Two dozen high school robotics team members gathered virtually on Monday for a crash course in product design led by Professor Sarah Rottenberg, Executive Director of the Integrated Product Design Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
The students, representing the FIRST Robotics Competition teams from Central High School and Science Leadership Academy/Masterman High School in Philadelphia, plus Cheltenham High School, are tackling the FIRST Innovation Challenge which, this year, invites teams to “Identify a problem or opportunity and design a solution to help people (or a community of people) keep, regain, or achieve optimum physical and/or mental health and fitness through active play or movement.”
The crash course explained the product design process, highlighting the differences between a need-based process and a solution-based process that the teams are more used to.
The Philadelphia Robotics Coalition has partnered with Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division to launch the Naval Education Workforce Training (NEWT) Program in summer 2021.
The program gives teachers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learning engineering skills and conducting research side by side with Navy engineers and scientists. This 8-week summer program will give teachers a taste of life as a professional engineer, and give them crucial insights that they will be able to bring back to their classrooms. Teachers will work with Navy mentors to develop demonstrations and curriculum materials to use in their classrooms.
Four teachers will be selected for the 2021 cohort. Each will receive will receive a $10,000 stipend for the 15-month program, and continued mentorship throughout the academic year including a classroom visit to give students a chance to interact directly with STEM professionals.
At last night’s Coalition Student Advisory Committee meeting, mentors Santiago Ruales and Russ Bizaro discussed their careers as engineers at Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division and answered students’ questions. Watch the whole discussion on YouTube!
We are pleased to announce that the Subaru of America Foundation has awarded the Philadelphia Robotics Coalition a $10,000 grant to support our robotics team programs!
The Subaru of America Foundation aims to support the work of organizations that are empowering the growth and development of children and young adults through career exploration with relevance to job readiness and job skills training.
The Foundation focuses its efforts on the communities where Subaru employees live and work, so our location, just across the Delaware from Subaru’s national headquarters in Camden, NJ is right in their backyard.
Thank you, Subaru, for supporting the students of Philadelphia!
Though our teams can’t meet in person this year, that hasn’t stopped them from learning and competing from home. High school teams are competing in the CoderZ Pro League, a virtual robotics competition where students learn to code a simulated robot using Blockly or Python.
View the Topplebot challenge reveal video:
Through the preliminary stage and the group stage, individual students played their code against an AI opponent. The two highest scoring teams from each group have advanced to the playoffs where they will face off 1:1 with other teams from around the country.
Five of our Coalition teams have qualified for the playoff rounds:
RoboLancers COBOL from Central High School
RoboGriffins from Academy @ Palumbo High School
Parkway RoboHounds from Parkway Center City Middle College
GenBots from Constitution High School, and
RoboLancers FORTRAN from Central High School
The playoffs are a single elimination bracket tournament. The first round will be streamed live on Twitch on Thursday December 17. Join us!
CoVID-19 Update: RoboRumble 2020 is postponed indefinitely. If schools reopen and restrictions are lifted, we may select a new date and hold the event. We will make a determination at least two weeks in advance of any new event date.
The first team advancing to FTC States, and the winner of the Inspire Award is Team 8480, Technabots from Philadelphia High School for Girls. The Inspire Award recognizes teams that fully embodies the spirit of FTC. The judges found their robot and outreach to be exemplary. The Technabots came in third place for the Connect and Design Award. They also came in second place for the Motive Award.
Congratulations, Technabots, for advancing to the States!
The second team that will be advancing to States is the captain of the winning alliance, Team 16941, Wrench Toast. This team ended up being in first place during the qualification matches which allowed them to become captain of alliance number one and eventually take first place in the end. Wrench Toast also won the Collins Aerospace Innovate Award as their minimal use of materials impressed the judges. Their team also managed to get second place in the Design Award.
The third team advancing is the second place Inspire Award winner. This award recognizes a team who exemplifies all of the goals of FTC and show enthusiasm. They also were second place for the Connect Award which recognizes a team which really helps their community. Finally they came in first place for the Motivate Award due to their promotion of STEM in the community.
The fourth team advancing from the Philadelphia Qualifier is the winning alliance first pick, the Robogriffins from Academy @ Palumbo High School. They were in second place at the end of the qualifying matches. Their win to loss record during the qua;ifying matches was 8 wins to 2 losses. In addition to being first pick, they were also 2nd place for the Think Award which recognizes the teams that exemplify the engineering design process.