Glen A. Wilson High School’s STEM Fair Ignites Passions And Champions Diversity In Robotics

The second annual STEM fair held by the Glen A. Wilson High School Robotics Team, Alpha Genesis 6436, was a great success. The event, which took place over the weekend, saw an impressive turnout of nearly 400 attendees. It included 11 robotics teams from neighboring high schools, alongside guest appearances from UCI, UCR, UCLA, Claremont Mckenna College, and USC universities, highlighting their cutting-edge research and technology.

The fair was a great opportunity for students to explore the world of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). With interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, attendees were able to engage with various aspects of STEM in a fun and engaging way. This not only sparked curiosity but also helped inspire future career goals in these fields.

Glen A. Wilson High School's STEM Fair Ignites Passions and Champions Diversity in Robotics

But the key highlight of the whole fair was undoubtedly the robotics scrimmage. The competition saw 11 distinct teams, each one tasked with deftly piloting their robots to execute four main functions – each presenting its own unique set of challenges:

  • Autonomous Robot Operation: Robots had to navigate the course without human intervention, relying solely on pre-programmed instructions.
  • Placing Pixels on the Backdrop: Teams were required to control their robots to arrange colored blocks, or ‘Pixels’, in a specific pattern on a designated backdrop.
  • Launching Drones: A drone was to be launched from the robot, demonstrating the integration of different technologies.
  • Suspending the Robot from Rigging: Finally, robots needed to showcase their climbing ability by suspending themselves from an overhead rig.

The competition format introduces a blend of autonomous and manual control phases, each with its strategic significance. During the Autonomous Period, which lasts for 30 seconds, robots engage in pre-programmed actions without any human input. During this time, robots can score points by accurately placing Pixels on their Alliances’ Backdrop or Backstage, with additional points awarded for parking in designated zones. Teams also get a scoring boost if their robots can identify and act upon the location of a Randomized Pixel, placing it correctly for extra points. A higher level of autonomy is celebrated, as robots that utilize their Team Prop to complete these tasks gain an edge in the competition.

As the game transitions into the Driver-Controlled Period, teams take the helm for two minutes, commanding their robots to score Pixels on the Backdrops or within their Backstage Areas. Creativity in arranging Pixels into Mosaics on the Backdrop translates into coveted Artist Bonus points. Should the Pixels cross Set Lines on the Backdrop, the teams are further rewarded with Set Bonus points.

The dynamic gameplay culminates in the End Game, the final 30 seconds where new scoring opportunities emerge. Teams can launch Drones from their Robots across the Truss into designated Landing Zones for additional points or demonstrate their robots’ impressive climbing capabilities by suspending them from the Rigging. Points can also be scored by parking their Robots in the Backstage area as the match draws to an intense close.

Here’s the animated overview:

Each of the challenge areas was designed to test the teams’ ability to build, program, and operate their robots to complete tasks that require different levels of complexity. This is a true representation of the skills needed in the real world for careers in STEM-related fields.

The fair was not just about showcasing talented teams, but also about promoting diversity and inclusion within the field of robotics. The Robotics Team at Glen A. Wilson High School has been making conscious efforts towards this goal by actively reaching out to underrepresented groups and encouraging them to participate in STEM-related activities. This year’s fair had a diverse range of participants from different backgrounds, providing a platform for everyone to learn and grow together.

Congratulations Alpha Genesis for another successful STEM fair! Keep up the great work in inspiring and fostering a passion for STEM education. We look forward to seeing what next year’s fair will bring!

The team behind this incredible STEM event comes from a small but dedicated team of students and mentors. Spearheaded by Glen A. Wilson High School’s own Kayla, Lyon, Victoria, Lucy, Briany, Isaac, Cameron, Eastan, Aidan, Ethan, David, and Brian, this group’s passion for robotics and STEM is the driving force behind the fair’s success.

Guiding their journey and offering invaluable insights were the mentors of team Alpha Genesis: Mrs. Young and Mrs. Lam. Together, they have cultivated an environment of innovation and diversity, ensuring that the annual STEM fair not only hosts a thrilling robotics scrimmage, but also embodies the collaborative spirit that is essential for advancing in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

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