Dylan O. '24 spent an unforgettable week representing Team USA in the World Robotic Olympiad (WRO).
Dylan, a Sierra Canyon Lifer, is a driven student who recently earned Cum Laude honors, secured a spot as a National Merit Semi-Finalist, and received the prestigious Harvard Book Award. Beyond his academic pursuits, Dylan dedicates himself to music. As a singer, songwriter, and pianist, his contributions to the SC pep band and the Everyday Optimists showcase his musical talents and collaborative spirit. Intriguingly, his diverse interests also extend to the world of robotics, where he channels his creativity and his passion truly takes flight. Like many kids, Dylan loved building Legos at an early age, leading to his passion for robotics as he began building and programming in 2nd Grade. Selected for his first robotics competition team in 5th Grade, he now annually designs, builds, and programs fully autonomous robots that solve challenges on a competition field.
As team captain, Dylan led his team to victory this past summer, securing two first-place finishes that earned his team spots in the WRO Invitational in Denmark in September and the recent WRO Finals in Panama, where he competed in the senior division. Team USA brought 16 teams with kids from seven states who competed in four different events and three age groups. The WRO began in 2004 with only twelve countries and now boasts over 20,000 participating teams from 95 countries worldwide. Only 450 teams from 83 countries earned spots at the finals in Panama. After eight months of training and preparation, Dylan was honored when Team USA selected him and his team to compete in Robo Mission's senior division. This year's challenge involved autonomous robots loading and unloading ships, fueling them, and piloting them into the open sea. Apart from the three days of competition, the 450 teams gathered for an opening and closing ceremony that included a parade of nations. Throughout each day, Dylan had the opportunity to interact with, learn from, and share experiences with peers from around the world. Undoubtedly, being able to represent his country was a truly unforgettable experience.
For the past several years, Dylan has diligently shared his passion for robotics with the Sierra Canyon community. In 2019, he helped create the da Vinci Days program for the Lower School, annually conducting STEM sessions to teach robotics to 4th Grade. In 2020, he extended his outreach by establishing a non-profit in his backyard, providing a safe space for kids from various schools to delve into the world of robotics. In 2022, Dylan launched a robotics program for Sierra Canyon Day Camp, guiding campers each week in constructing his latest creative inventions. He is now developing an engineering curriculum and teaching alongside Ms. Lee in the Middle School engineering class. "Sierra Canyon has not only instilled in me an enduring love for learning and exploration but has also provided me with essential skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and leadership," shared Dylan. After graduating from Sierra Canyon in the spring, he plans to pursue his love for robotics and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
Congratulations to this true blue Trailblazer! We are incredibly proud of you and the inspiration you bring to our students.