December 3, 2020
CCHS Robotics: Supporting college and career dreams
Diana Martinez knew at a very early age she wanted to study engineering and robotics. Thanks to her mother, Diana participated in an afterschool program while still in elementary school, then in summer programs and was hooked. “I loved working with toy power tools and watching Bob the Builder, especially the character named Wendy!” said Diana, a member of the Culver City High School (CCHS) Class of 2020 and former co-captain of the CCHS Robotics Team.
A long time Culver City resident, Diana did not start attending Culver City schools until the fifth grade at La Ballona. While researching different high schools, she was overjoyed to discover the robotics program at CCHS. Diana eventually served as a co-captain of the robotics team leading them to their first regional competition win in her junior year. “I was ecstatic! Competing and winning a competition had been a goal since my freshman year.”
Unfortunately, the end of Diana’s senior year did not conclude as expected due to COVID-19 but she is well on her way to her career in robotics engineering. She is now an undergrad at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her attendance there is partially made possible by a generous scholarship from the Culver City Rotary Club. Although currently attending college from home, Diana continues to forge a leadership role and is very involved in student-led organizations including the Formula SAE. She hopes to attend graduate school and has an interest to work in defense and aerospace.
Through the CCHS robotics program, Diana was able to hone her leadership skills – especially inspiring in a field that is under-represented by women and by people of color. During her tenure, the robotics team diversified even further with increased participation from female students. They also worked to “put the A back in STEAM” by encouraging more creative skill sets.
The robotics teams at both the high school and middle school rely on donations and private funding to support the program. “There are still more program needs including a larger workspace, and it would be great to have more machinery and power tools. I also wish we could’ve taken more students to experience the competitions to further their interest and commitment,” Diana adds.
“Being a part of and serving as co-captain of the high school robotics team has been the best experience of my life. I recommend everyone join robotics at the middle and high schools. I am very grateful to CCEF for the support that makes it possible.”
Thanks to our anonymous donor for their tremendous ongoing support of the CCHS Robotics Program.
If you are interested in joining CCEF to specifically further our support of STEM activities including robotics at the middle school and high school, Makerspaces at all five elementary schools, technology equipment and software upgrades, and beyond, you can make a designated gift starting at $2,500. For more information, please contact Renae Williams Niles, CCEF Executive Director.