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Robotics team takes it all at tournament

CARMEL VALLEY — The FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team from Canyon Crest Academy High School was awarded the first-place trophy and Winning Alliance award at the 2009 Los Angeles Championship Tournament on Dec. 12.
The day was a grueling competition against 13 other area schools, with the CCA team winning every match to accumulate the highest number of points. Their robot, Mr. Roboto, successfully released the game balls, then swept them up and consistently catapulted them into the scoring basket before the buzzer ended each match. The team was also a finalist for the Think Award, which recognizes the team that best manages the design engineering process, as documented in their Engineering Notebook. As a result of this first place win, the CCA team, named Domo Arigato, has been invited to participate in the FIRST World Championship in Atlanta in April 2010.
The team is composed of 10 junior-year students at CCA who have been meeting since August to design, build and program their robot.
“Learning how to do something like brainstorming and engineering a robot is an experience I will appreciate for the rest of my life,” team organizer Kristin May said. “Winning was just an added bonus.”
“Winning the tournament was an incredible experience,” team member Karla Renschler, who was one of the skilled robot drivers at the tournament, said. “I never imagined that we would get this far and that everything we worked for would pay off. The FTC experience so far has taught me to try new challenges and have the courage to tackle them and be successful.”
The challenge for the team now is to raise $12,000 so they can travel to Atlanta in April and represent San Diego and their high school at the FIRST World Championship. For information on sponsorship opportunities for the CCA FTC team, contact the CCA Foundation at
FIRST (parent organization of FTC) is a national robotics program whose mission is to inspire young people to be innovative science and technology leaders while adhering to the values of ‘gracious professionalism’ including teamwork, mutual respect, the pursuit of excellence, and community outreach through the beneficial application of technology.
Students from around the world design, build, and program their team robot, then compete in regional robotics tournaments. FIRST is supported by more than 3,500 corporations, 85,000 volunteers, and includes four programs (including FTC) that involve more than 200,000 students.
The team expressed its gratitude to CCA and the CCA Foundation for their support and encouragement, and was proud to present the first place trophy to Principal Brian Kohn.