Weekly roundup: Brea Olinda High robotics team competes in international contest, students take center stage, and more

The stakes are high for Brea Olinda High School’s robotics team, Mubotics Team 7157, as members travel to Houston, Texas, to compete in a world robotics contest called FIRST Championship.

FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, includes competitions where teams of high school students are challenged to build industrial-sized robots to play difficult field games.

As Spectrum News 1 reported, the students built their competition robot from scratch in six weeks. They named the robot “Washington” because they finished building it on George Washington’s Birthday. Their robot can scoop up two balls every 10 seconds, and launch them in the air.

Brea Olinda High School Mubotics Team 7157
Brea Olinda High School’s Robotics Team

“Everyone on the team loves the team, and they love what they are doing on the team, and so I think actively seeing that kind of pure passion, it was kind of overwhelming at first,” said Abby Park, an 11th-grader. “But then getting used to that and then kind of getting into that ‘robotics fever,’ I like to say, is what is nice.”

The robotics team hopes to inspire the next generation of STEM students to discover solutions to real world engineering challenges by letting their imagination run wild through the designing and building of robots.

The competition, which began on April 21 and continues through Saturday, will be broadcast on Twitch. Follow Mubotics Team 7157 on Instagram as its members document their whole experience.

And here are some other school-related stories from the week ending April 22:

  • Orange County Department Education Associate Superintendent Renee Hendrick was named one of this year’s top human resources executives by the Orange County Business Journal. Outside of her department’s traditional responsibilities, the division was tasked with on-site COVID-19 testing, organizational contract tracing, and the coordination and distribution of millions of pieces of personal protective equipment.
  • The arts are returning to form at local schools with the easing of many COVID-19 safety protocols. Students at Sonora Elementary School performed Disney’s “Moana Jr.”
  • The Seal Beach Police Department isn’t taking any chances when it comes to preparing for an active shooter situation. The agency collaborated with Los Alamitos Unified School District leaders to organize a simulated school shooting.
  • The Los Angeles Unified School District needs to decide whether it’ll stick with its vaccine requirement for fall 2022 or align with the state, which has delayed its rule for at least a year.
  • Orange County Board of Education Trustee Tim Shaw gets to keep his seat through the June 7 election after a judge ruled the lawsuit against him to be “procedurally improper,” the Voice of OC reported.
  • And finally, Governor Gavin Newsom and California lawmakers are figuring out how to help Californians facing high gas prices and other rising costs of living. An advocacy group is calling for a one-time payment of $2,000 per child to families making less than $30,000 a year.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.