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Robotics Team Wins THINK Award at World Championship

Posted: April 27, 2017

Franklin Road Academy Robotics Team Wins THINK Award at First-Ever Trip to World Championship
FRA participated in the Vex Robotics World Championship last week

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 27, 2016) — In its first-ever trip to the Vex Robotics World Championship, the FRA robotics team of David Chandler, Conor Ireland, Sydney Malham, Tennent Grace Smith, Justin Cox, Lea Anna Chen, Pablo Ramos, James Munn, and Spencer Guy was selected as the THINK award winner in its division. This award is given to the program whose students show design, coding, class, engineering, and professional excellence.

The world championship consisted of six divisions, each with 94 teams. Each division holds qualifying matches, and only 24 robots from each division are selected to compete for the division title. Division winners then compete for the World Title. Vanquish, a robot built and designed by Chandler, Ireland, Malham, and Smith, rose as high as #7 during the qualifying matches, and the team was selected as one of the robots to move forward to the semifinal round, where it was eliminated. That finish put the team in the top 0.8 percent of all robotics programs in the world.

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Congratulations to these robotics students, who will always be known as the ones who built the robotics program at FRA. “In education, it is often difficult to find truly authentic activities that demonstrate the principles we teach in the classroom; with STEAM activities such as robotics we have found this platform and our students have embraced what started as a small flame and turned it into a raging inferno. Using our Innovation Lab and classes such as our Innovation class, we have put students 100 percent in the driver’s seat of furthering their own education and passions. Contrary to an aged and commonly held dogma, I consider it the greatest achievement when the students have far exceeded their teacher in their understanding, application, and depth of knowledge. This is exactly what we have been able to create at FRA,” said robotics instructor Dr. James Weeks.

With the opening of the 2,000-square-foot Innovation Lab in March, FRA’s lower, middle, and upper school students will now have the use of state-of-the-art equipment, including 3D printers, laser cutter, and robotics arena, to further their education in STEAM. The Innovation Lab will also be home to the Summer Innovation Institute, where MNPS students and teachers have the opportunity to work with FRA students and teachers to learn and hone in on their STEAM crafts.

Last Updated: April 27, 2017