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Da Vinci Science Seeded 14th out of 76 Teams and Finished 7th Place in its Division at the FIRST Robotics World Championship

We are extremely proud to announce that Team 4201, the Vitruvian Bots of Da Vinci Science High School, seeded 14th out of 76 teams and finished 7th place in its division at the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis on April 22-25, 2015. What an extraordinary achievement for this young team to place in the top 15 and to compete against the best teams from around the world. This is only the fourth year that Team 4201 has been competing and the first time they have competed in the World Championships. The FIRST Robotics World Championship attracted more than 18,000 students and 800 robots from 40 countries.

Team Captain and high school senior Isabella Rios said, "We were competing with the best teams in the world and were able to hold our own. It was an amazing experience for the entire team to play with and be in the presence of teams around the world -- Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Canada, Australia, Japan, France, Korea, Netherlands, China, Lebanon, and others. It was so awesome. We are so tired and happy!!!"

Team 4201 had a rocky start in St. Louis scoring only 30 points in their first match and finishing in 74th place due to a faulty ramp that fell on top of the robot known as Synthesis during competition. After a quick switch of ramps, the team went on to win seven of their 10 matches with an average score of 126.1. In their highest scoring match, Team 4201 scored 192 points. The Vitruvian Bots were chosen to join an alliance with top-ranking Team 2342 from Nashua, New Hampshire and Team 5403 of Bedford, Indiana. The alliance went on to advance to the quarterfinals.

When not on the playing field, the team’s 40+ members and mentors rode the Metro and visited the City Museum and the Gateway Arch.

In order to be eligible for the World Championships, Team 4201 competed in the Ventura Regional Competition on March 26-29, finishing in second place and winning the most awards of any of the 44 teams.

“It’s been an amazing year,” said junior Vincent Ornelas, the team’s mechanical systems lead. “My fellow teammates were going crazy from pure joy and excitement (at the competition). I work in the pits keeping the robot moving and every five seconds I could hear someone in the pits say, ‘Yay, 4201.’”

“Recycle Rush” was the theme of the 2015 FIRST competition. The team of 36 Da Vinci students had six weeks to design, build, and fabricate a functional robot that could stack storage totes, place a large recycling bin on top, and pick up pool noodles that the opposition scatters across the competition floor. Normally, teams use a standard kit of parts provided by FIRST, but the Da Vinci team makes their own parts. This year, they designed and built a drive train, carriage, feeder wheels and arm, and elevator, among other parts, using AutoCAD, a laser cutter, 3D printer, and CNC mill from the school’s machine shop.

Team 4201’s prowess in the machine shop was rewarded with the Industrial Design Award that recognizes excellence in design form and function. Da Vinci Science junior Maleko Bravo was awarded the Dean’s List Finalist Award, while Kelly Crabtree, a sophomore, auditioned and was chosen to perform the Star-Spangled Banner to open the Ventura Regional Competition. Team 4201 seeded third in the Los Angeles Regional held in Long Beach on March 11-14.

Volunteer mentors play a vital role in helping students to develop the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge and skill sets needed for competition. Professional mentors from Raytheon, Boeing, SpaceX, Aerospace Corp., and others have played a vital role in the success of Team 4201, as has the school’s solid engineering design foundation provided by its Project Lead The Way curriculum delivered through El Camino College and Da Vinci Science teacher/coach Aaron Tostado. The team’s major sponsors are: Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, Pipkin Charitable Foundation, USC Institute for Creative Technologies, Elite Technologies and MiCIAN. Additional STEM partners include El Camino College Dean Emeritus Ron Way, Project Lead The Way’s Karen Latuner, Chevron,SpaceX, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Gensler, and DIRECTV. We also wish to acknowledge the extraordinary commitment of parent Nanci Bolas who helped the team with its marketing and fundraising efforts, and so much more.

“This team has grown and developed so much in four short seasons,“ said Fazlul Zubair, a Vitruvian Bots team mentor and Raytheon engineer. All of us at Raytheon are so proud of these students.”

Sending 40 students, team mentors, a robot, tools, equipment, and supplies to the FRC Championship in St. Louis was no small endeavor. We are so grateful to the students and families who donated $20K to help make this trip possible. If you still would like to make a donation, please visit http://tinyurl.com/nsocpx6.


In the News

Robotics team from Hawthorne's Da Vinci Science High advances to world championships

Daily Breeze | March 31, 2015


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