Winning Robotics 

More than 75 students from across California recently participated in the 8th Annual International Autonomous Robotics Competition (iAROC). Out of 18 teams, R. Roger Rowe Middle School’s rookie team, the Eagles-Intergalactic Dragons, took third place overall.

The competition, which was hosted by The League of Amazing Programmers, was held at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park and gave students the opportunity to program Roomba-like robots to compete in a series of races, challenges, and mazes without any human intervention. The challenges covered a range of difficulties, catering to the skill levels of the 10- to 18-year-old contestants who had anywhere from a few months to several years of programming experience. The Eagles-Intergalactic Dragons took first place in the Mars Navigation Challenge, one of three main challenges. Winners for each challenge were determined by a panel of judges.


R. Roger Rowe Middle School’s robotics team was composed of DJ Nelson, Justin Yu, James Busby, Lucas Luwa, and Daniel Scuba. They took home a $250 award for winning third place overall. “Wow, what an experience! I am so proud of our rookie team. We can’t wait till next year,” expressed team mentor David Werner. Students chose their own teams and were supported throughout the competition by skilled adult mentors. The week prior to the competition, contestants attended a free week-long camp where teams made final adjustments to their robots in preparation for the weekend-long event.

For more information about R. Roger Rowe’s Middle School’s robotics program contact David Warner at For more information on The League of Amazing Programmers visit