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FIRST Robotics

College in the future

The current revolution in education is facilitated by technology, but the nature, cause and outcome of the disruption is not as apparent as it seems. When we think of technology in education, we think most often of programs to use iPads for instruction, of teaching coding across the curriculum, or of having students do online research, but there are more profound technological innovations afoot in...
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Living in a Digital Age

We live in an age of driverless cars, thought-controlled biomechanical limbs, and robots shifting heavy pallets of goods across warehouse floors. These were all dreams of yesterday, and each was supposed to take decades to be realized, if it could be realized at all. But here they are. Google’s driverless cars routinely glide along the 101, nimbly slowing to evade the sometimes erratic driving of ...
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What is the best college for you?

The published lists of best colleges in the nation are relatively unchanged from year to year—at the top are the prestigious, expensive, often research-heavy and well-endowed institutions, the ones that many aspire to and that all others are often compared to. But does the best college for you necessarily rank high on the list? Wouldn’t it be better to ask which college education would have the gr...
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How do you change the world?

A FIRST Robotics Championship is a spectacle to behold. Throngs of students crowd the stands, the blocks of colored t-shirts marking their stake in the match below. The music thunders, the beat is insistent. Flags sway side to side, propelled in rhythm by the students wielding them. And then there are the robots: bots from China, bots from Australia and Canada, bots from Israel and India and Afric...
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How to improve upon perfection

Last weekend, Village Glen High School participated in the Regional championship for FIRST Robotics. Competition was tight. The 41 teams that participated were some of the best in Southern California, and some of them had already participated in other Regionals, as they are allowed to do, and won awards there. The level of engineering design and construction was high, rivalries new and old were in...
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STEM Spirit, Robotics and Village Glen

Last Saturday, on a cold, bright and early morning, a throng of students and adults descended on USC (University of Southern California) for a 7:30am viewing of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition reveal. The hall was hushed as the animation played, some taking notes, some with laptops open viewing it in stereo. Immediately after the short video, the throng made a beeline for the distribution cent...
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