Wolf Corp. Robotics featured on ABC7 News April 12, 2022: CLICK HERE
Wolf Corp. Robotics featured on NBC4 News April 13, 2022: CLICK HERE
April 8, 2022
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA--Walnut High School’s Wolf Corp. competitive robotics team is just days away from taking on their biggest challenge – the FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas on April 19-23.
This is the third year in a row the team qualified for the mega global challenge, but the last two years were cancelled due to the pandemic.
The determined members said they reacted with much excitement and even shed a few tears.
“The funny part was he (Nathan Tan) was tearing up even before the winner was announced because we knew we would be going to Worlds!” said senior Daniel Ji.
In March, the team secured their coveted spot by winning the Champion’s (Inspire) Award among 150 teams at the 2022 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) So Cal Regional Tournament.
"We're so excited to finally take our robot to World!" added senior Kawin Watkins.
The team also took the Finalist Alliance Award, Motivate Award 3rd Place, Promote Award 3rd Place, Coaches Lek and Scott Watkins - Compass (Mentor) Award 3rd Place at the competition.
This season, Wolf Corp. hosted a global outreach with teams from 16 countries, connected to 200 teams via global workshops, hosted 37 STEM and community outreach events, formed and mentored a new FTC team on campus, and totaled over 180 outreach hours.
On April 6, members offered a preview presentation and demonstrated skills that their sturdy “Wolfinator” battle bot uses during engineering challenges.
“I try not to think of the pressure during the competitions,” shared driver senior Kevin Yu who handles the left and right wheel motion.
“I’m pretty relaxed during the qualifying rounds, but when it gets to the finals that’s when it gets intense,” added senior Jason Wang, the outtake driver.
At one point, the robot moves to the wall and gets 10 points for spinning a yellow rubber duck, dropping a block off in the hub, and then parking in a blue square.
“We have two minutes to basically score as much as possible,” Ji explained.
Another objective that opens up when the red and blue teams fight over this little hub, Yu shared.
“And whichever team manages to tip it toward their side gets a bonus 20 points!”
One of the original members, senior Sarah Wang, joined the robotics team as a Collegewood Elementary fourth grader in 2014.
She’s headed to UC Berkeley in the fall and will major in Biology.
“I feel like robotics gave me a really good background to pursue a career in STEM,”
There are actually seven students who have been in robotics teams together in elementary, middle, and high school.
“My best memories are all the competitions – it’s really neat seeing all our work come together!” Wang added.
Wolf Corp. members who are competing in Houston are Kawin Watkins, Nathan Tan, Gordon Lau, Jason Wang, Kevin Yu, Joshua Hsu, Daniel Ji, Glory Zhang, Zhenkai Weng, Ethan Tungpalan, Sarah Wang, Jalen Chen, and Harry Zhang.
They have been coached by parents Lek and Scott Watkins for the past eight years. The team’s advisor is Walnut High math teacher Yousuf Marvi.
To support the team or donate to the World Championship trip, checks can be sent to Walnut High School with memo “Wolf Corp.”
Walnut High School’s Wolf Corp. robotics team will be competing in the FIRST World Championship in Houston on April 19-23.