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Flagstaff Academy robotics team unstoppable


March 30, 2016

Courtesy Photo A Flagstaff Academy robotics team was recently awarded the Chairman’s Award, which is the highest award given at the FIRST robotics national level, and will be advancing to the national finals in April.

Flagstaff Academy’s “Up-A-Creek” robotics team, comprised of a number of middle school students and led by middle school technology teacher Teresa Ewing, won the Chairman’s Award - the highest award given at the FIRST robotics national level. This award honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and that best embodies the purpose and goals of the FIRST robotics program. The team will also be competing at the national finals in St. Louis, Missouri, from April 27-30.

Ewing was joined by another Flagstaff-based team, led by Devon Barker, middle school math teacher, who led his “Ridgebotics” team in the competition. Back in Longmont, the Flagstaff Academy community cheered on both teams via live webcast of the Northern Arizona Regional on March 11-12.

The ties between the teams and Flagstaff Academy have a long history and are quite strong. Barker and Ewing have been involved in the high-school FIRST robotics program for 10 years. In fact, Barker was one of Ewing’s robotics students when he was at Silver Creek High School, after which he went on to start the Ridgebotics team in Fort Collins.

Flagstaff students are strongly represented in both teams. “It was so fun to see all my Flagstaff students involved in this program that I love so much,” Ewing said. “The character education, programming and technology classes we have at Flagstaff prepare these students so well, giving their teams such an advantage. It’s part of my evil plan, to load my team with Flagstaff ringers!”

Barker’s Ridgebotics team includes current Flagstaff “Dragons” Chris Simmons, Spencer Suckling, Jared Osteen, Memphis Thomas and Valorie Myhre. Ewing’s “Up-A-Creek Robotics” team includes alumni Dragons, including Linlee Morrison, Avi Moskoff, Warren Bartlett, Andrew Arnold, Matthew Teta, Nevin Gilbert, Alahk Patel, Mason Williams, Kenny Frederick and Matt Reh.

Both teams will be competing at the Colorado Regional held at the University of Denver in late March, and will be cheered on by a high energy group of Flagstaff’s middle-school programming and technology students.

Flagstaff Academy’s passion for robotics is a reflection of the school’s strong focus on science and technology.

The school has two technology labs, one for kindergarten and elementary grades, and one for the middle school. Each lab is equipped with 30 internet-enabled computers and a robust suite of software applications. SmartBoards are used in 6th-8th grade tech lab, the Library Media Center and some classrooms. In addition, a mobile laptop lab brings a technology lab into any classroom throughout the building. This school year, the entire campus participated in the Global “Hour of Code” initiative, with middle school programming students serving as mentors and teachers for the younger students.


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