WHITE MOUNTAINS — A love for all things robotics seems to be catching on with the locals, because the Show Low High School robotics team just won an exclusive invitation to participate in a worldwide virtual competition, and other local schools won impressive robotics awards as well.
With several robotics teams launching and thriving throughout schools in Navajo and Apache counties, extracurricular robotics programs have become a good way to spark an interest in science, technology, engineering and math – STEM.
Such programs can offer the opportunity to earn impressive $50,000 or more in college scholarships. Though, scholarship probably isn’t what is on these student’s minds – they simply love to build stuff and hang out with like-minded people.
Cougar Pride Robotics
The award-winning Cougar Pride Robotics (CPR) team consists of 18-20 students from Show Low High School. The teens are exceptionally well-organized and provide enthusiastic mentorship for local elementary school students via after-school programs and workshops.
“Out of roughly 20,000 teams from approximately 50 countries, only 200 teams were invited to the World Championships, and Show Low High School was invited. Top 1% in the world! Extraordinary,” wrote SLHS Assistant Principal Brian Taylor.
“The official name of the (upcoming robotics) competition is Vex Change Up in the Vex Robotic Competition league and they are competing in the Skills matches. CPR took first in the Southwest Native American Showcase, which is equivalent to the state tournament. Our students received an invite to the global skills tournament for this win,” said Cougar Pride Robotics coach Cory Gillespie.
Their robots have names, by the way. Their first robot was designed, programmed and built four years ago. Its name was Heart Attack.
Then came Cardiac Arrest and Flatline.
These CPR kids appear to have a coronary theme. You can follow CPR on Facebook by searching for Cougar Pride Robotics.
The teams are each student-funded and since last year dashed their fundraising dreams, community involvement is more essential than ever. Spreading the word regarding needed material and tools has the potential to make or break their success. However, the team is more than ready to get back on track to doing more of what they love to do: Make robots.