Our intrepid roboteers under the banner of Acme Robotics have advanced to the West Super Regionals to be held in Tacoma on 9-11 March. The team of high schoolers hails mostly from NUHS and is supported by various local organizations including SESF. I reported on their most recent competition (here) and the 28feb17 Union has a nice piece on their upcoming competition (here).
The team needs the community’s support to get everybody up to Washington for the competition. The team’s software lead Ryan Brott sent me the following in an email. “To help fund our trip, we've started a new wave of fundraising. We have a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/acme-robotics-superregionals-trip), and a PayPal donate button on our website (http://goacmerobotics.com). We'd really appreciate it if you could spread the word. As the competition is in three weeks, we'd like contributions as soon as possible.” OK, so you heard the young man, get out your checkbooks send them something more than your good wishes.
I confess that the Rebanes have more than a passing interest in such programs that promote STEM education in our county’s middle and high schools. Readers may be aware that SESF has sponsored TechTest for the last eleven years for highschoolers (this year TT2017 is on 1 April at NUHS), and four years ago SESF was invited to start TechTestJr for middle schoolers - the theory being that it’s best to get them started young. We’re working our way down the grade ladder, and don’t be surprised if we’re not doing robotics with pre-schoolers in the not too distant future ;-) The photos below are part of our braggadocio, and were taken at the February competition in Roseville – the center photo shows robots competing; Ryan is in both of other two.
As SESF’s Director of Research it’s been my privilege to write the TechTests and head up the foundation’s TechMentor program. It just so happens that as part of TechMentor I have been working with robotics team member Ryan Brott for the last two years on a number of very interesting and challenging technical projects. We are currently neck deep into genetic algorithms. These SESF programs are supported by a number of Nevada and Placer County companies that variously contribute funding, their facilities, and volunteer personnel. ALL the monies received go to the kids, SESF charges zero overhead for its efforts.