Clairemonster Robotics prepares for 2019 competitions

SAN DIEGO -- Students at Clairemont High School can't wait for school to start -- even though it just let out for summer. Preparations are already underway for next year's "FIRST Robotics" competition.

"I've been to been to watch basketball games, I've been to baseball and football games. Robotics is times 10 for me," said engineering and design teacher Richard Oka.

Senior Ericka Sanchez says the program has something for everyone.

"You have something to learn whether it's marketing or it's technical or you just want to have new friends. It all comes together with this. And it's just really exciting because you're learning something while having fun," Sanchez said.

FIRST Robotics stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Their robot "Shoryuken" encompasses all of the aspects of a team working together in order to compete and win in the fields of engineering.

Charlie Jenkins, president of FIRST Robotics, likens the competition to a sport.

"I definitely think robotics is a sport because it's all of the same aspects of a sport. You have to work together with other people, you have to do a sport, but instead of with a body, you do it with your robot."

Robotics Coach Gary Jenkins explains the competition side of things.

"There's typically a ball or a frisbee or something like that that you have to shoot through a hoop, or stack boxes in a time crunch where you're also up against your competitors that are trying to do the same thing," Jenkins said.

"One unique feature of Clairemonster: our team comprises of athletes, musicians, artists, and something that's really interesting for me is that a lot of students that wouldn't normally talk to each other made friends on the team," Oka said.

The team will prepare for 2019 by hosting summer camps, fundraising and recruiting mentors.

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