Excellence in Education for the 21st Century

Charter Career Prep Wins VEX Robotics Competition

The El Dorado County Office of Education’s Charter Career Prep (CCP) program provides an enriched, hands-on learning culture that develops innovative learners to compete in an ever-changing world. Robotics naturally lends itself to these goals, and the CCP Robotics Team has certainly demonstrated the success of the program’s educational mission for students.  The CCP team recently won the prestigious San Joaquin Delta VEX Robotics Competition, including earning the coveted Tournament of Champions title and the Excellence Award, which are given to the team with the most well-rounded Robotics program.  The CCP Robotics then went on to make it all the way to the quarterfinals at the 2017 California State High School Championship in San Jose, CA. “We are so proud of our students,” noted Kym Wilkinson, Assistant Principal. “It is a huge accomplishment to be considered one of the best overall robotic teams in California.” 

The Robotics program is part of a larger Maker Space elective program that introduces students to mechanical and structural engineering, computer programming, and design through applied learning.  Seniors Tom Ostby and Kalen Nelson, along with their teammates, combined their strengths and interests to build the Vex Robot that won them both regional and statewide recognition. “If the first time you try to build something and it doesn’t work, keep trying,” states Tom, noting that perseverance is an important skill to learn quickly. “We’ve rebuilt the robot so many times to correct design/programming flaws, but it’s paid off in the end.”  The team members focus their robot design on being durable and effective, which proved beneficial during competition since the robot did not experience any broken parts.  Students wrote more than 600 lines of programming code as part of the design process, including several autonomous functions. 

A major element of the program’s engaging curriculum is the emphasis on ensuring that all students are both college and career ready.  The Charter programs offer a unique Advanced Education program that allows students to concurrently enroll in high school and Folsom Lake College.  Advanced Education shortens the time it takes to earn a college degree, saving students money since the courses taken while in high school and are tuition free.  “We provide a rich program that helps students also experience success in college at the same time,” noted Principal Fred Mier. 

More information about Charter Career Prep and the other Charter programs operated the El Dorado County Office of Education can found on their website at charter.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 295-2259.

Charter Career Prep students, seniors Tom Ostby and Kalen Nelson, explain their engineering and programming processes to the 2017 State Championship judges.

Charter Career Prep students, seniors Tom Ostby and Kalen Nelson, explain their engineering and programming processes to the 2017 State Championship judges. 

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