Team 696 | Mentors


David Black

Lead Mentor Since 2012

David Black has been leading Team 696 to new heights since 2011. As a Team 696 alumnus, Mr. Black pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. While doing so, he mentored West Covina High's Team 968, along with Team 696. With over fourteen years of experience in FIRST, David Black is able to teach students principles of Mechanical Design, CAD, and Computer Aided Manufacturing.

Roger Widholm

Manufacturing Team Mentor

Roger Widholm has been mentoring students in Computer Aided Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering. He manages part manufacturing and mechanical subsystems at his family's machine shop, Tru-Cut. As a parent of three former Team 696 students, Mr. Widholm has been mentoring Team 696 since 2004.

Carlos Gross Jones

Prototyping Mentor

Mr. Gross-Jones joined our team in the Fall of 2016, and has brought his knowledge and enthusiasm for engineering, electronics, and neat projects to share with our students. Mr. Gross-Jones has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Florida Institute of technology and years of FIRST Robotics experience from his participation on Team 418 LASA Robotics when he was in high school. He currently works as a Systems Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Dr. Daniel Clouse

Programming Team Mentor

Daniel Clouse finished his PhD in Cognitive Science and Computer Science from UC San Diego in 1998. Since 1999, he has worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on various robotics projects, including MER and MSL Mars rovers. He is currently working in the Maritime and Aerial Perceptions Systems section of JPL. Dr. Clouse mentors the Programming team and has been an invaluable contributor to our team’s success.

Dr. James Stone

Simulation and Analysis Team Mentor

James Stone plays a key role in the physical analysis of Team 696’s Robots through use of Matlab. After acquiring a PhD in Chemistry, Dr. Stone worked in the field of laser-induced chemistry, and then migrated towards theoretical modeling at Boeing. Since 2013, Dr. James Stone has been mentoring students in Team 696’s Simulation and Analysis team.

Mr. Rick Larson

Prototyping Team Mentor

Mr. Larson joined our team in the Fall of 2015, and has been a valued and trusted mentor through the 2016 and 2017 seasons, assisting students with power tools, the workshop, and driving equipment and students to events such as the 2017 Houston Championship and 2017 Chezy Champs tournament. Mr. Larson is a retired firefighter- paramedic who brings a wealth of knowledge in emergency response from his many years spent serving the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

David Black

Lead Mentor Since 2012

David Black has been leading Team 696 to new heights since 2011. As a Team 696 alumnus, Mr. Black pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. While doing so, he mentored West Covina High's Team 968, along with Team 696. With over fourteen years of experience in FIRST, David Black is able to teach students principles of Mechanical Design, CAD, and Computer Aided Manufacturing.

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Roger Widholm

Manufacturing Team Mentor

Roger Widholm has been mentoring students in Computer Aided Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering. He manages part manufacturing and mechanical subsystems at his family's machine shop, Tru-Cut. As a parent of three former Team 696 students, Mr. Widholm has been mentoring Team 696 since 2004.

Carlos Gross Jones

Prototyping Mentor

Mr. Gross-Jones joined our team in the Fall of 2016, and has brought his knowledge and enthusiasm for engineering, electronics, and neat projects to share with our students. Mr. Gross-Jones has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Florida Institute of technology and years of FIRST Robotics experience from his participation on Team 418 LASA Robotics when he was in high school. He currently works as a Systems Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Dr. Daniel Clouse

Programming Team Mentor

Daniel Clouse finished his PhD in Cognitive Science and Computer Science from UC San Diego in 1998. Since 1999, he has worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on various robotics projects, including MER and MSL Mars rovers. He is currently working in the Maritime and Aerial Perceptions Systems section of JPL. Dr. Clouse mentors the Programming team and has been an invaluable contributor to our team’s success.

Dr. James Stone

Simulation and Analysis Team Mentor

James Stone plays a key role in the physical analysis of Team 696’s Robots through use of Matlab. After acquiring a PhD in Chemistry, Dr. Stone worked in the field of laser-induced chemistry, and then migrated towards theoretical modeling at Boeing. Since 2013, Dr. James Stone has been mentoring students in Team 696’s Simulation and Analysis team.

Mr. Rick Larson

Prototyping Team Mentor

Mr. Larson joined our team in the Fall of 2015, and has been a valued and trusted mentor through the 2016 and 2017 seasons, assisting students with power tools, the workshop, and driving equipment and students to events such as the 2017 Houston Championship and 2017 Chezy Champs tournament. Mr. Larson is a retired firefighter- paramedic who brings a wealth of knowledge in emergency response from his many years spent serving the Los Angeles City Fire Department.