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Coronado: robotics, astronaut visit, charity dodgeball

       Robots stuck in a video game may sound like a twisted version of a “Tron” movie, but in fact it's the theme of this year's robotics competition for the 60-member team from Coronado High.
       Coronado is the designated District 11 high school - and one of thousands across the country - participating in the annual, extracurricular robotics game created by a private engineering organization: FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

Madison Rutherford, two-year student CEO of Cougars Gone Wired robotics program, poses with the robot during a multi-school scrimmage in the gym.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Overseen by the school's technology instructors, Coronado's robotics program is organized like a private company, involves community outreach and fundraising and is helmed by a student CEO.
       Filling the CEO role for a second year is senior Madison Rutherford, who plans next year to attend Massachusetts' Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a major in chemistry and minor in Spanish.
       There's a January-February time frame for robot design/construction, followed by formal competitions in March and (if sufficient funds are raised) a trip to the national event in St. Louis in April.
  • Astronaut Duane Carey spoke at Coronado High School Feb. 28 as part of the Space Foundation's Space in the Community program.
           Afterward, specialists from the foundation held hands-on workshops with engineering students, designing and launching straw rockets.
           The event was funded by a grant from the Harris Corporation to support the Space Foundation efforts “to interest younger students in considering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers,” a press release states.
           Now age 60, Lt. Col. Carey, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), was the pilot on Space Shuttle mission STS-109 in 2002. It was the fourth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. During the operation, he logged more than 10 days in space while orbiting Earth 165 times.

    Eighteen-year Coronado High band director Alan Combs directs the Jazz 1 band during a February concert in the auditorium.
    Westside Pioneer photo
  • For the second year, Coronado High School will host a charity dodgeball tournament featuring the area's top two law enforcement officials - El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder and Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey.
           The event will be Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Coronado gym at 1590 W. Fillmore St.
           Proceeds will go to Teens with Promise, a nonprofit organization in Colorado Springs that helps needy teens.
           About 10 teams from different schools - as well as from Teens with Promise - are expected to compete in the one-day tourney.
           Admission is free, but donations of cash or “good-condition” clothing will be requested at the door, according to Sheriff's Deputy Travis Kitowski. He is helping organize the fundraiser with the Youth Advisory Council, an informal area-student group that meets monthly with Carey and Elder.

    Westside Pioneer article