The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Robotics Team 1717, the D’Penguineers, took first place in the Los Angeles Regional FIRST Competition held in Long Beach on Friday and Saturday.

After racing through 10 qualification matches with a record of nine wins and one loss, the D’Penguineers went unbeaten through the elimination rounds with a 4-0 record. They were allied with Team 330, Hermosa Beach, and Team 1452, Los Angeles.

The finals turned out to be more challenging and exciting to watch. The first match ended in a 12-12 tie. The second match was a win, when Dos Pueblos outscored its opponents, 14-10. The third-match loss of 10-8 led to a tiebreaker in which the D’Penguineers and their allies outscored their opponents, 9-3, securing the top spot in the Regional Competition.

In addition to taking top honors at the competition, the D’Penguineers received the Engineering Inspiration Award, recognizing their leadership in community service, advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, and for their efforts to raise money toward the building of their engineering academy building. They are getting very close to their goal of raising the $3 million needed to build the facility.

With this win and for receiving the inspiration award, the D’Penguineers have now qualified for the National FIRST Robotics Championship in Atlanta, where they placed in the top eight teams in last year’s competition. The championship will be held April 15-17 at the Georgia Dome.

This year’s D’Penguineers are Sky Adams, Jenna Becker, Katherine Bonsell, Kimmie Boydston, Jack Brown, Alexis Chasney, Anina Cooter, Bryan Cyr, Anjali Daniels, Casey Donahue, Ellen Feldman, Matt Grace, Cliff Lekas, Oriane Matthys, Chris McAmis, Chris Peterson, Kevin Rohde, Ryan Rosenfeld, Da-Bin Ryu, Nicole Schauser, Eric Schuh, Jack Sharkey, Andy Silverstein, Rashi Singh, Sam Skopp, Nick Su, Hanna Vincent, Nicole Voyen, Helen Wang, Carly Wopat, Sam Wopat and Anjian Wu. Click here for biographies of the team members.

The D’Penguineers are sponsored by Raytheon, Mentor Corp., Valley Precision Products, Allergan Foundation, Las Cumbres Observatory Telescope Network, ATK Space, Enerpro Inc., Tecolote Research Inc., Lockheed-Martin, FLIR Systems, Afar Communications and the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Click here for more information on Team 1717 and the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy. Click here to make a donation to the building campaign.

— Jay McAmis is a Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Robotics Team parent..