San Marino, California, 07/06/20

Several students shown learning from Aiden Paek in CAD during the summer Virtual Robotics academy

This summer undoubtedly has been full of challenges for each and every member of our community, but this year Titanium Robotics decided to take on an added challenge by teaching and operating a summer academy for all incoming and interested students! While it has been a challenge it has also been unequivocally a success! Our student retention has been strong, our class morale is high, and our students are adapting well to the new information and its delivery. For more on what that delivery has been like I went to our “Mech,” or Mechanical Engineering, teacher Tavis Chen and he mentioned, “Since mechanical is a very hands-on department requiring practical experience, it is probably one of the more difficult things to teach virtually, knowing this, Julian [Sze]  and I devised a plan to teach the more hands-on concepts such as safety and tools in the form of a Google Slides so that the students would have some knowledge of what resources were available to mechanical.” This Google Slides approach has worked quite nicely for the mechanical department as it is both informative and concise, which is especially important now considering the amount of material needed to get through in a virtual format. When asked about his method for explaining virtual concepts without the aid of his presence, our CAD (Computer-Aided Design) teacher, Aiden Paek, explained that he had been assigning home based projects for class—assignments such as building various objects around the house using a CAD program each week with increasing difficulty. As far as the daily class schedule goes, each of the teachers, who are members of Titanium Robotics themselves, are allowed to design their own agenda; however, most share key characteristics like a few minutes at the start for small talk and general connection. Then the bulk of the class, generally about forty five minutes, is spent on whatever project or lesson is at hand that day. Additionally, at any point during classwork time or afterwards, teachers are available for questions or comments from students, and if there is time left over it is allocated for team bonding and forming a group where everyone is comfortable and included. Mechanical Captain Tavis referenced, “the following weeks were based more on developing more thought oriented skills such as designing and troubleshooting. We assigned multiple design projects and reinforced their learning by asking them questions in class and even assigning a quiz. We also made sure to comment on the students’ submissions so that they can learn from their mistakes. Our entire objective was to ensure that, although they won’t have any practical experience with any tools or materials, the students will have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of the mechanical department.” It’s clear to see, this summer and all of its unexpected difficulties has provided a platform for the San Marino robotics team to go out into the community and provide a positive experience for members of the community while remaining safe and secure. Even though our summer academy is coming to a close, the doors of Titanium Robotics remain open to any and all interested students, no matter what the upcoming school year looks like.

About Titanium Robotics

Titanium Robotics is a team consisting of over 100 students, mainly from San Marino High School, who come together with a common interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students learn from professional engineers and mentors to build and compete in the annual FIRST Robotics Challenge with a robot of their own design. Programming, electrical work, computer-aided design, and business management are all run by student representatives, making the entire organization student-led from start to finish.

About FIRST®                                                                                                                       

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST ® Robotics Competition (FRC®) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST®LEGO® League (FLL®) for 9 to 14-year olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) and Junior FIRST®LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to

Gavin O’Malley

Publicity Officer

Titanium Robotics

San Marino High School