Fairfield-Suisun schools spur state law to pay for student field trips – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation by Assemblyman Jim Frazier allowing school districts to pay for student field trips to other states – a measure spurred by Fairfield-Suisun School District students competing in a robotics event in Kentucky.

“I thank Fairfield-Suisun School District for bringing the need for this legislation to my attention,” Frazier said in a press release.

“School districts have been explicitly prohibited from using funds to help students participate in field trips or educational excursions out of state,” said Frazier, D-Discovery Bay. “AB 341 changes this, allowing schools to use district funds to enhance educational opportunities by increasing access to student resources.”

Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools spur state law to pay for student field trips

Bold explorers of robotics, biotechnology – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Sitting on a stool in a Will C. Wood High School science room Friday, Edwin Gomez Perez, 10, used a remote hand-held device to control several linkbots, small softball-sized plastic robots, their wheels and gears whirring quietly on the floor in front of him.

Nearby, standing at a table, Benjamin Rocha, 10, guided a linkbot across the table’s surface as a half-dozen people, classmates and a parent, looked on as the ’bot rolled a few inches in a straight line, then took a half-right turn.

Meanwhile, a few moments later in an adjacent science room and lab at the Marshall Road campus, Alex Vales, 11, spoke softly with his father, Anthony, who heard his son explain how bacteria thrive — at least in a sealed Petri dish.

Source: Bold explorers of robotics, biotechnology

Area high school robotics teams tally mixed results at world championships – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville-area high school robotics teams posted mixed results but gained immeasurable experience at the 2017 FIRST Robotics World Championships, The Reporter has learned.

Held in Houston last week, Wednesday through Saturday, the competition yielded the final tallies, with the RoboVikes from Vanden High, in the 67-team Galileo division, in 13th place; the RoboKnights from Buckingham Charter High in 43rd in the Hopper division; and the Armijo High Robotics squad in 66th, also in the Galileo division.

Long a robotics powerhouse and mentor to other robotics teams, the RoboVikes, veterans of several world championship runs, ended up in first place after the first day of competition, Thursday, in the George Brown Convention Center, for essentially a STEM face-off that attracted 400 teams (in five divisions) from the West and South and from several foreign countries, including Australia, China and Turkey. (Because the championship has grown in popularity, another round of championship matches is this coming weekend in St. Louis.)

Source: Area high school robotics teams tally mixed results at world championships

Vanden, Armijo, Grange students show off their ‘bots’ – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Gabby Hansen found her calling because she and her friends wanted something to do after school.

That journey started five years earlier, in eighth grade, and now the Vanden High senior is looking at a future in the cutting-edge robotics field.

“I don’t think any of us realized how much it would impact our futures,” Hansen said.

“The robotics program is a lot more than robotics,” Hansen said.

Her personal and leadership skills have been enhanced by her time in the program, she said.Hansen was joined by other students from Vanden and Armijo high schools, as well as students from Grange Middle School who demonstrated their robot skills Tuesday before the Board of Supervisors.

Source: Vanden, Armijo, Grange students show off their ‘bots’

Robotics students get $500 contribution toward trips – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Fundraisers begin Monday for Fairfield-Suisun School District students to participate in robotics competitions in Houston and Kentucky.

The first fundraiser will take place Monday at Mary’s Pizza Shack in Fairfield, with events to follow April 14 at Panda Express and May 3 at Chipotle.

School district trustees meeting Thursday reviewed a waiver of state law to allow the district to help pay for a $20,767 trip by eight students at Grange Middle School and Armijo High School to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship scheduled April 19-22 in Kentucky.

Source: Robotics students get $500 contribution toward trips

District eyes $20,767 trip to Kentucky for robotics competition – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A waiver of state law will allow the Fairfield-Suisun School District to help pay for a $20,767 trip by eight students at Grange Middle School and Armijo High School to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship scheduled April 19-22 in Kentucky.

Sheila McCabe, school district spokeswoman, said Tuesday that students are raising money for the trip.

The estimated trip costs includes three staff members.

Source: District eyes $20,767 trip to Kentucky for robotics competition

Vanden, Armijo robotics squads qualify for world championship – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Houston, we do not have a problem, because the Vanden and Armijo high school robotics teams have qualified for world high school robotics championship April 19 to 22 in Houston, Texas.

The RoboVikes and the Armijo Robotics squads earned enough points during the Sacramento Regional Robotics Competition Saturday at the University of California, Davis, to make the trip to the George Brown Convention Center in the Lone Star State’s largest city.

Doug Green, the longtime RoboVikes adviser, was clearly elated during an interview Monday, as he and the students prepared for still more competition this weekend at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

Source: Vanden, Armijo robotics squads qualify for world championship

Local teams battle it out at regional Robotics competition – The Reporter

By Dom Pruett

Four local high school robotics teams were among the 56 represented at the 15th Annual FIRST Robotics Competition Sacramento Regional Saturday at UC Davis.

The field of 56, which was comprised of teams from high schools in California, Hawaii, and Nevada, included Vanden’s RoboVikes, Vacaville’s RoboDogs, the Robo Knights of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School, and Armijo Robotics from Armijo High School.

The FIRST, short for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” Robotics Competition placed three teams together, dubbed an “adventure club,” and pitted them against another trio of teams during a match referred to this year as FIRST STEAMWORKS. The objective: accumulate as many points as possible with your team’s robot.

Source: Local teams battle it out at regional Robotics competition

Vanden robotics squad preps for regional competitions – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Will Ragnarok — a motorized, whirring, ball-shooting machine that scoots across a floor like a Tasmanian devil — take down the competition in Sacramento and Boise?

A name derived from Norse mythology, the Vanden High School robotics team’s creation certainly looked formidable, that’s for sure, in a practice round earlier this week in a nondescript portable building on the Markeley Lane campus in Fairfield.

Led by president Connor Thrasher, a senior with a 4.74 weighted GPA, the team was within hours Tuesday night of completing its “build season” and required to literally shrink wrap their competition ’bot before facing off against dozens of other teams at the Sacramento and Boise competitions.

Source: Vanden robotics squad preps for regional competitions

Vaca High robotics team prepares for regional competitions – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A robot is a human-like mechanical device built to do routine manual work for human beings and is usually operated by remote control.

OK, so much for definitions, and there was certainly no time for them Friday in Phil Jenschke’s industrial shop-classroom at Vacaville High, where members of the school’s robotics team, the RoboDogs, busied themselves tweaking a robot they will enter in a pair of pending competitions.

Well into an annual six-week “build season,” the students, freshmen to seasoned seniors, must literally wrap up (in shrink wrap) their competition ’bot — made of aluminum, Plexiglas, nuts and bolts, gears, a “micro controller” with a computer chip inside, sensors, rubberized wheels, among other things — by a Feb. 21 deadline.

Source: Vaca High robotics team prepares for regional competitions

Bridging “opportunity gap,” Migrant Ed students go to STEM camp – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Brothers Jesus and Oscar Silva, seated at a table, closely eyed a computer program displayed on a laptop as Omena Mushale explained how their LEGO Mindstorms robot was meant to work.

Migrant Education students in Fairfield-Suisun Unified were in a classroom for high schoolers Monday at Anna Kyle Elementary in Fairfield where they participated in a two-week STEM camp specifically for students like them, sons and daughters of migrant workers who either follow seasonal plantings and harvests or move frequently within a certain geographic area, including a city or town, as they seek work.

source: Bridging “opportunity gap,” Migrant Ed students go to STEM camp – The Reporter

Padan kids learn ABCs of programming ‘bots in summertime class – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

School is out for the summer at Vacaville’s Padan Elementary, but robotics is in, and, by all accounts, is nothing short of way cool.

Word got out of the science goings-on at the 200 Padan School Road and, Wednesday, some 75 parents and community members showed up for an open house to highlight the school’s summer school robotics program, Jennifer Leonard, the public information officer for Vacaville Unified, wrote in a press release.

Guests were invited to tour “city landscapes” on monitors designed and created by the upper-grade elementary students who then programmed robots to independently navigate the cityscapes.

Source: News, Breaking News and More: The Reporter

Armijo grad member of team featured on ‘BattleBots’ – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Austin Carlson hoped to make it on the ABC TV show “BattleBots.”

“There were so many applicants (that) I didn’t get in,” said the 1999 Armijo High School graduate.

His cousin Jerome Miles, however, was chosen for the show and invited Carlson to be on his team. They will be on tonight’s episode, which airs at 8 p.m. on Channels 7 and 10.

Source: Armijo grad member of team featured on ‘BattleBots’

Benicia Middle School student creates cardboard robotic suit for art final – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Benicia Middle Schoolers got a big surprise yesterday, as they witnessed a person in a cardboard Iron Man suit walking around campus during lunch. That person was eighth-grader Ronald Goodman, and it was his final art project for the year.

Goodman is a student in Pat Hall’s advanced art class, which consists of very artistically inclined eighth-graders as well as some equally gifted seventh-graders. The final for the year: create a project out of recycled materials, and do it within five to six weeks.Goodman, however, had his idea ready before that.

“The first thing I decided I was going to make was costumes or cosplay,” he said. “I started out with Spider-Man suits and some of the Avengers. I started on the Iron Man suit at home, and when I heard we could make our own project in class, I decided to use more resources to come to school and finish it.”

Source: Avengers, Assemble: Benicia Middle School student creates cardboard robotic suit for art final

Benicia High’s robot creation to be featured at Bay Area Maker Faire – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

After months of hard work, Benicia High School art and robotics students finally got to see the fruits of their labor: their very own robot.

You read that right: Benicia High School students built a robot.Gatobot, a 13-foot cardboard robotic panther, was a collaborative project between Dan Frazier’s Adavanced Placement studio art class and Andreas Kaiser’s robotics class. The project was completed in late 2014 and could be seen walking across the Benicia High campus at several points for the next few years. This achievement was featured at Benicia’s Mini Maker Faire at Benicia Middle School this year and at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo where it will make its return this weekend.

“It is an amazing feeling to have our high school project selected over so many other applicants,” Frazier said. “We are proud to represent Benicia High School along with the likes of Stanford and Google.”

Source: Benicia High’s robot creation to be featured at Bay Area Maker Faire

Dixon May Fair opens today – The Reporter

By Jessica Rogness

While the Ferris wheels and fair food stands were assembled, local youth were making their own preparations for the Dixon May Fair Wednesday afternoon.

Squawks, bleats, bellows and oinks were heard throughout the livestock area of the fairgrounds from the fowl, goats, sheep, steer and pigs as students and their parents prepped them for showing over the next few days and Saturday’s auction.

Standing beside his four sheep, Tyler Pettey, 10, of the Maine Prairie 4-H Club explained that he has been walking the sheep and practicing showing them by guiding them on a halter.

Source: Dixon May Fair opens today

Donations will pay for student trips to Kentucky robotics competition – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Donations will pay for student travel, meals and lodging in an April 20-23 trip to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Kentucky that 17 students and four teachers from the Fairfield-Suisun School District plan to attend.

Thirteen students and three teachers from Grange Middle School, along with four students and a teacher from Armijo High School, plan to attend the event in Louisville.

The trip will cost a total of $28,187 – including $2,800 to pay substitute teachers – according to a school district report.

Source: Donations will pay for student trips to Kentucky robotics competition

RoboDogs gear up for regional competitions – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

For the RoboDogs, the Vacaville High robotics team, the road to the high school FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships is paved with days of hard work, trial and error, some deadline-related anxiety, high spirits, but mostly just plain old stick-to-itiveness.

After classes Thursday in the team’s epicenter, otherwise known as teacher and adviser Phil Jenschke’s classroom, which by any other terms is a seemingly order-amid-chaos industrial shop, it was enough for some two dozen students just to get ready for the Sacramento Regional contest. It begins Thursday and continues to March 27 at the University of California, Davis. Afterward, they will need to focus on another competition, March 31 to April 1, at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

Source: RoboDogs gear up for regional competitions

Grange robotics teams needs help to get to world competition – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Two teams of Grange Middle School students are turning to the community to help get them to the  world robotics competition in Louisville, Kentucky, in April to compete against teams from more than 30 countries.

The robotics teams were part of a three-team alliance that won the Vex Robotics California State Competition on Feb. 27 in San Jose.

To get to the world competition, team members are asking for donations from the community to help pay for parts, tools, entry fees and travel costs.

Source: Grange robotics teams needs help to get to world competition

Robotics teams headed for Worlds Competition – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Two Grange Robotics teams were part of a three-team alliance that won the Vex Robotics California State Competition on Feb. 27 in San Jose.

They are going to the Worlds Competition in Louisville, Kentucky, in April to compete against teams from more than 30 countries.

In addition, the Grizzlybots also won awards for skills and driving, programming and overall excellence.

Source: Good News: Robotics teams headed for Worlds Competition