National University

Alum's Robotics Team Wins Regional High School Competition, Qualifies for State Championship

The engineering and design students at James Monroe High School in North Hills, California, led by alumnus and 2008 California Teacher of the Year Lewis Chappelear, won the Southern California Regional Vex Robotics Competition in November and qualified for the state championships.

Chappelear, who has a background in mechanical and manufacturing engineering and earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, has coached the robotics team at Monroe High School to become one of the premier teams in the nation.

By emphasizing science curricula and converting an old classroom into a state-of-the-art robotics lab, Chappelear has prepared most of his students to attend college or get hired in high-skilled jobs in the tech sector after high school. His protégés have excelled in academics and earned internships at renowned institutions such Northrop Grumman and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

The VEX Robotics Competition is sponsored by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. Its mission is to connect students, mentors, and schools in every community to a variety of successful and engaging technology-based programs and help students to flourish in a way that fosters the technical and interpersonal skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century. Competing teams use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and Skills Challenges. 

Chappelear was featured in the 2008 edition of Vision magazine. To access the article, click here