On Saturday, February 10, 2018, the Corona STEM Academy is hosting its third VEX robotics tournament. Since its inaugural tournament in 2016, the Corona Chamber has been involved. Last year’s event was hugely successfully, seeing 36 teams from all over southern California came to compete in the Starstruck competition. Local participation included three teams from Auburndale Intermediate and a team from Corona High. One of the Auburndale teams and the Corona High team got selected to participate in the finals and Auburndale’s team was in a finals alliance that placed 16th. This was the first time any of the STEM Academy teams have advanced to finals and we are really looking forward to this upcoming tournament. This year, the competition is called In the Zone. Robot teams will compete to pick cones up off the floor and stack them on to short mobile goals or taller stationary goals. Students then must try to move the mobile goals into scoring zones and park robots into special spots before time runs out. The robots have a fifteen second autonomous period where the robots are pre-programmed to pick up cones and stack them. This is followed by a 1:45 period that students drive the robots and score. After several qualifying rounds, students will then be ranked and select alliances for the finals. The alliances will then compete in elimination rounds until one alliance is designated the winner. Students who win in the competition and some of the other judges awards will qualify for state and world championships. One of the big differences between this year and last year is that there currently have 48 teams entered. With a much bigger group of students competing, more teams get to qualify for state and world championships. The other major difference is that we need a much bigger group of volunteers to assist in making this a major Southern California event. Should this event run well, we are looking at possibly hosting regional or state finals in the near future. So, here is our call for volunteers: We are looking for about 15 people to help set up the night before, February 9, and then 30 more people to help during the competition itself on Saturday, February 10. There is a need for referees, judges, and logistical help, field setters / runners and food coordination. Please contact Pete D’Agostino, STEM Coordinator for the Corona STEM Academy, at 951.736. 3231 X3545 or pdagostino@ cnusd.k12.ca.us for more information or to offer assistance.
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