Victoriously moving forward from regional and district level competitions, the Sehome Seamonsters robotics club competed in the international 2015 FIRST Championships (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The districtwide high school club sent 14 students and three adults to the competition in St. Louis to compete April 22-25. This is the first group of students from Whatcom County to get to this level, said Kevin Criez, the club advisor.
FIRST is an international organization devoted to promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in today’s youth. The club actively participates in FIRST robotics competitions.
“It’s good to see this team succeed,” Cai Wang said, a junior at Sehome High School. Wang joined the robotics club when she was a freshman and was recently recognized by the Technology Alliance Group for Northwest. For senior Cannon Mallory, he’ll be the first of three brothers who have participated in the club to reach this level of competition.
For the FIRST championship, students are given six weeks to build a robot. The robot is sent to the competition before teams arrive. The Sehome Seamonsters met after school everyday and during weekends to finish their robot, Criez said.
The event is divided into four divisions and this year had 608 teams of high school students from around the world.
“Our kids competed with and against students from Israel, Australia, Canada, Mexico, China, as well as students from all over the United States,” Criez said. “The biggest highlight for the kids was getting to know students from all over the world. They all share common interests so it was fun for them to learn how other states and countries build competition robots.”
In addition to the robotics competition, students also had the opportunity to attend conference sessions such as, College Admissions 101 and Casting a Wider Net: Robotics and Community Impact.