Coronado robotics team headed to world championships
Apr 12, 2012 (The Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Colorado Springs School District 11 officials and the school board heaped praise on Coronado High School's robotics team Wednesday night.
The students earned it -- the Cougars Gone Wired FIRST team won the Colorado FIRST Robotics regional competition on March 24 in Denver. The win earned the team a spot in the world championships held in St. Louis at the end of the month.
The students are hoping that the entire team can travel to the championship competition.
"We have worked as a team throughout the entire six-week build season, and we know that each member should deserve the reward of being able to go to nationals," said Coronado senior Leah Jaron, 17.
To that end, the team is seeking sponsorships and donations, not only for the immediate trip, but for long-term support for the team, she said.
The entry fee for the world championship is $5,000. There are travel costs, including the bus to drive the team to St. Louis, hotel rooms and food. There are about 45 members on Cougars Gone Wired, and about 36 should be able to make it as of now, Jaron said.
The school district supported the team a lot in the first year, she said, covering some transportation and other costs. While the district does not offer the team funds, it does allow the team to use space at Coronado at no charge.
The team is selling LED light bulbs as a green fundraiser through FIRST. The light bulbs cost $20 each, and the team earns $10 of that, thanks in part to a donation by Google.
Students also are available to visit businesses interested in sponsoring Cougars Gone Wired. Students give a presentation about the team and its budget.
The world championship April 25-28 will feature 340 FIRST robotics teams from more than 16 countries competing for the title.
"The competition level is so much higher," Leah said. When the team travels, it must take parts, tools and anything else that may be needed to keep the robots in top condition.
The Colorado regional competition featured 48 teams from several states and one team from Mexico, all associated with FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. This year's competition was a robotic version of basketball, with three teams competing on an alliance against three other teams. Each match and each team earned qualifying points, depending on its record and other criteria.
One student also won individual honors at the regional event. Coronado senior Jasmine Kemble, 18, won the FIRST Dean's List award, given to only two students at the competition.
Students had the opportunity to nominate a mentor who works with them. Coronado's team nominated David Murphy of Spectranetics, who is one of several mentors who have volunteered time to help the students.
Contact Kristina Iodice: 636-0162 Twitter @GazetteKristina Facebook Kristina Iodice
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