Western Center Academy's Metal Ducks Wins FIRST Robotics 2012-2013 San Diego Regional Championship and Head to World Championship!

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April 14, 2013 The Western Center Academy (WCA) first opened its doors in the fall of 2010. After two years of service, its students wanted to have an after-school robotics club to learn about designing, engineering, programming, and competing with robots. In January 2012, the WCA decided to create that club. They now have 24 members and four teams that have competed in six tournaments and two regional championships in the San Diego and Los Angeles regions.

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The robotics club and team belongs to "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" (FIRST). The FIRST mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

The members of the WCA robotics club design and build robots based on a challenge. The challenge changes every year, so the robot design changes every year too. This year's challenge is called Ring It Up! This challenge has robots competing to place rings on a stand with pegs. The more rings that are placed on the stand, the more points you get. But it's not all about scoring points to win. Teams are also recognized for those that have superior robot designs, community out-reach, like this today, and team spirit. In FIRST, it's all about learning. And when you learn, you win!

One of the four teams, the Metal Ducks, won the 2012-2013 San Diego regional championship. With this win they will compete at the Worlds Championship, held in St. Louis, April 24-27. This tournament will have 128 teams from all over the world competing over a four day period. It's quite an accomplishment for a rookie team with middle-school students, since 85% of the clubs are high school teams. Thank you to Science Teacher Greg Fuller for providing us with the details and a great team pic.