April 24-27 - St. Louis World Championships
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - Another successful end to another INSANE year. After qualifying four times over in our three regional competitions, we headed off to St. Louis for the World Championships. We were placed in the Curie division with some of the most impressive teams in FIRST. However, we held a pretty amazing record ourselves. We won 10 of our 12 matches, finishing second at the end of qualifications. We picked our alliance of 3539, Byting Bulldogs, and 2996, Cougars Gone Wired. We would really like to acknowledge team 1678, Citrus Circuits, the number one seed and division champions, for their great alliance selection strategy. We played into the semi-finals after technical difficulties finally took us out of the running. We would like to make a special shout-out to team 4125, Confidential, our third alliance partner from Spokane, for providing such fabulous supplemental scouts! We would not have been able to scout all those teams without you guys! We cannot wait to see what next year brings!
April 4-6 - Spokane Regional
CHENEY, WASHINGTON - The Skunks were confident going into our third and final regional of the season, but despite this confidence, this regional was tough. We played with and against many strong teams in Spokane. For the first time this season, we were picking our own alliance. We played with team 2471, Mean Machine, and 4125, Confidential. The eliminations rounds of this competition were some of the most intense we have ever seen. Each and every win by any team was hard fought. We made it to the finals where we faced off against teams 2733, 1899, and 3145. Every team was fighting tooth and claw, making for very tense and exciting matches. Eventually, we came through with another win. This was a very exciting close to the competition season, and now, on to the Championship in St. Louis!
March 28-30 - Seattle Regional
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - With a bot in the bag and safety glasses in hand, the Skunks marched off to the Seattle Regional where fun was had by all. After a couple practice matches on Thursday the team was ready to get started on qualification matches. Come Friday, the everyone was jumping up and down with excitement. We climbed our way to the top in the rankings while the Chairman’s presentation team was nervously awaiting their turn to present to the judges. The dedicated scouting team studied each robot and started posting charts of data around the venue which soon drew crowds. Come Saturday, our robot was seeded third overall, and we were picked by team 948, NRG. With a second pick of team 492, our alliance was complete. After some intense final rounds, we came out as a Regional winner once again. To top it off we were awarded the Regional Chairman’s Award, one of the highest honors in the FIRST Robotics Competition.
March 21-23 - Central Washington Regional
ELLENSBURG, WASHINGTON - After a long and tough build season we finally went to our first event, the Central Washington Regional in Ellensburg, WA. The regional started off rough as we worked out the kinks in our competition robot and applied the changes we developed on our practice robot. As the pit crew busily worked on the robot, other members of our team hosted a Sustainability Workshop. Several teams attended this event, even staying past the scheduled end of the meeting asking questions of our students and mentors on how to best run their teams so they could last many years. By the time Saturday rolled around, our robot was finally beginning to see its true potential and the Skunks were picked by the number four seeded team, 1425 and were joined by their second pick, 753. We played into the finals rounds, continuously improving. We faced off against teams 360, 2557, and 3789 in the finals. We came out with a narrow win, and became regional champions. We want to thank 1425, 753, 360, 2557, and 3789 for a memorable series of finals matches!
February 18 and 19 - Ice Cream Social and Bag Day
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Build Season ended with a great celebration. The Skunks invited out all our supporters and family members to Aviation High School for the unveiling of our new robot The Ultimate Scent. The robot was able to shoot, score and climb successfully much to the joy of our supporters and Skunks.
January 19 - Skunkworks at Let’s Play
TACOMA, WASHINGTON - Our Skunks brought in Skunkquille O’Neal (our 2012 robot) to the Let’s Play event at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday January 19. Let’s Play brings together over 30 different sports and fitness clubs for people to experience. The Skunks had a wonderful time sharing our excitement of FIRST with the community and with the FTC and FLL teams that were there. We had a great time sharing our robot with the many families that attend the event.
January 5 - FIRST Robotics Competition Kick-Off, Introducing Ultimate Ascent
AUBURN, WASHINGTON - Saturday, January 5, was the long-awaited Kick-Off event. The Skunks, once again, traveled to Auburn High School in Auburn, WA to watch the Kick-Off video with many other teams. We learned that the game this year is Ultimate Ascent. This game requires robots to score points with Frisbees and can climb a pyramid at the end of the game for bonus points. For more information visit our FRC Game Page the FIRST Ultimate Ascent page.
November 17 - Boy Scout Robotics Merit Badge
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Boy Scouts from around the Seattle area came to earn their Robotics Merit Badge. The scouts learned everything from the basics of robotics to learning how to build their own LEGO robots. They held competitions in which they were assigned to build a robot that would drive in a square and knock down dominoes. They were treated to a series of presentations by Skunkworks mentors and students where they learned general knowledge of robotics plus the careers and industries that robots are found. Over thirty people volunteered to help these ninety-nine Boy Scouts earn their merit badges. Special thanks goes to our very patient Merit Badge Counselors: Mr. Steele, Mr. Billand, Mr. Mealy, Mr. Campisteguy, and Mrs. Moss.
November 10 - Science and Robotics Day
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - The Skunks hosted yet another workshop at Aviation High School, this one to introduce middle school aged children to robotics and science. Forty-eight students from thirteen school attended. Attendees started the day by building and programming LEGO Mindstorms Robots to complete two challenges, travelling along a platform without falling off and getting out of a box. After a competition between these robots, the attendees built towers out of spaghetti and gumdrops to hold up a composition book, and built rockets out of soda bottles and launched them off in the school's field. The attendees were also treated to examples of the science related work that we do at Aviation High School as well as a Science "Magic" Show hosted by one of our team's mentors. It was a blast for everyone!
November 5 - Skunkworks Yard Clean Up, at a Pony Farm!
FALL CITY, WASHINGTON - Our brave Skunks ventured out into the chilly November to participate in our first yard clean up of the year. The clean up was in Fall City, WA on a pony farm. Students had the opportunity to muck pastures and make the farm beautiful. A special thanks goes out to the outstanding "Poop Team Six" for their honorable work on "poop patrol" in the pastures. The Skunks had tons of fun and are looking forward to more opportunities like this.
November 4 - AHS PTSA The Sky is Not the Limit Auction
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - The Aviation High School PTSA once again held its annual school-wide auction to raise money for the school as well as the many extra curricular groups at AHS. As always the auction was held at the Museum of Flight among the airplanes of the Great Gallery. Several of our Skunks attended and showed off our 2012 robot, Skunkquille O'Neal, and spoke to the guests about our team and FIRST.
October 27 - Robotics Rookie Workshop
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Once again the Skunks hosted a Rookie Workshop to teach new teams and members of FIRST about what it means to be on a FIRST robotics team and to compete in FRC competitions. We teamed up with students from teams 2910, Jack in the Bot, and 2046, Bear Metal, to give presentations and advice to these fledgling teams so that they could be as successful as possible in the coming season. Good luck Rookies!
October 19 - Spaghetti DInner and Dessert Auction
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - We held our annual Spaghetti Dinner and Dessert Auction this weekend. This is one of the team's biggest fundraisers for the year and it was a big hit! We maxed out our ticket sales and we had many generous dessert donations that provided for a very heated and exciting live dessert auction. A special thanks to our auctioneer Troy Hoehne and a congratulations to the team for all of its hard work at the event!
July 4 - Burien Fourth of July Parade
BURIEN, WASHINGTON - Once again the Skunks returned to the Burien Fourth of July Parade, an annual tradition that the Skunks love to participate in. Newton got to meet with his young fans and our robot Skunkquille O'Neal got to meet the people on a beautiful summer afternoon. The onlookers loved seeing our team and seeing the great things we have managed to do with our robot.
May 17 - Visit from Google Representative
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - The Skunks received a visit from Tess Milligan, a marketing representative from Google. She made a presentation to the team about how we can use Google+ to help market our team and make the team run better. She demonstrated Google Hangouts, a video chat system from Google. Through this Hangout the team was able to contact an FTC team in Iowa! Many members and mentors from our team were intrigued by Google+ and are looking forward to finding ways to use it to help the team. After the presentation, some Skunks took Tess to meet our robots.
May 5 - Skunkworks Rummage Sale and Car Wash
NORMANDY PARK, WASHINGTON - The Skunks held their annual Rummage Sale and Car Wash, one of our largest fundrasing events of the year. Team members brought in "rummage" by the truck load. Many browsers and shoppers stopped by to help support the team and get their cars washed by our ever enthusiastic Skunks. This year was another huge success!
April 24-27 - St. Louis World Championships
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - The culmination of the 2012 season was one of the best the Skunks have ever experienced. We arrived Wednesday and were able to make a visit to the Gateway Arch. On Thursday competition started. We had a great showing the first day of practice and during qualification matches. The next day we had some tough matches, but we were able to come back for our last match. We were picked by team 1519, Mechanical Mayhem, and were joined by team 181, Birds of Prey, in the elimination rounds. We went farther than we ever have at the World Championship, semifinals in our division. We saw eight of the 16 Washington teams make it into the elimination rounds. We watched the events on Einstein with great enthusiasm, and had a great time at the Finale Party. The Skunks look forward to going to St. Louis again next year.
April 5-7 - Spokane Regional
SPOKANE, WASHINGTON - In our last regional event of the 2012 season, we finally achieved what we set out to do. We were picked by the first seeded team 2122 - Team Tators, and were joined by team 4082 - Bulldogs. We fought through some tough elimination matches to come out on top and win the regional. We weren't done yet, however. We also took home the Regional Chairman's Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a team at a regional. We also received the Best Website Award and our very own Sydney Miller was chosen as one of the regional's Dean's List Award FInalists. We look forward to continuing our season in St. Louis for the World Championships!
March 22-24 - Seattle Olympic Regional
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - The Skunks come home to Seattle with an amazing performance on the field. We enjoyed visits by both Dean Kamen and our state's Governor. We seeded first after qualifiers and played through to the final rounds with our alliance members: 488 - Team X-Bot, and 4030 - NullPointerException. We ended the regional with the closest score all day, however we lost to an amazing alliance comprised of 2928 - Viking Robotics, 2557 - SOTABot, and 1425 - Error Code Xero. We also came away with the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors and Best Website Award. This was an amazing regional and we had our best performance ever.
March 8-10 - Autodesk Oregon Regional
PORTLAND, OREGON - This was the Skunk's first regional event of the year and it was a blast! We competed admirably on the field and made it into the final rounds with our alliance of Team 2046 - Bear Metal, and 2443 - Blue Thunder. We fought hard for the title against Team 360 - the Revolution, 3711 - the Iron Mustangs, and 956 - Eagle Cybertechnology, however we did not win. The final rounds were intense and passionate and we had a lot of fun playing with these great teams. We also took home the Website and Motorola Quality Awards. We had a great time and we are looking forward to competing again in Seattle in a few weeks.
March 5 - King 5 News Visits the Skunks
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - The Skunks got up bright and early to welcome King 5 News reporter Christie Johnson to our school. The team was featured on the morning news to promote FIRST and the upcoming Seattle Regionals. Our practice robot and last year's Skunk.i.am robot were able to show off their skills as we talked about all of the amazing benefits of the FIRST Robotics program. This was a great opportunity to promote the team and FIRST Robotics in our community. Check out the coverage of our team at King 5 News.
February 21 - Bag and Tag Day
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - The build season is finally over and the robot has been "bagged." Instead of shipping the robot, it has been placed in a bag. From now until competition the robot can not be worked on. Fortunately for the team, we have a second practice robot that the programmers and drive team will be able to work on to make sure that we can play as well as we can at competition.
February 20 - Robot Unveiling and Ice Cream Social
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - The six week build season culminated with our Unveiling Ceremony at Aviation High School, where the new robot was revealed to fans and supporters. This was the first time many of the team supporters had seen the robot in action. Team members got to mix and mingle with the parents and other honored guests after the unveiling. There was also an ice cream social held to celebrate all the students' hard work over the build season.
February 18-20 - Skunkworks Open Field
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - For the past few weeks, students and mentors have been working hard building a practice field for our Open Field Weekend. On the last weekend of build season, we invited teams in our area to come and practice with their robots on our field. Several local teams took up the offer, including some rookie teams. It was great seeing old friends and new practicing with their robots. We are looking forward to playing with these great teams at competition.
January 7 - 2012 Rebound Rumble Game Announced
AUBURN, WASHINGTON - The six-week build season started with the announcement of the 2012 FRC game, Rebound Rumble. The game is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the 2-minute and 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score Alliances more points. Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match. In matches where opponent Alliances work together to balance on the white bridge, all participating teams earn additional valuable seeding points.
December 10 - 2011 Engineering Challenge
MAPLE VALLEY, WASHINGTON - The inaugural FirstWA Engineering Challenge occured between October 19, 2011 and December 10, 2011. Teams were challenged with the seemingly straightforward task of designing a system that could lift a 5 kg mass 2 meters with a motor running at peak power. This ubiqutous problem of designing a drive system required students to understand the physics involved and explain in detail the issues with which they must contend. Skunkworks submitted a detailed and informative 56 page document and made a 10 minute presentation to a panel of five judges. This was an extremely difficult challenge that only five teams could complete. Skunkworks rose to the challenge and was declared 2011 FEC Champions. View Engineering Notebook here.
December 3 - Des Moines FLL Regional
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - For the fourth year in a row, the Skunks hosted the Des Moines FLL Regional at our home, Aviation High School. The Skunks ran teams to judges in the morning, to the field in the afternoon, ran the scoreboard for the matches, and reset the field after each match. Many of our mentors and alum were also judges at the competition. Our team members look forward to hosting this event every year. Newton the Skunk made an appearance, much to the excitement of the young FLL students. Many of our team members who helped mentor local FLL teams got to see their students achieve many great things with their robots on and off the field. Everyone had a great time at this event.
October 29 - Boy Scout Merit Badge Clinic
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Close to 100 Boy Scouts showed up at AHS for the first Robotics Merit Badge Clinic at our school. Curtis Campisteguy, a senior on our team, coordinated the event for his senior project which spanned over three months. The objective was to get all the Boy Scouts signed off for their Robotics Merit Badge and come away with a new understanding of the robotics field. There were five stations set up in the morning to teach the Boy Scouts about the robotics industry. After lunch, they went through a programming presentation and then got started on building their Lego robots (Mindstorm kits). We had the robot during lunch on display for some of the Boy Scouts to examine and play with. Many team members and mentors were on hand to help. This was a very unique and well-received scouting event. Everything went quite well with only a few hitches. We hope to make this a yearly event.
October 28 - Spaghetti Dinner and Dessert Auction Fundraiser
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - This event has been a Skunkworks tradition since 2007! Each year the members of the robotics team sell dinner tickets and we fill our cafeteria with supporters Our delicious spaghetti dinner was prepared by our team of volunteer chefs. The silent auction gave bidders a great deal of suspense and excitement, and the money raised continues to grow each year. Our dessert auction was just as fun, as bidders frantically outbid each other for scrumptious pies and cakes. There's nothing like a battle between two supporters for the sweets of their dreams! This event always makes a major contribution to funding the team. Where else can people spend their money on delectable desserts, purchase some great items, have a ton of fun and feel good about helping out a great robotics team?
October 22 - Rookie Workshop
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Rookie teams from around the area came to learn the basics of FRC. Teams Bear Metal 2046 and Jack-in-the-Bot 2910 came to help out as students and mentors learned about building, programming, build season, awards and pre-build season. Bear Metal had a station on their robot to show why they did what they did, and why it worked. Jack in the Bot gave an inspiring presentation on team spirit which included the whole team. Our coach, Mr. Steele talked about fundraising and build season and how to manage your time wisely. Mentors explained the importance of organization and fundraising. Overall, this was a productive workshop with effective networking between teams and offered a great start for the new teams in FIRST.
September 3 - Vintage Air Show at Paine Field
EVERETT, WASHINGTON - Our Skunks had a wonderful time at this air show. We set up shop in the main hanger to show everyone what FIRST is all about by demonstrating the robot. There were loads of kids here for the event too, and they made everyone's day. We were questioned often about what FIRST is, how much time we had to build the robot, etc., and we ended up piquing the interest of many a listener about the program. As an added bonus, we got a wonderful tour of the grounds and of all the different aircraft by a volunteer at the air show. We had a spectacular time, both exciting people about FIRST and exciting little kids with the marvel of modern robotics.
August 23 - Aviation High School Groundbreaking
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - This was a momentous occasion for Aviation High School, the Skunk's home school. Ground was finally broken at the location for the new school building, and the Skunks were there to see it happen. This event has been over ten years in the making. The Skunks used the modified competition robot to hand the first shovel to Principal and CEO of AHS, Reba Gilman, officially breaking ground for the school.
April 27-30 - Championships in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - This was an exciting year for the Skunks at the World Championships. Not only did the skunks participate, they seeded high enough to be able to pick an alliance after the preliminary rounds. This was a position that the team has never reached before. On top of that, the team won its first Championship Award, the Creativity Award, for the design of the unique tube acquisition mechanism that was used on the robot. This was one of only five awards handed out for robots off of the field.
March 21-24 - Autodesk Oregon Regional
PORTLAND, OREGON - The skunks boarded a train and made their way down to another successful regional in Portland. Not only did the robot perform admirably on the field, but the team took home several awards, including the Best Website Award and the Engineering Excellence Award.
March 17-19 - Seattle Cascade Regional
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - Almost 100 FRC teams met at Qwest Field Event Center to compete in the game called Logo Motion on two separate fields. This was the largest regional in the nation. Skunkworks Robotics had a strong showing winning several awards and making it to the semi-finals. Lydia Johnston, Skunk team member, was honored as a Dean's List finalist and our coach, Robert Steele, received the Woody Flowers Award. Both Skunks will compete again at the Championships next month in St. Louis. Congratulations to Team 360 who won the Cascade Regional Chairman's Award and Team 1899 for their win at the Olympic Regional.
February 22 - FRC Robot Ship Day
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - All FRC teams around the world put their tools down, and bagged up their robots to end the 2011 build season. Skunk.I.Am, our 2011 robot, will not be worked on or practiced with until March 17 at the Seattle Cascade Regional. In the mean time, our team can now concentrate on getting the Autodesk CAD Model Submission in!
February 17 - FRC Awards Deadline
Our team submitted the Chairman's, Website, and Woodie Flowers awards on time, and our Chairman's award was even submitted early! Submitting awards was both stressful and relieving! Read about the description and requirements for all the awards available at the FIRST Website.
January 16 - FTC State Championship @ Sammamish High School
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON - Our Skunkletts participated in their last FTC competition this Saturday when they competed in the FTC State Championship. There were a lot of amazing robots there that day and they definitely ensured we were watching the finals with baited breath. A shout-out to teams 417, Swerve Robotics, and 4590, Cyber Daze, for making it into the semifinals of eliminations with us!
January 8 - 2011 Kickoff: Logomotion!
AUBURN, WASHINGTON - Along with tens of thousands of other high school students around the world that day, the Skunks were up bright and early to watch the unveiling of this year's game: Logomotion! Everyone at the kickoff left amidst buzzing; the next day, Skunks invaded the school to discuss strategy and begin the rapid prototyping process. What a great start to the build season!
December 12 - FTC Qualifier @ Henry M. Jackson High School
MILL CREEK, WASHINGTON - At their second FTC Qualifier, our Skunkletts had the chance to put in more work on their robot and improve their game play for the State Championship. They made it into the semifinals of the eliminations, and then had a blast watching the rest of the finals! We're proud of their hard, enthusiastic work and can't wait to see the exciting matches that will be taking place at State.
December 5 - FTC Qualifier @ Tahoma High School
KENT, WASHINGTON - Our Skunkletts had their FIRST taste of competition this Saturday when they attended the first FTC Qualifier of the season. Leaving with the Think Award for their engineering notebook and a nomination for the Inspire Award (which allows them to attend the FTC State Championship!), they are now even more excited for the competitions ahead!
December 4 - FLL Des Moines Regional
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - In keeping with our annual tradition, the Skunks hosted the FLL Des Moines Regional at our school this weekend, getting another chance to see the smiling faces of children being touched by the FIRST spirit. Congratulations, FLLers! You all did great and we look forward to seeing what you come up with for your FRC robots someday.
November 13 - AHS PTSA Auction @ the Museum of Flight
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - The Skunks made up part of the AHS student volunteering crew this Saturday, helping to set up for the classy black-tie night, keeping the silent auction running smoothly, and even working as runners for the live auction. We wholeheartedly thank the PTSA for organizing this fabulous and successful event annually and for their continuous support of the Skunks.
October 29 - Spaghetti Dinner @ Aviation HS
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Warm thanks go out to our friends and families who showed their support by attending our annual Spaghetti Dinner and Dessert Auction. It was a wonderful evening filled with camaraderie, good food and bidding on the delectable desserts donated by our generous supporters and sponsors. We hope you won the silent auction items you were eyeing, and could have sworn we saw Chill Out (1778) take home some glass penguin figurines: CHILL. . .
October 23 - Robothon @ The Seattle Center
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - Congratulations to all who participated in this event, hosted by the Seattle Robotics Society. Admission was free to the public, who spectated everything from combat robots to the terrain-traversing robots in the Robo-Magellan competition, and who even had the chance to drive several FIRST robots, including our very own Pele le Pew. It certainly was a great day for robotics enthusiasts of all ages.
October 16 - Rookie Workshop @ Aviation HS
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Rookie FRC teams were given an introduction to the FIRST program this past weekend when they came from all around the state to the Rookie Workshop held at AHS. Various seminars were held by such esteemed presenters as Kevin Ross; representatives from Skunkworks (1983), Bear Metal (2046), and Jack in the Bot (2910); and more. Veteran teams helping rookies kick off before kickoff. . .now that's gracious professionalism!
October 8 & 9 - Pathfinder Gala @ The Museum of Flight
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - There was no school on Friday, but this did not stop Skunks (and fellow Science Olympians) from coming in to present to Pathfinder Gala sponsors and honorees, helping them to learn more about AHS and FIRST Robotics through an exciting display of learning. What an inspiring congregation of today's and tomorrow's aviation and aerospace leaders!
August 5-8 - Helping out at the Boeing Company's Seafair Booth
LAKE WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON - One of the most high-energy and successful community outreach events the team has ever done! The Skunks loaded in on Wednesday and set up an FLL field, an FTC field and a miniature FRC field. There were several FLL and FTC teams on hand to help, and two other FRC teams: NRG (948) and X-Bot (488)! In addition to maintaining the robot (which was sometimes driven for hours at a time), teams professionally and articulately explained FIRST to the crowds. The teams inspired many people ages 2 to 92 who were given the chance to drive the robots. It is calculated that between the three FRC robots, at least 1,000+ people drove FIRST robots that weekend!
July 9 - U.S. Secretary of Education Visits Aviation High School
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - School had already been out several weeks, but this did not stop AHS supporters from showing up bright and early Friday morning. The occasion? Hosting U.S. Secretary of Education, Mr. Arne Duncan and U.S. Senator Patty Murray. Eric Lui (former advisor to President Clinton) served as moderator for the great showcase of student learning. There was also a panel presentation which, in addition to including several leaders in the aerospace industry, consisted of a Skunk and Skunk alumnus. It was a fantastic day in support of AHS' success as a STEM model for the nation, as well what the FIRST organization does to inspire future engineers and scientists!
July 4 - Skunks March in the Burien Independence Day Parade
BURIEN, WASHINGTON - The Skunks celebrated with sparks and sprockets this summer by participating in the annual Burien 4th of July Parade, finding a way to have fun together and reach out to the community when not in school. Students and mentors marched through Burien while 2009's Lunacy robot, the Stench, swerved around the streets to the delight of the crowds. Afterwards, the Skunks enjoyed a potluck at a team member's house - a perfect way to end a perfect day.
June 23 - Presentation to the HR Director of the Boeing Company
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - On the last day of school, the Skunks welcomed Mr. Rick Stephens to AHS to demonstrate the party of learning that is the school and FIRST. Skunks were able to talk about what their FIRST experience has meant for them and their future aspirations in STEM. Mr. Stephens also had the chance to drive Pele le Pew. Everyone had a great time and time sure flew!
May 3 - Changing the World, According to a Boeing CEO
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - After coming back from Atlanta, students and Skunks alike had the pleasure of serving as ambassadors for FIRST as well as Aviation High School, spreading the message of the importance of STEM and sharing stories of the personal growth STEM has inspired within each to the eager ears of Jim Albaugh, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Mr. Jim Albaugh wrote of the experience, "It was a great day and very inspiring. I have no worries about this generation after my hour at the school. They will change the world."
April 8 - 2010 Autodesk Award for Excellence Finalists Announced
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Skunkworks Robotics' CAD team submitted their model, renders and documentation for the Autodesk 3D Design Competition back in February. Today our team was announced as one of the six finalists selected by professional judges. To view the finalists, see the Autodesk website.
March 28 - Aviation High's Robotics Team Wins Award at Robot Competition
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Waterland Blog article "Aviation High's Robotics Team Wins Award At Robot Competition" about Skunkworks at the 2010 Microsoft Seattle Regional.
March 25-27 - Microsoft Seattle Regional
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - Skunkworks Robotics had a tremendous showing with 63 other teams from around the country and beyond at Key Arena in Seattle. Coopertition(TM) is a term created by FIRST that means not only competing but assisting and enabling others when you can. For Team 1983 Skunkworks Robotics in Seattle, this meant competing hard with our robot on the field while at the same time helping other teams in the pits and the whole team assisting throughout the event itself.
AHS Skunkworks received the Chairman's Award at the 2010 Microsoft Seattle Regional, the highest award presented at a regional. On the field, their robot, Pele Le Pew, performed well. Team 3049, Team Knights, from Bremerton, Washington chose Team 1983, Skunkworks Robotics, and 2660, Pengbots, from Tulalip, Washington to be part of their championship alliance. After four matches, the alliance was eliminated in the quarter finals.
March 4-6 - Autodesk Oregon Regional
PORTLAND, OREGON - The Skunks competed against 60 other teams in Portland, Oregon at the FIRST Autodesk Oregon Regional. The Skunks ended up in the semi-finals because of their amazing alliance, team 8, The Vikings, and team 2046, Bear Metal. Skunkworks formed a new friendship quickly with team 8, and worked together with 2046 wonderfully. We were very proud of our alliance teams! Our Skunks performed well on and off the field!
The Skunks were awarded the Kleiner Perkins Coalfield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award, the Website Award, and the Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Safety Award! We look forward to our next regional, and congratulate the Oregon Regional winners, Team 997, The Spartans, Team 1515, MorTorq, and Team 2130, Alpha+!
February 27 - VEX State Competition
REDMOND, WASHINGTON - Our two VEX teams competed in Redmond, Washington for a title at the VEX State Competition. The teams experienced many software and hardware difficulties. One of our teams was picked as an alliance for another team, however they graciously declined because of robot troubles. However, they experienced the heat and excitement of competition! They are now prototyping new designs for the next VEX competition.
February 15 - Boeing Presentation
KENT, WASHINGTON - Five team members, along with a few students from FRC team 2046, Bear Metal, traveled to the Boeing Kent Space Center to help employees celebrate Boeing Engineering Week. The skunks goal was to familiarize Boeing employees with FIRST and to recruit mentors. The skunks presented the 2009 robot, the Stench, and even taught some employees how to to drive the robot. Skunkworks was happy to help celebrate Boeing Engineering Week, while spreading the message of FIRST.
For more information on Boeing, visit the Boeing Web site.
For more information on FRC Team 2046, visit Bear Metal's web site.
January 9 - FRC Kickoff
MOUNT LAKE TERRACE, WASHINGTON - The Skunks eagerly traveled to Mount Lake Terrace High School, to the FRC game reveal and build season, hosted by FRC Team 1778. All of our team got up bright and early to view the seven o'clock game reveal and were very surprised and excited for the 2010 FRC Game, BreakAway. However, we put our brainstorming on hold in order to assist rookie and "sophomore" teams with building kit bots. Our team members helped many Washington rookie and sophomore teams understand the basics of their robot.
December 5 - Des Moines FLL Competition
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Skunkworks hosted the Des Moines FLL Competition at Aviation High School. Team members volunteered to oversee the pit area, set up the field, run teams to and from interviews, and two of our alumni judged at the event. We had a great time interacting with the students and encouraged them to continue participating in FIRST. We hope to someday see the students compete on or with, or even against, our team in the future.
December 2 - Griffin Nichol Awarded Jet Engine Blade
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Rolls-Royce has awarded Griffin Nichol, Skunkworks team member, with a jet engine fan blade which is proudly displayed in the AHS office. Along with the beautiful fan blade, $5,000 was donated to the school scholarship fund. In describing why Rolls-Royce decided to donate this prestigious gift, a Rolls Royce representative said, "Primarily it represents Rolls-Royce to us. It is really about our key technology, where we invest, and this is where we see synergy in terms of the high school. It's about the investment in technology, the realization of the importance of technology to the high school, and innovative ideas. That's what we have really noticed, and is very evident in this school." Rolls-Royce will make this an annual award. We are very proud of Griffin for his amazing award!
For more information on the award, read the article courtesy of the school newspaper, Phoenix Flyer.
November 7 - VEX Competition
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON - Skunkworks Robotics two VEX teams competed in the VEX Jumpstart tournament in Bellevue. We were able to advance into the qualifying tournament, but did not make it to the semi-finals. The game was called "Clean Sweep" and was played on a 12' by 12' field. The scoring system works by getting small, medium, or large balls into specified goals or on the opposing team's field.
November 7 - Skunkworks Robotics Present to AAIA
TUKWILA, WASHINGTON - Skunkworks team members gave a presentation at the Museum of Flight to the AIAA, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a STEM organization that promotes aerospace and engineering. Our skunks presented to a large group of professionals, representing Aviation High School and Skunkworks Robotics. We presented our team's organization layout and the story behind our robots.
November 4 - Platt Demo
Platt Electric Supply, a major sponsor for FIRST, asked Skunkworks to join them during a demo for FIRST sponsors. The team was asked to represent FIRST teams and spread the word about competitions, and possibly acquire more sponsorship. By doing this, not only were more companies made aware of FIRST and its impact, but our students were able to interact with professionals in the STEM community. Two students, our coach, and the Stench presented to vendors every 12 minutes, spreading the vision and mission of FIRST and our team. Skunkworks is grateful for the privilege of being the only team to represent FIRST, and thanks Platt Electric Supply for the opportunity.
October 30 - Skunkworks Spaghetti Dinner and Dessert Auction Fundraiser
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Our team raised money for our season by putting on a Spaghetti Dinner with an exciting Dessert Auction. We also had other special items available to bid on like our world famous yard work extravaganza, team photos, robotic team shirts and a raffle to win a scenic flight around Puget Sound. Always a wonderful event!
October 17 - Robotics Rookie Workshop and Scrimmage
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - We had over 250 students, mentors and parents from all over the state come to AHS to listen to Robotics-related seminars and play a little with robots. Thanks to our students and families who put on the event. We plan to do this again!
October 14 - AHS Visited by General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education
DES MOINES, WASHINGTON - Charles Rose, General Counsel for the United States Department of Education (ED) visited Aviation High School (AHS) on October 14 representing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Arne says it only takes five to ten minutes to get a sense of a school. I can tell already - this is a top-level school," said Rose. "This is the kind of school that we should be shining the light on at the federal level. I'm not aware of any other in the country doing what you're doing here. I'm struck by the innovation." Eighteen AHS students participated in a "listening session" with Rose and his teams from ED. Federal education officials are conducting listening sessions around the nation to learn about successful schools and programs. Rose asked how AHS had successfully attracted low-income and ethnically diverse students. One aviation professional who mentors an AHS student responded, "By engaging mentors from business and industry, it doesn't matter the size of the parents' bank accounts, all kids have opportunities here - and mentors connect the learning to real jobs."