Two teams from the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies were winners in the Mini-Urban Challenge Robotics California Regional Competition. The event is sponsored by the Doolittle Institute, the Air Force Research Laboratory and John Deere. The Mini-Urban Challenge is a national event that challenges high school students to work in teams to design, build and program a robotic vehicle built from LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits that can accurately navigate autonomously through a model city utilizing avoidance collision and path-finding algorithms. The competition is intended to expose students to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). High schools from five regions across the U.S. including California, Florida, Ohio, Louisiana, and Washington D.C. compete and the first and second place winners from each region are invited to compete in the National Finals. Each team is judged on their technical presentation (30% of the cumulative score) and their autonomous course navigation (70% of their cumulative score). This year California had two sub-regions with the four top scoring teams from the two California regional qualifying to attend the National Finals. The first competition was held March 7th at SOCES and the second held March 14 at Dorsey High School. The SOCES teams were split between the two events. On March 7th the first SOCES team, consisting of David Carrillo, Justin Chandra and Elaine Luterstein, won first place in both the technical presentation and the autonomous course navigation. On March 14th the second SOCES team, consisting of Ramon Roco, Ray Sakanoue, Gabriel Valdes and Ariful Rigan, also won first place in both the technical presentation and autonomous course navigation. The two SOCES teams qualified #1 and #2 in California respectively. They were supported by their teacher/coach Dave Hicks. They will now prepare for the national finals competition which will be held on May 15th and 16th in Tampa, Florida. 1st place team in the California Regional Mini–Urban Challenge David Carrillo, Justin Chandra and Elaine Luterstein.
2nd place team in the California Regional Mini–Urban Challenge are Sally Sage Hills (Doolittle Institute) Kevin Ceron (SOCES Team Support) and team members Ray Sakanoue, Gabriel Valdes, Ariful Rigan, Ramon Roco.