Los Angeles Youth Robotics Teams get a Boost from the Navy

Story Number: NNS111129-15Release Date: 11/29/2011 4:03:00 PM
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By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (AW/SW) Anthony Briggs Jr., Navy Recruiting District Los Angeles Public Affairs

LOS ANGELES (NNS) -- Sailors from Navy Recruiting District Los Angeles were on hand for Los Angeles Regional JPL Invention Challenge Nov. 19.

The competition, sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, highlighted the area's best and brightest high school robotics teams.

Each year, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory develops a unique challenge which allows students the opportunity to apply their math and science skills to meet the stated challenge. This year's competition focused on building a device that would kick a football over a two meter barrier into a trashcan five meters away. Each team was given one minute to kick three footballs. Teams were awarded points based on how close their attempt landed near the trash can, with the maximum points awarded for each ball that landed in the can.

Navy Personnel Command's Diversity Officer Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Tran stated this is one of the many outreach opportunities to highlight the Navy's ongoing initiatives to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to inspire the next generation of leaders.

"The robotics program here at Manual Arts High has been a perennial top performer in the area," said Tran. "The kids here are applying the problem-solving skills they are learning in the classroom here as they look at their unit's performance and make adjustments to improve their project."

Manual Arts High is one of several schools and local organizations NRD Los Angeles has partnered with to promote STEM.

Tran said STEM awareness is a top priority of the Navy and the NRD.

"The Navy is a highly technical environment and we, as the rest of the country, will need tomorrow's leaders proficient in STEM-related fields," said Tran. "By highlighting STEM here and throughout the recruiting district, we believe we are helping to create a 'home-grown' talent pool to lead our country in the future."

John Santos, who leads the Manual Arts Imaging, Science and Technology Academy said the Navy's involvement is beneficial to his team.

"This is the seventh year that the Navy has participated in the JPL Invention Challenge at Manual Arts High School," said Santos. "This continued support provides the added synergies for young people in the inner city schools to see what is possible if they excel in their STEM related studies. For many students attending this event it is the first time they will ever meet and engineer or see how and what engineers do. With the support of the Navy, students can see what careers await them if they continue their education."

For more news from Navy Recruiting District Los Angeles, visit www.navy.mil/local/nrd-la/.

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