CONGRATULATIONS! Skunk Works Robotics 1983 wins big, including spot at world championships

(Photo courtesy FIRST Robotics)

A student robotics team with West Seattle members has just scored big in regional competition – here’s the report from a Skunk Works Robotics 1983 supporter:

The Skunk Works Robotics Team 1983 had an impressive showing at the Pacific Northwest FIRST Robotics District Championships in Cheney, WA last weekend and secured a spot to compete in the FIRST Championship world competition in Houston, Texas on April 19-22!

In 2022, the City of Houston hosted the largest FIRST Championship event to date, with 36,000 attendees from more than 50 countries, and they anticipate this year’s event to be even bigger. FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through inclusive, team-based robotics programs. Skunk Works Robotics Team 1983 is made up of 30 students, all of whom are in 8th to 10th grade and come from various areas of King County such as West Seattle, White Center, Burien, and more.

At the District Championship competition last weekend, Skunk Works Robotics was added as a 4th team to the #1 ranked alliance and ended the weekend with the following results:

– Secured Skunk Works Robotics Team 1983 position at the World Competition in Houston.
– Tied a world record score of 192 points in one match (193 is a perfect game).
– Received the coveted Excellence in Engineering Award.
– Won the District Championship (with our alliance teams – this is not a standalone win).
– Ranked 14th in the FIRST Pacific Northwest district (made up of Washington, Alaska and Oregon).

In addition, at the recent Sammamish district event Skunk Works 1983 received the Gracious Professionalism Award, a prestigious honor that recognizes teams that not only compete hard on the field but also help other teams and schools by sharing their knowledge and resources.

This is a remarkable accomplishment for the team this year because over 80% of the students are rookies. This team has been slowly rebuilding after the pandemic – and coverage from local media, such as West Seattle Blog, has helped tremendously with fundraising and to reach prospective new students and families.

The team meets in a location provided by the Highline School District and will hold an open house down the road, for families interested in learning more about opportunities for students in 9th – 11th grade to learn software programming, CAD design, marketing/business planning, building electronics, and part fabrication. Visit to learn more.

15 Replies to "CONGRATULATIONS! Skunk Works Robotics 1983 wins big, including spot at world championships"

  • Curious George April 12, 2023 (7:47 am)

    Since Lockheed Martin is a sponsor I presume they can legally use the name “The Skunk Works”?

    • Kitcat April 12, 2023 (11:50 am)

      Yes, that issue was dealt with years ago. 

    • SW Fan April 12, 2023 (1:58 pm)

      @Curious George – Echoing KitCat, the team does have the legal right to use the name with some stipulations. The full official team name is: Skunk Works Robotics Team
      If you’d like to read more about the inspiration behind the name, you’ll find details here: 

    • SW Fan April 12, 2023 (8:11 pm)

      Oops – that link above didn’t work, let me try this again –

      Hope this one comes up ok – if not, it’s on the website under ‘Team’ and then ‘Our Inspiration.’

  • Batty April 12, 2023 (8:13 am)

    Thanks for covering WSB! The Skunk Works students/coaches/mentors/parents have been working hard, fun to see this amazing accomplishment show up in our local news. 

  • Patrick April 12, 2023 (8:31 am)

    This is great! Congratulations to the team. I’ll be at the FIRST Championships for work, it is my second time going. You all will have a blast! 

  • sam-c April 12, 2023 (9:09 am)

    Thanks awesome! Congrats to the team, coaches, and families- lots of hard work and dedication.

    • sam-c April 12, 2023 (9:33 am)

      THAT’S awesome (oops)

  • Hillary April 12, 2023 (10:17 am)

    Hard to put into words how great this organization is for kids. Highly recommend looking into a First robotics team if your kid is looking for something that is a team community. It is quite a commitment for all involved but I’m already looking forward to next year!

  • Spencer April 12, 2023 (11:15 am)

    Woo hoo! Go Skunk Works and good luck at nationals! :D

  • cjboffoli April 12, 2023 (11:35 am)

    Fun fact: FIRST was founded by engineer Dean Kamen (who invented the Segway, as well as a wheelchair that climbs stairs, not to mention a slew of medical devices that have improved the quality of life for a lot of people. He also holds more than 1,000 patents).  It is great to see this program (begun in 1989) continue to pay dividends in the form of bright young minds being inspired by engineering challenges. Exciting stuff!

  • Skunk Mentor April 12, 2023 (2:46 pm)

    Thank you WSB for sharing the news of the team’s incredible year. I have the honor of serving as one of this year’s 10 mentors and I will attest to all folks are saying about the skill building, growth, personal challenge, hard work, and long hours the team puts in. As a community team, each year we re-learn how to work together as we gain new members, so in addition to hard skills we also work on soft skills that can often get overlooked. It’s been phenomenal to see the kids rise to the challenges and expectations, and exceed their own hopes and dreams. What a wild, gratifying ride it’s been. And we still have Houston ahead of us! 

  • Favell April 13, 2023 (12:24 am)

    Many congratulations! Wishing you all the very best of luck in Houston.Two very proud grandparents in Suffolk, England.

  • Brogan from Seattle Thomsen April 13, 2023 (12:25 am)

    Always the Best. Team, mentors, robots, GP! Go Go Worlds. Whoo Hoo! Brogan

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