A two-student team from Fontana’s Randall Pepper Elementary School has made history by qualifying for the highly anticipated World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Friendship Invitational Tournament 2023. Keilani Aquino and Anthony Diaz-Flores, members of the school’s WRO Robotics Club, emerged victorious at the WRO U.S. Open held on June 3rd in Upland. Their outstanding performance among over 100 competing teams secured their spot in the international tournament, which will take place in Odense, Denmark from September 21st to 24th.
Under the guidance of dedicated mentors, these third graders learned the ins and outs of robot building and coding during a series of club meetings held on Saturdays throughout the school year. This accomplishment is a testament to their hard work, knowledge, and exceptional teamwork. Theresa Gomez, the principal of Randall Pepper Elementary School, expressed her utmost pride in the Thunder Bots, recognizing their achievement as a shining example of what determination and effort can bring.
This is not the first time that Randall Pepper robotics students have showcased their talents on the global stage. In 2019, a team of five students from the same school participated in the WRO tournament in Aarhus, Denmark. Collaborating with students from Germany and Nigeria, they successfully completed a challenging robotics task and developed a poignant slogan, “3 Countries, 3 Teams, 1 Friendship.” Their outstanding performance was recognized with the International Friendship Award, a tremendous honor bestowed by the WRO judges.
The robotics program at Randall Pepper Elementary School was initiated in 2019 by Annette Beasley, a former principal who now serves as the Executive Director of Elementary Schools. Beasley accompanied the school’s inaugural robotics team to Denmark and shared her enthusiasm for the program’s growth over the years. She emphasized the importance of engaging students at an early age to nurture their curiosity and prepare them for future academic endeavors.
The WRO Robotics Club is part of the school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) curriculum, catering to second and third-grade students. Additionally, the school offers the SumoBot Club for fourth and fifth graders, as well as STEAM-tastic Wednesdays, where teachers provide interactive lessons on coding and earth science.
Fontana’s Randall Pepper Elementary School is elated to have its students represent not only the school but also the entire Fontana community at the international level. This incredible achievement serves as a testament to the dedication of the students, teachers, and parents involved, as well as the strong emphasis on STEM education within the Fontana Unified School District.
– World Robot Olympiad (WRO): an international robotics competition for students from various age groups.
– STEAM: an educational approach that integrates science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
– Friendship Invitational Tournament: a friendly competition where participants from different countries come together to showcase their skills.
– STEM: an educational approach that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math.
– CTE programs: Career and Technical Education programs that aim to prepare students for future careers and provide them with practical skills.
– Fontana Unified School District