Colorado robotics community honors Kendrick Castillo

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On the stage at Cherry Hills Community Church, a robot stood in honor of Kendrick Castillo, who was killed in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting.

That robot was built by STEM Impulse — or team 4418 — a group of robotics enthusiasts that included Castillo.

“We want to have people remember Kendrick's love for robotics. He wanted to become an engineer,” said Miles Gregg, a 17-year-old from Highlands Ranch and a member of another local robotics team.

Those teams are part of FIRST — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — a not-for-profit engagement program for science, technology, engineering and math worldwide.

Robots by teams from around Colorado lined the walkway to the church at a May 15 memorial service in Highlands Ranch for Castillo.

“The teams, students, are here today,” said Tom Inkel, an official with FIRST, which is based in New Hampshire. “The community is really bonded.”

Two members on Gregg's team are STEM School students and also attended the service, Gregg said.

On May 9, two days after the shooting at STEM, a blog post on FIRST's website noted Castillo's death.

“I don't have the words for this blog,” the post by Frank Merrick read. “They are all too small to encompass how senseless this all is, our pain for Kendrick's family, team and community, and how much it hurts for us to lose a wonderful FIRST family member most of us didn't even know we had.”

Castillo rushed a shooter during the incident and possibly prevented other deaths, witnesses have said, as the post noted.

“He is being rightly hailed as a hero,” it said.

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