HCA News

Chargers Robotics Team to Use STEM Skills to Bless Children with Disabilities

Friday, April 06, 2018

Just as a teenager dreams of his first set of wheels, a child desires to freely move about to explore the world around him. Yet there are many children for whom this is but a dream. A group of Heritage Christian Academy students has the opportunity to help make these dreams come true by using their STEM skills to solve some unique challenges.

Girl in Wheelchair

Recently, the HCA Chargers Robotics Team was invited by another team—the Red Hot Techie P eppers from the LEARN Science and Math Club—to partner in a special service project to serve children suffering from mobility-impairing disabilities. Chargers Robotics PR Director Ethan Voss says the team is excited to be a part of this effort this year: “We’ve heard their stories, but now we actually get to see what’s going on… and be a part of it.”

The project will be patterned after the Go Baby Go! program, a grassroots effort founded by a physical therapy professor at the University of Delaware. Go Baby Go! connects disabled children with volunteer teams who modify and provide battery-powered, ride-along cars which give these children a measure of independence by allowing them to move around, socialize, and play in ways otherwise impossible.

Commercial wheelchairs are expensive (around $25,000), heavy, and generally reserved for children over the age of five. Knowledgeable volunteers working with families to develop solutions tailored to the needs of each child can turn a normal toy car into a motorized adventure, and possibly even help meet the child’s physical therapy goals, for a fraction of the cost (typically between $300 and $700 per car). Plus, they’re loads of fun to drive!

Let's get moving!

The project begins with a pre-build prep day next Saturday, April 14th. The build day will take place May 5–6, culminating with the presentation of the cars to the children. The Chargers and Techie Peppers are hoping to provide as many as twenty adapted cars to worthy children. “We just want to get as many cars as we can to these children,” says Voss. They are currently short of their goal. However, with your support their goal to fulfill the dreams of twenty children can become a reality.

YOU can help POWER this project and make a difference!

Wondering how you can help? First, please consider a monetary donation to support this effort. Second, you could form a team of parents, coworkers or church members to participate in the pre-build day (April 14) and/or the build weekend (May 5–6). If you are a part of an engineering or construction firm, this would be a great community service project for a group from your company.

Learn more:

Thanks for your interest and involvement in this innovative service opportunity. “It’s a great opportunity for our school,” says Voss. “Anything we can do to give back to our community.”

Go Chargers—and go, baby, go!

Photograph used with permission.

Charger Robotics Team Advances to State Championship Tournament

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
“Team Chargers” (FTC Robotics team #9808) joined 22 other teams at the Missouri FTC Western Conference Qualifier at Harrisonville High School on Saturday, February 18th, six of whom would advance to the Missouri State Championship. Team Chargers earned a spot in this Conference Qualifier by finishing second overall in the NW Conference, winning 8 of 10 matches during the conference season.

Team Chargers swept through the preliminary matches of this Conference Qualifier Tournament undefeated with a 4-0-1 record, finishing with a 3rd place ranking and earning a position as an alliance captain for the elimination round.  During alliance selection, Team Chargers accepted an invitation to join the top ranked Red Hot Techie Peppers - team #4587 and Ravonics Spitzer - team #9801(from Olathe NW HS) for the elimination matches.    Our alliance won the semifinals round, 2 matches to 1, with Team Chargers strongly contributing to both winning matches.  Team Chargers then capped the day with a win in the finals to be crowned tournament champions

In addition to being a part of the winning alliance, Team Chargers were recognized by the judges for the following awards:

Inspire Award (1st Place) - The description of this award reads: This judged award is given to the team that truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program. The team that receives this award is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and a role model FTC team. This team is a top contender for many other judged awards and is a gracious competitor. The Inspire Award Winner is an inspiration to other teams, acting with Gracious ProfessionalismTM both on and off the playing field. This team is able to communicate their experiences, enthusiasm and knowledge to other teams, sponsors, their community, and the Judges. Working as a unit, this team will have demonstrated success in accomplishing the task of designing and building a robot.  The judges remarks about Team Chargers: “This team’s first year did not go as planned, and they realized dealing with stress is part of moving forward.  Following a mentor presentation on getting organized, they were really charged up.  After only two seasons, they are building a heritage.”

Contact Award (1st Place)
- The description of this award reads:  Mastering robot intelligence. The Control Award celebrates a team that uses sensors and software to enhance the robot’s functionality on the field. This award is given to the team that demonstrates innovative thinking in the control system to solve game challenges such as autonomous operation, enhancing mechanical systems with intelligent control, or using sensors to achieve better results on the field. The control component should work consistently on the field. The team’s Engineering Notebook must contain details about the implementation of the software, sensors, and mechanical control. In presenting this award, the judges commented: “This team in black took control with a strong autonomous performance.  Their use of sensors was impressive.  Their planning served as a catalyst for an organized strategy consistent with the team’s heritage of taking charge.”

Motivate Award (2nd Place) - The description of this award reads: This judged award celebrates the team that exemplifies the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition through team building, team spirit and exhibited enthusiasm. This team embraces the culture of FIRST and clearly demonstrates what it means to be a team. This is a team who makes a collective effort to make FIRST known throughout their school and community, and sparks others to embrace the culture of FIRST.

Prior to advancing to the West Missouri Conference Qualifier, Team Chargers competed in two “NW Missouri conference” tournaments and one “FTC qualifying” tournament, held at Blue Valley CAPS.    Among their accomplishments along the way:
  • Team Chargers finished second among all teams competing in the 8 NW Missouri conference tournaments, winning 16 out of a possible 20 points in the two meets HCA played in.  (8 out of 10 matches played)
  • The Chargers were awarded 3rd Place for the PTC “Design Award” at the Blue Valley CAPS qualifier tournament.
  • Team Chargers was chosen to be in one of four alliances for the elimination round semifinals at the Blue Valley CAPS qualifier.
  • In all of the 702 total matches played in Missouri FTC this season, Team Chargers competed in matches recording the highest scoring match score (335) and also the 5th highest match score for the entire season.
  • Team Chargers with our alliance partners had the 6th highest (205) and 8th highest (200) alliance scores for the entire Missouri FTC season.
Team Chargers (FTC team #9808) will join 47 other teams at the Missouri FTC State Championship at Missouri S&T in Rolla, Missouri on Saturday, March 4th with the opportunity to advance to the FTC SuperRegional in April.  This tournament will feature the “best of the best”, and Team Chargers will have to be at the top of its game to advance to the Super Regional multi-state tournament.  Winners from the Super Regional advance to the National Championship Tournament.



Saturday, October 29, 2016

HCA added another state championship when our Varsity Volleyball team won it's first title, sweeping to a KSHSAA 2A Championship with at stirring victory over defending champion Claflin-Central Plains.  HCA began the day by knocking off the #1 seed Flint Hills (25-20, 25-20) before dominating Central Plains in the final (25-12, 25-15), avenging a loss in the 2015 final.

Charger Nation congratulates coaches Tom Slaughter and Kelley Bugler and the entire HCA Varsity Volleyball Team.  You made us proud!!! Soli Deo Gloria!!

HCA Become First KC-Area Christian School to Offer PLTW

Tuesday, September 08, 2015
The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will grow 17 percent by 2018—nearly double the growth for non-STEM fields. By 2018, the U.S. will have more than 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs because there will not be enough qualified workers to fill them. STEM is where jobs are today and where the job growth will be in the future.

In the fall of 2014, HCA began the development of a new STEM diploma with a new elective course offering, Intro to STEM Topics.  In this course, students were introduced to 3D design through Autodesk Inventor, designing a variety of 3D objects including an F1 race car model.  Students then explored programming and robotics while designing and building robots to compete in a FTC style robotics challenge.  The course finished with an electronics module with students building a variety of electronics projects using the Raspberry Pi, a credit card sized Linux computer.  In the 2015 version of Intro to STEM Topics, students will print their race cars on our 3D printers and race them on our new 75', electronically-timed track.

This course was designed to introduce students to STEM topics in preparation for the introduction of the PLTW Engineering curriculum.  PLTW is the nation's largest provider of K-12 STEM solutions with over 8,000 schools in the US using their curriculum.  In August of 2015, when HCA began offering Introduction to Engineering Design, one of the foundational courses in the PLTW engineering track, it became the only parochial school in the Kansas City area offering the PLTW curriculum.  HCA plans to add an additional PLTW course each year, including Principles of Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering as well as a selection of Biomedical Science offerings.


HCA Cheerleaders Earn Rock Chalk Spirit Award

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
The last weekend in July the Heritage Christian Academy cheerleaders attended spirit camp at the University of Kansas. This 3-day overnight camp consisted of 13 hours a day of learning cheers and chants, dancing, stunting, and team-building exercises.

Our HCA cheerleadering squad not only performed a high scoring routine; they were also voted as the sole high school squad to win the "Rock Chalk Spirit Award". This award is given to the team that excelled, was supportive, was always listening to camp instruction and was positive to all campers and KU staff.  In addition, Senior Brookie Reymond was awarded the individual Rock Chalk Award for her leadership skills.

CONGRATULATIONS to this group of ladies!

HCA Well Represented at State

Monday, June 01, 2015
Heritage just completed a successfully spring athletics season, participating in KSHSAA state competition in three different sports.

GOLF - The boys' golf team qualified for state for the second straight year at regionals, finishing third in our region with both Parker Allen and Jonathan Edmondson medaling as one of the top 10 finishers.  The next week they ventured to the state competition in Emporia where Parker finished with a 3rd place medal after a tiebreaker for second shooting a 73 in soggy conditions.

BASEBALL - The baseball team qualified for state for the second time in the last three years,
defeating rival Maranatha in an exciting regional final.  The next week they traveled to Great Bend where they lost a tough 3-0 game to state runner-up Medicine Lodge.

TRACK & FIELD - Freshman Kate Allen was HCA's first ever representative at the KSHSAA state track meet.  Kate qualified by winning three events at regionals - long jump, triple jump, and 300M hurdles.  At the state meet in Wichita, Kate medaled in all three events, finishing 5th in the long jump and 6th in the other two events.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of these athletes!!  We are proud of the way you represented HCA at state.

National Honor Society Induction Ceremony for third HCA cohort group

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Heritage Christian Academy students Penny Miner, Hannah Casteel, Jonathan Edmonson, Joanna Finley, Nathan Kolb and Taylor Wright comprised the third HCA cohort of outstanding students to be inducted into the academy's National Honor Society Chapter.

The National Honor Society is the nations premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students who model excellence in scholarship, service, leadership and character.



HCA Robotics Teams Compete

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Four HCA Robotics teams went head-to-head in an all-out robot war at the West Campus for the dominating position of Robot Champion! There could only be one winner but all robots (and their teams) gave it their all!

Congratulations to Iron Hand for the win!




HCA Student, Alex Wendte, Receives K-State Scholarship

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

MANHATTAN - Alex Wendte, a senior at Heritage Christian Academy - Olathe, was awarded Kansas State University's Putnam Scholarship during ceremonies on February 27 at K-State. Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, presented the award.

During K-State's annual Scholarship Day, students and their parents were guests of the university at a banquet. Throughout the day, they attended meetings with academic deans and student life officials.

HCA Grandparents Day 2015

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Last Friday, February 27, the HCA West campus was privileged to host over 70 grandparents for our annual Grandparents' Day. These grandparents gave of their time to love on their grandchildren and to celebrate Christian education and the impact it is making on the lives of their loved ones. The energy and smiles each grandparent brought with them were an illustration of support for their grandchildren in word and in deed. HCA Is blessed to have mentors such as these praying for and encouraging our students.

The Grandparents Day program included an inspiring mini-concert from the Junior and Senior high choirs and a passionate greeting from the Chief Administrator Rick Lukianuk.  Mr. Lukianuk told of his heritage and the significance of the command in Deuteronomy 6, which encourages elders to pass down a love for the Lord to the next generation. Grandparents were also treated to a video highlighting their grandchildren and everyday student life at the HCA West Campus. The program culminated with an intergenerational chapel service and a visit to classrooms. Thank you so much to all of the grandparents who attended Grandparents' Day and to all who gave of their time to make this memorable day possible!