West Seattle students’ success at FIRST Robotics

On this second day of spring break (for most), hundreds of students are no doubt still buzzing about last weekend’s FIRST Robotics regional competition at KeyArena. West Seattleite Jim Edwards was there both days, Friday and Saturday, and provided these photos and info; he was there as proud dad to Kyle Edwards, an Aviation High School student who led the systems-integration team for Skunkworks, which competed:

Jim says Kyle “designed the scouting system for this year’s game.” The game, he explained, is not disclosed by FIRST until six weeks before the competition – that’s how long teams have to design and build their robot: “Once built, the robot is crated up and travels to events the team specifies. Other than limited pit times at regional events, no further work can be done on the robots.” This is animation of the game they had to play this year:

The competition’s workings are pretty complicated, but it all started with 66 teams playing 96 qualification matches all day Friday and early Saturday, Jim says; then Aviation was chosen to be part of the finals – as was the one West Seattle-based team that was there, Seattle Lutheran High School:

The Saints had a great run, making it to the semifinals, Jim reports; Aviation, meantime, got the prestigious Regional Chairman’s Award:

AHS also is going to the finals in Atlanta next month and was featured in this article from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times. And watch closely for an orange-shirted Seattle Lutheran team member’s soundbite in this KING5 story:

FIRST’s Washington chapter has a website too – see it here.

3 Replies to "West Seattle students' success at FIRST Robotics"

  • Mike York March 30, 2010 (5:57 am)

    I was referee at the FIRST competition and have served as a judge in the past. I was also co-mentor for the Chief Sealth High School Ironhawks (team 1039) for 3 years. FIRST is an incredible organization that is making a difference.

    There were many impressive robots at this year’s competition. Skunkworks deservedly won the Chairman’s award. Seattle Lutheran had a very nicely designed and well built ‘bot. They’ve come a long way since their first robot.

    West Seattle has had other FIRST teams that have unfortunately withered on the vine: the previously mentioned Sealth team, and West Seattle High School had a team for one year. There is talk of increased growth in Washington with an expectation for *two* Seattle regionals next year. FIRST is always looking for volunteers, see http://www.usfirst.org

  • cjboffoli March 30, 2010 (9:09 am)

    These FIRST events can be great fun to watch. This competition was the idea of Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway (among other things), who was frustrated that most kids had an encyclopedic knowledge of their favorite sports heroes but had trouble naming even just one famous scientist. He designed this competition as a way to get young people interested in science and engineering to respond to the fact that a very low percentage of graduating high school seniors express interest in pursuing engineering degrees (while India and China churn out impressive amounts of very qualified engineers from their universities). I’m so glad this FIRST program seems to be thriving.

  • Eilene Hutchinson March 30, 2010 (9:40 pm)

    What a fun and challenging learning experience! Good to see youth competing in this type of activity.

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