FIRST World Champions!

Over 3,000 teams competed for a spot at the championship throughout the season. Team 120 was one of 640 teams from 24 countries that were represented by eight different divisions at the St. Louis competition.

Team 120, along with their alliance members, beat out 74 other teams to win the Carver Division. Not only did Team 120 win the division championship, the team and their alliance members achieved the world’s highest competition score of 275 points.

After winning their division, Cleveland’s Team and their alliance members defeated all seven other division champions to take home the world championship. Team 120 won two out of three final matches, beating out the blue alliance from the Tesla Division. When asked about how she felt about YTA and winning the championship John Adams High School senior Iris Harris said, “It’s where we learn to innovate and build the future. This is not only a big win for Cleveland, but also a big win for us. This helps our future.”

In addition to being FIRST Robotics World Champions and Carver Division Champions, the team has brought home several awards throughout the season. Team 120 was awarded The Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox, The Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors, and The Woodie Flowers Mentor Award. Team 120 is thankful to its sponsors Cuyahoga Community College and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, along with NASA, Ohio Means Jobs-Cleveland/Cuyahoga, The National Science Foundation, Rockwell, Swagelok, Abington and Bruening Foundations, Alcoa, Mather Foundation, Bank of America and all of their additional supporters and volunteers. Team 120 and YTA are looking forward to continuing their efforts in providing access to technology training for all students and preparing students for their future careers in STEM-related fields.

Congratulations Cleveland’s Team!

Carrying robot
Team 120 holding up their championship robot.




College Night at Tri-C


On Tuesday, May 3, 2016 Cuyahoga Community College’s Youth Technology Academy hosted a College Night for the National Science Foundation Scholars who are enrolled in College Credit Plus classes. There were approximately 30 high school students in attendance to learn about the particulars of applying to and attending college. Students were welcomed with an introduction by YTA’s Director, Mary Kay Bitterman. Bitterman briefly discussed options for majors at Tri-C and went on to introduce a host of guest speakers.  The speaker roster included: Sara Baldwin, Student Success Specialist, Gabrielle Crenshaw, Financial Aid, Steven Fairley, President of Student Government Metro Campus, David Haiduc, Director, Assessment Testing Services, and Elton Lytle from College NOW Cleveland, speaking about financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
Students were treated to a buffet dinner after the speakers enlightened them on the above mentioned topics.  18 year-old student De’Lorian Harris, senior from John Adams High School, enjoyed the presentations and felt he gained important information about Tri-C and applying to college.   “Most [students] don’t know what to do and how to apply [to college],” stated Harris, who felt he learned a lot about the types of engineering classes Tri-C has to offer, how to apply for scholarships and that there is always someone at Tri-C to who you can ask for help, if needed.

The National Science Foundation supplies a grant to the YTA to promote student matriculation in college and supported this event.

For more information on applying to Tri-C, please visit:

Top : Students listening to each guest speaker.
Bottom:Guest speakers (l to r), David Haiduc, Christopher Huhnke,  Steven Fairley (not pictured) Gabrielle Crenshaw, Elton Lytle and Sara Baldwin.

Maker Movement

On Wednesday, April 30, three students from Tri-C’s Advanced Technology Training Center (ATTC) were able to participate in a Maker Movement conversation at The City Club of Cleveland. Nationally known techie and maker, Adam Savage, former co-host of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, was the guest speaker of the day.

ATTC students, Katiushea Rivera,18,  Onix Encarnacion 21,  and Kirk Rothenburger 19 were among the few lucky students chosen to attend Savage’s lecture.  Rivera liked how Savage stressed “you can create anything from anything, meaning you can use everyday materials to modify your world.” Along those same lines, Rothenburger liked how Savage made clear that anyone can be a maker. One of Savage’s stops was at Tri-C’s Unified Technology Center (UTC) to visit the Fab Lab (opening June 22).

Savage was making several area stops in Cleveland before speaking at the City Club about the maker movement.  Savage mission is to help highlight an important STEM initiative:  the Maker Movement and is partnering with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s maker initiative in the lead up to the national Week of Making, June 17-23, 2016.

YTA will participate in the #WeekOfMaking by hosting a workshop on wearable widgets  and you can 3D print your own name tag. On June 20 and 21, 2016 (see flyers below)

Rothenburger, Encarnacion, Savage, Rivera

3d maker workshop flier (2)makermovement_AD_v02

“Physics, Math & Science” Week at Cedar Point


This is the third year that the YTA  partnered with Cedar Point Amusement Park and the National Science Foundation ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) project to participate in the “Physics, Math and Science Week” at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.

Approximately 120 YTA students from six different high schools competed in a robotics competition in the park. The first three days of the competition, which took  place the third week in May, showcased 5 schools currently learning the Arduino platform. Students from John Marshall, Avon Lake, ICAN NEO Prep, Cleveland School for Digital Arts and Benedictine High School used their robots to complete an obstacle course in the quickest most efficient time (course layout below). The last two days was a new competition this year, with the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) students from MC2 STEM High School. These students competed in a “virtual quad-copter” competition using GPS to pinpoint pre-determined way points around the park.

Arduino Competition Course

Tri-C professors designed the competitions to challenge the students’ knowledge and highlight their skill sets. Once the GPS way point was located, the students download their location to Mission Planner. Mission Planner is a ground control station and can be used as a configuration utility or as a dynamic control supplement for an autonomous vehicle.

YTA Director, Mary Kay Bitterman, says this type of competition benefits the students by “providing a showcase for the skills that they have honed over the semester in their engineering classes; plus it is a unique venue to showcase the technology and is exciting for the students to go to Cedar Point.” First and second place winners, each day, will receive a trophy for their accomplishments.


FIRST World Champion Robot 120 enjoying the park.


Arduino Competition, Wednesday May 18, 2016

First and Second place winners with their robots

Summer Boot Camp

Youth Technology Academy, with help from the National Science Foundation, is hosting their third annual STEM summer boot camp from June 13-23. The camp is orchestrated by Dr. Majid Rashidi, professor of engineering at Cleveland State University.

YTA prides itself on its project-based learning approach, and this camp is no exception. Students are learning about engineering, physics, math and other STEM fields while participating in hands on activities. Students also have the opportunity to see what a STEM career looks like when they visit local companies involved in manufacturing, biomedical, and other engineering fields. Students will complete a series of different projects, including building bridges, towers, cars and catapults, and are able to witness how what they learn can be applied to the real world. Topics covered include everything from geometry to circuits to physics. The camp takes place from 10am to 3pm each week day, and lunch will be provided for the students.

In addition to the student summer boot camp, there was a teacher boot camp also taught by Dr. Rashidi on June 8-10. Dr. Rashidi coached the educators on different teaching techniques for STEM subjects. Teachers were be able to learn these new and different approaches while also sharing their own experiences with fellow teachers. The camp helped to create a dialogue among teachers about how education is changing, and how they can adapt to meet the needs of students.

Dr. Rashidi instructing the Teacher Boot Camp. June 8-10, 2016