Damien Boasts World-Class Robotics Program

May 30, 2017
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The Damien High School Robotics Program sent three teams to the 10th Annual VEX Robotics Competition High School World Championship at the Kentucky Exposition Center, April 19-25, and came away as one of the top 1-percent of high school programs in the world.

The World Championships holds the Guinness World Record for the largest robotics competition in the world. At the start of the school year, 18,000 teams (elementary, middle, high schools and university) from 42 countries vied for a spot at the World Championships. The elite teams like Damien High School that advance to the World Championships represent the top 3-percent of all robotics teams from around the world.

At the World Championships, 1,400 teams competed from over 30 countries, including teams from Canada, China, Haiti, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Spain, the United States and more. Damien Robotic Teams placed 30th, 33rd and 56th in their division and 60th in the skills competition. As a result of the combined performance, the Damien Robotics Program finished the school year as one of the best in the world.

Representing Damien Robotics were Team 6526D comprised of seniors Matthew Soriano (La Verne) and Jonathan Zhang (Chino Hills); sophomores Anthony Ebiner (San Dimas) and Dylan McKenzie (Chino Hills); and freshmen and Nicholas Aguilar (Pomona) and Logan Joseph (Glendora); Team 6526E comprised of seniors Eric Delgado (Chino), Adrian Macias (La Verne), Marco Capistrano (Diamond Bar), Sean Li (La Verne), Daniel Enright (Chino); junior Lorenzo Scaturchio (San Dimas); and sophomore Wes Alameda (Montclair); and Team 6526F comprised of St. Lucy’s sophomore Emily Inkrott; Damien juniors Jason Merthan (Ontario), Federico Parres (Etiwanda), Justin Romero (Chino), Erin Bikmaz (San Dimas), Nicholas Vasquez (Chino); sophomore Simon Pike (Upland); and freshman Curtis Lin (Walnut).

“The VEX Robotics World Championship is a true celebration of the hard work and dedication of these inspiring teams,” said Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education & Competition who co-sponsors the event. “Over the years we’ve had tremendous success with growing the global student STEM community, from helping solve the workforce development problems many industries face, impacting real change in society through our Girl Powered initiative, to receiving a Guinness World Record title for creating the largest, most inclusive robotics competition in the world. We’re looking forward to finding new ways to engage educators and spark students’ curiosity and life-long passion for STEM.”

“There is an incredibly powerful shift that you will see in students when it comes to their interest and understanding of STEM subjects, through their involvement in VEX Robotics,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “Not only are these students improving their STEM aptitude and developing computer science skills through programming, but through VEX Competitions, they are learning about different cultures and countries of origin, and they must find ways to problem solve and work together to achieve the greatest possible success. As a result, these students walk away having had a far richer, life-changing experience.”

The VEX Robotics World Championship is presented by the REC Foundation and the Northrup Grumman Foundation, and is sponsored by Autodesk, Chevron, Dell EMC, NASA, Google, Texas Instruments, HEXBUG, Robomatter, Rack Solutions and Innovation First International. For more information, please visit RoboticsEducation.org/VEXworlds.

The Damien High School Robotics Team, in its fourth year, is comprised of students from Damien and St. Lucy’s Priory. The program gives students the opportunity to design and build cutting edge robots. They learn valuable engineering skills, and having fun doing it. During its first three years, the program has competed in both the US Open Robotics National and World Championships.

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