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CCHS Robotics Team Wins LA Regional, Seeks Funds on Way to World Championship

Team will be headed to an international championship tournament in Houston where their 125-pound inventions will compete for robotics glory from April 19-22.

After two days of fast-paced competition complete with team uniforms, cheerleaders, pounding music, and blaring horns, Culver City High School Robotics Team 702 – The Bagel Bytes – came out victorious at the 23rd annual FIRST Robotics Competition Los Angeles Regional over the weekend. Next, the team will be headed to an international championship tournament in Houston where their 125-pound inventions will compete for robotics glory from April 19-22.

The event, held at the Da Vinci Schools campus in El Segundo, was one of many taking place across the country under the umbrella of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The nonprofit organization pairs students with STEM professionals for hands-on engineering experience and practice with problem-solving, team building, fundraising, and promotion, among other skills. Teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition receive technical specifications and game rules in January and have just weeks to design, build, and test their wheeled robots.

This year’s game, dubbed “Charged Up,” is themed around the future of sustainable energy. Two alliances of three teams compete on a “playing field” that’s about 26 by 54 feet. In each 2 ½-minute round, the teams’ robots must retrieve rubber cones and inflatable cubes that represent electrical power from “substations” and place them into a “grid.” Robots also race to roll up onto a wobbling “charge station” for extra points.

Students put in long hours preparing their robots. It all paid off for the CCHS team, which is funded in part by the Culver City Education Foundation and is now seeking additional funding to make sure every team member can participate in Championships. The team has established a Go Fund Me campaign and is hoping to raise $20,000.

The division of CTE in Educational Services for CCUSD has announced that it will cover all costs for both advisors and 20 students to attend the competition. This coverage will include the cost of:

  • Registration for all students and staff
  • Transportation (flights, ground)
  • Food, lodging
  • Incidentals 
  • Shipping and transportation of Robots and other needed items 

“I want to thank all of the coaches, students, parents, and the community for their interest and efforts in making our robotics team No. 1,” said Dr. Darrick Rice, CTE Coordnator.

In addition to Team 702 competing on a global level, team members will attend valuable workshops during the Championships, in the following conference tracks:

  • Discovery
  • Innovation
  • Impact
  • Inclusion
  • Teamwork

But even more important than the team’s success in the competition ring, this team exemplifies what those in FIRST call “Gracious Professionalism” and “Coopertition.”

Among other things, this was the team’s fifth year driving the robot on Saturday for another local team that cannot participate during Shabbat.

For more information on the team, please visit the team website at www.team702robotics.com/ and follow Team 702 on Instagram at @frc702

This post first appeared in the CCUSD’s March 24, 2023 newsletter.

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