18 Jun Team North America 2018
Team Naatsisaan Robotics (left to right): Heather Anderson, Ruby Anderson, Breana Bitsinnie, Jason Slender, Chaydin Atene, and Evan Smallcanyon
Our team is called Naatsisaan Robotics, for the Navajo name of our mountain. Our team’s challenges include remote location of meeting place (school), limited internet access at home (phones only), commuting to work in other places like Page and Salt Lake City, the nearest store is an hour and a half away from Navajo Mountain, and our team’s relative newness to the robotics competition (second year).
Ruby Anderson is seventeen years old, grew up in the south Salt Lake area, and moved to Navajo Mountain with her parents last year because they both got jobs teaching at the high school. She had to leave all the comforts of a big city to start anew in the tiny town of Navajo Mountain. In the future, Ruby would like to work in design, whether it be interior, architecture, or even fashion (her current interest lies here). Working on the robotics team has taught her a lot about teamwork.
Breana Bitsinnie is an eighteen year old senior at Navajo Mountain High School. Her challenges include riding an ATV thirty miles to and from school every day across Piute Canyon. Even though she has this challenge, she is usually the first one to arrive and the last one to stop working. She is interested in building this robot because it is a small one and it will take her to Mexico City. This will be her last, fun hands-on project that she will be involved in through the high school. In the fall, Breana will attend college at USU Eastern in Blanding, where she will pursue a career in psychology.
Jason Slender has a goal of graduating early from high school. He plans to got to college right after and major in electrical engineering. His interest in being part of the robotics team stems from his desire to have hands-on experience and learning. His grandmother raised him from a very young age. Living in Navajo Mountain, UT has been a blessing because it’s a beautiful place on the reservation. Competing at the 2018 FIRST Global Robotics Competition in Mexico City is an honor and he is excited to be going there.
Chaydin Atene is a fourteen year old freshman who grew up in Navajo Mountain for the most part. He lived in Phoenix for three years before he moved back. When he grows up, he wants to program computers. He is interested in robotics because it is fun, and he can learn how to program things.
Evan Smallcanyon is a fourteen year old freshman who grew up in Navajo Mountain. His grandparents raised him from the time he was four months old. He struggled with drug involvement in the high school he went to before Navajo Mountain, which was in Shonto, Arizona. Coming to school here halfway through the year has helped Evan to distance himself from some of the peer pressure he was facing at his other school. His goal is to finish high school, and to increase his skills as a skateboarder. He is interested in robots because they look pretty cool, and he is into science.
The local nuclear power station, Navajo Generating Station, is scheduled to close within a year. The country in general is using more wind and solar power these days and steering away from nonrenewable energy use.