Team 1717 (the D’Penguineers) started off the second day of the Los Angeles FIRST Robotics Regional Competition ranked seventh out of 67 teams. Unforeseen circumstances, involving some programming errors and an unreliable field network, caused the robot to be inactive for two full matches out of the seven that they played the first day. Despite these early difficulties, Team 1717 proved themselves in their later matches, scoring far more points in the teleoperated period than any other team at the competition.

Dos Pueblos High D'Pengineers, winners of the LA Regional FIRST Robotics Competition

After scouting feverishly late into the night, Team 1717’s Strategy and Game Analysis team went into the final day of competition with a set of clear requirements for robots to join its alliance. Traditionally, ranking high in the qualifying matches is essential for succeeding at competitions, because the top eight robots choose their alliances for the elimination matches in a round-robin-style selection process. But unlike previous years, Rebound Rumble has a unique ranking system where two robots from opposing alliances can score two qualification points—equivalent to winning a match—by balancing together on the field’s middle bridge. This twist changes the game, because robots who may not be able to score balls can still contribute to gameplay and seed high in the ranking system.

After the alliance selection process is complete, these eight alliances compete in a best-of-three elimination tournament until one alliance emerges victorious. The members of this winning alliance will move on to compete at the national level.

The first match of the finals began with one of Team 1717’s alliance members getting tipped over, effectively making the match a two on three situation. Team 1717 and Team 987 kicked it into high gear to pick up the slack, but due to unknown issues, Team 987 lost communication with its driver station, leaving Team 1717 to compete versus three other teams – Team 294, Team 973, and Team 1836. The D’Penguineers were able to utilize their extreme mobility and shooting capabilities to keep the alliance in the game until Team 987 could get back into action and together, they led the alliance to a close victory with a final score of 48 to 39.

The second match started with Team 987 already battered and bruised. The D’Penguineers again stepped up to the platform and swished both shots in the hybrid period—scoring twelve points for the alliance. Despite heavy defense from Team 294, the D’Penguineers’ superior drive train allowed them to maneuver against the defensive robot and earn the alliance another win.

When the final score of 52 to 30 flashed on the screen, the crowd erupted into a torrent of cheers.

After each putting in hundreds of hours of work to create their 120 lb. robot, the D’Penguineers were rewarded with a win at their first regional competition of the year. Tonight, Team 1717 will drive home to Dos Pueblos, bearing the title of “2012 Los Angeles Regional Champions” and a coveted spot at the world championships in St. Louis, Missouri.

About the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy

Dos Pueblos High School (DPHS), in collaboration with the Santa Barbara County Education Office Regional Occupation Program (ROP), determined that our community would benefit from the presence of an engineering program designed for students at the secondary level. The DPEA offered its initial course during the 2002-2003 academic school year with the introduction of Engineering 1 and Computer Science 1. The capstone senior-level ROP Robotics course, which is supported by the Santa Barbara County Education Office, was added in 2005. The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy has a broad base of community support, including UCSB, Santa Barbara City College, and local industry partners. The DPEA is a public school program, operating on campus at Dos Pueblos High School, which is located at 7266 Alameda Avenue in Goleta, California. For more information on the Engineering Academy, please see

About the DPEA Foundation

Engineering Academy parents established the DPEA Foundation in the fall of 2007 in order to run the Capital Campaign to raise $3,000,000 for a new facility, which was reached in October of 2011. The DPEA Foundation mission is to enhance the quality of the DPEA learning experience and to facilitate the growth of the Academy by raising the necessary funds and by creating and managing systems and structures to support the program. For more information on the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Foundation, please see

About FIRST Robotics

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an exciting, multinational competition that teams professionals and young people together to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The program is a life-changing, career-molding experience and a lot of fun. Each year the competition reaches more than 60,000 students on over 26,000 teams in competitions held across the USA and in other parts of the world. The teams come from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the U.K., and every state in the U.S. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events: the result of lots of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines, and deadlines. For more information on FIRST Robotics, please see


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