Building Better Students One Robot at a Time

From their earliest years at SCH Academy, students learn to become creative designers and problem solvers through an Engineering and Robotics curriculum that is one of only a few such schoolwide curricula in the country. Whether it’s constructing a LEGO castle in 2nd grade, designing and manufacturing a marketable consumer product in Middle School, or programming milling machines to make parts for human-sized robots in Upper School, SCH students are learning important skills for the 21st century, being challenged, AND having fun.

Team 1218
FIRST Team 1218 Vulcan Robotics is SCH Academy’s internationally competitive robotics program. Competing in the FRC Division, high school students challenge themselves to push the limits of creativity and interactive thinking. Since 2002, Team 1218 is dedicated to building better students one robot at a time.

Visit Team 1218's website.

Customized spaces dedicated to engineering and robotics
SCH Academy Middle and Upper School students test their engineering creativity in a customized 1,600-square-foot, state-of-the-art Engineering and Robotics Lab equipped with laser cutters, CAD/CAM, a CNC milling machine, and 3D printers, including a Makerbot Replicator. Lower School girls build their scientific and technological fluency in a dedicated Physics and Engineering Lab brimming with tubes, marbles, funnels, basters, ramps, gears, light tables, and water wheels—everything needed to enable them to experiment hands on and gain a working knowledge of the the principles of physics. Lower School boys have an Imagineering Lab where they use LEGOs and K’NEX to imagine, design, and build their latest creations.

A full program of FIRST Robotics challenges and competitions
SCH Academy partners with the international FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics program  to bring SCH students, ages 6-18, opportunities to apply their design and engineering skills in age-appropriate challenges. Students participate on teams to design and construct robots to perform a series of required tasks, according to that year’s challenge. The teams then compete in area tournaments and international championships that emphasize friendly, cooperative competition and celebrate student creativity and participation in many dimensions.

A robotics legacy
Working with engineers and scientists, and alumni and parents, teams enjoy working with mentors who guide and cheer every step of the way.

Awards Received
While winning isn't everything, it certainly is rewarding to have your work valued and to take a trophy back to school.
2002: Rookie Year
2003: Winner of the Philadelphia regional
Rookie All-Star Award at the Philadelphia Regional
2004: Delphi “Driving Tomorrow’s Technology” at the Philadelphia
Galileo Division Winner at Championship
Finalist in the Championship
2006: Finalist at the Chesapeake Regional
2009: Winner of Pittsburgh Regional
Archimedes Division Winner at Championship
GM Industrial Design Award at New Jersey Regional
2010: Finalist at the Chesapeake Regional
Industrial Design Award at the Chesapeake Regional
Excellence in Engineering Award at the Philadelphia Regional
2011: Winner of Chesapeake Regional
Cooperation Award at the New Jersey Regional
Industrial Design Award at the Chesapeake Regional
2012: Chairman’s Award, Hatboro-Horsham District Event
Winner, Hatboro-Horsham District Event
Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi, Hatboro-Horsham District Event
Winner, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy District Event
Quality Award sponsored by Motorola, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy District Event
Finalist, Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship
Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox, Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship
Finalist, Washington DC Regional
Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi, Washington DC Regional
2013: Chairman’s Award, Hatboro-Horsham District Event
Chairman's Award Winner, Hatboro Horsham, MAR Championship
National Chairman's Award Finalist
Galileo Division Finalist, St. Louis National Championships
Imagery Award, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Regional
Industrial Design Award, Greater Pittsburgh Regional
2015 1st place and Engineering Inspiration Award, Mid-Atlantic District Competition at SCH 
1st place and Chairman's Award, Seneca High School, Tabernacle NJ

Why Robot Makers Wins
Click to view video!
Why are Springside Chestnut Hill Academy students devoted to their robotics team? Watch this video!
Shown on the JumboTron at the FRC World Championships in St. Louis (May 2014), it features members of the SCH team speaking to why robotic makers win. Thank you, Vulcan Spring, our team sponsor.

The 2014 FIRST FRC robot from Team 1218 Vulcan Robotics.

The 2013 FIRST FRC robot from Team 1218 Vulcan Robotics.

... SCH has 14 robotics teams:
  • 2 Upper School teams
  • 4 Middle School teams
  • 8 Lower School teams 
... 160 students in grades 1-12 (or about 10% of our student body) currently participate in FIRST Robotics activities.

... Our Upper School robotics team placed 2nd in the world in 2003 and 3rd in the world in 2009. In 2012, the team won two 1st-place finishes, two 2nd-place finishes, and was ranked 20th in the world overall. In addition, the team won multiple awards for design and safety and earned the coveted Chairman’s Award for overall excellence.

... SCH Academy graduates have gone on to the top engineering programs in the country, including MIT, Caltech, Brown, Penn, Carnegie Mellon, Rensselaer, Worcester Polytechnic, and the service academies.

... SCH sponsors two FIRST Robotics competitions that attract over 1,000 area students, ages 6-18, to campus each year.

... Students with a passion for engineering have the opportunity to take up to 3.5 years of engineering coursework during their high school years at SCH Academy.

... The Engineering and Robotics program is piloting a university-level Mechatronics course that explores the intersection of electronics and mechanical engineering program processors and their use in mechanical design. Both faculty and students are taking the course.

... Engineering students built a self-stabilizing quadrocoptor with a camera to capture a bird’s-eye view of the campus.

... SCH invites top math and science students to apply for its STEM scholarship offered to an incoming 9th grader with a passion for science, engineering, or math.