Two teams from San Luis Obispo High School won awards at the 11th annual robotics competition for middle and high school students on Feb. 5., and one team will advance to the state championships. 

The 2022 California Central Coast VEX “Tipping Point” Tournament is a regional qualifier for the state robotics championship and was held at Cal Poly. There were 17 high schools that participated in the event. The Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers sponsored the event alongside the SLO-Botics robotics team.

The Society of Women Engineers’ robotics chair and computer science senior Emily Gavrilenko was in charge of organizing the volunteers and coordinating with the teams for the event. San Luis Obispo High’s SLO-Botics robotics team also helped organize and set up for the event.   

“I did a similar robotics competition in high school and that was the main reason I chose to do engineering here at Cal Poly,” Gavrilenko said. “So it’s really cool to be on the other side of it and help make this competition possible.” 

Emily Gravilenko | Courtesy

There were six teams in the competition from San Luis Obispo High School. The SLO-Botics Team 920B won the Robot Skills Champion award and will advance to the state championship. The SLO-Botics Team 920C won the Judge’s Award. 

The winners of the tournament were teams from Fresno’s Career Technical Education Charter High School and Canyon High School in Anaheim. They will also advance to the state championship.

“I was astounded by the passion, creativity, and ingenuity of the middle and high school students,” Gavrilenko said in the press release.

According to the press release, 100 middle and high school students competed in the event. The competition was presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation and is the largest robotics competition for middle and high school students in the world.   

The Society of Women Engineers is an organization at Cal Poly dedicated to creating a community for women going into engineering. Gavrilenko told Mustang News that there are two components to the organization: one is about creating a place for women in STEM and the second is community outreach, like this robotics event. 

Gavrilenko said that the Society of Women Engineers reaches out to thousands of elementary, middle and high school students to show them what is possible in engineering and to inspire them to go into the field of engineering. 

According to Gavrilenko, the West Coast tournament manager was very impressed with the work of the Society of Women Engineers and the SLO-Botics team. She said there is a possibility that Cal Poly will host the state robotics competition next year, meaning that over 50 schools from all over California would come to compete.

“We really want to encourage as many students as possible, and especially female students, because it is an underrepresented group in engineering,” Gavrilenko said.

For more information about the Society of Women Engineers and how to get involved, you can visit their website here

Leave a comment

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