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 

RoboVikes ready to rumble at regional competitions – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Earnest and focused, working quietly in a somewhat noisy multipurpose room, Edesiri Mushale, 15, and Mackensie Murphy, 17, made minor tweaks to a robot named Loki.

Hovered over the ’bot Thursday at Sierra Vista School, the two Vanden High students, members of the Fairfield schools robotics team, the RoboVikes, worked on the metal, motorized machine during Press Day at Sierra Vista School in Vacaville.

Source: RoboVikes ready to rumble at regional competitions

VEX Robotics returns for more challenges – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The excitement of the participants of the VEX Robotics competition ran like electricity through the air of the gym at Grange Middle School on Saturday. The kids were having fun and it showed.

The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, is the ultimate science, technology, engineering and mathematics activity for middle school and high school students from ages 11 to 18.

An engineering challenge is presented each year in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and skills challenges, according to the website RobotEvents.com, which tracks the events.

via VEX Robotics returns for more challenges.

High school robotics season gets underway Saturday – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Since we are in the first days of the new year, it means the world’s high school robotics season begins anew.

For many Northern California schools, the 2016 season starts at 7 a.m. Saturday with the FIRST Robotics Competition kickoff event at John F. Kennedy High in Sacramento.

The event, which will introduce this year’s competition game, First Stronghold, provides school teams, such Vacaville High’s Robodogs and Vanden High’s RoboVikes, with a kit of parts. It includes motors, batteries, control system gadgetry, and construction materials, among other things.

via High school robotics season gets underway Saturday.

Lure of problem-solving for robotics students a slam dunk – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

A furious competition took place Saturday inside Vanden High School’s Jim Boyd Gymnasium, with ravenous fans cheering on their favorite side.

Teams that were evenly matched took their best shots at taking a round ball and scoring by putting it through the net.

That isn’t unusual for Jim Boyd Gymnasium. What was unusual was the fact that squeaking sneakers were not heard and the only technicals involved were the schematics outlined by the competitors.

via Lure of problem-solving for robotics students a slam dunk.

VEX Robotics Competition Saturday at Vanden High – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Robotics season for California middle and high school students gears up at this time of year.

Just in time to distract them from semester-ending exams and the holidays, the 2015-16 VEX Robotics Competition will be Saturday at Vanden High in Fairfield.

More than 40 Northern California teams will vie for honors for doing their best to satisfy the requirements of a game called “Nothing But Net,” with teams try to place small balls into high and low goals or by elevating their ’bots in a “climbing zone.” With each team using, essentially, pint-sized robots, the competition will be played on 12-by-12-foot field. Two alliances — one “red,” the other “blue” — of two teams each will compete in matches consisting of a 15-second “autonomous” period, followed by one minute and 45 seconds of play controlled by the robot’s driver. The object of the game, of course, is to achieve a score higher than those of opposing alliances.

via VEX Robotics Competition Saturday at Vanden High.

Vanden High to host robotics competition – The Reporter

By Daily Republic Staff

More than 40 teams are expected to compete this week in the Nothing But Net robotics contest at Vanden High School.

The Vex Robotics Competition, which takes place Saturday, features primarily Solano County teams. It takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium at 2951 Markley Road in Fairfield.

Team inspections and practice take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Pits open at 7 a.m. Saturday, followed by an opening ceremony at 8:15 a.m., qualifying rounds from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and elimination rounds from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. A closing ceremony and awards presentation starts at 5 p.m.

via Vanden High to host robotics competition.

Vanden High to host robotics contest: Winners qualify for state finals – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

More than 40 teams are expected to compete next week in the Nothing But Net robotics contest at Vanden High School.

The Vex Robotics Competition, which takes place Dec. 12, features primarily Solano County teams. It takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 12 in the gymnasium. The school is located at 2951 Markley Road in Fairfield.

Team inspections and practice take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11. Pits open at 7 a.m. Dec. 12, followed by an opening ceremony at 8:15 a.m., qualifying rounds from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and elimination rounds from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. A closing ceremony and awards presentation starts at 5 p.m.

via Vanden High to host robotics contest: Winners qualify for state finals.

STEM seminar fosters county teachers’ abilities to teach programming, robotics – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Math and science teaching in Solano County’s public schools will get a lot more engaging this fall when students return to their classes and discover their teachers know how to use computer programming and robotics as new ways to teach math and science.

The change in curriculum (how subjects are taught) comes as the result of a two-week summer seminar, formally called the Programming and Robotics Integrated with Science and Mathematics (PRISM) project, part of which included 60 hours of training at Solano County Office of Education offices in Fairfield, one of the project’s partners.

via STEM seminar fosters county teachers’ abilities to teach programming, robotics.

Vacaville, Vanden high school robotics squads score big at world championships – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Robotics squads from Vacaville and Vanden high schools on Saturday reached the upper echelons of the world robotics championships as the Davis High School team took top honors under the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Vacaville’s Phil Jenschke, adviser to the RoboDogs, said the team reached the 33rd spot in their 75-team division, the Carson, but their scores prompted higher-ranked teams to select them for the fourth-seed alliance. They managed to reach the semifinals, placing them among the upper ranks of the 600 teams, national and international, that flocked to the domed stadium for several days of what organizers call “varsity sports for the mind.”

via Vacaville, Vanden high school robotics squads score big at world championships.

Vaca, Vanden robotics teams ready for world championships – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Adult leaders of the Vacaville and Vanden high school robotics teams on Wednesday surveyed their temporary universe, the cavernous Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, preparing for today’s first qualifying matches of the high school robotics world championship.

“We’re watching practice matches — our robot’s on the field,” said Phil Jenschke, adviser to the RoboDogs, the name of the Vacaville High School award-winning robotics team.

He said Dome crews had removed the field’s artificial turf to reveal a giant concrete pad, where, through Saturday, eight subdivisions of some 70 teams each, from throughout the United States and several from overseas, will vie for top honors and chances for sizable amounts of scholarship money.

“We’re in the Carson subdivision,” said an enthused Jenschke, who, with 17 students and seven adults, is making his second trip in as many years to St. Louis by virtue of qualifying at recent regional robotics competitions.

via Vaca, Vanden robotics teams ready for world championships.

Vanden robotics team ready to compete in world championships – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

Over the years, Vanden High School has built a strong reputation for being highly competitive on the athletic field. However, their best team might be one that most people have never heard of.

The Vanden robotics team, or Robovikes, will travel Tuesday to compete in the First Tech Challenge World Championships in St. Louis against hundreds of the best robotics teams from around the globe. Vanden has appeared in the event in previous years, but this year they have an opportunity to bring home their best placement ever – perhaps even the biggest prize possible. That thought has many on the team anticipating their pending trip.

via Vanden robotics team ready to compete in world championships Daily Republic.

SCOE receives $1.8M to boost STEM know-how in grades 5-12 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Beginning this summer and for the next three years, some public school students in grades five through 12 in Solano and Contra Costa counties will learn a lot more about computer programming and robotics, thanks to a $1.8 million grant to boost teacher development.

Solano County Office of Education leaders on Wednesday announced it had received the money to enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education through an alliance with the UC Davis Computing-STEM Center. Through 2018, the money will provide professional development for some 60 to 75 teachers in the two counties.

In a press release, Sandy Jessop, an assistant superintendent at SCOE, said the California Department of Education awarded the grant through the California Math and Science Partnership (CaMSP) program.

The money will be used to give math, science or career-tech teachers more strategies to increase student engagement and achievement, noted Jessop.

via SCOE receives $1.8M to boost STEM know-how in grades 5-12.

Area high school robotics squads make the grade – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

If they had created a talking R2-D2, the silvery fireplug-sized, whirring, beeping, hyperactive bot of “Star Wars” fame, Vacaville-area robotics squads would have the droid singing high praises about how well the teams fared Saturday at the FIRST Sacramento Regional competition in Davis.By noon, after more than a days worth of matches (including Fridays), the Vacaville High RoboDogs were in fourth place out of 55 teams, the Vanden High RoboVikes in fifth, and the first-year team from Buckingham Charter High, the Robo-Knights, in 39th.

For the Dogs and Vikes, their places were familiar territory, and they maintained them well into the finals, which ended in the late afternoon. The Vacaville team traveled to the high school world championships last year, and the Vanden squad, the mother of all Solano County robotics teams, is looking forward to its sixth visit to the world championships after recently placing second at the Central Valley Regional in Madera.

via Area high school robotics squads make the grade.