Meet Bueford, SCVi’s Radical Robot

Who has a powerful arm and a fabulous range of motion to shoot a hoop 50 feet away and can take the hits? Steph Curry? Caitlin Clark? No, his name is Bueford.  

Meet Bueford, Santa Clarita Valley International (SCVi) Charter School’s star robot. At 86 pounds and 114 wires, he still has room to grow.  Our tuition-free TK-12th grade school’s team is busy helping him.

Bueford, SCVi's robot, is pictured in a classroom with younger students looking at him.

Inspired by an SCVi engineering class that introduced work with circuitry, schematics, and math-based computer work, students Dane and Donovan convinced their teacher Ms. Lynne Nirattisai (or Ms. N to her students) to sponsor a Robotics Club. The club spread through word of mouth (and some Monday Message ads) and Carter, Keane, Braelyn and Kaen joined last fall.

Creativity and curiosity are both valued at SCVi and this Robotics group agreed that our tuition-free school makes it easy to start a club. Other clubs happening now include Band and Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). 

With SCVi’s help, Dane found a classroom and time to meet. SCVi also provides the maker’s space (aka “the Makery”), a room with tools and 3D printers to build and tinker with Bueford.

Robots, Code, Modifications and More 

So what do you do with a robot like Bueford? That’s the fun part. First! You get to build it. 

Bueford comes from a kit created by FIRST Robotics Program, a program that includes competition to test your robotic skills. The team has been busy building the kit together…and realizing that they can go above and beyond what it includes. 

Putting in lots of time since the kit arrived in January, our SCVi team has made modifications to improve and adapt. In the beginning, Bueford could only shoot the hoop a measly five feet but with lots of work, he’s now up to 50! The team also creates code for Bueford to follow and has him on a remote control “leash” of sorts (he moves on wheels). Fun, right?

This isn’t without expenses. Luckily, SCVi stepped in to host a STEM Trivia Night to raise money for the program. The Scarlet Foundation, which is run by SCVi parents, also contributed and even the student council pitched in with a loan. 

Through this process, Bueford has had a lot of exposure. He has even explored our lower school with his team and inspired some of our littler learners with ideas for a Lego Club. SCVi loves integrating our full TK-12th grades!

Collaboration Is Key

While our SCVi team works together to create a robot, collaboration doesn’t stop. They travel to other schools; recently going to Foothill High School to help work on their machine and get pointers from their established teams. 

Our Robotics Club team also picks up tips on strategies so that while these robots shoot hoops, other robots block them. Luckily, bumpers are required so no robots are hurt in the heat of play.

Once at the competition, teams work together to win. In fact, SCVi’s team’s strategy is not to be one of the top six teams in the final – that would be a lot to ask of a rookie team. Rather, they’re hoping to be picked by one of those top teams to help. Bueford has an amazing arm and his blocks aren’t bad either! 

Fast Facts about Bueford and the Robotics Club

✅ Bueford’s favorite color is green. He also loves the color orange but hates the taste.

✅ When Bueford retires from the competitive life, he’d like to be a professional babysitter or boxer.

✅ Beuford’s favorite animal? Dinosaurs of all sorts.

✅ Bueford’s secret talent is he turns into a chair/go-kart. Yes, that’s exactly how the team plans to celebrate after the competition! 

✅ Want to follow Bueford? Of course he has his own Insta page

✅ The Robotics team meets Monday – Thursday, 3:15-4:05 PM and welcomes new members! 

Curious about a free public school that encourages students to create and follow their passions? SCVi TK-12th grade charter school is enrolling now!

About SCVi:

Santa Clarita Valley International School (SCVi) is a free public charter school empowering TK-12th graders to become conscientious, compassionate, and responsible citizens of the world. We use project-based and social-emotional learning concepts to inspire and motivate lifelong learners with the skills they need to lead in the 21st century. We incorporate technology into every component of our curriculum, and we value and encourage development of leadership skills by inspiring confidence and character in each of our unique learners. Join our innovative school today!