An all-girl robotics team from Sunset High School is the first ever Dallas ISD team to qualify for the Robotics World Championships in FTC.
Sunset’s 8811 Robo* Bison Amistad team is competing in this week’s World Championship in FTC in Houston. It’s a grueling four-day, 128 team competition against the best in the world.
“As a young woman, society doesn’t expect me to be involved in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field, so joining robotics was a great challenge and reward,” said Karen Garcia, one of the four members of the advancing team. “I never expected myself to be so involved and interested in STEM, but FIRST Robotics helped me acknowledge its value and importance.”
First Tech Challenge (FTC) is a robotics competition for teams in 7th – 12th grades. Students are challenged to design, build, program and operate robots that compete in a head to head challenge. The competition begins at a local level and teams can advance through multiple stages to reach the world level.
The Sunset Robotics team advanced out of the Super Regional Championship held March 23 – 25 in Athens, Georgia. They previously advanced out of a local tournament and the North Texas Regional Championship to qualify for the spot at the Super Regional Championship.
“Three years ago our goal was to make it to regionals as a rookie team,” said Gary Dimanh, coach of the robotics team. “We qualified for regionals and super regionals our first year, but after reaching super regionals, we set our goal to make it to Worlds.”
The First Tech Challenge also challenges students to participate in community programs and provides several college scholarship opportunities. Sunset Robotics met that challenge by reaching out to middle school students to recruit and promote STEM skills, communicating with local churches, organizations, and professional engineers and participating in the Dallas ISD STEAM Fest and Fair.