Igniting Innovation: The Beach Blitz Robotics Competition

The rhythmic hum of motors and the cheers of a packed gymnasium set the stage for the Beach Blitz Robotics Competition at Capistrano Valley High School on November 4th and 5th. This year marked the third year College and Career Advantage (CCA)’s Team 5199: The Robot Dolphins, hosted the event—the second at Capistrano Valley High School. This year was exceptionally special, because it was co-hosted by CCA’s new team, Team 9271: The Cyber Porpoises. The event showcased the collaborative spirit and ingenuity of 42 teams comprised of over 1,200 participants competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) pre-season competition. Meanwhile, the FIRST Lego League (FLL) for 4th and 5th graders brought an additional layer of enthusiasm, with 14 teams of budding engineers demonstrating their creativity and problem-solving skills. 

The excitement was palpable as spectators filled the gym, eager to witness the matches below. With 6 robots on the field (3 on each side) teams must complete a series of challenges during the game–using offensive and defensive strategy throughout. When the buzzer goes off, robots complete 15 seconds of autonomous action followed by remote-controlled maneuvers and strategic human assistance. The game concept remains the same from year to year, while the tasks and game field change each season. 

The Beach Blitz serves as a crucial pre-season event with teams previewing the competition for the upcoming 2024 competition season. In January, teams will receive plans for a new game field and have mere weeks to design, build, and program a robot capable of completing the tasks for the new challenges. This intense period of innovation and collaboration leads to regional competitions where teams vie for a coveted spot in the World Championships in Houston, Texas. The World Championships will be the culmination of their efforts, where tens of thousands of participants and spectators will gather to witness the final matchups and celebrate months of hard work, innovation, and dedication.

At the core of events like Beach Blitz is FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a global robotics community dedicated to preparing young minds for the future. Offering a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18, FIRST operates under a set of core values that promote research, fundraising, design, building, and showcasing achievements during annual challenges.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST’s impact on STEM learning extends well beyond high school. Alumni gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and opportunities, creating connections that open pathways to a variety of careers. With support from volunteers, educators, and sponsors, including over 200 Fortune 500 companies, FIRST continues to inspire and shape the future leaders of science and technology.

To learn more about CCA’s Robotics program, visit ccadvantage.org today!

Sharing is caring!