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Posted on Feb 29, 2016

From robotics to Science Bowl

Quincy High School senior Angie Aquino says she’s “never been a science person.”
On the other hand, senior Maycohol Chavez announced, “I’ve always been a science nerd.”
Despite those different backgrounds, both made substantial contributions to the school’s Robotics Club, which ended its season earlier this month with a final competition in Toppenish. The school competed with five, four-person teams.
One of the QHS teams built a robot that stacks cubes up to 90 centimeters high.
Sophomore Sandra Huezo said it took some time for her to learn about robotics.
“I had to watch other people to see how they did it,” she said. “I’ve always been into science. It’s a hands-on thing.”
Chavez called robotics a “professional hobby” because it takes lots of time to devise the right mechanical contraption. He served as the club’s unofficial president.
“I did the job nobody wanted – programming,” Chavez said.
The 20 Robotics Club members have met regularly since the beginning of the school year. Now, Aquino and Chavez, along with other club members, are preparing for the Science Bowl in a couple of weeks.
Science Bowl is a Jeopardy-like contest with a fast-paced question-and-answer format. School teams compete against one another.
“You have buzzers,” Chavez said of another similarity to Jeopardy. “There are buttons on the table.”
Students competing in Science Bowl get sample questions to study before contests, but there’s no assurance those will be used in tournaments. The best preparation is simply to have a solid background in science, engineering, electronics and math, the QHS students say.
Even if the Quincy team doesn’t win first place, team members often have something to be proud of anyway.
“We usually come home with the sportsmanship award,” Aquino said.


— By Steve Kadel,