HSA Robotics team started in 2010 with highly motivated students inspired to learn the fundamentals of building a robot facing their opponents.
Our mission is to inspire youth using 4H principles along with the tenets of gracious professionalism to exp[lore science and technology through mentor based programs which in turn develops leadership and life skills while encouraging innovation creative solutions to engineering and technical challenges
Our school is comprised of 47% Hispanic, 17% African American, 19% Caucasian, and 17% diverse ethnic groups. Our underrepresented group is girls. Our Robotics Team is comprised of several popular girls. They will try to recruit some of their friends to participate in our after-school programs. Some of the girls are officers of the team. We have sent letters to the parents about our team, and we use texting and the phone to keep them active and engaged. We also have women engineers who will help our team; not just in the technical area, but also as role models. We are continuing to involve businesses around the school; we will have flyers and posters to circulate in the community before the first contest.
At this time, we are looking for team sponsors. We have been encouraged by the reaction of the businesses in our area. Even those who are not able to help monetarily receive information about our team. At this time, our main recruitment is by our team members. We will also recruit after our robots have been to the competition by having a school assembly demonstrating what our robots can do, and having students tell about their experiences at the competition.
At the present time, we have a volunteer who writes grants and is actively looking for sponsors for our team. We have received one grant, and we have the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys who will donate articles for us to raffle off. We have contacted many local companies for donations of supplies and equipment. The school has donated a large warehouse to store the equipment and supplies; therefore, we are able to keep our tools and materials in a secure place so that they may be used year after year. We are also involving our parents as partners; they will be active in recruitment, sponsorship, and they will be mentors to our team.
We are a small high school, Harmony Science Academy of Dallas, www.hsadallas.org, ranked 306th nationwide, and we are determined to improve and to compete in some of the best robotics competitions in our area. We have competed for the last three years, and our school donates as much as possible toward this project. Our students are very talented and focused. They construct robots which consist of an extremely expensive anatomy. Our students are encouraged to utilize spare parts or construct original parts for these competition robots. However, it is necessary to acquire expensive hardware given the time constraints (6 weeks) for the contest. Our students participate after school, requiring many additional hours in order to produce the necessary integral parts that may be available in a kit. We are limited to second hand equipment and student/parental constructed apparatuses. Often times these hours long, well intended, and thoughtfully manufactured devices malfunction during a competition. These students are unable to adequately compete with a lack of equipment. They are required certain items in order to compete in robotics, similar to the necessity of a football helmet in order to compete in the Cotton Bowl.
We have five professional electrical engineers who volunteer their valuable time helping with the student competition. Our principal is also an enthusiastic supporter of the projects. We developed many of the components needed for success in these competitions. We are currently unable to acquire the proper funding that is vital of a competitive team for our students. “We need helmets for our Cotton Bowl”.