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Coronado robot designed to 'storm the castle' this year; scrimmage Feb. 20

       In what's become an annual affair, Coronado High will host a multi-team robotics scrimmage Saturday, Feb. 20.
       Free and open to the public in the school gym at 1590 W. Filllmore St., the event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
       Robotics is an extracurricular engineering activity in which students build a machine that can compete in a timed, small-arena game format based on a
An example of this year's "Stronghold" robotics game is seen in this screen capture from a video on the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) website.
Courtesy of FIRST
design that's devised each January by a national organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). In keeping with that, the robot must be built differently each year to match the new game. For instance, this year's robot can only be 14 inches tall (see Q/A at the end of this article).
       Coronado's 40-member team is open to high schoolers throughout District 11, but consists primarily of Coronado students.
       The scrimmage will be open to “all the FIRST robotics teams in the state of Colorado,” according to Coronado engineering instructor Bryce McLean, who helped start the school's robotics effort in 2009.
       This year's FIRST game is called “Stronghold.” It depicts a medieval-esque playing field, in which robots from either side seek to advance on and then storm the opponent's castle. Each side consists of three teams/robots working as allies.
       The scrimmage is actually a series of competitions, giving different teams the chance to try out their robots and make mechanical/electrical adjustments as needed during the day. Most teams are from schools, but other youth-oriented groups/organizations have been known to get involved as well.
       Coronado hosted its first such event in 2012. Last year, 15 teams participated.
       Coronado students not only build a robot each year, they establish (with faculty and parent oversight) a kind of corporation that additionally directs efforts at fundraising and community outreach. This year's student CEO is Ben Fox.
       The Westside Pioneer asked McLean about the students preparing their machine for Stronghold. Here are the question and answer:
       Q - What is the biggest challenge in designing the robot this year? It appears that it has to be able to do several things (including crossing obstacles, picking up and hurling objects and lifting itself up).
       A - Our biggest challenge this year is trying to design a robot that can drive over all the obstacles, shoot a ball into the high window of the tower and still be only 14 inches tall so it can go under the low-bar obstacle. It has been a real design challenge to fit everything needed into such a small package.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 2/15/16; Schools: (Coronado High)

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