Carson High robotics team aims at building STEM interest | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson High robotics team aims at building STEM interest

Nevada Appeal staff report
Cyber Mafia is Carson High School’s robotics team. When it isn’t building robots for competition, it’s mentoring younger students or featuring at community outreach events.
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The robotics team at Carson High School is doing as much as it can to inspire the community with its love of science, technology, engineering and math.

Cyber Mafia is in the midst of competition season and currently among the highest ranking teams, recently taking first place at a meet at McQueen High School with a perfect 5-0 match record. The final meet of the season was at Sage Ridge School, where the team came in second. The team headed for the Northern Nevada Finals at Reed High School on Jan. 31, preceding the state championship match on Feb. 9-10.

Although the team is busy enough preparing for competition, it makes time to mentor younger students. The team helped establish the FIRST LEGO League Jr. team at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada. There, students learn cooperation, creativity, communication and other skills as they participate in the robotics program for kids ages 6-10.

Cyber Mafia also runs summer robotics camps — covering everything from mechanical design, programming and electrical skills — for elementary and middle school students.

The team participates in STEM nights at local schools and does community outreach demonstrations (look for it at the CHS Career Expo Night on Feb. 28).

Most of this year’s team is new to the program as more than half of last year’s team graduated. Members are Alan Serrano, Andrius Stankus, Casanova Segura, Emmanuel Alvarez, Michael Carine, Luke Bowler, Nanami Duncan, Nevan McIlwee, Peng Chen, Rylan Fancher, Sarai Jauregui-Rivas, and Skylor Olshefsky.

Coaches are Scot Duncan and Michelle Bowler. Joining the lineup as advisors and mentors are Sherri Kelley and Josh Barham, two CHS teachers tasked with providing resources, support, and inspiration to the team.

FIRST, an acronym signifying “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” programs challenge students to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Outside of the engineering portion, students also must formulate a business plan and conduct marketing, community outreach and fundraising.

For information about FIRST, go to Firstinspires.org. For information about the team or how to start one, contact Michelle Bowler 775-230-4748 or michellebowler@mac.com.