SUSD robotics roll into Arizona West Regional tournament

This week, robotics teams from all five Scottsdale Unified School District high schools — Arcadia, Chaparral, Coronado, Desert Mountain and Saguaro — will take part in the Arizona West Regional robotics tournament at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

Forty-one Arizona teams will gather at the GCU Arena for the FIRST Power Up competition, according to a press release.

The final Saturday challenge of the tournament will see qualifying teams form three-school alliances to defeat a video game “boss.”

This is the last tournament through which an Arizona high school robotics team can qualify for the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas, April 18-21, the release states. Last year, students from Chaparral and Desert Mountain were among the thousands of students from around the world who competed.

Robotics has become a staple of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — programs in recent years, with teams based at elementary, middle and high schools.
District PreK-12 Science Curriculum Academic Coach Barb Reinert says the activities involved combine many skill sets.

“Robotics helps to develop ‘future-ready skills,’ such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication,” Ms. Reinert said in a prepared statement. “It is also suitable for students with a wide range of abilities, making it an inclusive activity.”

FIRST, short for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” is an international youth organization that operates robotics leagues for students ages 6-18.

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