The Team

Saaim Khan

I am currently a sophomore at Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School. This is my third year of VEX and my 7th year of robotics as a whole. I am the captain and main CAD designer for this team. Robotics piqued my interest from a young age for one major reason; it allowed me to practice practical problem-solving in a structured environment. Aside from robotics, I am deeply passionate about genetic research, golf, Model UN and mentoring younger roboticists. Cranbrook’s robotics program is wonderful and it is truly an honor to be able compete as a part of this distinguished organization.

Ryan Blum

I am fourteen and going into my freshman year of high school at Cranbrook. This will be my 5th year doing vex iq/vex robotics (4th year competing), and I have been to the world championship all three years of middle school. I am the chief mechanic of this team. Besides my love of robotics I also enjoy history, playing strategic board games, and building model vehicles. I’m very interested in robotics because I enjoy learning about the mechanics behind how robots are made and what ways robots can shape the ways of the future. I’m excited and proud to be able to participate in such an amazing robotics program.

Paul Yang

I am 14 years old and am a sophomore at Cranbrook Kingswood. In my free time, I like making small Java projects and playing guitar. Robotics is important to be because it allows me to exercise my programming knowledge. I am the Chief Programmer of this team. Programming captivates my interest because it allows me to remotely control robots in a fashion that I have never been able to before. I look forward to a great year!

Avaneesh Prasad

I am 13 years old, and am a freshman at Cranbrook Kingswood. This is my 4th year in Cranbrook’s robotics. I am the chief strategist and assistant programmer for this team. I’ve always been interested in robotics because of its competitive nature. Apart from robotics, I enjoy playing the Bassoon, Piano, Alto Saxophone, Baseball, and Basketball. I’m proud to be on Team 39X and I look forward to a great year!

Nishant Shishu

I am 13 years old. I am a freshman at Cranbrook Kingswood and have been going here since 6th grade. This is my fourth year participating in vex/ vex iq. I have been to worlds three times. I am the Team Manager and Coach to this team. Besides robotics, I like to read, play the piano, and play video games. I decided to participate in robotics because I like to build things. I am excited to be on 39X and hope we do well.


Team 39X is committed to mentoring aspiring engineers and young roboticists. We are very active in our community and by helping younger kids, we feel that we can help to spread to STEM to a greater audience. Our current outreach activities are detailed below.

Elementary and Middle School VEX IQ Mentoring

Every Tuesday during the school year, we head over to Cranbrook’s VEX IQ Lab where we mentor middle school and elementary school VEX IQ teams. Because the majority of our team members were avid participants in VEX IQ a few years ago, we have lots insight and ideas that we share with the IQ teams. In addition to helping with build and brainstorm sessions, Saaim, Paul and Avaneesh help to run CAD and Coding Sessions. These sessions aim to introduce the wonderful world of CAD and programming in a way that elementary and middle schoolers will understand.


robots@thelibrary is an initiative that was started by FRC Team 3617: Cold Logic from Marquette, MI. robots@thelibrary hopes to initiate a long-lasting relationship between a robotics team and their local library. In our case, we plan on hosting an event on October 28th at the Rochester Hills Public Library from 3:30-4:30 p.m. robotics@thelibrary is the perfect opportunity for us to expose people of all ages to VEX robotics, its mission and our robotics team as a whole. We are truly honored to participate in this initiative and we can’t wait to see the results that it will bring!

Open House Demonstrations

In the past, we have demonstrated our robots (notably Valkyrie II and Vector III) at Cranbrook’s Open Houses. These demo sessions are a great way for us to show off our robots and explain some basic engineering concepts to prospective students. The majority of our club participates in these events, which not only draws more people to the Cranbrook Robotics Program but also it piques the interest of people who may have never thought that robotics was interesting. We plan on demonstrating Viper II at the October 2018 Cranbrook Schools Open House, an event that we are quite looking forward to!