Robotics Team; Instructor, Rita Jawaharlal - Kumon

Robotics Team; Instructor, Rita Jawaharlal

On Friday, May 11, 2012, students took the stage for the Sixth Annual Robot Rally at Cal Poly Pomona. With 200 teams and over 600 local elementary and middle school students in the hunt, the Kumon of Pomona team made a strong statement taking Second Place in the Sumo Challenge and clinching the Top Performance Award overall. Rita Jawaharlal, Kumon of Pomona Instructor and Robotics Team coach, could not be more pleased with her students’ success. “Congratulations to the students and parents of the Kumon of Pomona Robotics Team,” said Jawaharlal. “I am very proud of their accomplishments in Kumon and on the Kumon Robotics Team.” The Annual Robot Rally focuses on inspiring children to become interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Though this year’s Kumon of Pomona team made an especially strong statement, Kumon students have been participating at the Cal Poly Robot Rally, as well as other local educational tournaments, for the past five years. The Robotics Team consists of Kumon students who have successfully reached G-by-5, a national award for students who reach Kumon level G in math or reading before fifth grade. Current team members include Kumon students Ian, Emma, Celez, Hajarah, Jonathan, Kevin, Longinese and Kacie. “It is a reward for them to be advanced in school, Kumon and the Robotics team,” said Ruth, Mother of team members Kevin and Kacie. “To compete in this program enhances the student’s speech, interview skills, and presentation skills.” Individuals on the Kumon of Pomona team are not only committed academically by implementing Kumon in their daily lives, but they have also taken on the supplementary role of Robotics Team member as well. Having met for three hours every Saturday for their twelve-week preparation, team members learned how to build, design and program robots. In addition, the students were able to strengthen their presentation skills and learn the value and importance of teamwork through these sessions. Twelve-year-old Ian, a second year Robotics Team member and third year Kumon of Pomona Student, feels as though this experience has given him more than just engineering knowledge. “I learned about teamwork and respecting each other as teammates. I also learned leadership skills, confidence and patience,” said Ian. “I’m proud to say we are a Kumon family,” Ian’s mother, Susan, explained. “I wished I had known about it sooner.”