The Phoenix Coding Academy Robotics Team is Dealing With What Their Coach Calls, “Catastrophic Success”

Posted by Communications on 3/28/2018

The Phoenix Coding Academy Robotics team was just looking to get a little experience when it participated in its first-ever robotics competition in Pomona, California this month, but now the team is dealing with what their coach calls, “Catastrophic Success.”

The Python Robotics team, made up of 16 freshmen and sophomores (and a foreign-exchange student from Central) won the Rookie All-Star Award at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Los Angeles Regional, March 15-17, which comes with an invitation to the World Championships in Houston, April 18-21.

“Now we have to raise $10,000-plus in a hurry to go to the championships, Coding Academy engineering teacher and robotics coach George Cardenas said.  “I have contacted all of our corporate sponsors, we are having a car wash this weekend, a video game tournament next week, and making sure people know on our social media we need help with tax credits. We are doing it on a shoestring.  We have all other expenses covered except the $5,000 registration fee, which is due March 30.”

Coding Academy has been no slouch when it comes to funding the program.  The team secured a grant from NASA and Boeing to help them get to Regionals, and several in-kind donations from other companies.  The students have aggressively promoted the Education Tax Credit program, in which donors can contribute up to $400, and receive a tax credit in the same amount.

“These kids have been incredible. They are only freshmen and sophomores and they are amazing.  It was our intention that this year would be a learning experience, but they blew it out of the water.  They were the highest-ranked rookie team, and earned high marks for their presentation to judges and their community service.”

The best way to help the team is through an Arizona Education Tax Credit which can be made online from the team’s website www.pythonrobotics.org.