Our One-to-One Laptop and IDEA Lab programs allow our students access to a wide variety of analytical and creative applications including basic computer skills, photo-editing, audio recording, multimedia production, visual and text coding, robotics, and game creation. Each of these skills is also integrated into all our core academic classes and reflect the value of our integrated and experiential philosophy.
FIRST Robotics Team: The Mystic Biscuit
FIRST, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest in STEM activities. FIRST designs programs that are accessible and for all ages. These programs include FIRST Lego League Jr. (K-4), FIRST Lego League (4-8), FIRST Tech Challenge (7-12), and finally the FIRST Robotics Competition (9-12). The competition that team 6465 or Mystic Biscuit is competing in is the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Cascades Academy’s FIRST Team 6465 was created in 2017 by science teacher Paul Snape. 6465, better known as Mystic Biscuit, had 24 members in 2017. Mystic Biscuit offers the FIRST robotics program to grades 7th-12th. Our team has 2 mentors, Scott Lindbloom and Lisa Somogyi. Scott Lindbloom is a manufacturing engineer. Lisa Somogyi is a design engineer. They both help our team with building the robot. Lisa is working on setting up a CAD program at Cascades Academy and teaching our team how to use it. Scott helps Mystic Biscuit construct their robots by using his knowledge to help make mechanisms and solve problems we encounter. Mystic Biscuit receives tremendous amounts of support from Cascades Academy and is hoping to continue the program for many years to come.
Since its creation, the Mystic Biscuit has grown to near 24 members and 3 mentors. Since their first year we have gained a third mentor, Dan Cartmell, a retired Boeing engineer. The goal of the mentors on the Mystic Biscuit team is to help but not to take over. The mentors should help us but they leave the design, construction, and overall planning to us.
Through the FIRST program students are able to become interested in STEM and gain experience solving problems creatively. High school students are able to work around mechanical and electrical engineering. FIRST also offers opportunities for high school students to apply for college scholarships. The robotics program helps students get interested in STEM fields which includes coding and engineering. High schoolers are able to grow a lot through their work in these areas.
Our team is 25 students strong and is growing as more kids gain interest and more arrive at our school. Mystic Biscuit has 3 mentors and 1 head coach. Through the growth of our school we will be gaining more mentors as well as student participants.