North Tustin Robotics Students Learn Important Life Skills While Working Together and Overcoming Challenges

Last month, the Fairmont North Tustin Campus robotics team, Hydrorobotek, consisting of 8th graders Anphu D., Kyle L., Logan P., Keyon S., and Matthew W. notched second place at the FIRST LEGO League Hydro Dynamics State Championship Tournament.

After capturing first place in the Robot Design and Programming category and second place in the Robotics Game Score category at the qualifying tournament, the team faced some unexpected challenges at the state level — there were new specifications for the build, and it was necessary for the boys to make some last-second changes to their model. Additionally, the programs on their robot had been wiped, and they had to resort to backup programming and work to reprogram features of their robot, as well.

However, these students didn’t let a handful of obstacles keep them from staying focused.

“The pressure actually helped us as a team because we didn’t have any time to mess around,” Matthew W. said. “We had to focus on the tasks at hand, or else it would end in failure, and I think we did that really well.”

Matthew also pointed out that, in maintaining that focus, the students needed to believe in one another and know that each person would get his job done exactly as he was supposed to.

“The adversity we faced at the competition put us in a very stressful environment, but what we really learned is that we had to rely on our teammates and put trust in them,” he said. “If we didn’t trust them, we’d have to do the tasks ourselves, and we didn’t have time to do that. So we all had to trust each other a lot.”

The students received a tremendous amount of encouragement from their coaches — Fairmont parents Kristin Lowery and NamPhuong Tran — who reminded the boys to have fun, to work together, and to be brave, even when it came to having to complete the task of running the mission on their own and answering questions aloud during the presentation component.  Not only did they better understand what it means to work as a team, but they also obtained some valuable life lessons and skills that are applicable to high school and their future careers.

“[The entire experience] taught us all how to communicate more effectively,” Kyle L. said, “which is a very important job skill.”

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Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”