Representatives of the Fulton Schools of Engineering and Access ASU were on hand to talk with students and parents about opportunities at the university.

Hope Parker, associate director of K–12 engineering education and outreach for the Fulton Schools of Engineering, said those opportunities to persist and iterate are her favorite moments to witness. “Events like this give students the opportunity to test out engineering in a real-world setting. When things got tough the teams pulled together to innovate, problem solve and work with each other to come up with a solution,” Parker said.

Axel Adams, a junior on the Buena High School team, said that his skills, both inside and outside of robotics, have grown since joining the robotics team.

“Before starting robotics, I didn’t really know anything about making things, the design process or working with people,” Adams said. “But since then, I’ve learned how to use a lot of tools, building things and designing parts for our team, as well as working on a deadline. Working with a team is an amazing thing to learn to do and get good at.”

Adams, who is also involved with theater at Buena High School, serves as the team’s spokesperson and says that he hopes robotics can continue to grow.

Sanghi said that’s the goal of competitions like these.

“I am always wowed by the energy I see at these competitions,” Sanghi said. “When I walk the pits and ask the students how they built the robot, what challenges they ran into… I feel pleased that the students get it. They get what we are trying to do.”

Coming in on top at the end of the day were three first-place winners: Carl Hayden (High School) Falcon Robotics, Seton High Sentinels and Westwood (High School) Robotics. Sharing second place were the Saguaro High Sabercats, Plasma Robotics  and Coconuts Coconino High School.

Aside from the results, students and mentors alike rose to the challenges, adapted and came away with great lessons on what it takes to build and create.

Adams, who is looking to pursue robotic engineering or public speaking as a career, said that his work on the robotics team has given him the experience to prepare him for college and ultimately the workforce.

Whatever career path competitions like this one takes students on, Sanghi said that the end game is the same.

“Their excitement gives me hope that this next generation will keep the entrepreneurship and innovation alive in this country, which is often the backbone of an economy,” Sanghi said.

Written by Bryan Pietsch

Hannah Moulton Belec

Marketing content specialist, Educational Outreach and Student Services