For the seventh year in a row, Napa Valley Unified School District students traveled to UC Davis to participate in its annual robotics competition — RoboPlay 2019.
For the sixth year in a row, American Canyon Middle and American Canyon High schools earned top honors, taking 17 statewide awards, including one first-place award and another 8 regional awards, including three first-place regional awards.
Each year, the number of teams and schools attending from NVUSD has increased. This year, 126 students on 28 teams from American Canyon Middle School, American Canyon High School, Canyon Oaks Elementary, Redwood Middle School, Vintage High School, and Valley Oak High School competed.
While they didn’t win any awards, students new to robotics from Valley Oak Continuation High School, Vintage High School, and Redwood Middle School worked hard to complete the challenging robotics tasks, with one team from Redwood almost placing in the top tier in their division.
“The number of students participating in this competition has grown every year and their performance has improved every year, too,” said Mary Ann Valles, assistant superintendent for Instructional Services of the Napa Valley Unified School District.
“This competition gives students the chance to display their problem solving, math, and coding skills timed against the clock. It isn’t easy and it takes grit. In particular, the American Canyon schools have really risen to the challenge and they have positioned NVUSD as one of the top robotics districts in the state. ”
The computers, robots and teacher training were all sponsored by NapaLearns, which has invested more than $250,000 into the program. NapaLearns also underwrites the costs for the students to attend the competition.
Trinchero Family Estates donated $1 million last year to support the robotics program for four years.
“Through this robotics program, I have won several awards at the Roboplay C-STEM competitions, been on teams that ranked number one in the state and region, and have discovered the major I am planning to pursue in college,” said Justin Chang, a senior at American Canyon High School.
“This is the second year of a three-year commitment to put the C-STEM curriculum into Napa Valley Unified School District schools,” said Peg Maddocks, executive director of NapaLearns. “Many jobs depend on computers, programming, perseverance, and teamwork. These students will need those skills in the future and they will be prepared.”
Here is the complete list of awards won by American Canyon schools:
American Canyon Middle School
Statewide Middle School Award of Achievement
Statewide MS Girl’s Leadership Award
Statewide Junior Division RoboPlay Video Winners
● Best Storytelling – Botman: The Dark Bot Returns
● Best Choreography – Dancing Queen
● Most Interesting Task – World of Bots
Regional Division C (7th/8th Grade) RoboPlay Robotics
● 1st Place Regional – PUG BOTS
● 2nd Place Statewide – PUG BOTS
Regional RoboPlay Robotics MS Perseverance Award
American Canyon High School
Statewide High School Award of Excellence
Statewide High School C-STEM Scholarship
Statewide HS Girl’s Leadership Award
Statewide Senior Division RoboPlay Video Winners
● Best Theme: Barobo 500