COMMUNITY LEADER’S COLUMN
Prince of Peace Christian School Excels in Robotics Competition
In just four years, The Prince of Peace Christian School RoboPOP Robotics Team has built a robotics program that shows they have the skills to compete at a world level. The POP Christian School robotics team allows students and mentors to share and apply knowledge of engineering, business and leadership skills through a fun, hands-on-experience.
As a team, members work toward a common goal of designing, building, marketing and operating a competitive robot in a business-like environment while sup-: porting the ideals of the world recognized For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition.
The FIRST Robotics Competition was founded in 1989 and today the program includes more than 45,000 high school students on 1,800 teams at 44 regional· events throughout the U.S the U.K, the Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Israel. In addition, the FIRST program and its supporting universities, institutions and corporations award almost $10 million in scholarships to its participants. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events and the result of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines and deadlines.
Participating in the competition has given the RoboPOP team the opportunity to work closely with engineers and business professionals from local businesses to get a hands-on, inside look at the real world competitive environment. The heart of the program is the six weeks that students and engineer’s work together and test their championship robot.
BY RICK KNOTTS
In the fall of 2010, a group of students from Prince of Peace Christian School initiated RoboPOP to compete in the FIRST Robotics program. In their first competing 20ll season, team RoboPOP entered the Dallas East-West Regional competition and with 84 teams competing, finished as a finalist (taking second in the competition) along with receiving the Highest Rookie Seed Award at the competition.
The 2012 RoboPOP team competed in the Dallas West Regional and finished in the quarterfinals of the competition. In the spring of 2013 the Prince of Peace Christian team competed in the Dallas Regional Competition and was the number one seed until the last match, finishing as a number three seed with a12-2 record. RoboPOP finished as a finalist in the Dallas Regional and as a result of their finish, qualified for the world championships in St. Louis. With more than 5,000 robotics teams from around the world, only 400 teams make it to the world champion ships. RoboPOP finished 38 in their division with a 5-3 overall record.
In 2014 the RoboPOP Team will be competing with 23 students and 10 mentors with the hope of returning to St. Louis for the world championship.
Rick Knotts is a high school teacher at Prince of Peace Christian School.
COMMUNITY LEADER’S COLUMN