After participating in the Britton Middle School Robotics Club led by adviser Frank Orlando, Kobe Nguyen and Ethan Hanlon decided to start a club at Live Oak High School. Last year, they approached Kristopher Boursier, and she agreed to be the Live Oak faculty adviser for a robotics club.
Hanlon led weekly meetings in Boursier’s classroom, and the club grew and adopted the name Nuts and Bolts Robotic Club to honor the school’s acorn mascot.
Five club members first competed in the Tech Museum’s Tech Challenge in April 2018. After that, Hanlon set his sights on the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), where students design and build an aluminum-framed robot that weighs up to 125 pounds that completes specified tasks in an arena about half the size of a basketball court.
FIRST, an acronym for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a worldwide organization that provides students with the opportunity to gain confidence to explore the innovation process while learning science, engineering, technology, teamwork and problem-solving skills. Participants are eligible to apply for more than $80 million in FIRST scholarships from leading colleges and universities.
With help from established FRC teams, most notably the Valley Christian High School team, and mentors Brent Taira, Annette Lane and Jim Hanlon, the Nuts and Bolts team has secured a grant from NASA, a sponsorship from Nutanix and help from many other community members.
The students held a day long “Build-A-Thon” on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and raised over $1,000.
“School and district administration have been extremely supportive, including providing a dedicated workshop for the team,” according to the club.
The FRC competition kicked off Jan. 5, when details of the mission were unveiled in a live stream watched by thousands of participants around the world. The teams have only six weeks to design, build, program and test their robot.
The Live Oak Nuts and Bolts Robotics Team is competing in the Monterey Bay Regionals, to be held in Seaside on March 21-24.
For more information and sponsorship details, contact Boursier at [email protected]
To see updates on the team, visit lorobotics.wordpress.com.