School News

Maharishi School Wins State Robotics Championship

A team of six Maharishi School students, led by team captain Sam Arsanjani, recently won the Iowa robotics championship, competing against 17 other Teams from across Iowa and including three out-of-state teams from Illinois and Los Angeles.

The team will now be getting ready for the 2010 World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia, in April.

The competition, part of a nationwide program for students, entailed seeing whose robot would perform best in a ball-tossing game called Hotshot.

The students, Sam Arsanjani, Vegard Joergenson, Dominic Borg, Atreya Dey, Shuna Kaasa, and Jaren Fleishman, are members of the new Maharishi School Robotics club. Sam Arsanjani founded the club and arranged with the school and teacher, Dr. Mosumi Dey, to have the students' work on the robot as part of the curriculum of an elective taught by Ali Arsanjani, MUM Computer Science Faculty and IBM chief technology officer for emerging technologies.

The competition is part of the FIRST Robotics Competition, which is sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by Segway inventor Dean Kamen to encourage student team-building skills, entrepreneurship, and "Gracious professionalism."

The students compete under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits. This year's competition, which officially began last September 15, required teams to construct robots that competed on a 12-foot-square field in a ball-tossing game to see whose robot could shoot the most balls into a container.

The competition entails an autonomous mode in which the robot performs activities programmed by the students, and a remote mode, in which the students use remote controllers to guide the robot as it shoots the balls.

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