News

Kofa High Robotics Team Seeks Funding

2013-02-03 23:28:00

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After placing in the top half of the competition in last year’s 2012 Arizona Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, the Kofa High School “Decepta-Kings” are looking to compete again in March.

With 18 students currently in the program, they are looking to gain support from the community. FIRST Robotics teaches young people to work together as a team to solve a problem. They have to use their critical thinking skills to build and then program a robot.

“We have the kids who are willing to work but getting funding has been challenging because we do not have sponsorship,” said Decepta-Kings co-sponsor Anasone Silivongxay.

This year at their regional competition in Phoenix, they will be competing March 21-23 at Hamilton High School against 50 teams.

Last year they competed against teams from Arizona, New Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. They placed 20th in the competition. As first year competitors, Silivongxay said, “They came together as a team and overcame so many obstacles, such as mechanical, technical and electrical errors and failures. Instead of giving up, the kids went out and networked with other teams to help them. They used their critical thinking skills to problem-solve.”

She shared that she began working with FIRST Robotics as a mentor in Killeen, Texas, in 2001.

“After meeting Dean Kamen, the founder of FIRST robotics at our first competition, I was hooked,” Silivongxay said. “From that moment I was determined to bring the excitement and fun to the kids at Kofa. Last year, Mickey McLean, my co-worker and I, were able to establish our FIRST robotics team, Decepta-Kings, by advertising in our classes. Over 25 enthusiastic students joined us and thus our Rookie year commenced. They established themselves first as a club and then worked together to become an organized team.”

The group recently held their kickoff event and invited the FIRST Lego League team from Somerton Middle School as most will be coming to Kofa next year as freshmen.

“We are excited to have more involvement from young people in FIRST robotics,” she said.

Email Silivongxay at asilivongxay@yumaed.org for more information about how to volunteer or donate to the club. All donations are tax deductible.

“We have been going out to the businesses and banks asking for donations but due to the slow economy, we are not having any luck there,” she said.

“However, we will go out again this semester … We are going to have car washes and events at school to raise money. We need money to pay for our hotel, food, and travel.”