Table of Contents:, April 16, 2016, "Grief and Triumph at a Medieval Robot Battle for High Schoolers":

"The inner workings of a robot [built by team 3863]. CHRISTOPHER BALIWAS"
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"Students [like this one from team 3863,] make software adjustments to their robots after a match. CHRISTOPHER BALIWAS"
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"A [student of team 3863 has a] moment of frustration. The competition lasts four days, each stretching from 8am to about 6pm. CHRISTOPHER BALIWAS"

Panther Prowler, January 30, 2016, "Building up to the state competition: Robotics Team qualifies for next level of VEX":

After an increase in membership and learning opportunities, the robotics team competed in and won a VEX Robotics Competition on Dec. 22, 2015. These competitions require students to use science, technology, engineering, and math in order to build a robot that will complete a designated task. This year, the team has grown in number of members. “We had a lot more people who were consistently (at meetings),” Joshua Freedman, senior and co-president of the Robotics club, said. Aaron Sang, freshman, agreed. “There’s definitely been new people that also bring new ideas into the team,” Sang said. Because of the club’s growth, two teams were able to participate in the most recent VEX tournament: a freshman team and a senior team. According to Jason Fowler, junior, having smaller teams is more convenient for working on the small robots that the teams take to VEX competitions. Although coordination between the two teams can be a challenge, Fowler believes the arrangement is beneficial. “It allows the freshmen as well as the senior members to go along with different strategies and different design,” Fowler said. Dividing the teams allows for the senior team to create more challenging robots, while the freshmen take the opportunity to learn the basics of robotics. The robotics team has also been able to go to more competitions this school year than in the past. By attending multiple competitions, they have been able to assess their progress and make improvements along the way, growing closer to winning at each competition. “It just makes our robots far more reliable,” Fowler said. At the competition on Dec. 22, the teams joined an ‘alliance’ with two other teams. By creating an alliance, the teams are able to be scored together and can build robots using different tactics and strategies that compliment one another. “The scoring was … based on not only the task but how well we worked with other people,” Freedman said. The students worked for the majority of the day, balancing both teams with minimal time between one team’s turn and another. The senior team won the semifinals and the freshman team won the finals of the regional competition. “We did not expect it, but we kind of joked about it … the freshman team always gets farther than all the other teams,” Fowler said. With the victory, the team earned one spot in the state competition. The club now faces the choice of which robot to send forward to compete and show all that the team has learned this year.

Panther Prowler, February 11, 2015, "News in Brief: Robotics Grant & Blanket Drive":


The Robotics Club gets a formal grant from the CCA for future competition

The Robotics Club focuses on exposing students to hands-on engineering in a real world environment. However, the club requires significant funding to both make their robots as well as enter competitions. The Community College Association (CCA) decided to formally give a portion of a $5,000 robotics’ grant to the advisors and club members after school on Dec.18. The Robotics Club plans to use the grant to prepare for their spring competition. “This will help a great deal,” said Charles Seabury, one of the club’s advisors. The robotics club has also received other grants and support. They received $5,000 from the Santa Clarita Community College District, $3,000 from Amgen, $2,000 from Haas Automation, and $1,000 from Electrical Engineering Society.

Ventura County Star, March 28, 2015, "Robots rule in Ventura this weekend":
Jason Fowler (left) and Evan McConnell from Newbury Park High School get in line to test their robot to make final adjustments. They are competing against other teams from across the state at Ventura College this weekend. Friday was the day to test the robots.
Jason Fowler from Newbury Park High School sets up boxes so his robot can pick them up and stack them in the testing round of a robotics competition at Ventura College.

Panther Prowler March 16, 2012, "Robotics":

As the clock ticks down to the big robotic competition, the Robotics Club hurries to finish preparations that started a mere six weeks ago. The competition is set to take place on March 16 and 17 in Long Beach, CA. Each competition is different; the type of competition and guidelines were revealed to the Robotics Club on Jan. 7. This year, the competition involves the robots shooting foam basketballs into regulation-sized hoops.

“You have six weeks to design and build your robot,” Geometry and Statistics teacher Michael Weingarden said, who has advised the Robotics Club since 2006.

The club meets every day of the week except Sunday, and in preparation for competition can spend as many as four hours on weekdays and seven hours on Saturdays working on their robot. The six week deadline ended on Feb. 21.

“I’m anxious but confident,” said Sam Rice, senior, club president and team captain. “We’ve had a very successful year.”

According to George Randel, the club’s vice president and senior, “We have built a solid robot, and we have an excellent drive team.” This is Randel’s fourth year in the club.

The team, which merged with the Conejo Valley team as of this year, will be competing against 60 other teams in the three day competition. This year, the team hopes to make it to the third day of the competition matches.

As for Rice, winning is not the only goal. “It’s more important that we have fun and learn something from it,” he said.

However, when they are not preparing for competition, the club also builds smaller projects such as small robots with unique functions, like the ability to follow a line on the ground and recognize its surroundings. “We put sensors on the robot,” Weingarden said. “It gives it the ability to see and hear.”

When the club members are not building robots, they spend their time practicing skills in other areas like programming and circuitry because “robotics involves electronics and programming as well as mechanics,” Weingarden said.

“The most rewarding thing about robotics is having an idea for a design and seeing that design go from a idea to a tangible robot that works,” Randel said.

Panther Pursuits page 43, "The Future is Today":


Panther Pursuits March 2009, Page 19 "Robotics Club":

donations from Haas Automation and ITT Technical Institute (both in Oxnard). Unfortunately, we are running out of funds and we could really use some support from local companies to continue our efforts. If you know of someone who would like to see this kind of work continue at Newbury Park High School, please have them contact Mr. Weingarden at or by phone at 805-498-3676 x1302.
February 11, 2015Grief and Triumph at a Medieval Robot Battle for High SchoolersA moment of frustration. The competition lasts four days, each stretching from 8am to about 6pm. CHRISTOPHER BALIWAS