September 2, 2015

Program highlight

Anthony Romano, left ,and Dylan Manzano, sixth graders at Foshay Learning Center, demonstrate robots to Alice Montoya, 5, in the Civic Engagement Tent at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC April 18, 2015. Photo by David Sprague

Anthony Romano, left ,and Dylan Manzano, sixth graders at Foshay Learning Center, demonstrate robots to Alice Montoya, 5, in the Civic Engagement Tent at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC April 18, 2015. Photo by David Sprague

Good neighbors campaign funded robotics team uses ingenuity to find its way to the national championship.

For the Foshay Learning Center’s Team 597 Wolverines, it was a suspenseful moment. Which high school team would win the prized Chairman’s Award at the FIRST Robotics International Competition in St. Louis?

Bob Tuttle, FIRST’s co-chair of the board of directors, addressed the audience and talked about the accomplishments of the Wolverines. (FIRST refers to For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.)

“You all did a great job, but there is one team that is particularly special in this program,” he said. “They are the role models and change agents reaching out and transforming whole communities to show through their actions the lessons of team work, gracious professionalism and all the good life lessons FIRST is all about.

Jason Mares, a junior at Foshay, was confident that the school’s team would win the competition. After all, their presentation blew away the panel of judges. But then he looked around and felt uncertain. There were 59 other robotics teams from around the world in the competition. He decided it ultimately didn’t matter. If his team lost, it would simply come back next year, better and stronger, to win it.

Seconds later, Mares and 12 of his teammates heard their team name called, and they all ran up on stage to claim their trophy.

“That moment was just complete shock,” Mares said. Read more  here