The Palo Alto High School robotics team won the Entrepreneurship award at the Central Valley Regional robotics competition in Madera last weekend.
The team competed against 49 other Bay Area high school teams at Madera South High School.
Sophomore public relation captain Lauren Nolen said that this year, the game was called “Recycle Rush,” and the objective was to pick up and stack as many totes as possible.
Although the team did not win overall at the competition, it won the entrepreneurship award for the its 30 page business plan.
According to sophomore team member Spencer Morgenfeld, the entrepreneurship award is awarded to the team that shows it has a sustainable business plan for the future.
“In our case, we acquired six new sponsors this year (for a total of seven), and we plan to start FLL (FIRST Lego League) teams in Palo Alto’s three middle schools,” Morgenfeld said. “The sponsors provide funding for our team, and the FLL teams will channel incoming freshmen into our team, ensuring that we have enough students interested in robotics to sustain our team.”
Members of the team were shocked and surprised when they were awarded with the entrepreneurship award, according to sophomore team member Kogulan Paulmurugan.
“Once we found out we won an award, our reaction was utter excitement and we rushed on to the field in excitement to get the award,” Paulmurugan said. “As for the robot in the competition, it definitely did better than last year.”
Paulmurugan said that this was probably the best year for the team in a while since they have not won an award in a long time.
“It was all thanks to the public relations team, but mostly Lauren’s hard work,” Paulmurugan said.
The team’s next, and final, competition will be the Silicon Valley Regional competition from April 1 to 4.
“Our next competition is next month, Silicon Valley Regionals, and our goal is definitely to win,” Paulmurugan said.