CCP Forms


FIRST, Apply online to CCP Tri-C

NEXT, Fill out, print & sign the CCP Authorization Form.

Youth Technology Academy Logo




YTA Competes at VEX State Championship

The Youth Technology Academy’s VEX Robotic Team finished their competition season this year at the Ohio VEX Robotics State Championship on March 4 in Marion, Ohio. This year’s YTA VEX team was made up of 8 local Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school  students from MC2 STEM, John Marshall and Design Lab Early College High Schools. Students were paired up, 2-4 students per robot and collectively these students, had to design, build, and program their robot to compete against more than 100 teams across the state.  Teams had 5 months to build robots that would perform the tasks outlined in this year’s VEX challenge, “Nothing But Net.”

This year’s game focused on the shooting accuracy and climbing ability of each robot during a two minute match. Each alliance tries to out-score their opponent by shooting balls and bonus balls into high and low  of each match. At the end of each match, teams can earn additional points by climbing one robot on top of another in a designated “climbing zone.”

Two of YTA’s teams, who are led by Head Coach Kevin Sarran and Assistant Coach Ke’Ondrae Mell, earned a spot to participate in this year’s state competition based on their performance at regional competitions. Both robots, designed and built by Rico Thompson (MC2 STEM), Mark Goeser (MC2 STEM), Ryan Werner (John Marshall), Deven Gyure (MC2 STEM) and Peng Zhou (Design Lab) placed either first or second in three local regionals prior to the state competition. This included a first place finish at Perry Regional, where both teams had the opportunity to play on the same alliance.

Both teams performed well, but faced challenging competition at the state championship. The teams ended their season with a rank of 25th and 33rd against the 52 best teams from across the state. Their success and effort are to be applauded. Congratulations on a great year, and good luck next season!

Ne xt year’s VEX game will be announced at the VEX World Competition on April 23, 2016 in Louisville, KY.

Click for competition information


College Credit Plus at YTA

High school students who wish to earn college credit through the YTA program and Tri-C can do so by signing up for College Credit Plus (CCP) through the Ohio Higher Education Department. This program allows eligible students grades 7 through 12 to earn high school and college credit during the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters. This credit will appear on both their high school and college transcripts.

For the past 14 years The Youth Technology Academy has been partnering with various Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) schools by integrating technology classes, for college credit, into their regular day schedule. Such classes include, but not limited to: Intro to Robotics (EET1100), Basic Robotics with Math (EET1150) Single Board Computers and Applications (EET 2812) and other science, technology, engineering and math classes.

Recently, YTA has received grant dollars that have allowed the program to expand in to non-public schools. Derek Podpeskar, one of YTA’s newer partners and science teacher at ICAN charter school, North East Ohio College Preparatory School (NEO) in Tremont, OH stated that, “this program offers our scholars unprecedented access to college level robotics courses that simultaneously earn them high school and college credit.  In addition, the experience they get through the YTA classes gives them real world job skills in a highly in-demand field.”

High school students can also enroll in YTA classes that are held at the Metro Campus at the ATTC building on E. 30th and Woodland Ave.  College credit is also available for classes that might not normally be offered during day hours.  For example, these classes include:  Computer Aided Design (MET 1230), Blueprint Reading (ISET 1300)and even Machine Tools and Manufacturing Processes (MET 1240).

Formerly known as PSEOP (post-secondary enrollment options program), CCP has upgraded and merged some of the former content of the PSEOP design to create a more streamlined process.

New to the 2016-17 school year:

  • All public school, private school and home-schooled students must declare their intent to participate, even if they participated last year. Letters of intent for each group can be uploaded in the “Forms” section, by April 1, 2016.
  • To enhance data security, parents of students are required to establish a SAFE Account before their student can apply for funding (
  • A summer session has been added this year. These sessions can start as early as May, so don’t delay in establishing your SAFE account and completing your letter of intent. Funding letter applications are Due April 8, 2016 for the following school year, 2016-2017.
Students enrolled in a YTA class earning college credit and high school credit.



Team 120 Wins Big at Buckeye

This year’s FIRST Robotics Competition Buckeye Regional proved to be a successful one for Youth Technology Academy’s Team 120. Cleveland’s Team finished the regional with a solid fifth place ranking out of 62 teams from around the country and Canada, and took home two awards. Judges awarded the team the Industrial Design award sponsored by General Motors, an award given to a team based on the creative and functional design of their robot. Judges were impressed by the unique use of tread and low-riding design of Team 120’s robot, which allowed for its ability to traverse numerous types of defenses while still maintaining impressive speed. This is the second award Team 120  has won for their robot design this year. At this year’s Palmetto Regional, Team 120 was given the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox for the innovative and effective design elements used in their robot.

YTA’s head coach of Team 120, Robert Gest was also honored at this year’s regional, winning the coveted Woodie Flowers’ Award, an award given to team mentors that have shown an outstanding dedication to FIRST and FIRST ideals. Mr. Gest had previously been a YTA student and Team 120 member, graduating from Max S. Hayes High School in Cleveland in 2005, and now dedicates his time to mentoring and coaching current students. His dedication and passion for helping students has always set him apart, and YTA is proud to see his efforts recognized by FIRST Robotics.

Team 120 will continue their competition season on March 31 in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Queen City Regional competition. Congratulations Team 120!


MC2 STEM Participates in Quad Copter Competition

Thursday, March 17 marked MC2 STEM High School’s first ever Quad Copter Flying Competition which took place at Cleveland State University’s Health Sciences building. 80 students from MC2 STEM participated in the competition as part of a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) course being taught by Dr. Lisa Suarez-Caraballo. Students are currently learning about the building and programming process behind unmanned aerial vehicles, often referred to as quad copters or drones. Students have been able to fly small quad copters during a few class sessions, but the competition gave students the opportunity to fully experience flying and how the copters respond to different challenges.

The competition was carefully designed by Dr. Suarez-Caraballo to include several different activities to challenge students. During the competition, students were asked to demonstrate different flying skills and to complete a timed obstacle course. To demonstrate their flying skills, students were required to hover and land their copters in a designated area, fly forwards and backwards through a hoop, and complete a figure eight by maneuvering their copters through a series of poles. Students were given 3 attempts at each station, and were awarded points based on how well they completed the task at hand. The obstacle course combined all of the flying skills while also adding in a time element. Students were asked to fly their quad copters in a figure eight pattern, fly through a hoop located at the center of the figure eight, and bring their copter back to the marked starting position. Their best time out of three attempts was recorded for their final score.

The students will be ranked based on their performance during the competition, and later on in the course will participate in another competition that will focus on using GPS to map specific waypoints (sets of coordinates) while also learning about the different sensors that are used by UAVs. The top-ranked students from both competitions will then be invited to participate in a final competition being held at Cedar Point during their Physics, Science, and Math week (May 16-20).


Quad Copter Hoop

YTA Partners With CPD to Develop Workforce Skills

YTA Bomb Squad
Sgt. Tim Maffo with some of YTA’s FIRST Robotics Team at January’s Kick Off Event

YTA prides itself on providing students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed, and a new partnership with Cleveland Police Department has allowed YTA students to gain valuable workforce experience. With the Republican National Convention fast approaching, the CPD has been hard at work preparing for the inevitable influx of politicians, media personnel and enthusiastic attendees. In the world we live today, precautions must be taken, and that’s why Cleveland’s bomb squad has asked Youth Technology Academy to construct a bomb detecting robot specifically for the upcoming RNC.

The Cleveland Bomb Squad has asked YTA to build a small scouting robot that will be used to “sniff” out any potential threats. The importance of this task is not lost on the students involved in building this special robot. Ryan Werner, a senior at CMSD’s John Marshall High School, stated “It does feel important, they put a lot of trust in us to get this finished [in time].”

Werner is one of ten students enrolled in YTA’s 3-D Solid Modeling course, taught by Ken Ekechukwu. It is in this class, along with working towards their certification in Computer Aided Design (CAD), students are designing and constructing the scouting robot. Werner showed off what he and the other students have been working on, and explains how the robot is going to be able to visually inspect different objects to determine their threat level. The programming and sensors for the robot will be developed by students in YTA’s Single Board Computer course, taught by Armin Rashvand, and will include sensors that measure different gas levels and ultra sonic sensors to measure distance. The robot will also have a camera that will give operators an up close view of any potential threats. Students are also constructing a movable arm using VEX designs that will give the robot the ability to pick up and manipulate items. The students are getting first-hand experience on what it’s like to apply what they learn inside the classroom to real world situations. The students are excited to see their robot in action, and are confident that it will exceed expectations.

Sergeant Tim Maffo is one of the founders behind this unique collaboration. While attending an unrelated professional training on Tri-C’s campus, Sgt. Maffo stumbled on YTA’s robotics bay. Sgt. Maffo watched as our students were busy building and testing different projects and devices. It was then that Sgt. Maffo introduced himself, and the partnership took form. 

While most bomb detecting and disposing robots can cost anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, YTA’s robot will cost less than two thousand. This relieves CPD of the worry of possibly losing an expensive piece of equipment, giving them more leeway in where they can send the robot. The goal is to get as many eyes as possible to watch for any unseemly activity. “People are going to try and do anything and everything. The faster we can get in, the faster we can take down a threat” Sgt. Maffo explained. With 50,000 people expected to attend the convention, Cleveland is lucky to have such a dedicated group contributing to making sure the event runs smoothly.










First Robotics Kick-Off

On Saturday, January 9, 2016 almost 225 attendees from over 25 participating high school teams gathered at Cuyahoga Community College’s Unified Technology Center in anticipation of this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Challenge reveal [click here for game].  This is Tri-C’s 14th year hosting the webcast of the FIRST kick-off.  Once the challenge is announced, teams have only 6 weeks to build and program their robots with the best strategy to win regional FRC competitions and move on to the National Championship.

Tri-C’s Youth Technology Academy team (Cleveland’s Team #120) is composed of over 25 students from various Cleveland Municipal School District Schools.Team120 These students go through a rigorous interview process that covers everything from their knowledge of robotics and engineering to how to manage teamwork etiquette during a competition and while traveling. Students will partner with mentors from various institutions, including Tri-C, GrafTech NASA and Rockwell, to come up with the best method for building and programming their robot that will compete in just a few short weeks. Not only will students gain experience competing and working as a team, but they will also acquire real-life skills and build relationships. “Over time the students learn how to manage projects needed to complete the tasks specific to the competition. We have rookie students who look up to our veteran students and those [veteran] students act as mentors [to them],” affirms Kevin Sarran, Coordinator and Technical Specialist to the FRC team and Tri-C YTA employee. “The students have created a home away from home during competition season.”

first_logoThe FRC competition is a world-wide event comprised of almost 3,000 teams from around the globe. There are several different regional events that qualify students for the National competition that will take place April 27-30 in St. Louis, MO.  FRC also partners with several colleges and universities which will offer over 25 million dollars in college scholarships. More information about FRC scholarships can be found here.

The Youth Technology Academy team from Tri-C will compete in its first regional competition on February 27th in Palmetto, South Carolina.