FIRST Team - Project 212 - Met the Challenge in 2021

It’s time to be inspired! Don’t miss this chance to learn about this FIRST Robotics Challenge high school team and how these students - our future leaders! - not only competed in a STEM challenge, but did so while dealing with the multiple challenges of COVID.


Bishop-Wisecarver has been a proud sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Challenge program for 14 years donating supplies, money, mentoring and encouragement at a national and regional level. In 2021, we sponsored five local teams and we will highlight each one in the coming months. Take a few minutes to read and cheer on these students, not just for FIRST, but for all that is ahead of them.


Team: Project 212, Team 7137

School: Ygnacio Valley High School, Concord, Calif.

Advisor: Joseph Alvarico

Team Member Interviewed: Sara Venegas, 9th grade, first year on the robotics team


Q: What games or challenges did your team participate in this year?

A: We participated in the Game Design Challenge. We designed a fun game called Security Obscurity in which two alliances were hired by the “FIRST Community Bank” to test the security system and evaluate how many valuables could be stolen before the police arrive. Each alliance races to unlock the vault doors and collect as many valuables as possible and store them into the getaway vehicle. Near the end of the match, robots close the getaway vehicle doors and gather at the rendezvous point to escape.


Q: What additional activities did your team participate in outside of the specific FIRST competition?

A: We learned how to program Arduino and create basic circuits. We also learned to 3D model in Onshape. This was fun! We also helped clean out the old woodshop, which has not been used for almost a decade, and will become another engineering lab for the growing Engineering Pathway program at our school.


Q:What are some of the ways your team has incorporated the Core Values of the FIRST program in this unusual COVID season?


○ Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.

○ Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.

○ Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.

○ Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.

○ Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.

○ Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!


The team learned new skills through exploration. Our team purchased Arduino kits, and we learned how to program them primarily by following tutorials. New members like me learned 3D modeling with the help of team members and mentors who know how to use it already. In order to finish the Game Design Challenge, we used the DMAIC Engineering Design Process and included everyone's creative ideas to make a fun and challenging new game.


Q:What is your favorite memory from being on the FIRST team this year?

A: While being in the FIRST team this year, I got to meet some awesome people - students who share the same passion that I have for engineering. I learned a lot of new things and had fun doing it.


You can follow Project 212 at and


Read more about the FIRST Robotics Challenge in our press release that includes this quote from Bishop-Wisecarver President, Pamela Kan:

“One of the core values of the FIRST program is innovation and these students have shown this in incredible ways during this most challenging year. Their creativity and persistence in solving problems, even when they couldn’t meet in person, didn’t have normal access to their tools or classrooms, and had to meet virtually, is inspiring for all of us. FIRST has always been about far more than the actual competition and we continue to be proud of our sponsorship of this organization and the students who show us all what perseverance and teamwork look like every day.”