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Code Red Prepares for Active Pre-Season

posted Oct 4, 2013, 6:37 AM by Adam Engst   [ updated Oct 19, 2013, 5:09 AM ]

With the school year in full swing, the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Ithaca High School Code Red Robotics team resumes their endeavor to assist the community in as many ways as they possibly can. Over the next few months Code Red is going to be volunteering at Loaves and Fishes, Family Reading Partnership’s  Kids BookFest, and Taughannock Falls State Park.

On Saturday October 5th Code Red will be kicking off the “new year” by volunteering at Taughannock Falls State Park. In the past Code Red has cleared trails, trimmed branches, and helped develop an area with the hopes of a wedding gazebo being built there in the future. Many Code Red members are anxiously awaiting what is in store for them. “Volunteering at Taughannock is an amazing experience,” says Noah Davis, a third year member on the team. “Not only are we helping the community, but it is where old and new members first work together and start to develop ties of friendship and camaraderie.”

One of Code Red’s biggest ambitions over the past few years has been to spread the message of FIRST to elementary school students across the Ithaca City School District through the JR. FIRST Lego League (FLL) program. JR.FLL is the elementary level FIRST competition where students are given a topic to research and then create a lego model. A few weeks later the teams walk into an exposition with many other teams from around the area to display what they’ve learned. Code Red has worked to promote a JR.FLL program in each district elementary school, a goal achieved last year. Team support included direct mentoring by Code Red team members at some schools and offering assistance to teachers and parents in establishing teams at others.

When winter comes around and all of the events have passed, Code Red will switch gears entirely, and prepare themselves for the high school robotics season that starts on January 4th 2014, an event called “Kickoff”. Kickoff is where the team gets together to watch the game reveal video, A video released by FIRST to tell the teams what the challenge for the year will be, and then immediately jump into the strategy of the game. Kickoff also initiates the beginning of the “Build Season”. Code Red, and every other FIRST Robotics Team, will then have only 6 weeks to build one 120 pound robot that plays this game. As soon as they iron out their strategy, Code Red will dive right into prototyping aspects of the robot and later assembling their final product.

Code Red Robotics receives generous support from the community and local companies. Sponsors include Kionix, Autodesk, BAE Systems, BorgWarner Morse TEC, CBORD, Cayuga Medical Center, Cornell Computing and Information Science, Tompkins Trust Company, Tetra Tech, Vector Magnetics, AccuFab, Boom, Incodema, Innovative Metal Works, U-Haul of Ithaca, Ithaca City School District, ICSD Board of Education, Ithaca High School, and Purity Ice Cream. 

FIRST Code Red Robotics, an Ithaca High School student organization, is an associate of Ithaca STEM Advocates, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI). IPEI is a not-for-profit organization that believes the education of every ICSD student is enhanced through community connections and support facilitated by IPEI for students and teachers through engagement, collaboration, gifts, and grants. More information about Ithaca STEM Advocates and IPEI can be found at http://www.ithacastem.org and http://www.ipei.org

For further information about FIRST, JR.FIRST Lego League, and Code Red Robotics, please email ikrywe@icsd.k12.ny.us, or go to http://www.usfirst.org

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