Students Put Mind Over Metal at Compton Unified’s First-Ever Vex Robotics Competition

​Robots invaded Enterprise Middle School, Saturday, February 20, where students from over 14 schools throughout LA county and Compton put their machines to the test at Compton Unified School District’s (CUSD) first-ever Vex Robotics Competition.

The event featured a skills test where teams had to show their robots’ maneuvering, arm and claw capabilities.

Michele Dawson, Senior Director, CUSD Instructional Technology, said the event provided students with the opportunity to use their math and science skills in a fun way while also opening their eyes to ca

“This is a very exciting time for Compton schools to really showcase their STEM programs. Right now we’re trying to expose our kids to the jobs of the future. Robotics and programming are fields we want our students to be engaged in and interested in pursuing as careers.”

2494373_origDominguez High School 10th-grader Eduardo Covarrubias (loading balls into robots) said he sees the value of being a member of his school’s robotics team.

I’m into engineering and coding the robotics club is a good place to learn those things,” he said. “I want to major in computer engineering or computer science.”

​For Bunche Middle School’s Robotics Team, representing their school at the District’s first-ever Vex Robotics Competition moved them closer their college and career goals.

Eighth-grader Andrew Sanchez (sitting, holding robot’s remote control) said working with robots is not only fun, but places him on the path towards the careers of his dreams.

“I want to be an engineer or surgeon. I know that I’m learning a lot of things that I might 5953754_origneed to know if I want to go into either profession,” he explained. “Plus, with robotics, there’s a lot of programming, which means using a lot of math.”

Andrew’s teammates, seventh- and eighth-graders Tishouna Charles (standing, wearing grey sweater) Andrea Cervantes (sitting next to robot), competing as part of their school’s robotics team helps set an example for their female peers.

Andrea, an aspiring author, sees robotics as an avenue for new story ideas.

“I want to be an author. For me this is a new experience. As an author, it’s good to have new experiences so you can find your stories like science fiction.”

Tishouna said it was great to see girls competing at the Vex Robotics Competition, and that their presence lets their peers know they too can program and build robots.

“I’m a cheerleader. Usually people think I’m only into cheerleading stuff, but no, I’m breaking the boundaries. I want to be either an anthropologist or a dancer,” she said. “It’s good for girls do robotics. People seem to think it’s just a boys thing but we’re showing girls can do it too. Anyone can.”