About Team 8787
In 2013, Mr. Raul Torres-Santos felt the need to engage students in STEM fields; thus, Eastwood High School Robotics Team 8787 was born. The “Clone Troopers” are an elite robotics team based in El Paso, Texas, as the first team in our city to attend Vex World’s 2015. Since then, we’ve had the privilege of attending World’s for four years in a row.
Members of our Team 8787 were finalist for the Online Google Girl Powered Story, won the online Game Design Challenge Award, and received the Teamwork Award while our mentor, Mr. Torres, received the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Our focus is not only being great competitors in Vex robotics competition but also in sharing our knowledge of STEM to our local community. We have fun hosting many robotics workshops at our feeder schools, our school district, and our local businesses. Recently we have begun hosting an annual Girl Powered Event that is open to girls from all around the West Texas area. Our first time hosting the event in 2016 we had over 350 girls in attendance—the largest in the nation—and our second in 2017 with over 450 young girls.
Our goal is to enhance life skills such as responsibility, teamwork, leadership, and determination through the works of having a real-life experience in the STEM field. We are also encouraged to serve our community by giving them the opportunity we have and helping students pursue their dreams in the STEM field. As El Paso’s finest Eastwood Robotics Club, we are a group of students who love robotics and have dedicated ourselves to participating in the Vex Robotics Competition, STEM education and outreach.
EHS Robotics Competition History
In August of 2014, the fledgling Robotics Club took its first tentative steps. The team chose the Star Wars Clone Trooper as its mascot because of its correlation to our school’s mascot: the Eastwood Trooper. Due to an initial lack of funds, the robotics team created their first team shirts themselves. Despite being novices, the team scored 4th place in the NMSU BEST robotics competition and competed in the FTC competition of El Paso, TX.
Sky rise 2015
The Clone Troopers the following year of 2015 participated in both the NMBEST and FTC competitions; however, we also decided to try the VEX EDR robotics competition—team 8787. This fortunate turn of events led us to be the 2015 West Texas VEX Excellence
Award recipients—the first team to ever do so in El Paso, Texas, history. Being over whelmed by the rush of Louisville, Kentucky, we returned home with huge amounts of experience, excitement, and determination, ready to try their luck again in the years to come.
Nothing but Net 2016
The following year of 2016 we decided to keep our focus on VEX EDR. The team grew exponentially and allowed their hunger for Kentucky’s VEX Competition to motivate them to obtain those tickets again to compete in the VEX World Championship that same year. Now with enough members to have 3 teams: 8787A, 8787B, and 8787C—all-girls.
The first and latter team won the Tournament Champions and the Excellence Award at the State Competition, giving them two tickets for VEX Worlds. At World’s team 8787C won the Teamwork Award; making us all grow even more ambitious. The team continued to grow, and more eager hearts worked hard at VEX EDR and focused on learning and expanding their abilities.
The following year the Eastwood Clone Troopers continued to excel in VRC. Motivated to do better at the international level, we put all our time and effort into trying to increase the sophistication of our robots. Ambition motivated us to research and so our robots became “smarter”. Twenty-seven members were divided into four teams; we had the biggest robotics club in our city.
Then at the West Texas State Championship, the Eastwood Clone Troopers did it once more. The fourth year as a club, but third year in the VEX World Championship, we obtained two tickets to World’s: Excellence Award, the third year in a row, as well as the Online Challenge VRC Game Design Animation Challenge.
In the Zone 2018
We started a little rough. The previous year most of the seniors of First Original Team 8787 graduated. As if that heartbreak wasn’t enough, our entire school was torn down for construction and we went under construction and we were without a work space for most of the summer. Nonetheless, we continued to reach out to our community and in the fall, we worked twice as hard and thankfully, this 2018 season we continued to be one of El Paso’s finest robotics clubs. With time management and ambition, all teams won awards locally and state level. We had accomplished getting the Excellence Award and we ended up heading off to Louisville, Kentucky for the fifth time in a row. At the end of the competition we left home with our most prized position, the Design Award and with the motivation to work hard so we can get the Excellence Award.
Turning Point 2019
This year we started off stronger than ever, even though we lost many of our members from the previous year. We pushed through many tough challenges, such as not having a school for another year, having to learn new skills to succeed, and to go above our own expectations for this coming competition. This year we were able to raise funds for the largest Girl Power event, with a total of over 700 girls attending (although if it wasn’t for out venues capacity restrictions we could have had many more), at the University of Texas at El Paso .Its sad that not every girl could go ,but made us realize how every year we have influenced many young women to come join us and for that reason we realized that we should expand to a larger facility, so we are able to have everyone there to come celebrate women in the STEM field.