King’s High School’s CyberKnights 4911 FRC robotics team has qualified once again to compete at the FIRST® World Championship. The CyberKnights also earned the honor of being selected to lead a session at the FIRST Robotics STEM Conference, which takes place on Friday, April 21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in conjunction with the competition. As many as 60 nations will participate.
During their session, a panel of King’s students, mentors and coaches will present Special Olympics Unified Robotics, a robotics program for students with and without special needs that was created by King’s student Delaney Foster in the 2015-2016 season. Unified Robotics helps bridge the achievement gap by empowering students with special needs to participate in robotics, to be involved in a STEM program, and to develop important life skills including self-confidence, communication and leadership. Each panel member will share about their personal experiences with Unified Robotics and teach participants how to start a Unified Robotics program at their school.
This will be the CyberKnights’ eighth time competing in FIRST® World Championships. This year’s FIRST® World Championship is broken into two sessions, each session hosting up to 400 FRC teams. The first is in Houston, Texas on April 19-22 and the second is in St. Louis, Missouri on April 26-29. FIRST’s geographic map delineates which states, provinces and countries will compete in which location. King’s will compete in Houston.
Last month, the CyberKnights qualified for the 2017 STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant awarded by FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to expand the Unified Robotics program. With the help of their partner, Special Olympics of Washington, the program has already grown from six teams and 24 students in Washington State to 56 teams and 350 students in four states in just one year. Interest is flooding in from schools around the US and from India, Israel and the UK.