SEM Students Win Blacklight Robotics Tournament

Students include Karina Lara eclipsing Tycho Virani, Evan Daane (BTW), Aksay Jaitly, Justin Bonsell and Matthew Callahan.

SEM Students from two FTC teams joined forces to become the winning alliance at the May 28th blacklight tournament hosted by the Ferris Yellowjackets.

Technical Difficulties Team 7172 joined forces with Iron Reign Team 6832 to take the finals rounds. The tournament, known as the Yellow Jacket Blacklight Bug Zapper is a fun off-season tournament held under very unusual conditions.

Robots on the right side belong to Technical Difficulties in the foreground and Iron Reign brightly lit at the rear.

Iron Reign earns FTC World Championship Motivate Award

Top Row: Justin Bonsell, Christian Saldana, Charlotte Leakey, Tycho Virani, Evan Daane, Austin Davis
Bottom: Janavi Chadha, Kenna Tanaka, Abhijit Bhattaru, Karina Lara and Ethan Helfman
Coached by Karim Virani, Cathy Lux and Calvin Boykin

Last week at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics World Championship in Houston, Team 6832, Iron Reign, from the School of Science and Engineering in Dallas ISD earned the Motivate award which ranks them at the top in the outreach category.

Each of the 5,200 active robotics teams this year is expected and encouraged to share their passion for robotics and all things Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) with younger students who haven’t had the same opportunities. One hundred and twenty eight of these teams from around the world earned spots at this championship, including teams from the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim and China. Iron Reign recieved this recognition for their work in creating, operating and sustaining the Mobile Tech eXPerience, an RV that they converted to a mobile STEM lab in order to support the work of Big Thought and the Dallas City of Learning Initiative.

On board the vehicle, students can learn to program one of sixteen sumo robots, design 3D objects and print them on one of the four 3D printers, learn to program in Scratch or create virtual worlds in Minecraft. The robotics team converted the vehicle and helped run the pilot program in summer 2016. This school year their goal has been to help Big Thought sustain the vehicle by continuing to support deployments, improve the curriculum and simply “make it loud.” And now Big Thought is taking vehicle operations year-round. With this vehicle and accomplished instructors, Big Thought is bringing STEM exposure into under-served neighborhoods to help young students think of themselves as future engineers, scientists or technologists. This year alone the team has contributed 680 hours supporting 15 deployments of the vehicle to neighborhoods and large events. They’ve taught or spoken with over 3,400 students or parents at these events, and they’ve shared curriculum and the story of the vehicle nationwide by participating at the National Science Teachers Association STEM Expo.

This video will tell you more about the MXP from the perspective of the team members:

In the robot game the team finished 26 of 64 teams in their division, a good showing for a first-time Worlds team with a new young drive team. And Dr. Woodie Flowers, lead mentor of FIRST and Professor Emeritus at MIT signed and kissed our robot:

The team is fully appreciative of all of the support they’ve received this year. Special mention goes to Big Thought, Jeff Marx and Joe Schelanko of the Dallas ISD STEM Department, the SEM PTSA, the School of Science and Engineering staff and our advisor Calvin Boykin, Principal Andrew Palacios, Executive Director Tiffany Huitt and the tireless parents of all team members.

Please see the team website for more information. The team will be going to the UIL State Championship in Austin on May 18. Finally, here is our robot reveal:

 

Iron Reign Qualifies for Oklahoma State Championship

Robotics Iron Reign Oklahoma Qualifier Winning Captains
Photo: Janavi Chada, Charlotte Leakey, Austin Davis, Evan Daane (BTW), Akshay Jaity (photobomb), Tycho Virani,
Kenna Tanaka, Karina Lara, Abhi Bhattaru, Ethan Helfman

Iron Reign kicked off their break with a competition in Oklahoma where they qualified for the Oklahoma State Championship to be held in February.

They were the Winning Alliance Captain team and won the 2nd Inspire Award and Control Award. Now they are turning their attention to the North Texas Region where they are the defending Regional Champions. Iron Reign and SEM Robotics now need your help as we seek to host our first Qualifying Tournament on December 16th.

Iron Reign (team 6832), The School of Science and Engineering and the Dallas ISD STEM Department are happy to announce that we are hosting a FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying tournament at our Townview campus December 16th. Between 28 and 32 North Texas robotics teams will compete for awards and a limited number of advancements to the Regional Championship to be held in February.

Calling All Volunteers
This is the first time our school has hosted an official qualifying tournament and we will need your help to make it an experience equal to SEM’s standards. This is a full day event on Saturday, December 16. There are also options to help with setup Friday afternoon December 15. Please feel free to circulate this message to everyone in the SEM community who can contribute their time and expertise.
All the details on the day’s events and how to volunteer are laid out here… http://www.ironreignrobotics.com/2017-11-27-sem-tournament/

The PTSA will host the concession stand. We will sell a variety of snack foods in addition to a taco/salad/nacho bar. We would love to have your assistance with donations as well as your signing up to work a shift. Proceeds will go to the PTSA to fund our events/programs.