Career Night at the YTA

The Youth Technology Academy hosted a National Science Foundation Career Night on Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 5:00-7:00PM at Tri-C’s Advanced Technology Training Center. YTA invited professionals to come speak to YTA and National Science Foundation Scholars about what steps they took to get into their current career. The presenters that made up the panel were Jim Lustig, a senior engineer from General Electric, Brad Aronson, a Quality Assurance Specialist and Design Engineer from Surgtech, Alex Natal, an Occupational Therapist with Genesis, and Drew Odum, a lawyer with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Twenty-six National Science Foundation Scholars attended from various Cleveland high schools to enjoy the presentations and ask questions about the different careers and the training that goes into them. We hope that Career Night will help inspire CMSD high school students to pursue higher education with a focus on STEM studies.

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NSF Tech Workshops

YTA recently held the fifth installment in a series of seven National Science Foundation Tech Workshops. Twelve CMSD students participated in a two-day remote control workshop at Tri-C’s Advanced Technology Training Center. Students learned how to build and program a remote control that they then used to operate Arduino robots. Students first participated in a lesson on coding, and then applied what they learned to their remote controls and robots that they later got to take home.

YTA will be hosting two more NSF Tech workshops this semester. The next workshop will cover quadcopters and will be held Saturdays May 6 and May 13. Students will get to learn about the make-up of quadcopters and “First Person View” (FPV) flying techniques during the two-week workshop, while also taking home their very own quadcopter and tablet. YTA will then hold a second quadcopter workshop on Saturdays, May 20 and June 3. For more information, or to sign up a student, please contact Hayley Brown at

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FIRST Robotics: Regional & National Competions

The Youth Technology Academy’s Team 120 made their 2017 debut at the FIRST Robotics regional held in Palmetto, South Carolina, March 2-4, 2017. This was the first competition since Team 120 won the 2016 FIRST World Championship last April and they did not disappoint. Though this year’s team consists of mostly newcomers to YTA, they were able to build a competitive robot that impressed judges and participants alike. While last year’s robot “stormed the castle,” crossing a variety of obstacles, shooting boulders into goals, and climbing a tower, this year’s robot required a different set of skills. The theme this season was “Steamworks,” a steampunk game that required robots to shoot balls (“fuel”) into a boiler, deliver gears to an airship, and climb aboard for “take-off.” Team 120 took on the challenge, using their 6-week build season to build an impressive robot that was able to shoot more balls than most other competitors, and climb the airship to earn extra points during each match. Thanks to the hard work and efforts of our students and industry mentors, Team 120 received the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox for their unique design and game-play.

This past weekend, March 31-April 1, Team 120 competed at the Buckeye Regional held in Cleveland at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. Though Team 120 did not make it to the finals, the students were able to figure out what changes they need to make to their robot before Worlds later this month. Our team will be heading to Houston for FIRST World’s Competition April 19, and our students are looking forward to the excitement of competing on a national stage once again. Good luck Cleveland’s Team!

Team 120 waits to compete next at Palmetto, SC
Team 120 Robot on the playing field at Palmetto, SC
Team 120 waiting to compete next at Palmetto, SC
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Buckeye Regional at the Wolstein Center, Cleveland, OH
PIT area at the Buckeye Regional, Cleveland, OH

YTA Reaches out to Youth

Cuyahoga Community College’s Youth Technology Academy students demonstrated the Championship FIRST robot and robotics technology to a group of over 200 elementary school students at Hambden Elementary School, Chardon, OH on February 10, 2017. The energetic students, who assembled in the gym on a Friday afternoon, learned about the Youth Technology Academy, FIRST Robotics and the STEM field during the 40-minute assembly.  The YTA students demonstrated how their championship robot works by asking volunteer students to catch a ball thrown by the robot. There was a question and answer session at the end of the 40 min presentation where specific questions such as “How long does it take to build a robot?” and “Why did you use treads on this robot and not wheels…” were answered in depth. Hambden Elementary School is planning to visit the YTA Robotic Bay at Tri-C’s Metro Campus.

YTA Coordinator, Hayley Brown asking students questions
Students Mark Goeser and  Airry White-Smith, YTA Coordinator Susan Southard and Student Jak’I Repress
Repress, White-Smith and Goeser discussing UAV technology

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Teacher Training: Dones

On a recent Saturday several area high school teachers gathered at the ATTC building on Tri-C’s Metro Campus to learn about drone technology from YTA Preceptor Dr. Lisa Suarez, PhD. YTA offers college credit for high school students who enroll in EET 2530 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Classes are held either during the day at the students’ high school or after school on Tri-C’s Metro Campus. Students learn about drone technology, drone etiquette, coding and advanced math concepts.  By offering technical training to high school teachers the teachers will have a better understanding of the material covered in class and can assist in the learning outcomes. In addition, teachers can receive CEU’s for participating in select YTA technical training sessions and a stipend. The National Science Foundation supplies support for teacher technology training at the YTA.




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