SIATech High School to Host VEX Robotics Tournament; Previous High School Dropouts Compete with Students from the Bay Area's Top Schools

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SIATech, a charter high school focused on students who have not been successful in the traditional school setting, will host a VEX Robotics tournament for Bay Area high schools. The day-long event will be an interesting opportunity to watch at-risk students compete with some of the top high schools in the region.

The School for Integrated Academics and Technologies (SIATech), a public charter high school focused on re-engaging students who have not been successful in the traditional school setting, will host a VEX Robotics Tournament for high schools throughout San Jose and the Bay Area. The day-long event will be held at the San Jose Job Corps Center on Saturday, February 28.

WHAT:     
An opportunity to watch students who were considered at-risk of dropping out of school competing with some of the top high schools in the region. Each SIATech student is a previous dropout who has a remarkable story of overcoming adversity. Robotics gives students experience in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and provides an exciting hands-on opportunity for students to realize they can be successful in higher education and high-tech careers. The students are being mentored by volunteers from high-tech organizations like Google, NASA, and Silicon Graphics. Winners of the tournament will earn spots at the VEX Robotics Championship of the Americas and the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship.

WHO:     
Event host and participant: SIATech San Jose

Participants include: More than 20 teams will participate from The Bay School of San Francisco (San Francisco), Bellarmine College Preparatory (San Jose), California High School (San Ramon), Concord High School (Concord), Foothill High School (Pleasanton), Latino College Preparatory Academy (San Jose), Merrill F. West High School (Tracy), Northgate High School (Walnut Creek), Riverdale High School (Riverdale), and SIATech Treasure Island (San Francisco)

Special guests include: California State Assembly Member Joe Coto, State Senator Mark Leno, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell (invited)

WHEN:    
8:00 am, Saturday, February 28, 2009
Pit area will open at 8:00 am
Matches will begin at 10:00 am
Playoffs will begin at 3:00 pm

WHERE:    
San Jose Job Corps Center Gymnasium
3485 East Hills Drive, San Jose, CA 95127
Event URL: http://robotics.siatech.org/vex.htm

About SIATech
The School for Integrated Academics and Technologies (SIATech®) is an award-winning dropout recovery program. SIATech is a fully accredited public charter high school that operates in partnership with the federal Job Corps program. The school serves low-income, previously out-of-school youth. SIATech excels at identifying student strengths and individualizing instruction to meet each student's needs and goals. The school's safe and caring setting enables students to take charge of their learning and obtain the tools they need for lifetime success, whether it is at their chosen career or further education. More than 8,250 out-of-school youth have graduated from SIATech's 14 campuses.

More information can be found at http://www.siatech.org and by calling SIATech Area Director Laurie Pianka, 408.421.2718, or Communications Manager Linda Leigh, 760.994.6587. A backgrounder (available upon request) includes additional information on SIATech and its history of participation in Robotics, list of mentors, and selected student biographies.

About Job Corps
Job Corps is a voluntary program under the Department of Labor that provides outreach to disadvantaged urban youth, who have either had difficulty in traditional high school programs, dropped out of school, or are facing academic and/or personal challenges that make attending a traditional high school difficult or impossible. Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, complete high school, and find and keep a good job. There are seven Job Corps centers in California and 122 centers nationwide. More information can be found at http://www.jobcorps.gov.

About VEX Robotics
More than 100 VEX Robotics tournaments will be held throughout the 2008-2009 season in the US, Canada, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Each team uses the VEX Robotics Design System and works with teachers and mentors to build both autonomous and radio-controlled robot devices. This year's game, "Elevation," is played on a 12-foot-by-12-foot square field marked with eight triangular shaped goals and a square ramp platform at the center of the field. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent alliance by placing cubes into the goals. Points can also be earned by controlling the bonus cube. VEX Robotics offers an engaging outlet for students around the world to test their robot building skills and compete against one another. More information can be found at http://www.vexrobotics.com.

Note to Media: Please contact Linda Leigh for backgrounder which includes additional information on SIATech's history of participation in Robotics, list of mentors, and selected student biographies.

CONTACT:
Laurie Pianka, SIATech
408.421.2718

Linda Collins Leigh, SIATech
760.994.6587

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