Central Park Elementary STEAM  Logo
Campus Directory Our Diversity FAQ Ms. Kamstra's Blog Mission, Vision & Commitment Spotlight On Team Chameleon
Guiding Principles Collective Commitments Blended Personal Project Based Environment Arts & Music STEAM Making Purposeful Homework
Afterschool Activities CAC Calendar/Bell Schedule DELAC Education ELAC Emergency Kits Extended Day Health & Insurance Important Dates Nutrition Services Organization Descriptions Parent/Student Handbooks PTA Remind School Site Council (SSC) Volunteer Forms
Chameleons Clip Art Library Library Lunch My new school Resources Make
Archive - March 2017 Archive - FEB 2018 Archive - JAN 2018 Archive - DEC 2017 Archive - NOV 2017 Archive - OCT 2017 Archive - SEPT 2017 Archive - AUG 2017 Archive - JULY 2017 Archive - JUNE 2017 Archive - MAY 2017 Archive APRIL 2017 Archive MAR 2017 Archive FEB 2017 Archive JAN 2017 Archive DEC 2016 Archive NOV 2016 Archive OCT 2016 Archive SEPT 2016 Archive AUG 2016 Archive JUN-AUG2016
Blogs Index Kindergarten 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade Physical Education Garden Makerspace Project Cornerstone/Wellness Robotics Team
Donate Fundraising Volunteer DonorsChoose Thank You Supporters!


Dosch, T


Robotics Team Locker

PPT, Word, Excel Viewers [Go]
Acrobat Reader [Go]

Robotics Blog Archive

All Hands Robotics Team Parents Meeting March 14th
Central Park Captures VexIQ Robotics Judges Award!
Robotics Team Fall 2017 Flashback
Central Park Wins 1st Place in Google FLL Robotics Tournament Game!
Robotics Team November Newsletter
Central Park Beats San Jose and Palo Alto Teams in FIRST LEGO League Robotics!
Three Red Rockets Blast Off on Their First Mission!
The "M" in STEAM with the Robotics Team
Week 2!
First Meeting + Parent Training
Robotics Team 2017-18 Parents
Applications & Parent Training
Parent Information Meeting 9/5
Central Park STEAM Robotics Team 2017-18 season begins!
Community Service: Wonder League Robotics Introduction
Bricks4Kidz vs. Star Kids Academy Robotics Class vs Central Park STEAM Robotics Team Explanation
All Notes

Robotics Team Blog

New Web Site

The Central Park STEAM Robotics Team parents have built an awesome new web site! Check out all the details at:



Sponsor Our Robotics Team!

Have a business or organization who would like to support STEAM education with our Robotics Team? Know any friends who would?


Download our Central Park STEAM Robotics Team Sponsorship Form and be a part of building the leaders of the 21st Century!


Our team has showcased their work this past year at:

  • Google FIRST LEGO League Junior Expo
  • Maker Faire Bay Area 2017 where we won "Best in Class" for Young Makers (over 120,000 attendees!)
  • Silicon Valley Robotics Block Party
  • STEM Central with Santa Clara City Library
  • Central Park Elementary's STEAM Expo
  • LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad CA
  • Quarry Lane VexIQ Robotics Tournament where we won the Judges' Award
  • Willow Glen VexIQ Robotics Tournament
  • COIL Charter VexIQ Robotics Tournament
  • FIRST LEGO League Innovation Expo of Northern California

Our team has also made trips to:

  • Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • California Department of Water Resources at Romero
  • California Department of Water Resources at Lake Oroville
  • California Department of Water Resources at Vista Del Lago
  • Liquid Robotics where our team appeared in their blog
  • NASA Ames Visitors Center
  • Computer History Museum
  • Tech Museum
  • Children's Creativity Museum

Sponsor the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team at higher levels to see your organization name on our team shirt or banner at every maker, robotics or STEAM event that we showcase at!

Every team member wears a Central Park STEAM Robotics Team shirt at every major event where we compete or showcase robotics technology. Parents and coaches wear the team shirt as well at events.


Every booth we host proudly displays the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team in full 8'x4' banners as well as 6'x2.5' table banners. Our activities are always highly engaging drawing in constant crowds from opening to ending.


Our Central Park STEAM Robotics Team blog is updated almost weekly on the Central Park Elementary web site. Our web site analytics currently sport an average of 1,203 active users per month with 50% of our visitors on desktops and 50% on mobile devices! 


Central Park STEAM Robotics Team is a parent volunteer operated organization. We have no paid staff from SCUSD. Unlike the STEM programs at Cabrillo Middle and Santa Clara High School, we receive $0 from the millions of dollars that those programs receive.  We have pooled funds together through small fundraisers, a grant from the Rec Foundation and primarily parent donations. We are parent powered!


But it is not enough! During our last application round, we had over 75 students (25% of the entire school!) ask to join the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team. We had kids on free and reduced lunch ask to join. 


But we don't have enough equipment. We need funding support to help get robotics equipment for all the kids who wish to learn and participate in robotics events. Please help kids get inspired by STEAM!


Equipment needed:

  • LEGO Education Mindstorms EV3 Core and Expansion
  • Super VexIQ Robotics Kit
  • LEGO Education WeDo 2.0
  • LEGO Education Simple Machines and Motorized Mechanisms
  • LEGO Education Pneumatics Expansion Kit
  • LEGO Education Renewable Energy Expansion Kit
  • Hummingbird Robotics Deluxe Kits
  • Raspberry Pi kits
  • Arduino kits
  • MacBook Air or Pro current models
  • Windows10 laptops with 8GB RAM, i7 and 4-8GB VRAM
  • iPad tablets

Check out some of our videos to see what some of our teams have accomplished!



Central Park STEAM Robotics Team Blog


Hi parents,

we would like to meet briefly just to get an update. All parent who have volunteered or can volunteer please attend:

Pepper tree clubhouse
900 Pepper Tree Lane,
santa clara 95054

Wednesday, March 14th






Central Park STEAM Robotics Team 3rd Graders traveled to Quarry Lane School in Dublin, CA where they captured the VexIQ Ringmaster Judges Award.


Our students competed against 19 other teams from Sacred Heart School (Saratoga), Sandpiper Elementary School (Redwood City), Quarry Lane School (Dublin), Dublin Robotics Club (Dublin), Davis Youth Robotics (Davis), and EA Robot Club (Pleasanton).


This was a fantastic comeback after our Chameleons finished in last place at COIL Charter School in January of 2018. After that setback plus another finish in second-to-last place, the team was asked what they had learned at Central Park about handling failures. One of our 3rd graders replied, "Mrs. Oyola says that mistakes are gifts."


And with that, our resilient robotics team members put on their growth mindset and made another attempt finishing in 6th out of 31 teams in Skills Challenges this past Saturday (February 10th) at Sacred Heart School in Saratoga. Then they brought home the Judges Award at Quarry Lane School in Dublin on Sunday (February 11th).




Central Park STEAM Robotics Team held a fun-filled potluck on Sunday, December 17th celebrating the Fall 2017 season.


The Central Park STEAM Robotics Team branched out this fall completing 3 Community Service Projects by leading the Hour of Code week Kick-off session for Central Park students, an Hour of Code session for Central Park After-School Care kids as well as a Wonder League Workshop with non-profit Devoxx4Kids for the general public.


Some teams such as Wonder League, VexIQ and FIRST LEGO League Junior will continue into Spring 2018. Other teams such as Destination Imagination, Tech Challenge and FIRST LEGO League will be forming new cohorts in Spring 2018.


Here are some more pictures and video contributed by families of the Fall 2017 Season:





Central Park 3rd and 4th graders pulled off an amazing win at the Google FIRST LEGO League Robotics Tournament this past Saturday, November 11th bringing home 2 trophies for the Robot Performance Award as well as the Robot Design Award.



The Robot Performance Award reflected the highest ending scores of the teams at the tournament, Central Park's team "Cats Love Mars" managed to beat every single team at the robotics game including 3 teams from Juan Cabrillo Middle School's 49ers STEM Leadership program. Central Park made a resounding win scoring 150 points with a 45 point margin above the 2nd place team.  (Photo of ending scores has schools and cities added.)


The Robot Design Award showcased the amazing effort and learning our students had put into coding, engineering, and design thinking. They fielded questions from a judging panel of professional engineers on their code modularity, automation/navigation, mechanics, physics, design choices and strategy. The judges commented "Great use of sensors, control blocks and myblocks with feedback loops. Modular attachments were very good".

Our students had a great foundation with engineering concepts from the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team as well as the 2016-17 Coding Club run by Ms. Cary and Hour of Code with Mr. Garcia. Our students had the Central Park spirit of taking ownership for their own learning spending the summer continuing from where Ms. Cary left off on code.org and completing entire courses on their own. They also spent the summer and this fall building, testing and iterating on their robot design using the same design thinking taught by Central Park's teachers.


Our students had a great jump on applying mathematical concepts to engineering solutions from Central Park's use of a 3-tiered mathematics methodology of kinesthetic, visual then algebraic. Learning math conceptually rather than algorithmically helped students apply concepts to real world situtations such as addition partners of a sum from Mrs. Tang's class to construct stronger robot walls. They also calculated the circumference of wheels, motor rotations and coded proportional line following from multiplication and division concepts taught by Ms. Berger, Ms. Cary, Mrs. Oyola and Mrs. Stauter. Using a suggestion from Mrs. Stauter, the team practiced math concepts by cooking croissants, cupcakes, brownies, pizza, cookies, tacos and biscuits.



The Google FLL Robotics Tournament also included a judging session on Hydrodynamics projects that our students developed from February to November of 2017. In Central Park's PBL (Project-Based Learning) spirit, our students traveled into the real world researching hydrodynamics with a "driving question" of solving problems in the human water cycle. They asked questions and proposed ideas to professionals from the California Department of Water, Santa Clara Valley Water District, U.S. National Parks Service, NASA Ames, and Made in Space.


They then developed an innovative solution of 3D printing water purification systems on the International Space Station, Mars and in Puerto Rico using moon rock, Mars sand and volcanic ash . Their proposal would give people a low cost and easily manufactured method for creating safe drinking water in new worlds as well as communities devasted by natural disasters lacking access to reliable power sources. Our students performed an experiment distilling water as well as building prototypes iteratively with feedback from NASA Aerospace Engineer Tara Samuels and Made In Space Vice President of In-Space Operations, Matt Napoli. As in Central Park's PBL programs, our students felt empowered and passionate about their ability to innovate and make the world a better place.



Our team "Cats Love Mars" failed to win the overall Champion's Award due to gaps in Core Values teamwork communication challenges however, as we know at Central Park, a growth mindset always leaves room for lifelong learners to be resilient and improve in the future!


Fantastic work Chameleons! 


This Saturday, November 18th, Central Park's "Lego Masters" will travel to Folsom, CA to take on 15 teams at Intel's FLL Robotics Tournament.


Good luck!!!


In the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition Scrimmage this past Sunday, October 29th, Central Park STEAM Robotics Teams "Lego masters" and "Cats Love Mars" beat the "Jungle Falcons" from the San Jose Unified School District and the "Sea Turtles" from the Palo Alto Unified School District.




"Bobby Bobolink A.R.M.Y." from Meirholz Elementary in the Cupertino Unified School District took first place. Our teams fell behind some other Cupertino Unified and San Jose Unified teams however that served as great inspiration for our teams to iterate and improve on their robot designs.

The teams also participated in robot design interviewing sessions to practice technical questions that may be asked in competition.


It was the first time Central Park Elementary teams have ever competed in FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition. A fantastic finish plus a tremendous learning experience for all.


Parents at the event noticed the great teamwork, increased self-confidence, planning and strategy discussion held by the kids. 


Guided by adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology, then compete on a table-top playing field.


Now our "Lego masters" and "Cats Love Mars" are working on their final preparations for the FIRST LEGO League Qualifier Tournaments.


Go Central Park!!!!


Three Red Rockets team was completing their first mission.




Why do many STEAM schools have a robotics program? Robotics is an amazing integration of many different disciplines that most importantly gets kids excited and passionate about what they are doing.


A great example this week was with some of our FIRST LEGO League kids who were building up the side walls of their LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot. The rectangular frame had a width of 19 however 2 holes on the sides were used by panels. 19 - 2 leaves them with 17 modules in width to fill vertically.


Because stronger structures overlap in layers (think bricks) rather than being exactly on top of each other leaving long vertical cracks, the students had to think of ways to make 17 using LEGO Technic beams. The beams are mostly odd numbers in length with only 2 and 4 from small beams and the sides of an L shape beam.


The students pondered 3 very mathematical questions...


1) If they put an odd + an even beam what would they get in total length? What about:


odd + odd = ?

even + even = ?

odd + even = ?

odd + odd + odd = ?

even + even + even = ?

odd + even + odd = ?

even + odd + even = ?


2) They also pondered what would the weight of the beams be when using many smaller beams with many pins or fewer longer beams with less pins. The students then measured the weight to compare and had to discuss what the decimal point unit of measurement was when comparing weight in ounces.




3) Once they had their standard width of 17 modules, they pondered using mostly odd length beams plus a 2 and 4, how many different ways could they fill the wall 17 modules in width?


17 = 2 + 2+ 13

17 = 3 + 3 + 11

17 = 4 + 4 + 9

17 = 5 + 5 + 7

17 = 6 + 6 + 5

17 = 7 + 7 + 3


But then the kids went even further on their own intuition breaking down many more ways to build the side wall using different length beams and they filled a whiteboard with this!


That is the power of robotics. Kids so inspired and motivated by STEAM that math becomes an exciting game, an exciting tool to creatively develop their dreams.


Robotics Team is off on week 2 preparations! FLL teams worked on setting up their challenge kit and getting guidance from high school mentor Amar.


Wonder League teams have been getting their competition mats ideas made.


VexIQ is working on constructing their first robot.


FLL Jr. is built their Milo rober.


Team Cats Love Mars made a field trip to NASA to present their innovation project proposal. They talked with NASA aerospace engineer Tara Samuels and collected great feedback on ways they could improve their robot design.






First Central Park STEAM Robotics Team meeting and parent training is coming Monday, September 18th 3-5PM.


This session is only for those families who have completed application paperwork and received an acceptance email. Make sure all your paperwork is completed in time.