One local Oakton-based school recently celebrated a major milestone. M. Gurkan Cil, principal of — Pinnacle Academy, recently announced the school's Puma Tech Robotics Team took first place in the 2019 Chesapeake Region FIRST Robotics Competition. This year's team devoted countless hours of effort and competed against 39 other high schools to earn this latest honor. According to the official FIRST website, students competing at the high school level have deemed the event the “the hardest fun you’ll ever have”.
Those participating in the contest face a number of challenges during competition. Each event is based on a specific topic with past themes having been transportation, nanotechnology, climate and quality of life for the handicapped. This year's motif revolved around space innovation while simultaneously celebrating the FIRST program's thirtieth anniversary and the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
Students on Pinnacle Academy's Puma Tech Robotics Team bear a wide range of responsibilities in regard to the competition. Team members are tasked with branding as well as planning, building and programming the robot to be used in the FIRST competition. At the same time, they handle the project's budget, organize and conduct fundraisers and promote these events without faculty intervention.
Participants choose a specific, theme-relevant topic to address with their project. During the event, students compete in various challenges, each of which is designed to demonstrate the team's capacity for design, engineering, programming, sportsmanship and the core values of the FIRST program itself. These include discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun.
Pinnacle Academy is a private school focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. In addition to STEAM, the school emphasizes college and career preparedness and the value of community. Its students are encouraged to reach for their goals, exceed their potential, embrace diversity and strive for independence. Along with its core curriculum, the school offers a wide range of additional STEAM-oriented classes and programs.
"We're very proud of the time and effort our Puma Techs poured into this year's FIRST competition," affirmed the school's principal, "and we'd all like to congratulate them on their accomplishment. We're dedicated to instilling the analytical, evaluative and creative skills our students will need for their future careers. Though our entire program revolves around this goal, the Robotics Team in particular encompasses many of the fields that are sure to be invaluable to tomorrow's leaders."
About Pinnacle Academy:
Founded in 2016, Pinnacle Academy is a unique, STEAM-focused private high school dedicated to providing a dynamic and immersive learning experience for its students.
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