June 11, 2008 > Mentor Graphics Lab at Irvington High School
Mentor Graphics Lab at Irvington High School
Irvington High School's Robotics program has been given a generous donation of $10,000 from The Mentor Graphics Foundation.
The Mentor Graphics Foundation is the grant-giving arm of Mentor Graphics Corporation, a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions for electronics and semiconductor companies. It is headquartered in Wilsonville, Oregon and has offices throughout the world, including San Jose, California.
The Mentor Graphics Foundation is being proactive in training the next generation workforce by showing their support for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Initiative. This past March, Mentor Graphics Foundation learned of a Robotics program in Fremont at Irvington High School. Run as a community college course, this program runs after the high school day is over. Currently, there are 19 high school students and one community college student enrolled. The program teaches students to work collaboratively for the purposes of designing and programming an autonomous robot that must navigate an obstacle course in order to score points. The end result is a robot constructed of LEGOs, VEX, a Roomba vacuum, a Gameboy, and some specialty integrated circuits (IC = computer chips), that will compete against other teams in a tournament known as BotBall.
On April 19th, the Robotics program sent three teams to a regional BotBall competition at Santa Clara University in San Jose. There they placed 5th, 7th, and 9th overall out of 36 teams. One team also received the coveted KISS award for most effective and simplistic design.
After the competition was over, the Robotics program continued to discuss lessons learned, process improvement, and peer evaluation. The course runs until June 18th. Next year, the Robotics program will be offered again after school at Irvington High School, and at Mission San Jose High School, also in Fremont.
Mentor Graphics Foundation learned of a need within the Robotics program: more powerful computers to run CAD software for simulating the movement of the robots designed. Due to the generosity of Mentor Graphics Foundation, their gracious donation of $10,000 has allowed the program to purchase 10 new high-powered computers, thus enabling the program to continue to grow this upcoming year. Mentor Graphics will also be taking an advisory role within the oversight and development of a new Technology Career Pathway at Irvington High School, one of whose courses is the Robotics program.
For more information, please contact the Robotics program instructors Clint Johns (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Edelman (email@example.com).
STEM Initiative: www.mn-stem.com
Playing At Learning: www.playingatlearning.org
Irvington High School:cwww.irvington.org
Ohlone Community College: www.ohlone.edu