On Saturday, February 6, 2016 women from the Cal State LA EcoCAR3 team had the opportunity of visiting St. Mary’s Academy. The all-girls Catholic high school located in Inglewood, CA, offers a career path in engineering, involving education in all STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) areas and is a participant of an international high school robotics competition.
When Communications Manager, Jennifer Bulnes, initially learned of First Robotics Competition (FRC) by Daisy Hernandez, a former student of St. Mary’s Academy and a Cal State LA EcoCAR3 modeling and simulation engineer, Jennifer was anxious to meet the young women that represent future engineering leaders.
During their visit, Jennifer and Daisy shared their experiences in the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition, EcoCAR 3. The Cal State LA team spent their day in the St. Mary’s lab, where they had the chance to see the development of the team’s robot.
Like EcoCAR3, the St. Mary’s team is given a timeframe and rules per competition guidelines. Instead of 4 years and a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, they’re given 6 weeks to build a playing-game robot. Joe Condrat, St. Mary’s First Robotics team faculty advisor and math teacher, expressed the importance of, “gracious professionalism.” It’s not just the competition that values, “gracious professionalism,” but also St. Mary’s team members. Mr. Condrat described gracious professionalism as, “even though we’re competing, you still help them,” referring to the opposing teams. Again, like EcoCAR 3, Jennifer said, “we aren’t necessarily obligated to help other Universities but it happens because in the end we’re all faced with our own challenges.”
This involvement was very unique altogether. The team met one particular student, Victoria, an 11th grader at St. Mary’s Academy. Shorty after a brief introduction of Victoria’s role on the Robotics team, she was nicknamed “Manny.” Manny is the Mechanical Lead for the Cal State LA EcoCAR 3 team. Similar to Manny, Victoria is a dedicated student and team member of a competition that is competing for success. Victoria plans to attend a California University to pursue her interest and apply her skills in Mechanical Engineering.
After witnessing leadership and teamwork at a high school level, the Cal State LA EcoCAR 3 team increased its drive at conserving the EcoCAR program for future students. The team ended their visit by inviting the young women of St. Mary’s Academy First Robotics team to tour their EcoCAR3 work space.
Written By: Jennifer Bulnes
Categories: In the Community