In the News

EIGHTH Season News (2013/2014)

April 23-26 - St. Louis World Championships

ST. LOIUS, MISSOURI—On April 24 through the 26 KSunk Works traveled to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Missouri for the world championship event. They were one of 400 qualifying FRC teams competing at the event. Skunk Works competed in the Newton Division, a field of 100 teams where the winning alliance moves onto the Einstein field with the winners of the 3 other divisions (Galileo, Archimedes, Curie) for the semi-finals and finals of the entire competition. After competing in qualification matches on Thursday and Friday, Skunk Works was ranked 18th on our field and became a member of the 6th alliance as a second pick led by 971 Spartan Robotics from California and our other alliance members 341 Miss Daisy from  Pennsylvania  and 3147 Muster Horsepower from Indiana. With success in the quarter and semi-finals the 6th alliance was eliminated in the finals on our field. This is the furthest any PNW team has made it at the world championship.

March 28-29 - Auburn District

AUBURN, WASHINGTON— On March 28th and 29th, Skunk Works Robotics traveled to Auburn High School for their second qualifying district event. After overcoming some challenges experienced in Cheney a few weeks ago, the robot was working almost flawlessly. Team 1983 was seeded 6th and allied with the first seed, Team 1318 IRS (Issaquah Robotics Society), and team 4060 Swag. After some tough competition and much defense in the elimination matches the Red Alliance became the winners of the Auburn District Event! Skunk Works is also honored to win the Entrepreneurship award for their detailed business plan.They couldn't have done it without the support of the parents, mentors, friends, and alliance members 1318 IRS and 4060 Swag. There was even an appearance from the superintendent of Highline School District, Dr. Susan Enfield, who visited to support the four Highline School District teams that were at this competition, including teams 3574 High Tekerz from Highline High School, 2942 Panda Machine from Evergreen High School, 4461 RAMbotics from Mount Rainier High School, and 1983 Skunk Works Robotics

March 14-15 - Eastern Washington District

Spokane Competition

CHENEY, WASHINGTON— This past weekend, March 14th and 15th, the Skunk Works Robotics team traveled to Eastern Washington University for the first of two qualifying district events with an amazing send off from the entire student body of Raisbeck Aviation High School. There were many challenges to work through at their first competition of the season and Team 1983 was seeded 8th out of 31 teams competing, becoming an alliance captain and worked with teams 1595, the Dragons, and rookie team 4980, the Canine Crusaders. Although the team was eliminated during quarter finals, Skunk Works is honored to win the Chairman's award, FIRST's most prestigious award, and the Safety award. They couldn't have done it without all of their mentors, sponsors and the Skunk Works Community. This qualifies Skunk Works to compete at the PNW District Championship in Portland on the field and with the Chairman's presentation team! Until then, we are excited to see what they will accomplish at the Auburn Regional on March 28th and 29th. Great work Skunks!

January 4 - FIRST Robotics Competition Kick-Off, Introducing Aerial Assist

AUBURN, WASHINGTON - Saturday, January 4, 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 Aerial Assist. This game requires robots to score points with balls through a series of passes and assists with other robots on your alliance. For more information visit our FRC Game Page the FIRST Aerial Assist page.

December 4 - FLL Workshops at Concord International Elementary

Boy Scouts Merit Badge Concord International School is a dual-language immersion program in Spanish and English and Skunkworks has begun our first year in the new building by reaching out the schools in our area. We have been holding Lego Robotics workshops, the initial event was December 4th where we kicked off our NXT Lego Mindstorms domino game with twenty-four 4th and 5th grade students. We coordinate and participate in these events to get students excited about STEM who may not have had the opportunity to be exposed to the possibility of engineering careers. Skunk Quinn Schiller talks about his experience with the students from Concord saying, "that during the FIRST promo video, one of the kids tugged on my arm and asked 'What do engineers do?' I told him that they build everything we use, and design the future. His eyes lit up, and he said with great resolution, 'I am going to be an engineer someday.'" This kind of inpspiration is the exact reason we bring FIRST to kids all around the community. We also promote future involvement in FLL, and our future workshops will consist of a curriculum that mirrors the missions that FLL teams participate in on a smaller scale. Teachers, students and Skunkworks mentors look forward to attending these events, the students wish they would come along more than once a week.

 

November 17 - Boy Scout Robotics Merit Badge

Boy Scouts Merit BadgeDES 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 5 - Skunkworks Yard Clean Up, at a Pony Farm!

Pony Clean Up! FALL CITY, WASHINGTON - Our brave Skunks were at it again and ventured out into the chilly November to participate in our first yard clean up of the year. Hosted 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 students for their honorable work on "poop patrol" in the pastures, as well as placing fences, and picking apples. The Skunks had tons of fun and are looking forward to the two fundraising yard clean ups coming this spring!

 

PTSA AuctionNovember 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 2013 robot, and spoke to the guests about our team and FIRST. While friends, parents, and supporters mingled around the room, the robot served drinks on top of the shooter; making a few tips in the process!

 

 

October 18 - 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

July 4BURIEN, 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.

 

SEVENTH Season News (2012/2013)

April 24-27 - St. Louis World Championships

St. Louis FInaleST. 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 1 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

Blur RobotCHENEY, 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 team 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

Chairman's WinSEATTLE, 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

EllensburgELLENSBURG, 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

Lets Play EventTACOMA, 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

Boy Scouts Merit BadgeDES 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

Sci and Robotics DayDES 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!

Pony Clean Up! 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.

 

PTSA AuctionNovember 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

2012 Rookie WorkshopDES 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

2012 Spaghetti DinnerDES 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

July 4BURIEN, 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.

 

SIXTH Season News (2011/2012)

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

Rummage Sale 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

Triple BalanceST. 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 WinSPOKANE, 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

Newton DeanSEATTLE, 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

Coop BalancePORTLAND, 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

King 5 interviewDES 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

Bagged BotDES 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

Robot UnveilingDES 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

Practice FieldDES 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

Game LogoAUBURN, 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

FEC presentersMAPLE 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

Newton with FLL kidsDES 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

merit badge clinicDES 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

dessert auctionDES 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

rookie workshop lectureDES 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

vintage air eventEVERETT, 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.

FIFTH Season News (2010/2011)

August 23 - Aviation High School Groundbreaking

Grounbreaking Stage

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!

FOURTH Season News (2009/2010)

December Events

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 Events

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.

Fall Events

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!

Summer Events

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."

Spring Events

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+!