April 19, 2012

Joe Walker Middle School’s robotics team headed to World Championship


In November 2011, Joe Walker Middle School became home to the first Vex Robotics team in the Antelope Valley.

In less than six months, the program has gone from upstart rookie to nationally ranked challenger.

The team will next test their mettle at the Vex Robotics Middle School World Championship competition running April 18-21 in Anaheim, Calif. This competition brings 151 teams together from all over the United States and eight other countries including Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

In February, the 10-member team placed 15th in their division at the middle/senior high school competition. The Joe Walker team also received the Energy Award for effective teamwork and spirit at the competition. After this event, the team was put on a waitlist for the World Championship and eventually received a personal invitation from Jason Morrella, president of The Robotics Education and Competition Foundation based on their impressive showing.

Beyond just providing an opportunity to compete for fun and awards, the innovative program also provides lifelong lessons for the students.

“I absolutely love this program,” says Justin Sowa, an 8th grade student and captain of the Vex Robotics team at Joe Walker. “It’s a lot of hands-on experience. I want to be an engineer when I grow up and this program is helping me get there.”

Vex Robotics is currently an extra-curricular program that students attend after school or during lunch hours. The team is working to raise money for more robot-building kits and hopes to have Vex Robotics offered as an actual elective class next year.

Emphasis on math, science and engineering are core components of the curriculum at Joe Walker Middle School, which now features what it refers to as a STEALTH education (Science, Engineering, Technology and Learning Through Humanities. All students that attend Joe Walker are given opportunities to participate in diverse programs like VEX Robotics.

“The Vex Robotics team is the first of its kind in the Antelope Valley,” says Westside Union School District Superintendent Regina Rossall. “The program demonstrates our commitment to providing excellence in everything we do and our resolve to meeting the unique needs of our regional economy in the future.”

For more information about Joe Walker’s Vex Robotics program and for application information, visit the District Website, http://www.westside.k12.ca.us/jw/ or call the school at (661) 943-3258.

To make a donation to the team’s endeavor to buy more robot kits, make check payable to Joe Walker ASB with “Vex Robotics” in the memo line and mail to 5632 West Avenue L-8, Lancaster, CA 93536.


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Defense cuts could hit civilian workforce

Tens of thousands of civilian employees in the Defense Department could receive warnings about potential layoffs four days before the November election if impending spending cuts aren’t averted, hitting presidential battleground states such as Virginia and Florida hard. The alerts would come in addition to any that major defense contractors might send out at the...
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William P. Coleman

Training exercises enhance international relations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William P. Coleman Colombian air force Kfir aircraft prepare for a mission during Red Flag 12-4 July 18, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. A U.S. Air Force pilot rides in the backseat of a Kfir ...

Airbus owner EADS ups targets, delays A350

Airbus parent company EADS NV July 27 announced a further delay to its new A350 aircraft as it reported second-quarter earnings that almost quadrupled from a year ago. Net profit at the Leiden, Netherlands-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company was $567 million, up from $148 million in the same period a year ago. Sales...

Courtesy photograph

Boeing receives 10th WGS satellite order from U.S. Air Force

Courtesy photograph The Wideband Global SATCOM satellite is the successor to the Defense Satellite Communications System-III. One WGS satellite has about 12 times the bandwidth of a DSCS-III satellite. EL SEGUNDO, Calif. –...

Lockheed Martin’s Gyrolinkâ„¢ selected for U.S. Army’s R-VOSS program

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $21.4 million contract from the U.S. Army for its commercial GyroLinkâ„¢ system for the Remote – Vehicle Optics Sensor System program. GyroLink provides a real-time full motion video network that transmits video across military vehicles at significant distances. This allows members of a route-clearance patrol to use monitors inside...

News Briefs – July 30, 2012

Mechanical failure blamed in Arizona Harrier crash Military officials say early findings point to mechanical failure in the crash of a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier attack jet on a training mission in southwestern Arizona. The AV-8B Harrier went down July 25 afternoon about 15 miles northwest of the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma near the...


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>