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Our KPBS 89.5 stream and Classical San Diego stream will be offline for network maintenance today.

Students Demonstrate Robot They Designed In City Hall

High school students showed off their robot, Daisy Bell, at City Hall today. They will compete in the Sixth Annual FIRST Robotic Regional Championship, which is held annually in San Diego.

Daisy Bell is a robot who was wheeling across the lobby of San Diego City Hall today, showing off with figure eights and spinouts. But this robot would rather be doing what she was created for two years ago: playing soccer.

The robot is the creation of the students of High Tech High School. The students are participating in the Sixth Annual FIRST Robotic Regional Championship, which is held annually in San Diego. Every year there is a different sports theme that’s released in January, giving each team only six weeks to make the grade.

Ethan Chan, a junior, explained this year’s competition.

“This year is going to be basketball," he said. "The robots will get balls and shoot them into hoops. The format is a three-on-three alliance. At the end of the match we’ll see how many ball they can score. It’s going to be really fun.”

Connor Worley is a sophomore at High Tech High. His contribution to the team is programming, which he learned in middle school. But he says that shouldn’t be a deterrent to someone who is inexperienced.

“It’s all about education. We make it very easy for people to get involved and start learning about the robot,” he said.

Professionals in the science and technology fields mentor the students. Companies like SAIC, Seabotix, Qualcomm, Northrup Grumman and Blue Chip Machining and Fabrication are all involved. So while the kids are getting experience they are also making contacts in the field.

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who is also an engineer, sponsored today’s event.

“It’s painless way to get children involved with science and technology. It’s critical for developing our work force of the future,” she said.

The Sixth Annual FIRST Robotic Regional Championship will be held March 2nd through 4th at the Sports Arena. The public is invited and admission is free.

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