IMG_9473The Kingman Robotics Team captured its first AIA state championship during competition held May 23 in Prescott Valley.

“It was just awesome,” said mentor Kerry Schanaman. He said the state title is another feather in the cap for the program that has two third place world finishes and a number of regional competition titles during its 19 year history.

Robotics programs allow students to work with mentors, supported by sponsors, to design robots that perform specific tasks during competitions. Schanaman said the Kingman team and its robot excel at stacking crates.

The program was founded at Kingman High School but has expanded to allow participation by students attending other local high schools.

“We are ecstatic over winning the state competition for robotics,” said Kingman Unified School District Superintendent Roger Jacks. “What we’re really excited about is that it is something that we’re doing with all three high schools in town.”

Jacks thanked commercial sponsors and the general community for supporting the program and the Bionic Bulldogs team. He said it’s an innovative way to stimulate student interest in difficult subject matter, and that successful evolution of the program is serving as a curriculum development building block.

“One of the things we’re trying to do at kingman High School is start a STEM Program–Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—and the very first program that we’re looking at starting with is robotic engineering, and you can see why,” Jacks said.

Schanaman said 19 students have been involved in the Kingman Robotics Team and its just completed season. He said the program has led to college and professional opportunity for some of their predecessors.

“We’ve taken kids that really had no interest and did not know where they were going as for career paths, and we’ve been able to change and direct them into engineering,” Schanaman said. “We think it’s an awesome program.”