Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy’s Team 1717 Wins Central Valley Regional FIRST Robotics Competition

The Dos Pueblos Robotics Team 1717 arrived at Madera South High School for the final day of the FIRST Robotics Central Valley Regional eager to defend their position as the top-ranked team at the competition. The Dos Pueblos Robotics Team 1717 arrived at Madera South High School for the final day of the FIRST Robotics Central Valley Regional eager to defend their position as the top-ranked team at the competition. After two exciting matches in the morning, they succeeded not only in that goal but also in becoming the highest scoring team in the world, a first for Team 1717. This has been a year of firsts for Team 1717, including their first year in the new Elings Center for Engineering Education and their first time winning the Innovation in Control Award for their robot programming.

The D'Penguineers celebrating their second regional win in Madera, California.

At the alliance selection ceremony, Team 1717 allied themselves with Teams 330 and 2102. Team 330, the Beach Bots from Hermosa Beach, and the D’Penguineers have a long history of cooperating to win regionals. Scouts from both teams thought that 2102, Team Paradox out of San Diego, had a robot with promising skills and infectious enthusiasm that would benefit the alliance in the finals.

Team 1717’s alliance entered the elimination matches with a strong start, winning their first quarter-final match decisively. Because each round of the tournament is best two out of three, Team 1717 still had to defeat their opponents once more in order to advance to the semi-finals. The second match was much closer; the opposing alliance dramatically increased their level of play, and Team 1717 won by only five points, thanks to the combination of a last-minute bridge balance from their alliance members and some baskets scored by the D’Penguineers with only seconds left.

From the very beginning of the semifinals, Team 1717 struggled with an unresponsive wheel. However, the team designed their robot to have driving capability with only three wheels, so they were still able to score points for their alliance. Many members of the audience did not even realize that the robot was having trouble. With the help of their alliance members, 1717 won two semifinal matches and moved on to the finals.

After rushing to fix their uncooperative wheel, the D’Penguineers and their alliance partners faced off against an alliance led by 2011’s world champions, team 254, in the final round of the tournament. The first match of the finals was a resounding win for 1717’s alliance, thanks in no small part to the aggressive defense played by teams 330 and 2102. Before the next match, a flurry of activity surrounded all the robots on the field, as teams prepared them for what could be the deciding match. As time went on and team members remained on the field, tensions rose amongst the audience. At the back of everyone’s mind was the nagging worry that their robot might not start when the match began. All three robots on 1717’s alliance worked successfully during the initial seconds of the match, but moments later, team 330’s robot halted in the middle of the field, realizing those fears for team 1717 and their partners. With 330 showing no signs of life, 1717 and 2102 steeled themselves for a grueling 2-on-3 match, and a potential tiebreaker. The crowd’s worried murmurs slowly turned to cheers of astonishment as 1717 scored basket after basket, while 2102 ran a nigh-impenetrable defense despite shedding parts onto the field. The alliance’s plucky third pick closed the deal by balancing on the alliance bridge, ending the final match of the Central Valley FIRST Regional with an 11-point win for the alliance of 1717, 330, and 2102.

With another regional win under their belts, Team 1717 will be traveling to St. Louis on April 25th to compete against over 350 teams from across the world for the coveted title of World Champions.

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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