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April 2, 2013 > Insomniacs Robotics team celebrates win

Insomniacs Robotics team celebrates win

Submitted By Anita Alem
Photos By Courtesy of FIRST

Fremont's teens are more and more influential in the world of technology, as seen in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) regional at Sacramento. Team 2489 of Fremont Unified School District, placed first along with their alliance partners, Teams 701 and 3189.

The Insomniacs, as they like to be called, will now compete at the World Championships in St. Louis, April 24-27. The team will also be participating in the Silicon Valley Regional Competition, April 4-6, at San Jose State University.

FIRST is a non-profit organization that works to educate its teams and students with the values of engineering and business. FIRST Robotics Competition is an international program in which high school students build washing machine-sized robots that compete in annual sports-like challenges, such as soccer and basketball. These robots must be perfected in a six-week timeframe, after which the 'bot' is bagged until competition. In this year's challenge, Ultimate Ascent, robots must play a modified form of Ultimate Frisbee, as well as climb a 10-foot pyramid.

The Insomniacs include approximately forty high school students from the Fremont Unified School District. In its fifth year, the team will be attending World Championships for the first time. To add to their excitement, the team's head mentor and co-founder of the nonprofit Playing@Learning, Mark Edelman, won the Woodie Flowers award for being an exceptional role model and friend. Team Captain and American High School junior Ankit Shah says, "The team has worked very hard, improving consistently over the past couple of years, to be where we are today. We came together as a team to fund and build a great robot."

A major obstacle in the team's path is funding. It costs $5,000 for the team to register for the World Championships, and they are currently looking for sponsors to cover the fee. Sponsorship includes publicity on team t-shirts, sweatshirts, banner, and robot, viewed by hundreds of thousands of people at the World competition and, more important, sponsors play an important role in STEM education.

Those interested in sponsoring the team or would like to tour the workspace and see the robot in action can contact The Insomniacs at or visit Everyone is invited to watch the team in action at the Silicon Valley Regional Competition at San Jose State University, April 4-6, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Silicon Valley Regional Robotics Competition
Thursday, Apr 4 - Saturday, Apr 6
8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
San Jose State University
1 Washington Square, San Jose

Event is free of charge and open to the public

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