Career Academy robotics team wins multiple awards, including FIRST Impact Team Award

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Career Academy Network of Public Schools' For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics team has automatically qualified for the State Championship after winning the FIRST Impact Award earlier this month.

According to school officials, the students from Career Academy Network and The Portage School competed March 1-3 at the FIRST Indiana Mishawaka Event, where each team won awards.

After the qualification matches, Team 9554 Portage Pythons ranked 20th and scored 6-6.

"The highlight of the competition for this team was winning the Rookie Inspiration Award," said Executive Director of Charter Schools for Trine University, Lindsay Omlor. "The award is given to a new team to celebrate success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineers and engineering, both in the school and in their community."

Coach David Ebersol is in his tenth season of robotics and has led the team to many awards over the years. The team nominated him for the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design.

Team 5484 Wolf Pack ranked tenth after the qualification matches and scored 8-4. The team was selected as the 7th Seed Alliance Captain and was able to pick Penn High School Team 135 as their alliance partner for future competitions.

One of the students on Team 5484 Wolf Pack, Rima Bell, won the Dean's List Semi Finalist Award.

"This award puts the spotlight on great examples of student leaders that have created awareness for FIRST and its mission throughout their communities and teams," said Omlor. "Rima, along with winning this award, was also a part of the team who created the essay and presentation for the Impact Award."

Within Team 5484 Wolf Pack, the Impact Team, including Rich Cole, Rima Bell, Kysta Holman and James Sin, worked together to create an essay and presentation to submit for the Impact Award.

The FIRST Impact Award, formerly the Chairman's Award, is the most distinguished award at FIRST, honoring the team that best embodies the mission of FIRST and represents the caliber of teams the program hosts.

This award was created to keep the focus of the FIRST Robotics Competition's goal to inspire respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encouraging more of today's youth to be leaders in STEM.

The award automatically qualifies the team for the State Championships on April 5-7 in Lafayette.

The FIRST Robotics program challenges students to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a field game against competitors. Participants can apply for more than $80 million in college scholarships.

The Career Academy Network of Public Schools is a charter network authorized by Education One, the charter authorizer for Trine University.

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