Sophomore robotic talent selected to compete on world stage


St. Michael High School is about to be put on blast, a good blast.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
St. Michael High School sophomore Jeannette Bitsie (left), helps assemble pieces of PVC piping together as math teacher Mykl Greene (right), and Navajo Code Writers robotics teammate Aaron Nathan Bordeaux (middle), help Friday in St. Michaels, Arizona.

Sophomore Jeannette Bitsie, a member of the robotics team Navajo Code Writers qualified as a Dean’s List nominee at the FIRST Tech Challenge in Houston, Texas on April 11-22. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

According to the school’s Institutional Giving Manager Renee Tsinnie, Bitsie was chosen to represent her team at the prestigious FIRST championship.

To even be considered to participate, Bitsie had to be selected by her teammates, show leadership, and partake in local community functions, which she did at Rez Refuge in Fort Defiance. In addition, she had to submit a résumé. If she was to win, her math teacher Mykl Greene said it would be like winning a world championship title since the competition involves students from around the world.

“I showed a lot of leadership into helping and really working hard with our robot,” the sophomore genius said, while she was helping construct a Pratt bridge for an upcoming competition.

Bitsie said her family, who are engineers and Air Force airmen, got her interested in chemistry and engineering. Trips to Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque and seeing the jet planes and how they’re maintained have had a major influence on what she plans to do in the future.

“In the future I am planning on joining the Air Force, “ Bitsie said, who admitted she has never flown in a plane.

Bitsie said she has her eyes on NASA, although she did not specify what she would be doing at the space administration.

Ultimately, she said she would get her degrees in engineering.

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Categories: Education