Robotics represents in Geneva


Team Spyder advisor Rodger Dohm and juniors Breana Birch, Reza Bagheri, Marshall Hamon, Aaron Ammar, Irina Kozhenkova and sophomore Oscar Huth pose with Team Togo.

Daniel Sweeney, Staff Writer

Team Spyder stirs in their seat, awoken by an odd chime. They sit up straight in their seats and peer out of the window at the beautiful city below, Geneva, Switzerland. They are in awe, as they are going to attend the FIRST Global Robotics Competition, the most globally recognized of its kind.

The annual competition is held in a different location each year and follows a similar format to the Olympics. Each nation sends a team to compete in different events, and in the end, one nation comes out victorious. Team Spyder volunteered, mentored other teams, and took in some of the local scenery. They volunteered for a great experience, and they got more experience doing it.

They were very honored to have won the Francisco Jose De Caldas Award for Sustainable Excellence. 

The other two recipients of the award were, a former member of the musical group the Black Eyed Peas, and the parents of Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. 

They were led by Team Spyder’s advisor Rodger Dohm, who is very proud of the group’s accomplishments. “We’re in their company, us three got it. Isn’t that amazing? That’s super cool,” Dohm said.

Junior Irina Kozhenkova was also pleased with the trip. Competing in such an important event put some pressure on the team, keeping Team Spyder at the top of their game. 

“Since we were chosen to represent teams, we realized the responsibility we had to demonstrate our values in front of the other teams,” Kozhenkova said.

 Junior Reza Bagheri enjoyed the trip and the beauty of Switzerland. 

“Volunteering was really fun. Being able to work on other team’s robots and interacting with people from other countries was really nice,” Bagheri said. 

He and his teammates had to work around language barriers, by trying to communicate with other teams creatively. Bagheri said the trip was one of the best experiences of his life.

Besides attending the event, the team got to sightsee. They visited Matterhorn, one of the most famous mountains in the world, known for its pyramidal peak. 

Team Spyder went to represent Poway High, and they did an excellent job, meeting people and making memories.