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Coronado/D-11 robotics team qualifies for world championship - 6th time in 7 years

Former Coronado High engineering teacher Bryce McLean (far left, in yellow T-shirt), helps clear the playing arena after a game during the robotics scrimmage hosted by Coronado in March. Other yellow-shirted team members can also be seen. McLean helped start the robotics program at Coronado and still helps out, even though he is now an assistant principal at Jenkins Middle School.
Westside Pioneer file photo
       Coronado High's robotics team members are fundraising and preparing for their sixth trip to the world championship in the seven years that the program has existed at the school.
       The contingent qualified for the April 22-25 event in St. Louis by earning the Engineering Inspiration Award at the regional competition in Salt Lake City in March. It previously has qualified twice by winning regional events and two other times by receiving distinctive awards related to community outreach.
       The Engineering Inspiration Award “celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team's school and community,” explained Coronado applied technology instructor Gary Hilty, who oversees the annual extracurricular activity for engineering-inclined students.
       Every year in January a national organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) releases a new game that can be played with robots that students need to build.
       Coronado's program is called Cougars Gone Wired, and its assigned number is 2996. Technically (since last year), it's the "District 11" robotics team, although nearly all the participating students are from Coronado.
       About 50 of the 69 'Wired' members are expected to make the trip to St. Louis this year, where they will face more than 100 teams, including some from other countries. Coronado student/team member Shannan Craine, said she is definitely looking forward to the experience, not so much for the competition as for the camaraderie that FIRST encourages among participants. “This is one of the best things that's happened to me at school,” said the sophomore, who had attended Palmer High as a freshman. “I was never interested in engineering until I got into robotics. Now I'm looking at it for a career.”

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/13/15, updated 2/27/16; Schools: Coronado High School)

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