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VALLEY FOCUS | Chatsworth

Boeing Funds School's Bid in Robot Contest

January 24, 1998|EDWARD M. YOON

Chatsworth High School received a $10,000 donation this week from a division of Boeing to fund the school's entry in a national student engineering competition.

"Robo Charlie," a robot built by Chatsworth High students for last year's national FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competition, accepted the check from representatives of the Canoga Park-based Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power.

"We at Rocketdyne are so proud of what Chatsworth High had done last year and we hope that the $10,000 will help you accomplish your goal this year," said Kristy Varnes, manager of community and customer relations at Boeing, addressing a team of 22 students who will be competing in this year's event.

Robo Charlie had no problems grasping the check and presenting it to Assistant Principal Donna Wyatt, who will accompany the team to Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center in Orlando April 2 through 4 for the competition.

Boeing last year donated $5,000 for Chatsworth High's first-ever entry into the competition.

Despite the school's lack of experience, Robo Charlie missed the quarter-final round of 16 teams by two seconds, said Wendy Wooten, project team manager and physics teacher at Chatsworth High.

Although the number of schools entered in this year's competition increased from 155 to 205, Wooten speculated that "Robo Charlie II," the school's latest design, has "a real good chance" of making the round of 16.

"Finding out what the competition was like last year is really going to help us," Wooten said. "We've got some experience in dealing with mechanical and electrical systems and we've added some design features that we can apply to the next competition."

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