of the campus, they just have to be interested, and we teach them everything they need to know,” says Robin Coyne, head of robotics at Monterey High School.

For several students at the regional event, this was the first time they had personally experienced the competition.. “It’s more interesting in person because you actually see that everyone is competing. And it’s a lot more fun, ”says John Rabelo, a 10th grade student at Pacific Grove High School. Rabelo has worked with 3D design and production. increased.

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Each team worked for months – at least 20 hours a week – to make sure their robots were ready.. Sneha Gokaraju, a Monterey high school student who worked with the surveillance system, says she’s hooked on it because she’s interested in technology. “I wanted to learn more so this club seems to be a good way to explore this STEM area,” says Gokaraju. The process of designing, constructing, testing, and correcting errors was sometimes frustrating – “some issues should be left alone, but we got there.”

Watching the competition of students and their colleagues from the pulpits was one of the most exciting moments I have had in the last two years.. The event is not open to the public, but everyone can watch it online. Check it out and maybe rejoice in one of the four teams from County Monterey that will be in the regions this week – Marina, Greenfield, Monterey and the Seaside.

Good luck to everyone!

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