Recently we heard from “Suit Bot Sammy” (aka Samantha Childers), a junior at Monrovia High School (Monrovia, California), thanking us for helping the Monrovia Robotics program with the FIRST Tech Challenge. This is a cool program in which teams of 10+ members in grades 7-12 are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. FIRST Tech Challenge encourages student teams to meet with members of the scientific community, serve the community, and fundraise to meet their goals.
Samantha told us that her team – Team Suit Bots 4628 – met those requirements by meeting with engineers from JPL, SpaceX, AMADA MIYACHI, Roncelli Plastics and more; teaching coding to junior high students and helping to solve coding problems for other teams at competitions; and posting a GoFundMe page to help get their robot to the World Championship events.
We are excited to report that the Monrovia Robotics team won first place at each of the league meets, then made it to the Championship where they advanced by winning the Connect Award! Says Suit Bot Sammy, “that’s the award for connecting with the scientific community, which means meeting with you guys, among others!” They then advanced to Super Regionals, where they won seven of their nine matches, which earned them a spot to FTC Worlds April 19-22, 2017.
The last thing Suit Bot Sammy wanted to say is that FIRST Tech Challenge is designed to prepare members to be gracious professionals when they enter the workforce. “Learning, not winning, is the ultimate goal of our program. We are encouraged to help other teams improve their robot and we ask for their help as well. It is a collaborative experience.”
Samantha told us she got involved with Monrovia Robotics in 8th grade because her friends were in the club, and she wanted to see what kind of robots they made. “I found a computer in the back of the room and realized that I could tell the robot what to do through code. Now I’m a girl who codes.” Her dream is to become a software engineer and last summer she received a scholarship to attend Stanford University and take Java and MatLab college courses.
We at AMADA MIYACHI work hard to support the next generation of engineers succeed. This program is a great example and we are looking forward to hearing how the team fares in the upcoming FTC world championship round.