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Plano ISD Robotics Teams Advance to World FIRST Championship

April 27, 2016

Robotics teams from Plano Senior High School and Academy High School are competing April 27-30 at the World FIRST Championship event in St. Louis, Missouri. FIRST Competition is often called the "Varsity Sport for the Mind" and combines the excitement of sports with the academic demands of science and technology. FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology." These teams took on the challenge of FIRST logodesigning, building and programming a robot to perform a series of tasks. With the guidance of industry experts, the high school students completed their robots in six weeks. In addition, teams work to raise funds, design a marketing and social media strategy, and create business plans for their teams.

More than 78,000 students from 24 countries participated in this year's challenge which required the student-created robots to cross a variety of barriers, shoot balls into a goal and hang from a bar. The top 600 teams will compete April 27-30.

Plano Senior High School's Wildcat Robotics Team competed at the Dallas Regionals earlier this spring and was recognized as the Rookie All-Star Team. This award celebrates their partnership effort, as well as their implementation of the mission of FIRST – which is to inspire students to learn more about science and technology. Their outstanding game play also resulted in advancement into the semifinal round of action.

Robotics Team PSHS

Plano Senior High School Wildcat Robotics Team

Aaron Linscott
Bryce Gonzales
David Zhou
Evann Bourgeois
Henry Casillas
Jonathan Zhi
Karthik Lella
Muntasir Khaleque
Rodney Belcher
Syerra Walker
Trevor Exley
Alex Krach
Carson Schubert
Deepanjli Donthula
Garrett Hayes
Izobo Osarenkhoe
Joshua Williams
Kazuki Shin
Nathaniel Scott
Sara Beitelspacher
Tabitha Hsu
Zoe Jardine
Amin Golnabi
Christiaan Adriaanse
Drew Walker
Garrett Watros
Joey Basdeo
Kangkang Yang
Matthew Hinton
Nikhil Pandeti
Sarah Heady
Tarun Thirumavalavan

Team sponsors are Gary Sullivan, Tyler Willie and Kyle Goodwin.

Plano ISD Academy High School Titan Robotics Team

Liav Turkia
Andrew Goodman
Matthew Orsborn
Purvi Contractor
David Smerkous
Ben Simon
Lan Bui
Sophia Caton
Eli Smith
Usaid Malik
Johnathan Bates
John Doyle
Sam Lowrance
Caden Casanova
Marie Guerin
Andrew Tackett
Ben Tackett
Dominique Duncan
Jordan Grant
Nick Goodman
Josef Griesmer
James Kinard
Oliver Warne
Ben Sher
Mira McRell
Kedar Brooks
Chase Browder
Rahul Menon
Shane Koven
Jenna Douthit
Josh McDonald

Team sponsors are Stephanie Burnham, Michael Hardy and Mark Kinney.

Plano ISD Academy High School has a second-year team that competed in the Dallas Regionals and in Houston at the Lone Star Regionals. At the Dallas Regional Competition, Titan Robotics captured the Imagery Award which is described as, "Attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance." In addition, their gritty performance on the field resulted in their earning distinction as a Dallas Regional Finalist. At the Lone Star FIRST Robotics Regional, the team performed exceptionally well and once again finished as Regional Finalists.

Titan Robotics also garnered the Team Spirit award which is given to the team that, "Celebrates extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit through exceptional partnership and teamwork furthering the objectives of FIRST."

Interested spectators who cannot attend the event can follow the action on the FIRST Championship website.

Donations supporting both of these robotics teams were made through the Plano ISD Education Foundation.

About the FIRST Championship

Our planet's future depends on today's kids becoming the innovators, doers and tinkerers of tomorrow. That's why FIRST exists — to influence young people to embrace science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as educational and professional career paths. FIRST programs are designed to get them started early and keep them involved all the way through high school and beyond.

Today,more than 400,000 kids around the world do research and build competitive robots under the FIRST banner. But robots are just the beginning of their incredible journey. FIRST kids acquire 21st century skills that employers demand, like teamwork, critical thinking, creative problem solving and hands-on experience. In the process, they learn a lot about themselves, building self-confidence and a sense of shared community that will propel them through life.

At the World event, elementary and middle-school participants will share all they've discovered about — and invented solutions for — the world's growing trash problem, from reducing, to reusing, to recycling and more, in their WASTE WISE (FIRST LEGO League Jr.) and TRASH TREK (FIRST LEGO League) Challenges. In FIRST RES-Q (FIRST Tech Challenge) and FIRST STRONGHOLD (FIRST Robotics Competition), middle and high-school students put their amazing, team-designed robots through their paces on special playing fields.

Helping them along the way are more than 200 Fortune® 500 companies and thousands of smaller ones ... More than 190,000 adults from every walk of life, show their passion as mentors, volunteers and benefactors, helping FIRST in hundreds of ways.

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