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Robot Championship Success!

On Saturday, March 22, 2014, Dr. John Kriekard attended the Arizona Regional First Robotics Competition and was very impressed by the atmosphere. Not only was it as loud as the most intense high school basketball rivalry, it was held in a packed gym where teams were cheering each other on.The cleverness of the robots as they performed the many amazing tasks required them to pass a ball, catch it, run down the field and shoot the ball.

Science Foundation Arizona sponsored 15 of the 50 teams present and was recognized as a major contributor in the program and was promoted by the robots.
This is a photo of Dr. John Kriekard speaking to the audience before the final rounds of the competition. John’s message was to thank the sponsors, the teachers, the business partners, the parents for their support, but mostly the students for their hard work and creativity. The audience especially liked it when John told them that SFAz and GPL are working with the AIA to sanction this program as a high school activity with its own state championship!


Robotics is one of the many ways of actively engaging young people in STEM learning. Projects are hands-on, require the development of skills including but not limited to electronics, mechanical drawing, software development, systems programming, team work, project management and when coupled with participating in local and state wide competition brings tremendous pride and motivation to the individual, their team and supporters.

Science Foundation Arizona, SFAz, in partnership with AZFIRST has for many years been active in broadening the access of Arizona’s student population to robotics.  In 2013, under the SFAz’s Rural and Remote Initiative 15 grants were awarded to support 7 veteran and 8 rookie teams throughout rural Arizona.

Veteran Clubs

Bionic Bulldogs — Kingman HS
Mecha Knights – Casa Grande HS
N.E.R.D.S – Buena HS
Coconuts – Coconino HS
Superior Robotics – Superior HS
Gila Monsters – Yuma HS
Decepta Kings – Kofa HS

Rookie Clubs

Alchesay Falcon – Alchesay HS
Cibola Robotics – Cibola HS
Roboteam – Coolidge HS
Tigers – Globe HS
elkSPLOSION –Round Valley HS
Warriors – Tuba City HS
Braves – San Carlos HS
Robojackets -Tombstone

About the Grant

The SFAz grants provide support to clubs for competition fees and/or materials.  However, there are two very important conditions of accepting these awards that clubs agree to. These are;

1)            Payment of a $1,000 stipend from the award to the club mentor in recognition of their dedication and many hours spent working with and developing their teams. Most mentors give their time outside the regular school day and work in a voluntary capacity.

2)            Give back  – veteran teams mentor rookie teams and by the third year a rookie team is expected to be in the position to start mentoring a new team.  The hope is that this level of interconnection between rural clubs will help strengthen and grow the number of clubs and available opportunities for students and their community to participate in.

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