Community Connector April 2015

George Stimson and Team Paradox

Welcome to the first edition of the SDA Community Connector

Here you will find news about how teachers, parents, and members of the community are all working together to make San Dieguito High School Academy the amazing experience it is. Each issue we will focus on a different area. Enjoy and Thank you!

Team Paradox – SDA Robotics

Team Paradox was founded in 2007 and is the school’s First Robotics Competition (FRC) team. Each year, the team competes against high school teams from across the country with a robot they are given only 6 weeks to design and build.

While the actual building of the robot is completed in 6 weeks, there is a tremendous amount of activity before, after and throughout the year. The team is a diverse group, ranging from the Build Division, which designs the robot using Solidworks and fabricates it using a CNC Mill and hand machining; the Corporate Division, which manages the finances, writes grants, and ensures that the team is meeting all of the requirements of the FIRST organization; and the Marketing Division, which takes the lead in creating and promoting the team image with a student-created logo each year, participating in community events and coordinating the mentoring role of the team with First Lego League (the elementary school division of FIRST). This year, the team also supported and mentored the rookie FRC team at La Costa Canyon High School.

Mentoring teams at the local elementary schools is an important way that Team Paradox inspires younger students to join in their excitement about understanding how things work and how to get things to work through science, technology, engineering and math. The team hosts a Qualifying Tournament for the younger teams to be able to compete at Legoland, and they also leads informal workshops at the elementary schools to introduce the students to the FIRST program and STEM at a personal level.

This year, Team Paradox placed 4th out of 58 teams in the San Diego Regional competition, and also won the Quality Award for their robot, and the Woodie Flower Finalist Award for mentor John Gaby (see related article). Click here to view a short video of what Team Paradox is all about!

Mentor John Gaby wins prestigious Woodie Flowers award at the San Diego Regional FRC!

John GabyAt each regional competition, one mentor among all of the competing teams, is awarded the Woodie Flower to recognize a mentor who leads, inspires and empowers using excellent communication skills. This year, our very own John Gaby won this prestigious award for his dedication, patient guidance and empowerment of the Team Paradox programming team. John helped grow our number of programmers from 2 to 10, and he has inspired them to be creative and bold in their approach. Congratulations John!

Mentors Matter

Team Paradox could not exist without the support of community mentors

Mentors and corporate sponsors are an integral and dedicated component of the team. The team’s founding mentor, Steve des Jardins, is an employee at Nordson ASYMTEK and introduced the FIRST program to his company. Steve helps secure funding and oversees the connection between his company, the mentors at this company, and the FIRST organization. Long-time Team Paradox mentor, Dan Strich, works at another sponsoring company, ViaSat. Team Paradox attends local community outreach programs with ViaSat, such as ViaSat Kids Day and Super STEM Fair. Click here for a list of all of the generous sponsors including SAIC and Qualcomm.

On any given day, you will find Darrahl Walton and Myron Dalager in the build shop helping the students solve problems and cheering them on. In the computer lab, you will find John Gaby, helping the students to perfect the programming and make thoughtful adjustments. There are over 20 community mentors for the program, in addition to the dedicated teacher mentors. You can’t miss physics teacher and mentor George Stimson as he buzzes from the build shop to the drive team to the white board in his iconic beret, and you will always find machine shop and engineering teacher Jason Berend helping students with Solidworks. Thank you to all of the dedicated adults who are willing to take the time to make a difference in the lives of our teens!

Kylah Clay is a Dean’s List Recipient!

Congratulations to SDA junior Kylah for winning the prestigious Dean’s List Award at the Central Valley Regional competition in Madera. This award celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at obtaining FIRST ideals is exemplary. Kylah is a driving force behind the teams Chairman Award submission and is the team’s Corporate President.

SDA Wants YOU!

Are you a parent or local community member with a passion to share? Would you like to experience the rewards of watching the future generation learn and grow with your help? Then we would love to hear from you. Whether you are a local artist who would like to work with our Art, Theater or Music program, a local lawyer who would like to work with our Speech and Debate team, a local chef who would like to work with our Culinary Arts program, or just about anyone with an enthusiasm for what you do; there are many classes, teams, and programs that could use YOUR help. Please email us or phone us (760) 753-1121 x5085 today and let us get you connected to our vibrant community.

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