Team 120 Mentors- Thank You!

The students in the Youth Technology Academy at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) participate in the FIRST Robotics competitions every year.  Team 120, Cleveland’s Team, is made up of high school students from various high schools in the Cleveland area.  The team will work hours upon hours for six weeks to build their robot in order to be ready for competition. In addition,  many adult mentors from various industries volunteer their time to guide, teach and mentor the students during the build and competition season. We send out a big “Thank You” to them all!

Listed below are the mentor’s for the 2017 FIRST Robotics Season:

GEORGE BILOKONSKY, Executive Director of Technology Academies at Tri-C.
ROBERT GEST, TechniFab. (former Team 120 member)
KEVIN SERRAN, YTA Coordinator. (former Team 120 member)


RYAN WERNER, YTA Field Specialist (former Team 120 member)
KE’ONDRE MELL. YTA Mentor (former Team 120 member)
DAVE STALTER, Rockwell Automation



End of the Semester: Drone Final

Flying a small Hubson Drone through the hoop.

As most students are hitting the books and studying for finals, Dr. Lisa Suarez’s classes were hitting the skies to prepare for their spring final exam. The first two weeks in May, over one-hundred Cleveland Municipal School District students who were enrolled in Tri-C’s  EET2530 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle came down to the YTA’s Robotic Bay (Metro Campus) to fly a 500mm drone (Wheelbase or motor to motor diagonal size: 500mm. )

During the spring semester, students learned how to build and program the UAVs.  Other components of the class include Rules of Flying, FCC policy, Soldering, GPS Way Points and navigation.

Throughout the semester, smaller Hubsan drones

Hubsan Drone

 (Drone Size: 10.5 x 10.5 x 2.5 cm) were flown inside the classroom to understand the concept and mechanics of flying. For the students final exam, they were to fly the 500 drone through an obstacle course and land back at home base. Competitions were also held at Benedictine High School in Cleveland, OH, on their football field.



MC2 STEM High School Student at Tri-C Metro Campus
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MC2 STEM High School Student at Tri-C Metro Campus
Benedictine High School

Boys Leadership Academy visits YTA

The Kenneth Clement Boys Leadership Academy visited Tri-C’s Metro campus on May 9th and one of their tour stops was the Youth Technology Academy’s Robotics Bay.  Over 40 middle schools students were able to view various technologies including drones, (UAVs), Team 120’s FIRST robot, VEX robotics and 3D printing machines.  Students were able to participate by catching balls thrown by the robot and driving or controlling the robot to make it move in various directions.

This was the second year the Kenneth Clement Boys Leadership Academy has visited the YTA.

Students learn about the FIRST Robotics and the YTA’s 2017 Team 120 Robot.
Students learn about the FIRST Robotics and the YTA’s 2017 Team 120 Robot.
KCBLA Students view the 3D printer as YTA Student, Mark Goeser explains the process.

Manufacturing and Technology Expo

Students and Staff from the Youth Technology Academy were invited to design and host a “Drone Zone” at this year’s Manufacturing and Technology Conference and Expo held at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland in May. Youth Technology Students created an obstacle course where conference attendees could practice flying quad copters and participate in a timed competition. Students were also able to talk with various experts in different industries, broadening their understanding of the various STEM careers that are open to them.


MT17 Logo

Cedar Point 2017

2017 marked the fourth year that YTA participated in Cedar Point’s Physics, Science and Math week.  Over 80 students from various Cleveland schools attended the competitions that were held May 15 through May 18 at the park in Sandusky, OH. The competitions were created to best reflect the engineering principles that were covered in the courses taught by YTA in their home schools. Students from our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle course participated in the GPS navigation system after completing a flying competition held at Tri-C the week prior. Students were required to map out a “flight plan” using various GPS way points located around the park to achieve the fastest route. Select students who were enrolled in YTA’s Basic Robotics course were also invited to bring the robots they built and programmed in class to participate in a timed maze competition at the park. YTA is thankful to Cedar Point for inviting us to participate in such a fun and important event!

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.

Youth Technology Academy Logo

NSF Logo

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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