Robotics Program News


OSD STEM Robotics 101 Curriculum Adopted by two National Science Foundation Projects by rsteele - 09-14-2011
The STEM Robotics 101 curriculum developed by the Olympia School District's CTE STEM Robotics program has been adopted by two National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects. The NSF funded Northwest Distributed Computer Science Department (NWDCSD) is a collaboration between Computer Science educators in Washington and Oregon.  Led by professors from Gonzaga University, Willamette University and Washington State University Vancouver, this team seeks innovative ways to enhance Computer Science education.  Although largely focused at the college level, part of the groups charter is K-12 outreach.  In the midst the budget-driven extinction of K-12 Computer Science offerings around the region (including in OSD), the NWDCSD team sees Robotics as "Stealth Computer Science for the Masses", and they have supported development and teacher training on the Olympia School District's STEM Robotics 101 curriculum.  A workshop on the STEM Robotics 101 project was held at the CCSC-NW conference in October, 2011. Working with the NWDCSD team led to a second collaboration with the NSF funded Ensemble project.  The northwest Ensemble team, based at Portland State University (PSU), is working with OSD to develop a STEM Robotics curriculum site.  This allows for multiple Robotics course models, the most exhaustive of which is OSD's STEM Robotics 101.  The PSU site provides both a turn-key curriculum for novice Robotics teachers, as well as customization and collaboration tools for veteran teachers.  OSD has trained 100+ teachers from 15+ areas school districts on STEM Robotics 101 and this community of STEM Robotics educators is now using this site to collaborate on new curriculum components. Through on-line forums, conferences and word-of-mouth, we now have over 850 registered teacher-users (from 5 continents) participating in STEM Robotics 101.  
OSD Hosting First Lego League (FLL) Regional Middle School Robotics Competition Dec 3. by rac - 10-25-2011
The OSD STEM Robotics program will be hosting a FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier competition on December 3, 2011. This will be held at Jefferson Middle School from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you are interested in becoming a STEM Pal by volunteering at this event, please click here to get more details If you are interested in becoming a STEM Pal by sponsoring an OSD middle school team, please click here to get more details.
OSD Hosting First Tech Challenge (FTC) Regional High School Robotics Competition Dec 4. by rac - 10-25-2011
The OSD STEM Robotics program will be hosting the FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Qualifier on December 3-4, 2011 at Olympia High School. The hours are 5-9pm on the 3rd and 9am to 4pm on the 4th. Event volunteers and sponsors are needed. If you are interested in becoming a STEM Pal by volunteering at this event, please click here to get more details If you are interested in becoming a STEM Pal by sponsoring an OSD high school team, please click here to get more details.
OSD Awarded LEGO Smart Schools Grant by rac - 10-26-2011
The Education Blueprints Association targeted 14 schools districts across the United States for the LEGO Smart Schools Grant.  In their words: "Students need to not only master science, technology, engineering, and math skills but also be given the opportunity to integrate this STEM knowledge with critical-thinking, teamwork, and creative problem-solving skills.  This will help them form the necessary characteristics for becoming active participants in our ever-changing world." The Olympia School District was just selected as one of the  "14 regional centers of influence" for this program.
100+ Advanced Science Probes acquired through Vernier Grant by rsteele - 10-31-2011
Probe JMS MMS WMS CHS Total
Force Plate 1 1 1 0 3
Dual Range Force 1 1 1 0 3
Low-g Accelerometer 2 2 2 8 14
25-g Accelerometer 1 1 1 2 5
Sound 1 1 1 0 3
Light 2 2 2 0 6
UVA 0 0 0 1 1
UVB 1 1 1 2 5
Barometer 1 1 1 1 4
Gas Pressure  2 2 2 0 6
Respiration Monitor 1 1 1 0 3
Dissolved Oxygen 1 1 1 0 3
Oxygen Gas 1 1 1 0 3
Current 2 2 2 0 6
Voltage 2 2 2 0 6
Conductivity 1 1 1 0 3
Hand Dynamometer 1 1 1 0 3
Magnetic Field 1 1 1 2 5
Soil Moisture 1 1 1 0 3
pH 2 2 2 0 6
Temperature (Stainless Steel) 2 2 2 2 8
Thermocouple 1 1 1 1 4
Total Probe Count>>> 28 28 28 19 103
NXT Adaptor 6 6 6 11 29
Click on any probe name above to see detailed specifications and experiment/lab ideas

Washington MS to Launch After-school "Robotics for Musicians Club" by rsteele - 11-06-2011
Washington Middle School is starting an after-school robotics program for students who are unable to access the NXT STEM Robotics elective offered during the regular school day.  The main students affected will be music students.  This on-going program will begin second semester, and will meet one day a week for two hours.  The goal is to accelerate students through the Level One Robotics course, and prepare teams to compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition next fall. Click here to learn how you can become a STEM Pal by supporting this new opportunity for our students.
LEGO Smart Schools to Match STEM Pals Donations by rsteele - 11-14-2011
The LEGO Smart Schools Grant award will be used to double the impact of contributions made to several STEM Pals Funding Needs programs.  The NXT Data Logging Kits for Science Students, the Robotics Kits for PATS Students, and the Robotics Kits for Washington MS "Robotics for Musicians" Club  programs will all receive one dollar from the LEGO Smart Schools Grant for every dollar the STEM Pals community raises!! Please consider becoming a STEM Pal by contributing to one of these exciting programs and double the impact of your tax deductible contribution.
FIRST Robotics Regional Qualifiers (Dec. 3, 4) Schedules by rsteele - 11-29-2011
The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) international robotics competition Regional Qualifiers are being hosted for the first time in Olympia on Dec. 3 and 4. For middle schools, the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is being held at Jefferson Middle School on Saturday, Dec. 3.  The schedule of events can be found here. For high schools, the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is being held at Olympia High School on Sunday Dec. 4.  The schedule of events can be found here. Both events are open to the public. The mornings will include judging, inspections and team practice and the official robot competitions will begin in the afternoons. We would like to thank the many members of our Olympia community who have become STEM Pals by signing up to volunteer at one of these events.  We are looking forward to an exciting and successful inaugural year for both these competitions.
Jefferson MS FIRST LEGO League Team Advances to State Championships by rsteele - 12-06-2011
The Olympia School District's FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams all had very impressive performances at the inaugural Intel Olympia FLL Regional Qualifier on December 3, at Jefferson Middle School. Team Jag, from Jefferson Middle School, won the Strategy & Innovation Award and earned the right to advance to the FLL State Championships on January 15, 2012. Go Jags!!         Two teams from Marshall Middle School also won awards.  The all-girls Legit Lego Ladies placed 4th (out of 20 participants) on the Robot Game competition, and won the prestigious Teamwork Award.  The all-boys Moosen team won the Judges Award in recognition of the team's fine performance throughout the entire day.   A huge THANK YOU goes out to all our STEM Pals FLL volunteers, who signed up, and got their training, just days ahead of the event.  Their dedication and commitment to our students made the first annual Intel Olympia FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier a tremendous success.
Avanti HS and Capital HS FIRST Tech Challenge Teams Advance to State Championships by rsteele - 12-06-2011
The Olympia School District's FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams all had wining performances at the inaugural Intel Olympia FTC Regional Qualifier on December 4, at Olympia High School.

The two teams from Avanti High school ended the 7 qualifying rounds ranked number 1 and 2.  They selected each other as partners in the elimination round, and proceeded to win it all - qualifying both teams for the FTC StateChampionships on January 15.  In addition, one of the Avanti teams won the Robot Design Award for their simple, but bulletproof, design.

Go Avanti!!  (....times 2)

The rookie FTC team from Capital High ended the qualifying rounds right behind Avanti in third place.  The Capital team selected a team from Seattle as their elimination round partner and easy won their semi-final match.  Despite losing to the Avanti pair in the finals, the CHS team also won the prestigious Think Award, and earned one of the two remaining slots for the FTC State Championships. Go Capital!!   A huge THANK YOU goes out to all our STEM Pals FTC volunteers, who signed up, and got their training, just days ahead of the event.  Their dedication and commitment to our students made the first annual Intel Olympia FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Qualifier a tremendous success.
Jefferson MS Wins Project Research Award at State FLL Championships by rsteele - 01-17-2012
Team Jag, from Jefferson Middle School, was one of fifty one teams from around the state competing at the Washington State FIRST LEGO League State Championships in Kenmore on January 15.  Teams were judged on their robot design, teamwork and the presentation of their research project.  Team Jag took home the Washington State FLL Research Award for their project on food safety for meat products.  Congrats Team Jag!!
OSD High Schools Excel at FTC State Championships by rsteele - 01-17-2012
Both Avanti and Capital High Schools delivered impressive performances at the Washington FIRST Tech Challenge State Championships in Bellevue on January 15.. Capital's team completed the seven qualifying rounds undefeated, earning a second seed position for the final elimination rounds.  As captain of one of the four elimination round alliances, Capital chose two partners for the final two rounds.  Unfortunately, this second seed alliance lost in the semi-finals, with the first seed alliance eventually emerging as the State Champions.  Congrats to Capital for an amazing run during their rookie season! The Avanti teams struggled early in the qualifying rounds, but both team worked hard to tweak their software between matches.  Their persistence paid off as the captain of the fourth seed alliance took notice of their improvement and invited one of the Avanti teams to join their elimination round alliance.  The Avanti team had their best performance of the day and helped the 4th seed alliance advance to the final round, before succumbing to dominant first seed.  Congrats to Avanti for their successful second FTC season and bringing home a State Finalist trophy!
Washington MS Reaches Matching Funds Goal for "Robotics for Musicians Club" and "Science Club" by rsteele - 01-28-2012
On January 25, Washington Middle School took delivery on 16 new NXT Robotics kits for the new "Robotics for Musicians" Club (10 kits) and an enhanced Science Club (6 kits).  These kits were acquired through the LEGO Smart Schools Matching Grant and the generous support of new STEM Pals that provided funds for 8 kits. The "Musicians" Club will begin second semester and the Science Club will begin training on the new NXT Data Logging Technology and the advanced Vernier Probes on February 1.
PATS Program Reaches Matching Funds Goal for Pre-STEM Robotics NXT Kits by rsteele - 01-28-2012
On January 26, the PATS program (located at McLane ES) took delivery on 20 new NXT Robotics kits for the new Pre-STEM Robotics program for the 5th grade class.  These kits were acquired through the LEGO Smart Schools Matching Grant and the generous support of new STEM Pals that provided funds for 10 kits. The 5th grade program will return their "loaner" kits and begin using their permanent NXT robots next week The PATS team now is targeting STEM initiatives at the younger grade levels.  They hope to further leverage the LEGO Smart Schools Matching Grant to acquire the WeDo technology for students as early as 2nd grade.

OSD Robotics Students Bring Robots to Life at the Hands On Children's Museum by rsteele - 03-11-2012
OSD STEM Robotics students from Olympia and Capital  High Schools, as well as Jefferson and Marshall Middle Schools  provided demonstrations and hands-on programming experiences for a recent Mother/Son Robot Adventure evening at the Hands On Children's Museum.  The Introductory STEM Robotics students did a great job of adapting their Robotics know-how for these young engineers.  A good time was had by all and our students have already been invited back to the next event.
2012 Avanti STEM Robotics Invitational Challenges Announced by rsteele - 05-06-2012
The 3rd Annual Avanti STEM Robotics Invitational (ASRI) is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6 at Avanti  High School (Knox Building, 1113 Legion Way SE, Olympia).  This week the three robotics challenges in which teams will compete were announced and published in the 2012 ASRI Specifications ; Sound-Activated Robo-Dragsters, Sumo-Bots, and driver-controlled Line Racers. These challenges were adapted from the STEM Robotics 101 curriculum developed by the Olympia School District and made public through a National Science Foundation grant with Portland State University.   ASRI is open to the public and any South Sound school using STEM Robotics 101 is invited to compete.  In its inaugural year, the ASRI had 4 OSD school participate, and last year 7 schools from Olympia and Tumwater competed.  For 2012 we are expecting  10 schools from 3 school districts to send teams. STEM Pals is also looking for community members interested in volunteering to help run this year's ASRI.  Please see the ASRI Volunteer Needs page for details on how to get involved through either a logistical of officiating position.  No experience is required and all the training will take place on the morning of the event, June 6.    
Jefferson/Marshall Varsity Robotics Team Application Now Available by rsteele - 05-13-2012
The new Jefferson/Marshall Varsity Robotics Teams are now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 season.  Just like varsity sports, these after-school teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level as they tackle in the international FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition. Beginning September 10, the teams will be hosted Monday through Thursday at the Boys & Girls Club located at Jefferson Middle School.  The teams will design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.  This video describes last year's Robot Game (Food Factor), while this video shows a robot completing the missions from the previous year's game (Body Forward).  The process for developing the research Project and presentation is shown in this video. Application are due May 31 and are available in hardcopy at the Jefferson and Marchall offices and online here.  Note: the application includes several parts (written responses, teacher recommendations, parent permission), so don't wait until the last minute to apply.  If you have questions about this new joint program for the west-side middle schools, please contact Mr. Steele (rsteele@osd.wednet.edu). Students/parents interested in the Varsity Robotics Team at Reeves Middle School should contact Mr.Jones (mjones@osd.wednet.edu), while those at Washington Middle School should contact Ms. Burroughs (cburroughs@osd.wednet.edu). We look forward to another another exciting season and strong showing by this year's FLL teams.
OSD STEM Programs Featured at Harbor Days by rsteele - 09-04-2012
The Olympia School District hosted at booth at the annual Harbor Days Event over Labor Day weekend.  Several STEM programs were featured in the display, including the new STEM Mechanics 101 course (supported through this STEM Pals Matching Grant program), and the CTE STEM Robotics 101 (Introductory Robotics ) and STEM Robotics 201 (Robotics Engineering) courses.   OSD Robotics teachers and students gave community members a hands-on experience with each level of the STEM program.  In addition, STEM Pals provided information on how Harbor Days attendees could become involved in STEM Education, with a particular emphasis on finding volunteers and sponsors for our Middle School and High School Varsity Robotics Teams as they prepare for the FLL and FTC competitions respectively. We would like to thank everyone from the community who gave us such a warm and encouraging welcome.
OSD Enters a Record Number of Teams for the 2012 FLL Competition by rsteele - 09-22-2012
For the first time, every middle school in the Olympia School District, as well as the new STEM Robotics 101 class at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), will have teams entered in this season's international FIRST LEGO® League competition (FLL).  In fact, Reeves Middle School will enter 4 teams and Washington and Jefferson middle schools will enter two each, giving us a record 10 OSD teams in this season's competition called Senior Solutions. All our teams are still still looking for coaches/mentors and sponsors, so please consider becoming a STEM Pal by partnering with our schools in this fun and exiting challenge. OSD will also host one of the new FLL Mega-Regional events for 100 to 120 teams on January 19 & 20.  If you are interested in becoming a STEM Pal by volunteering to help with this huge event, please check out this Volunteer Need link.        
OSD to Create High Level Robotics Team for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) by rsteele - 09-25-2012
Every year since 2000 there has been a Regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) held in Seattle at the CenturyLink Stadium. (see adjacent photos of the March 2012 competition and this FIRST FRC Promo Video). This is the highest level of FIRST for high school students and it is run like a sports competition.   This past year there were 70 FRC teams from Washington State but no teams from Olympia. OSD is planning to change that with the help of STEM Pals, sponsors, coaches mentors and dedicated volunteers. The team is planned to start up in October 2012 and start preparing for the competition in January and February 2013.   OSD has applied for a state iGrant to provide the base funding for the team, but more funding is needed (see Funding Needs webpage). The support of STEM Pals is key to getting this team off the ground.      
First South Sound FTC League Match set for Sunday November 18 by rsteele - 11-14-2012
The first South sound FTC League Match is set for Sunday, November 18 at 3:00 in the Capital High School Commons (2707 Conger Ave - park in the lower lot and use the glass entrance).  Click on this link to see an animation of this year's "Ring It Up" challenge. Eleven teams from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Elma and Aberdeen are participating in this inaugural league.  Eight of the team are rookie teams, so there will be a great opportunity for collective learning in their first competitive event.  This event is open to the public.
OSD Teams Top First FTC League Match by rsteele - 11-20-2012
Eleven South Sound FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams converged on Capital High School for the first ever South Sound FTC League Match.  Teams from Lacey, Tumwater, Olympia, Elma and Aberdeen completed in 17 rounds of this year's "Ring It Up" challenge.  The top five spots in the final rankings were held by OSD teams from all three high schools:

South Sound League Division: South Sound League Ranking List


Rank Team Team Name QP RP Highest Matches
1 6424 Olympia HS 11 2 165 6
2 5061 Capital HS 9 0 60 6
3 4448 Avanti HS 8 2 20 6
4 6212 Olympia HS 6 2 145 6
5 6211 Capital HS 6 0 93 6
6 6421 Tumwater HS 6 0 20 6
7 6346 Tumwater HS 5 0 0 6
8 6091 Elma HS 4 2 11 6
9 6338 Avanti HS 4 0 165 6
10 6053 AP RoboRangers 4 0 90 6
11 6415 Aberdeen HS 3 0 140 6

QP (Total Qualification Points) - 2 Points for a WIN, 1 Point for a TIE, 0 Points for a LOSS. RP (Total Ranking Points) - Ranking points are awarded using the losing alliance's score in each match. Highest (Highest Match Score) - The highest match score awarded to the team. Congratulations to all our OSD teams!!! The second South Sound League Match is scheduled for Sunday, December 2 at 3:00 in the Capital High School Commons. OSD is also hosting the Southwest Washington FTC District Championships on Saturday, December 15.   STEM Pals is looking for volunteers to help with this event - please click this link if you are interested is helping at the major event for our high school STEM students.                    
Second South Sound FTC League Match set for Sunday, December 2 by rsteele - 11-25-2012
The second South Sound FTC League Match is set for Sunday, December 2 at 3:00 in the Capital High School Commons (2707 Conger Ave - park in the lower lot and use the glass entrance).  Click on this link to see an animation of this year's "Ring It Up" challenge. Eleven teams from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Elma and Aberdeen are participating in this inaugural league.  After an exciting initial match two weeks prior, teams are refining their robots and software to take their game to the next level.  This event is open to the public.
Capital and Olympia Come Out on Top in 2nd FTC League Match by rsteele - 12-04-2012
Ten South Sound FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams converged on Capital High School for the second 2012 South Sound FTC League Match.  Teams from Lacey, Tumwater, Olympia, Elma and Aberdeen completed in 15 rounds of this year’s “Ring It Up” challenge.  Teams from Capital High School and Olympia High School snagged the top two spots

South Sound League 2nd Match Results Ranking List

Rank Team Team Name QP RP Highest Matches
1 6211 Capital HS 9 19 179 6
2 6424 Olympia HS 9 17 179 6
3 6421 Tumwater HS 7 18 60 6
4 6053 AP RoboRangers 7 11 11 6
5 6091 Elma HS 7 6 68 6
6 5061 Capital HS 6 9 60 6
7 4448 Avanti HS 5 18 12 6
8 6212 Olympia HS 4 3 2 6
9 6415 Aberdeen HS 4 0 46 6
10 6338 Avanti HS 2 13 12 6

QP (Total Qualification Points) - 2 Points for a WIN, 1 Point for a TIE, 0 Points for a LOSS. RP (Total Ranking Points) - Ranking points are awarded using the losing alliance's score in each match. Highest (Highest Match Score) - The highest match score awarded to the team. Congratulations to all our OSD teams!!! The third and final South Sound League Match is scheduled for Saturday, December 8 at 3:00 in the Capital High School Commons. OSD is also hosting the Southwest Washington FTC District Championships on Saturday, December 15.   STEM Pals is looking for volunteers to help with this event – please click this link if you are interested is helping at this major event for our high school STEM students.
Capital and Olympia Take Top 3 Spots in Final South Sound FTC League Match by rsteele - 12-09-2012
Ten South Sound FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams converged on Capital High School for the third and final 2012 South Sound FTC League Match.  Teams from Lacey, Tumwater, Olympia, Elma and Aberdeen completed in 15 rounds of this year’s “Ring It Up” challenge.  Teams from Capital High School and Olympia High School snagged the top three spots:

South Sound League 3rd Match Results Ranking List


Rank Team Team Name QP RP Highest Matches
1 5061 Capital HS 12 126 280 6
2 6424 Olympia HS 8 250 280 6
3 6212 Olympia HS 8 98 190 6
4 6091 Elma HS 8 88 72 6
5 4448 Avanti HS 6 191 150 6
6 6338 Avanti HS 6 157 200 6
7 6053 AP RoboRangers 4 171 91 6
8 6211 Capital HS 4 161 200 6
9 6415 Aberdeen HS 2 108 150 6
10 6421 Tumwater HS 2 104 76 6

QP (Total Qualification Points) - 2 Points for a WIN, 1 Point for a TIE, 0 Points for a LOSS. RP (Total Ranking Points) - Ranking points are awarded using the losing alliance's score in each match. Highest (Highest Match Score) - The highest match score awarded to the team. Congratulations to all our OSD teams!!! Every team for OSD made tremendous improvement between the first and third League Match and they will all now compete in the FTC District Championships. OSD is also hosting the Southwest Washington FTC District Championships on Saturday, December 15.   STEM Pals is looking for volunteers to help with this event – please click this link if you are interested is helping at this major event for our high school STEM students.
OSD to Host FTC District Championships on December 15th by rsteele - 12-09-2012
The Olympia School District will host the Southwest Washington FTC District Championships for this year's FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) tournament season on Saturday, December 15 . Two dozen FTC teams from Tacoma to Portland will converge at Jefferson Middle School to compete in this year's challenge, "Ring it Up".  An overview of this year's game is provided in this video animation.   OSD FTC teams from Avanti, Capital and Olympia high schools will compete this year, with each school entering two teams in the competition.  Winning teams from the District Championships will advance to the State Championships on January 12 in Bellevue. Students will design and build aTetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year's challenge.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   Doors will open at 8:00 for teams to set up in "the pits", with judging and inspections running until 11:00.  Opening Ceremonies will be in the main gym at 11:30 and the tournament matched will begin immediately thereafter.  The Elimination Round will begin around 3:30 and the final Awards Ceremony and announcement of which 8 teams will advance to the State Championships will follow at 4:30.  This event is open to the public.
Capital and Olympia FTC Teams Advance to State Championships by rsteele - 12-21-2012
The Olympia School District hosted the South Washington FTC District Championships on Saturday, December 15.  Twenty-four FTC (FIRST Tech Challengeteams from Tacoma to Vancouver converged at Jefferson Middle School to compete in this year's challenge, "Ring it Up" (see  this video animation). OSD FTC teams from Avanti, Capital and Olympia high schools all had a tremendously successful day, with Team Swag from Capital and the Oly Cow and Brobo teams from Olympia High School advancing to the FTC State Championships on January 12. Five of the six OSD teams made it to the elimination round; Avanti's Fluffly Spider Monkeys(4448) and TANK Robots (6338) along with Team Swag (5061) and the Technicians (6211) from Capital and Oly Cow (6424) of OHS.  Three of the four elimination round alliances were "captained" by OSD teams; 4448, 5061, and 6211. Team Swag from CHS made it to the finals, and earned a spot at the State Championships.  In one semi-final match, the CHS and OHS teams partnered to score a record 506 points in a single match. All OSD schools also did exceptionally well in the judging and the OSD teams provided some of the best examples of sportsmanship and Gracious Professionalism at the event.  Both OHS teams, Oly Cow and Brodo, won key engineering awards which also earned them slots at the State Championships. Avanti's 4448 team impressed everyone when they took a timeout to let their opponent (from CHS) finish repairing their robot prior to the deciding match in the semi-finals - a move which arguably cost them a birth at State, when CHS won the subsequent match. Congratulations to all our OSD FTC teams, and best wishes to our representatives at the State Championships.
OSD to Host Middle School FLL Regional Qualifier - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED by rsteele - 12-21-2012
The Olympia School District will host the Southwest Washington FLL Regional Qualifier for this year's Senior Solutions Competition on Saturday/Sunday, January 19/20. Sixty FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams will converge at Jefferson Middle School to compete in earn the right to advance to the State Tournament. It will take over 100 adult volunteers to host this event for our students.  To get more information on the event and volunteer roles, go to this STEM Pals Volunteer Needs Webpage.  
OSD Teams Finish Strong at FTC State Championships by rsteele - 01-13-2013
Both Olympia High School teams, Oly Cow (6424) and Brodo (6212), as well as Team Swag from Capital High School competed in the FTC State Champions at Bellevue College on January 12.  All three teams did well in the 6 qualifying rounds, with Oly Cow ending up as the top seed and Team Swag and Brodo as 9 and 17 respectively.  Oly Cow was captain of an elimination round alliance and both Brodo and Team Swag were selected as partners on elimination round alliances, so all three OSD teams entered the semi-final round. There were a lot of exciting best 2-out-of-3 elimination matches and unfortunately Team Swag and Brodo lost in the semi-finals.  Oly Cow’s alliance put up a great fight in the finals, but ultimately lost to the 3-time state champions.  However, Oly Cow was a finalist for the Motivate Award and won the Think Award for creative design.  Congratulations to all our FTC teams for representing OSD so well at the State Championships.
OSD Teams Excel at Middle School (FLL) Robotics Competition: 3 Teams Advance to State Championships by rsteele - 01-26-2013
Over 50 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Teams converged on Jefferson Middle School on January 19 and 20 to compete in the Olympia FLL Regional Qualifier.  OSD was represented by nine teams from all four middle schools and ORLA - all  these teams were "rookie" teams, having no students who had ever participated in the FLL before.  All the OSD teams performed very well and demonstrated the "Gracious Professionalism" promoted by the FIRST organization.   Three teams both won awards and were selected to advance to the State Championships in Mill Creek on February 10:   > The Electrons (Jefferson MS) - won the Robot Performance Award for scoring the highest in the Robot Game and the Innovation Award for their creative solution to the research project   > The R.O.B.O.T.S. (Jefferson MS) - placed 2nd in the Robot Game and won the Strategy Award for their robot design and software   > The Leg'O Lords (Marshall MS) - placed 3rd in the Robot Game and won the Presentation Award for their research project presentation   Additionally, these OSD teams were also recognized during the FLL Regional Qualifier:   > Team Allied (Washington MS) - won the "Gracious Professionalism" Award for their exemplary conduct throughout the competition   > Raiders 1 (Reeves MS) - won the Mechanical Design Award for their robust hardware design > Raiders 2 (Reeves MS) - won the Inspiration Award for their excellent teamwork > The Herobots (Washington MS) - placed 5th in the Robot Game performance   We would also like to thank the dozens of STEM Pals who stepped up to volunteer for this event.  Without the support and dedication of these community members, this event recognizing the efforts and success of STEM students would not have been possible.  
OSD Teams Come Out on Top in FLL State Championships by rsteele - 02-13-2013
OSD was well represented by three teams at the Western Washington FIRST LEGO League (FLL) State Championships. The Electrons and R.O.B.O.T.S. from Jefferson Middle School and the Leg’O Lords from Marshall Middle School all earned berths at the State event by winning awards at the Olympia FLL Regional Qualifier.  The 43 best teams from Bellingham to Vancouver, WA, were all in attendance.   In a nail-biter of a Robot Game competition, the OSD teams finished #2, #8, and #32 after the first round with the R.O.B.O.T.S. holding down second place.     After the second round the OSD teams were #6, #13, and #14, with the Leg'O Lords jumping from 32nd to 13th place.     In the third and final round, The Electrons scored an event-high 408 points leaping them to #1 early in the round.  Then the Leg'O Lords hit one out of the park and scored 410 points in their final attempt.   As a results, the Leg'O Lords finished #1 and took home the Robot Performance Award!!  The Electrons finished #2, just two points behind, and the R.O.B.O.T.S. finished #8.  It is note worthy that all the members of all three teams were FLL rookies - just imagine how exciting next year will be with many veteran members returning to the teams.   Congratulations to all our Varsity Robotics teams for a phenomenal inaugural season.
OSD FRC Team Completes "Build Season" and Prepares for Competition by rsteele - 02-20-2013
The inaugural OSD cross-district FRC met the "Stop Build" date deadline by bagging-and-tagging their robot before midnight on Tuesday, February 19.  This event punctuated an intense 6 week design and build process that began at the FRC Kickoff on January 5, where the learned the details of this year's challenge, Ultimate Ascent.     The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF, Team #4450) is a FRC rookie team, combining the efforts of high school students across OSD.  While based at Capital High School, the modular design approach adopted by ORF allowed the major scoring component (a Frisbee launcher) to be largely designed and developed at Olympia HS.     This video shows the team's final test run just prior to the bag&tag deadline yesterday, while this video shows a test of the Frisbee launcher from earlier in the Mid-Winter Break weekend. Congrats to all the member of ORF!!  The team will now shift its focus to building a semi-clone of the competition robot so they can continue to refine the hardware design and develop/improve software before the March 28-30 competition at the CenturyLink Event Center in Seattle.  
OSD FRC Team Prepares for Seattle Regional by rsteele - 03-25-2013
The Olympia Robotics Federation, OSD's FRC team, is making final preparations for the Seattle FRC Regional later this week.  This event is the culmination of an intense rookie FRC season for the cross-district team which combines students from Capital and Olympia high schools in a bid to master this year’s challenge, Ultimate Ascent. The FRC Seattle Regional will be held at the CenturyLink Event Center and will host 64 teams.  The schedule for this event, which is open to the public with free admission, is available here.  Over 10,000 attendees are expected. The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF, Team #4450) is a FRC rookie team, combining the efforts of high school students across OSD.  While based at Capital High School, the modular design approach adopted by ORF allowed the major scoring component (a Frisbee launcher) to be largely designed and developed at Olympia HS. This video shows the team’s final test run just prior to the bag&tag deadline yesterday, while this video shows a test of the Frisbee launcher from earlier in the Mid-Winter Break weekend.
OSD FIRST Robotics Team Wins Berth to World Championships by rsteele - 03-30-2013
The Olympia Robotics Federation, OSD's FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, made a big impression at the Seattle FRC Regional this past weekend, winning the coveted All-Star Rookie Award and earning a berth at the FRC World Championships in St. Louis on April 24 to 27.  Team 4450's entry in this regional qualifier was the culmination of an intense rookie FRC season for the cross-district team which combines students from Capital and Olympia high schools in a bid to master this year’s challenge, Ultimate Ascent. The FRC Seattle Regional was held at the CenturyLink Event Center and hosted 64 teams.  After an intense three day competition and several rounds of judging, ORF took home the award for the rookie team which best demonstrated all aspects of the FIRST competition and STEM promotion.  These videos show ORF's second-to-last and last matches in Seattle. The FRC World Championships will be held in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Missouri.  ORF needs to raise funds to cover the event registration, robot shipping, and team transportation/lodging expenses in a very short time. Please consider becoming a STEM Pal by sponsoring our FRC students by clicking on the link below.  Also, if you know of any business or organization in the Olympia area that you think might be interested in supporting this effort, please refer them to this page.  Use the "Contact Us" link above for any questions. Thank you. [donate2 need='FRC Team 4450'] The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF, Team #4450) is a FRC rookie team, combining the efforts of high school students across OSD.  While based at Capital High School, the modular design approach adopted by ORF allowed the major scoring component (a Frisbee launcher) to be largely designed and developed at Olympia HS. This video shows the team’s final test run just prior to the bag&tag deadline yesterday, while this video shows a test of the Frisbee launcher from earlier in the Mid-Winter Break weekend.
OSD FRC Team Impresses on World Stage by rsteele - 04-28-2013
The OSD FIRST Robotics Competition team, the Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF, team #4450), made quite a showing at the FRC World Championships this week in St. Louis. They were soon labeled the "Rookie  Sensation from Olympia, Washington” by the game announcer.   At the end of the first day, ORF was the only undefeated rookie team in their division, ranking 5th out of 100 of the best teams in the world.  Severely outgunned in two matches they used game strategy with their alliance partners to pull off statistically unlikely wins.  An impressive start that got them on everyone’s radar.   During the second day, ORF suffered major structural damaged during their 5th match, then limped through their 6th and final match of the day.  They ended the day 15th out of 100 teams in their division, and still the top ranked rookie team.  The robot was torn down to the frame Friday night and extensive repairs were undertaken that were not completed until two minutes before their final match Saturday morning.   The repaired robot combined with more clever strategy and great operator performance to secure a final win over another alliance that clearly should have won on paper.  The team ended the qualifying matches 11th out of 100 teams in their division, and WON THE ARCHIMEDES TOP RANKED ROOKIE AWARD – the next best rookie was 20 places behind them in 31st place.   In the Elimination round, ORF became the captain of one of only 8 finalist alliances, earning them the right to choose two partners to join them in the finals.  In an exciting and high scoring best-2-out-of-3 playoff round, the ORF alliance lost to the #1 seed alliance – ending their amazing run at the World Championships.   Congratulations to all the members of ORF for their outstanding, and literally world-class, accomplishment.      
South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational Set for May 30 by rsteele - 05-08-2013
The fourth annual South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational (formerly the Avanti STEM Robotics Invitational) is scheduled for Thursday, May 30 at Jefferson Middle School (2200 Conger Ave, Olympia) from 9:30 to 1:30.  Sixteen teams from Onalaska to Everett are expected at this year's competition.  The growth of the event has prompted the move from the old Knox Gym at Avanti High School to the dual-gym layout at Jefferson Middle School. For more information on the event, please see this Volunteer Need page.
PATS Students Create RoboZoo by rsteele - 05-22-2013
The 4th and 5th grade PATS (Program for Academically Talented Students) classes, from across the district, have been hard at work creating a robot zoo (the RoboZoo).  The students researched their animal of choice to learn about both the animal itself and its habitat.     Students then built the robot model from LEGO Mindstorms to resemble the chosen animal and programmed the robot to mimic its behaviors.   Accurate habitiats were then constructed to give each animal a comfortable home. Exhibits in the RoboZoo included Australian dingos, spitting llamas, camels, archerfish, rattlesnakes, margays, peacocks, rabbits, sharks, dolphins, a crab, a skunk and more.   This past week, all four PATS classes presented their exhibits to PATS parents and students throughout McLane Elementary.  This was the first year for the RoboZoo, but based all of the positive comments and feedback, it looks like a new tradition has been started!  Congratulations to PATS Teacher Jen Flo and all her creative and hard working students.  
OSD Programs Enhance LEGO Adventure Night at the Hands On Children's Museum by rsteele - 05-22-2013
OSD was invited to partner with the Olympia Hands On Children's Museum on their LEGO Adventure Night.  Three Schools participated to demonstrate how LEGO products are used to enhance learning in our schools for students with various learning styles through hands-on/minds-on interactive activities.  Both demonstrations and hands-on activities were developed by each school.     The PATS (Program for Academically Talented Students) classes based at McLane Elementary School demonstrated the We Do introductory robotics technology.  OSD students and Hands On Children's Museum guests had a great time building rocking sailboats, handheld spinners, roaring lions and more.       ORLA (the Olympia Regional Learning Academy) hosted two rooms, showing off both the Story Starter and Simple and Motorized Mechanisms technologies. In the Story Starter room, kids built models to develop their language arts skills through interactive  story telling.       Kids in the Simple and Motorized Mechanisms room built and interacted with a variety of mechanisms and machines utilizing many different principles.  A robot dog demonstrated gear and cams.  A crane showed off the power of pulleys.   A pneumatic arm gave kids three dimensions of travel using only air pressure (no batteries needed!).       Jefferson Middle School demonstrated how LEGO NXT robotics are used both in the STEM Robotics 101 classroom and in the Varsity Robotics FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team. The students from Mr. Bakala's class provided demonstrations of line followers, flashlight followers, remote control robots and a robotic scorpion.  Hands On Children's Museum guests could drive a flashlight following robot, modify the line follower demo, avoid being "stung" by the robo-scorpion and drive a remote controlled robot.   The Electrons FLL Team from Jefferson Middle School set up this year's Senior Solution game field and presented the results of their research project on autonomous cars. Guests of the museum were given the chance to run the robot game "bowling mission" to see if they could score a strike.       Congratulations to all the OSD students who put on a fun and educational evening for the 200+ guests of the Olympia Hands On Children's Museum.  Who knew that learning could be so much fun!!  
Record Turnout for South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational by rsteele - 06-01-2013
A record sixteen teams from eight school districts converged on Jefferson Middle for the South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational on Thursday, May 30.  This annual event takes challenges from OSD's STEM Robotics 101 curriculum and is open to schools using this free online resource. This was the fourth installment of this end-of-year STEM Robotics  competition.   Teams from elementary through high school competed head-to-head in three events; Robo-Dragsters, Line Racers and Sumo-Bots.  First and second place awards were presented for top performers in each event, as well as overall School Champions in the Elementary/Middle and Jr. High/High School Divisions.  This year, teams from as far north as Burlington and as far south as White Pass competed.  Tremendous sportsmanship was demonstrated by all participants, from helping each other in "the Pits" to congratulating each other on the competition fields.   Robo-Dragsters In the Robo-Dragsters, robots must start on the sound of the starting gun, race straight and fast to the finish line, and stop as a result of sensing that dark finish line.  Several races were determined by 1/30 of second with instant-replay photo-finishes.   Black Hills High School took first place over Washington Middle School in one of those razor-close finishes.   Line Racers In the Line Racer, robots must follow a dark line around a curvy, looped course - a course which contestants do not see until the day of the competition.  Teams may control their robot's speed through a wired-remote-control as they walk it around the course, however they cannot steer the robot - it must be tracking the edge of the line at all times by itself.  Competing robots start on opposite sides of the course and the race is over after 2 laps, or when one robot catches up to the other.  Black Hills High School dominated this event, taking home both the first and second place awards.   Sumo-Bots In the Sumo-Bots, opposing robots attempt to push each other out of a 3-foot square arena.  Teams must design, build and program a robot which keeps itself in the white arena while attempting to push its opponent entirely onto the the black border.  If one robot becomes unable to move while the other still can, the mobile robot is declared the winner.  Washington Middle School earned the first place award by edging out the Black Hills High School team in the final.   School Champions All the events are run as double elimination tournaments, so each team competes at least twice in the contest.  Each school is allowed up to two entries in each of the three events - so most schools ran their own local competition to determine their top-two entries, with only the best of the best making the trip to the Invitational.  At the event, teams are awarded points for all finishes 9th place and above, including ties, to determine the overall school champions.  Detailed team results are shown at the bottom of this page.   In the Jr. High/High School Division, Black Hills was awarded the School Championship Award for their dominating performance, with Avanti High School finishing second and Olympia High School just one point behind in third place.  Congratulation to Matt Bell and his team from Black Hills.     In the Elementary/Middle School Division there was a tie for first place, with both Jefferson Middle School and Washington Middle School being declared co-Champions.  Chinook Middle School placed a strong second and Marshall Middle School came in third.  Congratulations to Rich Bakala and Jacob Baker and their two-class team from Jefferson, as well as Candyce Burroughs and Ray Gutierrez for their repeat victory as event champions with their two-class team from Washington.   A special thank you goes out to all the volunteers, tech support and logistics helpers who made this event possible for our students.  Thank you for allowing us to run a quality event. See you all next year!!     Overall Team Results
School Dragster Red Dragster Blue Sumo Red Sumo Blue Line Red Line Blue Overall Results School
Black Hills HS 8 3 7 3 8 7 36 Black Hills HS
Avanti HS 5 6 1 1 1 1 15 Avanti HS
Olympia HS 2 5 5 1 0 1 14 Olympia HS
Capital HS 2 0 0 4 4 0 10 Capital HS
White Pass JH 1 1 0 0 2 1 5 White Pass JH
Burl-Ed HS 1 0 2 0 1 0 4 Burl-Ed HS
School Dragster Red Dragster Blue Sumo Red Sumo Blue Line Red Line Blue Overall Results School
Jefferson MS 3 3 4 6 6 5 27 Jefferson MS
Washington MS 6 7 1 8 2 3 27 Washington MS
Chinook MS 0 1 6 5 3 6 21 Chinook MS
Marshall MS 3 1 1 1 5 4 15 Marshall MS
Washington ES 1 2 3 0 3 3 12 Washington ES
ORLA MS 4 4 0 1 0 2 11 ORLA MS
Shelton MS 0 1 3 3 1 1 9 Shelton MS
Onalaska MS 1 0 2 2 1 0 6 Onalaska MS
Reeves MS 0 2 0 0 0 2 4 Reeves MS
Tumwater MS 0 0 1 2 0 0 3 Tumwater MS

All Middle Schools Now Accepting FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Applications by rsteele - 08-30-2013
All Middle Schools in the Olympia School District are now accepting applications for this year's Varsity Robotics Teams.  Just like varsity sports, these after-school teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level as they tackle in the international FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition. Teams will work on this year's challenge,Nature's Fury.  The teams will design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.  This video describes Nature's Fury Robot Game, while this video shows a robot completing the missions from the previous year's game (Body Forward).  The process for developing the research Project for Nature's Fury is described in  this video. Application are due Friday, September 13 and are available in hardcopy at each school and  online here in Word format or here in pdf format.  Note: the application includes several parts (written responses, teacher recommendations, parent permission), so don't wait until the last minute to apply.   If you have any questions, please contact your school's FLL Teacher-Coach: Jefferson: Jeremey Ring (jring@osd.wednet.edu) Marshall: Malinda Lamm (mlamm@osd.wednet.edu) ORLA: Steve Youngs (syoungs@osd.wednet.edu) Reeves: Mac Jones (mjones@osd.wednet.edu) Washington: Ray Gutierrez (rgutierrez@osd.wednet.edu) or Randy Steele (rsteele@osd.wednet.edu). We look forward to another exciting season and strong showing by this year's FLL teams.
First FTC Olympia League Match set for Saturday, November 23 at Jefferson MS by rsteele - 11-18-2013
The Olympia School District will host the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Olympia League  season beginning Saturday, November 23, at Jefferson Middle School.  Seventeen teams from Thurston, Mason and Gray's Harbor Counties will begin arriving at 12:30 for check-in and inspections; matches will run 2:00 - 5:00.  This is the first of three League Matches which combined will determine these 17 teams' seeding at the Southern Washington Inter-League Championships on January 11, 2014.   Teams will be competing in this year's FTC challenge, "Block Party" (see this video animation.) This promises to be an exciting season with lots of strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year's game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances. Come join us to see "Robotics as a Sport" and cheer on your favorite team!!    
OSD High Schools Dominate First FTC League Match by rsteele - 11-26-2013
Olympia School District high school teams dominated the inaugural FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Olympia League Event on Saturday, November 23, at Jefferson Middle School.  Seventeen teams from Thurston, Mason and Gray's Harbor Counties competed in the first of three League Events, which combined will determine these 17 teams' seeding at the Southern Washington Inter-League Championships on January 11, 2014 at Jefferson Middle School.   Teams competed in this year's FTC challenge, "Block Party" (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year's game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   Oly Cow (team #6424) from Olympia High School ended up undefeated and topped the rankings in a promising start to their attempt to retrace their path last year to the State Championships.  The Capital Gear Grinders from Capital High School (#5061) and DERPA from Olympia High School (#7113) came in second and third respectively, separated only by a few tie-breaker points.  Avanti High School also made a strong showing, with BGIP (#4448) placing 4th and MIP (#7111) finishing in 7th place.  A veteran team from Elma High School, Elma Robotics (#6091), placed 5th and rookie teams from North Thurston High School (#7705), Shelton's Oakland Bay Junior High School (#7299) and Pope John Paul II High School (#8030) rounded out the top half of the field.   Rookie and veteran teams alike all learned a great deal at this first competition and now have two weeks to refine their robots before the second League Event on Saturday, December 7th at the Olympia High School Commons (rear parking lot).  Admission is free, and the public is welcome to come and cheer on your favorite team in "Robotics as a Sport".  Matches will run 1:00 to 5:00 on Saturday afternoon.     The final standings from the first event and school affiliations are presented below:

South Sound League Competition Division: Olympia League Competition Ranking List


Rank Team Team Name QP RP Highest Matches
1 6424 Oly Cow 12 200 128 6
2 5061 Capital Gear Grinders 9 106 85 6
3 7113 DERPA 9 99 128 6
4 4448 BGIP 8 148 87 6
5 6091 Elma Robotics 8 147 80 6
6 7705 Radioactive Chinchillas 8 133 105 6
7 7111 MIP 8 109 95 6
8 7299 T-Wolf 7 154 86 6
9 8030 Steel Wings 6 98 85 6
10 7829 Mighty Soph's 6 98 63 6
11 7742 Jaktd Jadda 6 95 93 6
12 7973 One and Oly 6 83 122 6
13 6421 ACRONYM 4 93 64 6
14 4131 Mighty Men of Machines 3 59 87 6
15 3838 Thor 2 82 64 6
16 7112 Broken Motors 0 83 26 6
17 6415 BazingaBots 0 66 50 6

QP (Total Qualification Points) - 2 Points for a WIN, 1 Point for a TIE, 0 Points for a LOSS. RP (Total Ranking Points) - Ranking points are awarded using the losing alliance's score in each match. Highest (Highest Match Score) - The highest match score awarded to the team.

South Sound League Competition Division: Olympia League Competition Team List


Number Name School City State Country
3838 Thor Yelm High School
4131 Mighty Men of Machines Yelm High School
4448 BGIP Avanti High School
5061 Capital Gear Grinders Capital High Schools
6091 Elma Robotics Elma High SChool
6415 BazingaBots Aberdeen High School
6421 ACRONYM Tumwater Robotics Club
6424 Oly Cow Olympia High School
7111 MIP Avanti High School
7112 Broken Motors Capital High School
7113 DERPA Olympia High School
7299 T-Wolf Oakland Bay Junior High School
7705 Radioactive Chinchillas North Thurston High School
7742 Jaktd Jadda North Thurston High School
7829 Mighty Soph's Yelm High School
7973 One and Oly Olympia High School
8030 Steel Wings Pope John Paul II High School

OSD High Schools Top Second FTC League Event by rsteele - 12-08-2013
Olympia School District high school teams came out on top again at the second FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Olympia League Event on Saturday, December 7, at Olympia High School.  Sixteen teams from Thurston, Mason and Gray’s Harbor Counties competed in this second of three League Events, which combined will determine these teams’ seeding at the Southern Washington Inter-League Championships on January 11, 2014 at Jefferson Middle School.  The third and final FTC Olympia League Event will be held Saturday, December 21 in Olympia High School Commons at 1:00.   Teams competed in this year’s FTC challenge, “Block Party” (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year’s game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   BGIP (team #4448) from Avanti High School topped the rankings in the second event with DERPA (team #7113) from Olympia High School placing second.  Teams from North Thurston, Shelton and Tumwater placed third through fifth respectively.  FTC Olympia Event #1 leader Oly Cow (team #6424) placed sixth and the Broken Motors from Capital High School (#7112) ended up Event #2 in ninth.  Complete Event #2 results and team affiliations are shown below.   In the cumulative results from the first two FTC Olympia League events, Avanti's BGIP and Olympia's DERPA and Oly Cow are ranked first, second and third respectively.  The Capital Gear Grinders (team #5061) from Capital High School are ranked seventh in the cumulative results.   Rookie and veteran teams alike all showed great progress between the first and second FTC Olympia League Events, with the average score per match increasing from 77 points to 115 points in just two weeks.  Teams now have another two weeks to further refine their robots before the third and final League Event on Saturday, December 21st at the Olympia High School Commons (rear parking lot).  Admission is free, and the public is welcome to come and cheer on your favorite team in “Robotics as a Sport”.  Matches will run 1:00 to 5:30 on Saturday afternoon.   On January 11 2014, OSD will host the Southern Washington Inter-League Championships where the teams from the Olympia League will be joined by teams from the Vancouver/Portland area to determine which teams advance to the the State Championships.  STEM Pals is looking for 60+ volunteers to help with this event.  If you or someone you know would be interested in helping, check out this Volunteer Needs page for more information. The final standings from the second event and school affiliations are presented below

Olympia League Ranking List, Event #2


Rank Team Team Name QP RP Highest Matches
1 4448 BGIP 12 242 178 6
2 7113 DERPA 10 255 178 6
3 7705 Radioactive Chinchillas 8 333 88 6
4 7299 T-Wolf 6 232 157 6
5 6421 ACRONYM 6 203 82 6
6 6424 Oly Cow 6 189 93 6
7 7742 Jaktd Jadda 6 164 82 6
8 8030 Steel Wings 6 129 80 6
9 7112 Broken Motors 6 121 145 6
10 6091 Elma Robotics 6 82 62 6
11 3838 Thor 4 173 79 6
12 5061 Capital Gear Grinders 4 151 58 6
13 7973 One and Oly 4 138 137 6
14 7111 MIP 4 136 83 6
15 7829 Mighty Soph's 4 129 120 6
16 4131 Mighty Men of Machines 4 113 88 6

QP (Total Qualification Points) - 2 Points for a WIN, 1 Point for a TIE, 0 Points for a LOSS. RP (Total Ranking Points) - Ranking points are awarded using the losing alliance's score in each match. Highest (Highest Match Score) - The highest match score awarded to the team.

Division: Olympia League Competition Team List


Number Name School City State Country
3838 Thor Yelm High School
4131 Mighty Men of Machines Yelm High School
4448 BGIP Avanti High School
5061 Capital Gear Grinders Capital High Schools
6091 Elma Robotics Elma High SChool
6415 BazingaBots Aberdeen High School
6421 ACRONYM Tumwater Robotics Club
6424 Oly Cow Olympia High School
7111 MIP Avanti High School
7112 Broken Motors Capital High School
7113 DERPA Olympia High School
7299 T-Wolf Oakland Bay Junior High School
7705 Radioactive Chinchillas North Thurston High School
7742 Jaktd Jadda North Thurston High School
7829 Mighty Soph’s Yelm High School
7973 One and Oly Olympia High School
8030 Steel Wings Pope John Paul II High School

Final FTC Olympia League Event Determines Seeding for South WA Championships by rsteele - 12-22-2013
Olympia School District hosted the third and final FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Olympia League Event on Saturday, December 21, at Olympia High School.  Seventeen teams from Thurston, Mason and Gray’s Harbor Counties competed in this series of League Events, whose combined results have determined these teams’ seeding at the Southern Washington Inter-League Championships on January 11, 2014 at Jefferson Middle School.   Teams competed in this year’s FTC challenge, “Block Party” (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year’s game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   Two rookie teams topped the cumulative Olympia League standings, with DERPA (team #7113) from Olympia High School ending up top seed, and the Radioactive Chinchillas (team #7705) from North Thurston placing second overall.  Two veteran OSD teams, Avanti's BGIP (team #4448) and Olympia High's Oly Cow (team #6424) placed third and fourth respectively.  The entire league was well represented with teams from Elma, Lacey, Shelton and Yelm placing fifth through 8th and the Broken Motors from Capital High School (#7112) ending up in 9th place.   Rookie and veteran teams alike all showed great progress through the three FTC Olympia League Events. The average score per match increased from 77 points in Event #1 on November 23, to 115 points in Event #2 on December 7, and finally to 177 points on December 23.  Teams now have three weeks to refine their robot hardware and software before the FTC Southern Washington Inter-League Championships.   On January 11 2014, OSD will host the Southern Washington Inter-League Championships where the teams from the Olympia League will be joined by teams from the Vancouver/Portland area to determine which teams advance to the the State Championships.  STEM Pals is looking for 60+ volunteers to help with this event.  If you or someone you know would be interested in helping, check out this Volunteer Needs page for more information.  The schedule for the Championships will be as follows: 7:15    Pit Admin and Volunteer Check-in arrive 8:00    Teams arrive 8:30    Judging begins 11:00    Judging ends 11:30    Opening Ceremonies followed by qual matches 3:30    Alliance Selection 4:00    Eliminations 5:00    Awards The final standings from the third event as well as the cumulative 3-event Olympia League rankings are shown below:

Olympia League Ranking List, Event #3

Rank Team Team Name QP RP Highest Matches
1 7705 Radioactive Chinchillas 12 358 214 6
2 7113 DERPA 10 391 214 6
3 6091 Elma Robotics 8 452 172 6
4 7829 Mighty Soph's 8 318 158 6
5 7742 Jaktd Jadda 8 239 131 6
6 3838 Thor 8 236 172 6
7 4131 Mighty Men of Machines 8 206 123 6
8 4448 BGIP 6 423 144 6
9 6424 Oly Cow 6 369 134 6
10 7299 T-Wolf 6 262 107 6
11 5061 Capital Gear Grinders 4 371 156 6
12 6421 ACRONYM 4 331 149 6
13 8030 Steele Wings 4 240 107 6
14 6415 BazingaBots 4 197 173 6
15 7112 Broken Motors 2 265 160 6
16 7111 MIP 2 250 139 6
17 7973 One and Oly 2 246 144 6

QP (Total Qualification Points) - 2 Points for a WIN, 1 Point for a TIE, 0 Points for a LOSS. RP (Total Ranking Points) - Ranking points are awarded using the losing alliance's score in each match. Highest (Highest Match Score) - The highest match score awarded to the team.

Olympia League Cumulative Ranking List, Events #1, #2 &  #3

Rank Team Team Name QP RP Highest Matches
1 7113 DERPA 29 745 214 18
2 7705 Radioactive Chinchillas 28 824 214 18
3 4448 BGIP 26 813 178 18
4 6424 Oly Cow 24 758 134 18
5 6091 Elma Robotics 22 681 172 18
6 7742 Jaktd Jadda 20 498 131 18
7 7299 T-Wolf 19 648 157 18
8 7829 Mighty Soph's 18 545 158 18
9 5061 Capital Gear Grinders 17 628 156 18
10 8030 Steel Wings 16 467 107 18
11 4131 Mighty Men of Machines 15 378 123 18
12 6421 ACRONYM 14 627 149 18
13 7111 MIP 14 495 139 18
14 3838 Thor 14 491 172 18
15 7973 One and Oly 12 467 144 18
16 7112 Broken Motors 8 469 160 18
17 6415 BazingaBots 4 263 173 12

OSD FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Teams Head to Regional Qualifiers by rsteele - 01-05-2014
All Middle Schools in the Olympia School District are fielding Varsity Robotics Teams for this year's international FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition.  Just like varsity sports, these after-school teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level.  Reeves middle school has three FLL teams, while ORLA Jefferson, Marshall and Washington middle schools have two teams each.   Teams have worked hard on this year's challenge, Nature's Fury.  The teams are required to design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.  This video describes Nature's Fury Robot Game, while this video shows a robot completing the missions from the previous year's game (Body Forward).  The process for developing the research Project for Nature's Fury is described in  this video.   On Saturday, January 11, the Leg' O Lords and Cubic Crusaders from Marshall Middle School, the Alpha Techno Pod and Destruction Pod from ORLA, and the Brick Bulldogs and Team Delta from Washington Middle School will head to Spanaway Middle School for their Regional Qualifier.  The next day, Sunday January 12, the Electrons and Insert Name Here from Jefferson Middle School will be joined by the Sparkly Unicorn Ninjas, Team Waffles and Team Hypersonic from Reeves Middle School, also at Spanaway Middle School. The schedule for both days is presented below:
7:45 am Team Check-in Opens
8:30am Coach Meeting
9:15 am Judge Sessions Begin
12:00 pm Lunch
12:30 pm Opening Ceremonies
12:45 pm Robot Competitions
3:30 pm Awards Ceremony
4:00 pm Load Out
Both Regional Qualifiers are being held at Spanaway Middle School: Spanaway Middle School 15701 "B" Street E. Spanaway, WA. 98387 If you have any questions, please contact your school's FLL Teacher-Coach: Jefferson: Jeremey Ring (jring@osd.wednet.edu) Marshall: Malinda Lamm (mlamm@osd.wednet.edu) ORLA: Steve Youngs (syoungs@osd.wednet.edu) Reeves: Mac Jones (mjones@osd.wednet.edu) Washington: Ray Gutierrez (rgutierrez@osd.wednet.edu) or Randy Steele (rsteele@osd.wednet.edu). Come cheer on your favorite team as they strive to earn a spot at the Western Washington FLL Semi-finals.
OSD Teams Advance to Next Level in State Robotics Competitions by rsteele - 01-13-2014
It was a very busy weekend with 18 Olympia School District robotics teams competing in three different competitions.  All Middle Schools in the Olympia School District fielded Varsity Robotics Teams for this year's international FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition, with 11 teams entered into the 96 team, two-day, Regional Qualifiers.  Just like varsity sports, these after-school teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level.  Reeves middle school has three FLL teams, while ORLA Jefferson, Marshall and Washington middle schools have two teams each.  Three OSD teams won awards, and two of these teams earned berths at the Washington State FLL Semi-Finals (details below).   Also, this past weekend OSD hosted the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) South Washington Inter-League Championships at Jefferson Middle School.  The 17 teams from Thurston, Mason and Gray’s Harbor Counties in our Olympia FTC League were joined by teams from the Vancouver/Portland area to determine which teams advance to the State Washington State Championships.  OSD has seven FTC teams, with three from Olympia High School and two each from Avanti and Capital high schools.  Three OSD teams from two schools earned berths at the FTC State Championships (details below).   At the Spanaway FLL Regional Qualifiers, our OSD teams had their chance to demonstrate their hard work on this year's challenge, Nature's Fury.  The teams were required to design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.  This video describes Nature's Fury Robot Game, while this video shows a robot completing the missions from the previous year's game (Body Forward).  The process for developing the research Project for Nature's Fury is described in  this video.   On Saturday, the Leg' O Lords and Cubic Crusaders from Marshall Middle School, the Alpha Techno Pod and Destruction Pod from ORLA, and the Brick Bulldogs and Team Delta from Washington Middle School went up against 42 other teams at Spanaway Middle School.  The next day, the Electrons and Insert Name Here from Jefferson Middle School joined  the Sparkly Unicorn Ninjas, Team Waffles and Team Hypersonic from Reeves Middle School to go up against 43 other contenders.  All our teams performed very well.   At the end of the weekend, OSD took home 3 awards:
  • Reeves' all-girl Sparkly Unicorn Ninjas won the Robot Design award
  • Jefferson's Insert Name Here won the Project Award
  • Jefferson's Electrons captured the coveted Champion's Award for the best over-all performance in all areas of the competition
In addition, both Jefferson teams earned berths at the FLL Western Washington State Semi-finals in Mill Creek on Sunday, February 9. Information on this event is available here. Congratulations to all our FLL Varsity Robotics Teams and good luck to the Electrons and Insert Name Here in Mill Creek!!   Meanwhile this weekend, our high school FTC teams competed in this year’s FTC challenge, “Block Party” (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year’s game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   This season, OSD fielded seven FTC teams, with Avanti High School's BGIP (team #4448) and MIP (#7111),  Capital High School's Broken Motors (#7112) and Capital Gear Grinders (#5061) and Olympia High School's team DERPA (#7113), Oly Cow (#6424) and One and Oly (#7973).  These seven teams, along with 10 others from Thurston, Mason and Gray’s Harbor Counties competed in a series of Olympia FTC League Events to determine their seeding going into the South Washington Championships.  Twelve teams from the Vancouver/Portland area complete the 29 team field for Saturday.   Teams spent the morning with Judge Interviews and preparing their robots for competition.  Around noon, six more qualifying rounds (44 matches) were held to settle on the final seeding of the mixed leagues for the Elimination Round.  Four teams would advance to the State Championships based on the Judged Awards and four more from the Elimination Round game play.  All the OSD teams did well in both the judging and qualifying matches, with two OSD teams, DERPA (#7113), BGIP (#4448) placing second and third respectively, thus earning them the right to be captains of one of four Elimination Round alliances.   By the time alliance selection was complete, two Olympia High School teams, DERPA (#7113) and Oly Cow (#6424), were members of the second seed alliance and both Avanti and Capital high schools, BGIP (#4448) and Capital Gear Grinders (#5061), were members of the the third seeded alliance.  Unfortunately, the second and third seeds play each other in the first round of elimination, so all the OSD teams were pitted against each other before the finals.  The Avanti/Capital allianace won the first match, but then the Olympia alliance rallied to win two in a row in the the best two-out-of-three Elimination Round.  The OHS alliance then went on the the finals, losing a high scoring pair of matches to the top seeded alliance.  However, DERPA (#7113), won a berth at the State Championships by captaining a finalist alliance team.   It then came down to the Judged Awards, and again OSD teams did very well.   Avanti High School's  BGIP (#4448) was one of the Inpsire Award winners, recognized for their overall performance in all Judged categories and game play.  Olympia High School's Oly Cow (#6424) team won the Think Award, recognizing their proven engineering prowess. Both these awards also earned these teams a berth at the State Championships.   Congratulations to all our FTC Robotics Teams for an excellent season, and good luck to our three State-bound teams, Avanti's BGIP (#4448) and Olympia's DERPA (#7113) and Oly Cow (#6424) as they prepare for the January 26 event at Issaquah High School.     The complete results from the FTC South Washington Inter-League Championships are presented below:  

Teams Eligible for Advancement


Advancement Criteria Team Number
1. Inspire Award Winner 4855
2. State Championship Winning Alliance Captain 7013
3. Inspire Award Finalist 2 4092
4. State Championship Winning Alliance First Pick 5604
5. Inspire Award Finalist 3 4448
6. State Championship Winning Alliance Second Pick 5939
7. Think Award Winner 6424
8. State Championship Finalist Alliance Captain 7113
 

South WA Inter-League Championship Ranking List


Rank Team Team Name QP RP Highest Matches
1 7013 Hot Wired 42 2064 356 6
2 7113 DERPA 37 1322 203 6
3 4448 BGIP 36 1290 159 6
4 5604 ThunderBots 35 1971 356 6
5 7705 Radioactive Chinchillas 34 1282 141 6
6 6424 Oly Cow 34 1250 236 6
7 4855 Batteries in Black 30 1684 241 6
8 3525 Banks Bots 27 1373 198 6
9 7829 Mighty Soph's 27 1094 187 6
10 7299 T-Wolf 27 1053 243 6
11 6091 Elma Robotics 26 1418 185 6
12 4508 E=MC Squirreled 26 1035 155 6
13 7465 Paper Blotter Outers 24 1530 141 6
14 7742 Jaktd Jadda 24 1080 172 6
15 5939 Team AFOOFA 23 1836 199 6
16 6559 Geared Reaction 23 1445 157 6
17 5061 Capital Gear Grinders 23 1055 172 6
18 8030 Steel Wings 22 946 177 6
19 4131 Manly Men of Machinery 21 770 190 6
20 5938 The Loose Screws 20 1064 181 6
21 6421 A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. 19 1003 124 6
22 6493 Roboticans 18 1400 199 6
23 7111 MIP 18 1077 184 6
24 3838 Thor 16 944 131 6
25 7766 Roboticans Too 14 1221 241 6
26 7973 One and Oly 12 727 118 6
27 7112 Broken Motors 11 837 271 6
28 6415 BazingaBots 4 662 132 6
29 4092 The Nanites 3 464 212 6

QP (Total Qualification Points) - 2 Points for a WIN, 1 Point for a TIE, 0 Points for a LOSS. RP (Total Ranking Points) - Ranking points are awarded using the losing alliance's score in each match. Highest (Highest Match Score) - The highest match score awarded to the team.
Ranking List generated at 01/11/14 06:58:37 PM

Awards Report


Motivate Award
This Judged Award celebrates the Team that exemplifies the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge Competition through Team spirit and enthusiasm. This Team shows their spirit through costumes and fun outfits, a Team cheer or outstanding spirit, or through their collective efforts to make FIRST known throughout their school or community.
The finalists for this award are:
Team 7742, Jaktd Jadda Team 4092, The Nanites
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Motivate Award:
The Motivate Award is presented to:
Team 6559, Geared Reaction from ,
Connect Award
The Connect Award is presented to the Team that the Judges feel most connected with their local community and the engineering community. The best Team is more than the sum of its parts, and recognizes that their schools and communities play an essential part to their success. The recipient of this Award is recognized for helping the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the Team itself. In addition, the Team that wins this Award is aggressively seeking engineers and exploring the opportunities available in the world of engineering, science, and technology.
The finalists for this award are:
Team 4092, The Nanites Team 4855, Batteries in Black
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Connect Award:
The Connect Award is presented to:
Team 5939, Team AFOOFA from ,
Rockwell Collins Innovate Award
The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award celebrates a Team that not only thinks outside the box, but also has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life. This Award is given to the Team that the Judges feel has the most Innovative and Creative Robot design solution to the FIRST Tech Challenge to any or all specific Field Elements or components. Elements of this Award include elegant design, robustness, and 'out of the box' thinking with regard to design. This Award may address the design of the whole Robot or some sub-assembly component attached to the Robot. The creative component needs to work consistently, but a Robot does not have to work all of the time during Matches to be considered for this Award. The Team's Engineering Notebook showed the design of the component(s) and the Team's Robot, and described succinctly how the Team arrived at that solution.
The finalists for this award are:
Team 4448, BGIP Team 5939, Team AFOOFA
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award:
The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award is presented to:
Team 7013, Hot Wired from ,
PTC Design Award
The intent of the PTC Design Award is to expand the challenge, inspiring Teams to incorporate industrial design into their Robots. These elements can be shown in the simplicity of the design as it applies to the tasks, the look and feel of the Robot, and how the design allows us to think of Robots in new ways. The Design aspect must serve a function, but they should also differentiate the Robot in a unique fashion, not an easy task with a limited set of parts and Game challenge.
The finalists for this award are:
Team 6424, Oly Cow Team 5939, Team AFOOFA
This is what the judges said about the winner of the PTC Design Award:
The PTC Design Award is presented to:
Team 3525, Banks Bots from ,
Think Award
The Think Award is given to the Team that the Judges feel best understood the role of the Engineering Notebook in the design process. The Engineering Notebook is the key reference for Judges to help them identify the most deserving Team. This Team's Engineering Notebook focused on the design and build stages of the Team's Robot.
The finalists for this award are:
Team 7013, Hot Wired Team 7113, DERPA
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Think Award:
The Think Award is presented to:
Team 6424, Oly Cow from ,
Inspire Award
The Inspire Award is given to the Team that the Judges felt truly embodied the 'challenge' of the FTC program. This Team serves as an inspiration to what this program and the young minds involved, can accomplish. The Team that receives this Award has performed well in all Judging categories and was chosen by the Judges as a model FIRST Tech Challenge Team. The Judges used Match performance, observations made during interviews and in the Pit area, the Team's Engineering Notebook, and performance on the Playing Field in determining the winner.
The finalists for this award are:
Second Place: Team 4092, The Nanites Third Place: Team 4448, BGIP
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Inspire Award:
The Inspire Award is presented to:
Team 4855, Batteries in Black from ,
Promote Award
The Promote Award is given to the Team that is most successful in creating a compelling message for the public designed to change our culture and celebrate science, technology, engineering, and math. The FTC Public Service Announcement Video was evaluated by the Judges to determine the winner of this Award. Teams must present a thoughtful and high-quality video which appeals to the general public.
The finalists for this award are:
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Promote Award:
The Promote Award is presented to:
Compass Award
The Compass Award recognizes an adult Coach or Mentor who provided outstanding guidance and support for an FTC Team throughout the year. The winner of the Compass Award is determined from candidates nominated by FTC Team members via a 40-60 second video submission highlighting how their Mentor has helped them become an outstanding Team.
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Compass Award:
The Compass Award is presented to:
Control Award
The Control Award celebrates a Team that uses sensors and software to enhance the Robot's functionality in the Field. This award is given to the Team that demonstrates innovative thinking in the control system to solve Game Challenges such as Autonomous operation, enhancing mechanical systems with intelligent control, or using sensors to achieve better results on the Field.
The finalists for this award are:
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Control Award:
The Control Award is presented to:
Judge's Award
The Judges Award is given at the discretion of the judges to a team they have encountered whose unique efforts, performance or dynamics merit recognition, yet the team does not fit into any of the existing award categories.
The finalists for this award are:
This is what the judges said about the winner of the Judge's Award:
The Judge's Award is presented to:
Team 7299, T-Wolf from ,
State Championship Winning Alliance
This is what the judges said about the winner of the State Championship Winning Alliance:
The State Championship Winning Alliance is presented to:
Alliance 1: 7013,5604,5939
State Championship Finalist Alliance
This is what the judges said about the winner of the State Championship Finalist Alliance:
The State Championship Finalist Alliance is presented to:
Alliance 2: 7113,6424,4855
FTC Scoring Software © 2013-2014 FIRST®
Awards Report generated at 01/11/14 06:58:37 PM
   
OSD FTC Teams Tackle the Washington State Championships; One Team Advances to Western U.S. Super-Regional by rsteele - 01-27-2014
All Olympia School District high schools competed in this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition, “Block Party” (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year’s game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.  Three OSD teams from Olympia and Avanti high schools excelled at the FTC South Washington Championships and earned the right to compete this past weekend in the FTC State Championships in Issaquah.  One OSD team advanced to earn a berth at the FTC Western U.S. Super-Regional.

 Qualifying for the State Championships

Avanti High School's team #4448, BGIP (Big Group of Indecisive People) qualified for the State Championships based on their top-3 finish for the overall Inspire Award at the South WA Championships.  This award recognizes teams that embody the overall spirit and challenge of FTC and demonstrate the core value of Gracious Professionalism. These Avanti students are part of an Advanced Robotics Class and worked extensively after school and on non-school days to complete their robot and help other rookie teams in the Olympia FTC League.  The team had only one veteran member and many motivated rookies. Their robot went through a complete tear-down and rebuild prior to this State competition.    Olympia High School had two of their three teams qualify for the State Championships.   Oly Cow (#6424) is a veteran team that formed as a club in 2012, since OHS did not yet have an advanced Robotics Engineering class.  This team met exclusively after school and on non-school days to work on their robot.  The team worked off-season, engineering a unique drive system and participating in community outreach events.  Oly Cow qualified for the State Championships based upon their winning the Think Award at the South WA Championships.  This award recognizes the team that not only creates an innovative design, but documents their learning throughout the engineering process.   Team DERPA (#7113) from OHS also advanced to the State Championships.  This is a rookie team based out of the new advanced Robotics Engineering class at OHS.  The class experimented with many design concepts and ended upon with two competing robot designs which went head-to-head before each competition to determine which would take the field for each event.  DERPA was a strong contender in the Block Party game through all three Olympia League matches and the South Washington Championships, where they finished the qualifying matches in second place.  The high ranking allowed them to captain an alliance through the elimination rounds, all the way to the finals.  This game performance earned them their berth at the State Championships.  

Results of FTC Washington State Championships

Teams spent the morning with Judge Interviews and preparing their robots for competition.  Around noon, six qualifying rounds (48 matches) were held to settle on the final seeding for the Elimination Round.  Of the 48 teams at the Washington State Championships, only 8 would advance to the Western U.S. Super-Regional based on the Judged Awards and the Elimination Round game play.  All the OSD teams did well in both the judging and qualifying matches.   Olympia High School's Team DERPA (#7113) played their qualifying matches with strong performances in both autonomous mode and the end-game .  They were one of the few teams that could score maximum points in the 30 second end-game by both raising the flag and climbing the center bar so quickly.  At the end of the qualification matches DERPA ended up in the middle third of the 48 team field.  This was an impressive performance at the State-level from a true rookie team; both teacher-coach, Alex Steinkamp, and his classroom-based team were a new to FTC.  We look for exciting things from Olympia High School's advanced Robotics Engineering class next season.   Avanti High School's BGIP team (#4448) had another great showing at the State Championships.  They battled through some early technical issues that had them in 21st place (out of 48) after two rounds, to end in 16th place after four rounds.  Two great performances in the final two rounds placed BGIP in 9th at the end of the qualifying matches.  This team had a great season, expanding the size and scope of their team and taking on a leadership role in the Olympia League.  A "Top 10" finish in the state was a note-worthy close to their exciting season.   Olympia High School's Oly Cow Team (#6424) dominated the game play throughout the qualifying matches, ending the second, fourth and sixth rounds in 3rd, 5th, and 4th places respectively.  Their 4th place finish earned them the right to captain an alliance in the Elimination Round, but in a gutsy strategic move, they chose to accept an invitation from the 3rd seed team to join their alliance for the Elimination Round.  They breezed through the semifinals, winning two straight matches in the best-two-out-of-three round.  In the finals, they won the opening match, but then unfortunately lost the next two razor-close matches to end up in 2nd place for the tournament.  After a nail-biting Award Ceremony, Oly Cow was finally announced as the Inspire Award winner; recognizing them as the top team in Washington State who best modeled all the aspects for FTC.   Congratulations to all our FTC Robotics Teams from OSD for an excellent season and good luck to our FTC Western U.S. Super-Regional bound  team Oly Cow (#6424) as they take on over a dozen other states in their bid to get to the World Championships. Oly Cow needs your support to help with travel and competition expenses for the Western U.S. Super-Regional in Sacramento, CA on March 20-22, 2014. To support Oly Cow (Team # 6424), please click below: [donate2 need='FTC Team 6424']

 

 
OSD FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Team Advances to State Championships by rsteele - 02-10-2014
All Middle Schools in the Olympia School District fielded Varsity Robotics Teams for this year's international FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition. Just like varsity sports, these after-school teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level.  At the Spanaway FLL Regional Qualifiers last month, both Jefferson Middle School teams qualified for the Western Washington FLL Semi-Final, held this past weekend in Mill Creek. The Electrons and Insert Name Here had great showings at this event.   The Jefferson teams went toe-to-toe with the 80 best FLL teams in Western Washington, demonstrating their hard work on this year's challenge, Nature's Fury.  The teams were required to design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.  This video describes Nature's Fury Robot Game, while this video shows a robot completing the missions from the previous year's game (Body Forward).  The process for developing the research Project for Nature's Fury is described in  this video.   Jefferson's Insert Name Here had won the Project Award at the Spanaway Qualifier and had another strong showing with the judges at the semi-finals.  The team won the Strategy and Innovation Award, for their thoughtful and analytical approach to the robot design.  Unfortunately, they did not score in the top echelon of the Robot Game, so they did not advance to the next level.  This team has one only veteran member, the other seven students are all rookie FLL'ers.  Congratulations to all the members of Insert Name Here for their excellent, multiple-award winning season.  Jefferson looks to be in good shape for next year's Varsity Robotics team.   Jefferson's the Electrons team captured the coveted Champion's Award for the best over-all performance at the Spanaway Qualifier last month.  The team performed well in all aspects of the judging and ended up in the top quartile of the Robot Game.  Although the team did not bubble to the top in any award category, their strong performance in the three judging areas and robot game scoring earned them a berth at the FLL State Championships at Central Washington University on Saturday, February 22.  Congratulation to the Electrons on their second straight trip to State!          
Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF) FRC Team Prepares for First Competiton by rsteele - 02-21-2014
The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF), OSD's FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, completed the "Build Season" for 2014 by bagging-and-tagging their robot by the Stop-Build date at midnight on February 18.  The team is tackling the new FRC game, Aerial Assist (see this game animation), which was announced on Jan 4, 2014 - kicking off a 6 weeks Build Season for the team.   The team split into several working groups to tackle the challenge, putting to work the skills they developed during the off-season.  The team is working with pneumatics for the first time (see photo at left) as part of their design solution. This video shows an early test of the revised ball pick-up system, while this video shows an early test of the pneumatically power ball launcher.  The team successfully integrated and tested all the systems by working many long hours over the 4 day Mid-Winter Break period.  This video contains a compilation of photos over the Build Season and videos of the completed robot, named Ibex.   ORF will be competing in two Washington State Qualifiers this year;February 28/March1 at Auburn Mountainview High School and March 27/28 at Auburn High School.  Spectators are welcome and encourage to attend and cheer on ORF.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in supporting/sponsoring the team, check out this STEM Pals Funding Need page.   Last year, at the Seattle FRC Regional, ORF took home the coveted All-Star Rookie Award.  Then, at the FRC World Championships, ORF won the Top-ranked Rookie Award in the Archimedes Division and was captain of an alliance in the elimination round.  Team 4450's success in St. Louis was the culmination of an intense rookie FRC season for the cross-district team which combines students from Avanti, Capital and Olympia high schools in a bid to master last year’s challenge, Ultimate Ascent.  These videos show ORF's second-to-last and last matches in Seattle. Go ORF!!!  
Jefferson Middle School FLL Team Competes with Best in State by rsteele - 02-23-2014
All Middle Schools in the Olympia School District fielded Varsity Robotics Teams for this year's international FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition. Just like varsity sports, these after-school teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level.  At the FLL Spanaway Regional Qualifiers last month, both Jefferson Middle School teams qualified for the Western Washington FLL Semi-Finals held in Mill Creek on February 9.  At this event, one Jefferson  team, The Electrons, earned a berth at the FLL Washington State Championships, held this past weekend at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.   Out of the 591 FLL teams in Washington State and British Columbia, only 55 earned the right to compete in Ellensburg.  The Electrons went toe-to-toe with these top tier teams, demonstrating their hard work on this year's challenge, Nature's Fury.  The teams were required to design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.   This video, hosted by the game designer from U.S. FIRST, describes Nature's Fury Robot Game.  This video shows a robot from Germany (FLL is a worldwide competition) completing several of the Nature's Fury missions.  The image on the right shows the Electrons during the first of three rounds in the Robot Game at the Washington State Championships.   The process for developing the research Project for Nature's Fury is described in  this video.  The Electrons chose forest fire fighting as their research project.  The image at left shows the team meeting with the Department of Natural Resources helicopter fire fighting crews at their Olympia Airport hangar to explore ideas for their innovate solution.  After refining their project, the Electrons met again with several teams from DNR to present their results.  The DNR communication team summarized the Electrons presentation for this DNR "Ear to the Ground" article.   Unfortunately, Washington State did not win a lottery slot to send a team to the FLL World Championships this year, so no teams from Washington or B.C. will advance beyond this competition.   As a result, the Ellensburg trip marked the end of the extremely exciting and intense FLL season for the Electrons.  Congratulations to all the students and coaches for an outstanding and memorable season.       Jefferson's the Electrons team captured the coveted Champion's Award for the best over-all performance at the Spanaway Qualifier last month.  The team performed well in all aspects of the judging and ended up in the top quartile of the Robot Game.  Although the team did not bubble to the top in any award category, their strong performance in the three judging areas and robot game scoring earned them a berth at the FLL State Championships at Central Washington University on Saturday, February 22.  Congratulation to the Electrons on their second straight trip to State!          
OSD FRC Team has Award Winning Performance at Regional Qualifier by rsteele - 03-02-2014
The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF), OSD's FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, competed in their first Washington State Qualifier this past weekend.  The team, number 4450,  is tackling the 2014 FRC game, Aerial Assist (see this game animation), which was announced on Jan 4, 2014 - kicking off a 6 weeks Build Season for the team. The first Auburn Qualifier was held Thursday, February 27 through Friday, March 1 at Auburn Mountainview High School.   On Thursday evening the team worked through a few minor issues to pass all the required inspections and had time for a few rounds on the practice field.  Friday began the qualifying matches and ORF won 8 out 9 matches, ending the first day of competition in first place out of the field of 32 teams.  This raised a lot of eyebrows, given ORF is just in their sophomore year and only 1 of the 32 teams in attendance had less experience than ORF.  In fact, most other teams at the event had many more years, 2 to 5 times more members, and access to advanced fabrication technology.   On Saturday, ORF played 5 more qualify matches and entered the elimination round in 3rd place.  As a top seeded team, ORF became captain of an alliance as they entered the best two-out-of-three playoff rounds.  The ORF alliance won their first match, but unfortunately lost the next two and their playoff run came to and end.  A complete summary of the scoring from ORF's first competition is available on this site.   The team earned qualifying points for each victory at the event, and these point will be combined with those from their second Washington State Qualifier at the end of this month to determine if ORF qualifies for the Pacific Northwest District (PNW) Championships in Portland on April 10-12.  Currently, ORF is ranked well into the top 20% (5th) of the 32 teams in the PNW district which have played so far.  The weekly- updated PNW rankings are available on this site.   During the award ceremony, ORF won the coveted 'Innovation in Control" award, sponsored by Rockwell Automation.  The judges were impressed with the sensor-based auto-shoot functionality that gave ORF with best record in autonomous scoring and consistent accuracy at hitting the high goal during teleop match play (see this game animation for an explanation of these terms).  The photo at left shows the team with their award after the competition.   This successful first competition was the payoff for may long and hard hours of preparation during the 6 week build season which ended on February 18.  The team split into several working groups to tackle the challenge, putting to work the skills they developed during the off-season.  ORF is working with pneumatics for the first time (see photo at right) as part of their design solution. This video shows an early test of the revised ball pick-up system, while this video shows an early test of the pneumatically power ball launcher.  The team successfully integrated and tested all the systems by working through the 4 day Mid-Winter Break period.  This video contains a compilation of photos over the Build Season and videos of the completed robot, named Ibex.   ORF will be competing in their second and final Washington State Qualifier on March 27-29 at Auburn High School.  Spectators are welcome and encourage to attend and cheer on ORF.  The team is beginning to plan for advancement to the Pacific Northwest District Championships in Portland, since their will be less than two weeks between their second qualifier and the PNW Championships.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in supporting/sponsoring the team, check out this STEM Pals Funding Need page. Go ORF!!!
Oly Cow FTC Teams Earns Berth at World Championships by rsteele - 03-24-2014
All Olympia School District high schools competed in this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition, “Block Party” (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle the  game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   Three OSD teams from Olympia and Avanti high schools excelled at the FTC South Washington Championships and earned the right to compete in the FTC State Championships in Issaquah in January.  At "State", one OSD team, Oly Cow (FTC Team# 6424), from Olympia High School advanced to earn a berth at the FTC Western U.S. Super-Regional, held this past week in Sacramento, CA.   The Best of the West: FTC Western Super-Regional The FTC Western Super-Regional is a new level of FTC competition this year.  In prior years, each state was allowed to send two teams to the FTC World Championships.  Due to growth around the world, FTC divided the U.S. into 4 regions, with the 13 western-most states comprising the West Region.  The 72 best teams from these 13 state championships converged on Sacramento, California for this inaugural event.   On the first day, Thursday, March 20, teams unpacked their robots, set up “the Pits”, and prepared their robots to pass the various required inspections.  After passing inspections, teams tested their robot functionality and took turns on the practice fields.  They also began scouting the other 35 teams assigned to their division, both as potential partners and adversaries, since teams are randomly assigned to alliances.  Oly Cow’s nearly 100% custom component design (they used very few kit parts) drew a lot of attention.   The second day, Friday, consisted of seven rounds of qualifying matches.  Oly Cow’s competition got off to a rough start when a system glitch caused the robot to go out of control.  Unfortunately, the glitch caused the robot to operate with motors running full power while facing into the wall, resulting in two damaged motors.  Despite a quick and efficient repair effort, the team was unable to completely reassemble all robot systems before being called for their next match and as a result they under-performed in their second match as well, resulting in a second loss.  It was clear that having two fully functioning robots and skilled drive teams was necessary to win at this level of competition.   With a healthy robot, the rest of the day went much better for Oly Cow and the team won 4 out of their 5 remaining matches.  This placed the team in 15th place at the end of day one.  It also caused other teams to take notice as it became apparent Team# 6424 had one of the fastest and most efficient cube scoring system in the competition.  Oly Cow also began collaborating closely with a team from Portland (Team# 4855) and another from Snohomish (Team# 7817) which had complementary capabilities and had performed well when they had been alliance partners during previous matches.   On the final day, Saturday, teams wrapped up the qualifying rounds with one more match for each team.  At the end of qualifying, Oly Cow ended up in the middle of the pack with their ranking, however, the Snohomish team was ranked #3, promoting them to become a captain of one of the 4 elimination round alliances.  During alliance selection, the Team# 7817 chose both Oly Cow and Team# 4855 from Portland as their divisional alliance partners.   This #3 seeded alliance handily won their semi-final round against the #2 alliance with two straight convincing wins in the best 2-out-of-3 round.  Unfortunately, the Oly Cow alliance lost to the #1 seeded alliance in the divisional final in what proved to be their final round. During the tournament award ceremony,  Team# 6424 members were award Divisional Finalist medals, which in turn qualified them for the FTC World Championships in St. Louis on April 23 to 26.   Preparing for the FTC World Championships Oly Cow is a veteran team that formed as a club in 2012, since OHS did not yet have an advanced Robotics Engineering class.  This team met exclusively after school and on non-school days to work on their robot.  The team worked off-season, engineering a unique drive system and participating in community outreach events.  Oly Cow qualified for the State Championships based upon their winning the Think Award (for engineering design) at the South WA Championships.  The team subsequently won the Inpsire Award, FTC’s highest honor, at the Washington State FTC Championship.  After their most recent success at the FTC Western U.S. Super-Regional, the team is now focusing their year-long efforts on refining their robot for the highest rung of the FTC ladder, the World Championships. Oly Cow is also working to find sponsors and supporters to help with their travel and competition expenses for the FTC World Championships in St. Louis.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in supporting OSD’s world-class FTC team, please go to this STEM Pals Funding Needs page.  Thank you! Congratulation to all the Oly Cow team members and.....Go Cow!!!      
OSD FRC Team Advances to Pacific Northwest Championships by rsteele - 03-30-2014
The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF), OSD’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, competed in their second Washington State Qualifier this past weekend.  The team, number 4450, is tackling the 2014 FRC game, Aerial Assist (see this game animation), which was announced on Jan 4, 2014 – kicking off a 6 weeks Build Season for the team. The second Auburn Qualifier was held Thursday, March 27 through Saturday, March 29 at Auburn High School.   On Thursday evening the team worked through several technical issues (including a surprise mandatory replacement of a recalled pneumatic air tank) in order to pass all the required inspections.  This left time for only two 15 minute rounds on the practice field for the team.  Friday was devoted to qualifying matches and ORF delivered a strong performance, ending the first day of competition in sixth place out of the field of 36 teams.  This got ORF on everyone’s radar as the top ranked sophomore team.  The team’s decision to fabricate and give away “tribbles” as part of the emerging Star Trek-ish theme proved to be a huge hit, with 4450 tribbles quickly becoming the must-have item at the event.   On Saturday, ORF played three more qualify matches, winning two out of three in the increasingly aggressive game play. Team 4450 ended the qualifying matches in 7th place, earning them a spot as the captain of an alliance during elimination rounds.  Through the alliance selection process, ORF ended up being captain of the 4th seeded alliance and chose their two partners for the playoffs.  The ORF alliance won their quarter-final round with a convincing 2-0 victory in the best two-out-of-three playoff round.  Unfortunately, this put them up against the #1 seeded alliance (and eventual tournament champions) in the semi-finals, where the ORF alliance lost two hard fought matches.  A complete summary of the scoring from ORF’s first competition is available on this site.   The team earned qualifying points for each victory at the event, and these points combined with those from their first Washington State Qualifier determine if ORF qualified for the Pacific Northwest District (PNW) Championships.  Additionally, during the award ceremony, ORF won the ‘Spirit” award, largely for the contribution their “tribble” campaign made in ensuring this was a fun and memorable event of all.  This award and the “Innovation” award they won in their first qualifier added to their game-play point total, giving ORF at total 88 points -  guaranteeing them a berth at the FRC Pacific Northwest District Championships in Portland on April 10-12.  The weekly-updated PNW rankings are available on this site.   This second successful competition was the payoff for may long and hard hours of preparation during the 6 week build season which ended on February 18.  The team split into several working groups to tackle the challenge, putting to work the skills they developed during the off-season.  ORF is working with pneumatics for the first time (see photo at right) as part of their design solution. This video shows an early test of the revised ball pick-up system, while this video shows an early test of the pneumatically power ball launcher.  The team successfully integrated and tested all the systems by working through the 4 day Mid-Winter Break period.  This video contains a compilation of photos over the Build Season and videos of the completed robot, named Ibex.   ORF has already begun preparation for the Pacific Northwest District Championships at Veteran’s Coliseum in Portland on April 10 – 12.  Spectators are welcome and encouraged to attend and cheer on ORF during match play on April 11 and 12.  The team continues their concerted fundraising efforts to cover the high cost of travel and competition expense for their  post-season run.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in supporting/sponsoring the team, check out this STEM Pals Funding Need page. Go ORF!!!  
OSD FRC Team Competes at Pacific-Northwest Championships by rsteele - 04-19-2014
The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF), OSD’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, competed in the FRC Pacific Northwest District Championships this past weekend.  The team, number 4450, is tackling the 2014 FRC game, Aerial Assist (see this game animation), which was announced on Jan 4, 2014 – kicking off a 6 weeks Build Season for the team. The District Championships were held at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Portland on April 10 to 12.  ORF qualified for this event through their award-winning performances at two Washington State competitions (see earlier STEM Pals stories here and here).   On Wednesday evening the team's robot, Ibex (see photo at left),  passed robot inspection with no major problem. Then Thursday morning the team tested Ibex with some modifications they had made to the throwing arms after their last competition, resulting in some improvement in shooting performance. The qualification matches began Thursday afternoon, and the team and robot were performing well but they ran into bad luck in their first two matches, with one of their partners losing ability to shoot the ball in the first match and a dead ball caught in one their partner’s robot in the second match. They lost the first two matches, but ended the day with a clear victory in their third match, supported by excellent team work with our alliance partners, resulting in a 1-2 record after the first day.  After the matches the team looked at the robot’s weaknesses and identified a software improvement that could help protect the robot from the heavy defense on the field and team members worked into the night to implement it.   Friday continued the qualifying matches and ORF fought back to a record of 3-3 by midday, despite having to fix a side effect of the late-night code change which caused a delay in shooting and a close loss during the first match of the day.  Midday was the high point, however, as the team lost three close games and won one to finish the day. They impressed their opponents and partners with their speed, durability and the consistency of their scoring during the autonomous period at the beginning of each match. Also one of the strengths of this team is its two very closely matched drive teams, which alternated and gave more team members the opportunity to operate the robot on the field, or serve as the human player that tosses the ball to the robot from the sidelines. Most other teams have only one drive team.   On Saturday, ORF played two more qualifying matches but ended up ranked in the lower half of the field and did not get to play in the finals.  This ended ORF’s quest to advance to the World Championships for a second time as, despite being ranked in the top quartile in the Pacific Northwest, only the top half of the top quartile get to advance.  However, the team was proud to represent the Olympia area at this regional championships. The team and their supporters are very spirited and were praised for making a lot of noise cheering in the stands despite being one of the smaller teams there. The team was also praised for its catchy Star Trek theme. Planning has already begun for the off-season work on both robot technology and a sustainable business model for the team.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in supporting this cross-district please team check out this STEM Pals page. Go ORF!!        
South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational Scheduled for Monday June 2 by rsteele - 05-06-2014
The fifth annual South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational (formerly the Avanti STEM Robotics Invitational) is scheduled for Monday, June 2 at Jefferson Middle School (2200 Conger Ave, Olympia) from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The 50% annual growth rate of this event continues this year with 28 schools from 12 school districts arriving from Camas to Everett for the competition.   This annual event takes challenges from OSD's STEM Robotics 101 curriculum and is open to schools in Washington using this free online resource (among the 800+ registered teacher-users around the world to do so).  Teams from elementary through high school will compete in three events; Robo-Dragsters, Line Racers and Sumo-Bots.  Due to growth, this year separate Elementary/Middle and Jr. High/High School Divisions will run concurrently on different events. First and second place awards will be presented for top performers in each division for each event, as well as overall School Champions for Elementary/Middle and Jr. High/High Schools.   Robo-Dragsters In the Robo-Dragsters, robots must begin racing on the starting "flag", race straight and fast in their narrow lanes to the finish line, and stop as a result of sensing the dark finish line.  Due to the close finishes of past events, winners will be determined by instant-replay photo-finishes.     Line Racers In the Line Racer, robots must follow a dark line around a curvy, looped course - a course which contestants do not see until the day of the competition.  Teams may control their robot's speed through a wired-remote-control as they walk it around the course, however they cannot steer the robot - it must be tracking the edge of the line at all times by itself.  Competing robots start on opposite sides of the course and the race is over after 2 laps, or when one robot catches up to the other.   Sumo-Bots In the Sumo-Bots, opposing robots attempt to push each other out of a 3-foot square arena.  Teams must design, build and program a robot which keeps itself inside the white arena while attempting to push its opponent entirely onto the the black border.  If one robot becomes unable to move while the other still can, the mobile robot is declared the winner.   Adult Volunteers Needed STEM Pals is seeking to recruit adults volunteers to help officiate this year's Invitational.  Since the two divisions will be running in parallel , twice as many volunteers will be needed than in past years.  No previous experience is required and officials be trained the morning of the event before the teams arrive.  If you, or someone you know, would be interested in help making this event a success for our students, please see this Volunteer Need page.
Record Turnout for South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational by rsteele - 06-03-2014
A record 25 teams from 11 school districts converged on Jefferson Middle for the South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational on Monday, June 2.  This annual event takes challenges from OSD's STEM Robotics 101 curriculum and is open to schools using this free online resource. This was the fifth installment of this end-of-year STEM Robotics competition, which began with 4 OSD schools in 2010 and has grown over 50% a year since then.  Over 100 student designed/built/programmed robots competed in this year's competition.   Teams from elementary through high school competed head-to-head in three events; Robo-Dragsters, Line Racers and Sumo-Bots.  First and second place awards were presented for top performers in each event, as well as overall School Champions in the Elementary/Middle and Jr. High/High School Divisions.  This year, teams from as far south as Camas Washington competed.  Tremendous sportsmanship was demonstrated by all participants, from helping each other in "the Pits" to congratulating each other on the competition fields.   Robo-Dragsters In the Robo-Dragsters, robots must start upon detecting the movement of the starting flag, race straight and fast to the finish line, and stop as a result of sensing the dark finish line.  Several races were determined by 1/30 of second with instant-replay photo-finishes.   Camas High School took first place over Hayes Freedom High School in the High School Division, while the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) took first place over Jefferson Middle School in the Middle school Division.   Line Racers In the Line Racer, robots must follow a dark line around a curvy, looped course - a course which contestants do not see until the day of the competition.  Teams may control their robot's speed through a wired-remote-control as they walk it around the course, however they cannot steer the robot - it must be tracking the edge of the line at all times by itself.  Competing robots start on opposite sides of the course and the race is over after 2 laps, or when one robot catches up to the other.  Liberty Middle School placed first, just beating out their cross-town competitors Camas High School in the High School Division, while Washington Elementary School dominated this event in the Middle School Division, taking home both the first and second place awards.   Sumo-Bots In the Sumo-Bots, opposing robots attempt to push each other out of a 3-foot square arena.  Teams must design, build and program a robot which keeps itself in the white arena while attempting to push its opponent entirely onto the the black border.  If one robot becomes unable to move while the other still can, the mobile robot is declared the winner.  Camas High School earned the first place award by edging out the Avanti High School team in the final.in the High School Division, while Centralia Middle School defeated Jefferson Middle School in a nail-biter final in the Middle School Division.   School Champions All the events are run as double elimination tournaments, so each team competes at least twice in the contest.  Each school is allowed up to two entries in each of the three events - so most schools ran their own local competition to determine their top-two entries, with only the best of the best making the trip to the Invitational.  At the event, teams are awarded points for all finishes 9th place and above, including ties, to determine the overall school champions.  Detailed team results are shown at the bottom of this page.   In the High School Division, Camas High School was awarded the School Championship Award, while Washing Middle School placed second and a third-place tie was split between Avanti High School and Black Hills High School.  In The Middle School Division, Jefferson Middle School repeated as the Middle School champions, while Washington Elementary School and Centralia Middle School placed second and third respectively.   A special thank you goes out to all the volunteers, tech support and logistics helpers who made this event possible for our students.  Thank you for allowing us to run a quality event. Congratulations to all our participants and award winners..... see you all next year!! Overall Team Results
Jr. High/High Dragster -Bot Line Racer Sumo -Bot
School Division Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Total
Camas High School 7 5 1 5 8 2 28
Washington Middle School 3 3 4 4 5 6 25
Black Hills High School 5 0 3 3 3 3 17
Avanti High School 4 2 0 0 4 7 17
Hayes Freedom High School 2 6 0 2 2 3 15
Liberty Middle School 1 2 6 0 2 2 13
Enumclaw High School 2 1 1 1 5 1 11
White Pass Jr. High School 0 4 0 0 0 4 8
North Thurston High School 1 0 2 0 3 0 6
Tumwater High School 0 0 0 0 0 5 5
 
Elementary/Middle Dragster -Bot Line Racer Sumo -Bot
School Division Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Total
Jefferson Middle School 7 6 5 4 7 1 30
Washington Elementary School 1 2 7 6 5 5 26
Centralia Middle School 4 1 1 3 3 8 20
Oly Regional Learning Academy 6 8 0 0 1 2 17
Chinook Middle School 5 2 2 1 3 2 15
Miller Jr High School 3 3 4 0 2 1 13
Chehalis Middle School 0 1 2 5 4 1 13
Tumwater Middle School 2 0 0 0 6 4 12
Onalaska Middle School 1 3 3 2 2 0 11
East Olympia Elementary 3 0 0 0 1 6 10
Pioneer Middle School 1 0 0 2 1 3 7
Marshall Middle School 2 4 0 0 0 0 6
Reeves Middle School 0 5 0 0 1 0 6
White Pass Middle School 0 1 0 0 0 3 4
Oakview Elementary 1 1 0 0 0 1 3

OSD Teams Compete in First FTC League Match by rsteele - 11-23-2014
Olympia School District high school teams competed the inaugural FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Olympia League Event on Saturday, November 22, at Jefferson Middle School.  Fifteen teams from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Shelton competed in the first of two League Events, which combined will determine these 15 teams' seeding at the Southern Washington Inter-League Championships on January 10, 2015 at Wilson High School in Tacoma.   Teams competed in this year's FTC challenge, "Cascade Effect" (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year's game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   The Crew (team #8563) from North Thurston High School topped the standings, winning 7 of their 8 matches.  Oly Cow (team #6424) from Olympia High School ended up in second in the rankings with a promising start in their attempt to retrace their path last year to the FTC World Championships. Two other Olympia High School teams rounded out the top four with Bearly Digital (team #8547) and Robot C Robot Do (team #8548) placing third and fourth respectively.  OSD veteran teams the Capital Gear Grinders from Capital High School (#5061) and the Avanti Avengers (#4448) from Avanti High School placed 7th and 8th.   All the students from each team learned a tremendous amount in this first competition of the 2014 season and ideas for modified robot designs were plentiful.  Rookie and veteran teams alike all  now have three weeks to refine their robots before the second League Event on Saturday, December 13th at the Capital High School Commons (lower parking lot).  Admission is free, and the public is welcome to come and cheer on your favorite team in "Robotics as a Sport".  Matches will run 1:30 to 5:00 on Saturday afternoon.       The final standings from the first event and school affiliations are presented below:

Olympia League 11-22-14 Team Rankings


Rank Team # Team Name QP QP Highest Matches
1 8563 The Crew 14 448 140 8
2 6424 Oly Cow 12 448 397 8
3 8547 Bearly Digital 10 477 200 8
4 8548 Robot C Robot Do 10 459 170 8
5 6421 ThunderBots 9 397 200 8
6 7299 T-Wolves 9 357 160 8
7 5061 Captial Gear Grinders 8 524 397 8
8 4448 Avanti Avengers 8 415 170 8
9 7705 NT Ninja Turtles 8 364 141 8
10 8545 Avanti Avengers 7 420 170 8
11 9515 The Fedora Trio 7 298 120 8
12 9184 Blue Bearries 6 326 150 8
13 8546 Ultraviolete Catastrophe 4 504 166 8
14 8030 Steel Wings 4 429 140 8
15 7742 Electric Sheep 4 394 196 8

QP (Total Qualification Points) - 2 Points for a WIN, 1 Point for a TIE, 0 Points for a LOSS. RP (Total Ranking Points) - Ranking points are awarded using the losing alliance's score in each match. Highest (Highest Match Score) - The highest match score awarded to the team.
FTC Scoring Software © 2014-2015 FIRST®
Team Rankings generated at 11/22/14 06:00:47 PM

OSD Middle School Varsity Robotics Teams Compete in FLL Regional Qualifier by rsteele - 12-07-2014
It was a very busy weekend for all eleven Olympia School District middle school varsity robotics teams as they competed in the  FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Regional Qualifier at Chinook Middles School in Lacey.   All five middle schools in OSD fielded Varsity Robotics Teams for this year's international competition.  Just like varsity sports, these after-school teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level.  Marshall Middle School has a single team, Reeves and Washington middle schools have two FLL teams, while ORLA  and Jefferson have three each.  Five OSD teams from three schools won awards at Saturday's event, and four teams  earned berths in the Washington State FLL Semi-Finals (details below).   At the Lacey FLL Regional Qualifier, our OSD teams had their chance to demonstrate their hard work on this year's challenge, World Class.  The teams were required to design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.  This video describes World Class Robot Game, while this video shows a robot completing the missions from the previous year's game (Body Forward).  The process for developing the research Project for World Class is described in  this video.   On Saturday, all three Jefferson Middle School teams took home awards.  MicroChips and Salsa (team 5003) won the Presentation Award for their excellent research project and innovative solution. The Jagwires (team 11388) took home the Mechanical Design Award for their solid robot chassis and clever attachments. The Excalibricks (team 11389) took home the coveted Champion Award, recognizing them for the best overall performance at this 33 team competition.   In addition to their awards, both the Excalibricks and Jagwires earned berths in the Washington State FLL Semi-final.  Only eight teams from Saturday's event will advance to this next round.  This competition will also be held at Chinook Middle School in Lacey on Saturday, January 17.   The Washington Wumps (team 5005) from Washington Middle School took home two awards at the competition.  The team won the Teamwork Award during the Core Values judging by working quickly and cohesively to solve a mystery challenge.  The Wumps also went home with top robot bragging rights, securing the Robot Performance Award by scoring the highest point total during the afternoon's three Robot Game rounds.  This Robot Performance Award also guaranteed the Washington Wumps a berth in the Washington State Semi-finals.   BLT - Best Lego Team (team 5006) from Marshall Middle School impressed the judges, referees and other teams alike.  They earned the Gracious Profession Award, recognizing them as the team that best exemplified all the FIRST LEGO League Core Value.  This award combined with the outreach from their research Project and their performance in the Robot Game also earned BLT a berth at the Washington State FLL Semi-final competition. Congratulations to all our FLL Varsity Robotics Teams and good luck to our four Semi-final contenders!!
OSD Teams Dominate Second Olympia League FTC Competition by rsteele - 12-14-2014
Olympia School District high school teams competed the second FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Olympia League Event on Saturday, December 13, at Capital High School.  Fifteen teams from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Shelton competed in the second of two League Events, which combined will determine these 15 teams' seeding at the Southern Washington Inter-League Championships on January 10, 2015 at Wilson High School in Tacoma.     Teams competed in this year's FTC challenge, "Cascade Effect" (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year's game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.     Both Avanti High School teams had a great day.  The Avanti Avengers (#4448) ended the day in first place with seven wins and a tie in their eight matches.  Their schoolmates, the Avanti Avengers (#8545), ranked immediately behind them in second place with six wins and a tie.  This top-two finish will serve Avanti well as these results will be combined with their first league match results to determine their ranking among the 30+ teams in Southwest Washington going into the Championships next month.     Four other OSD teams ended up in the top nine at the competition.  Bearly Digital (team #8547) finished right behind the Avanti teams in third place with six wins. The Capital Gear Grinders from Capital High School (#5061) placed sixth with five wins, while the Blueberries (team #9184), also from Olympia High School, finished in eighth.  Finally, Oly Cow (team #6424) from Olympia High School will combine their ninth place finish with their second place finish last time going into the Inter-League Championships.     All the students from each team learned a tremendous amount in this second match of the 2014 season, testing their increasingly sophisticated robots in the heat of head-to-head competition.  Rookie and veteran teams alike all  now have four weeks to refine their robots before taking on teams from the Centralia and Vancouver Leagues.   Admission is free at the Southwest Washington FTC Championships at Wilson High School in Tacoma on Saturday, January 10.  The public is welcome to come and cheer on our OSD teams in "Robotics as a Sport" as they try to earn some of the eight slots to the Washington State FTC Championships on January 31  Matches will begin 11:00. The final standings from the second event and school affiliations are presented below:
Rank Number Name QP RP
1 4448 Avanti Avengers (4448) 15 370
2 8545  Avanti Avengers (8545) 13 668
3 8547  Bearly Digital 12 724
4 8030 Steel Wings 12 540
5 7742  Electric Sheep 10 540
6 5061  Captial Gear Grinders 10 430
7 8563  The Crew 9 480
8 9184  Blue Bearries 8 516
9 6424  Oly Cow 6 594
10 6421  ThunderBots 5 440
11 8546  Ultraviolet Catastrophe 4 566
12 7299  T-Wolves 4 490
13 7705  NT Ninja Turtles 4 300
14 8548  Robot C Robot Do 4 298
15 9515  The Fedora Trio 4 260

OSD Teams Compete in Southwest Washington FTC Inter-League Championships - Four Teams Advance to State Championships by rsteele - 01-11-2015
All eight Olympia School District FTC teams competed the the Southwest Washington FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Inter-League Championships on Saturday, January 10, at Wilson High School in Tacoma.  The fifteen teams from the Olympia League (high school teams from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Shelton) competed with teams from the Centralia and Vancouver leagues to earn some of the eight available slots to the Washington State FTC Championships.  Every OSD school earned an award and four teams earned berths to State Championships.   Teams competed in this year's FTC challenge, "Cascade Effect" (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year's game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   Capital High School competed with two classroom-based teams, The Capital Gear Grinders (#5061) and The Ultraviolet Catastrophe (#8546).   The Capital Gear performed well in their 6 matches and ended ranked 13th in the 33 team Southwest Washington division.  The Ultraviolet Catastrophe won the Motivate Award, recognizing the team members for great team spirit and STEM outreach activities in our community.   Both Avanti High School classroom-based teams had a great day.  The Avanti Avengers (#4448) ended the day in 5th place in the Southwest Washington Division while their twin schoolmate team the Avanti Avengers (#8545) ranked 11th.  The Avanti Avengers (#4448) entered the playoffs after being selected by the #2 seed for their elimination round alliance.  This alliance easily won their semi-final best two-out-of-three round in two straight matches.  However, the alliance lost in the finals, earning 4448 a finalist alliance medal.   The Avanti teams also impressed the FTC Inter-League Championship judges.  Team 4448 won the Design Award in recognition of their solid robot construction and extensive use of Computer Aided Design (CAD).  Team 8545 was nominated for the Connect Award for their prolific STEM community outreach and engagement with STEM professionals (over 20 events in total).  Most significantly, 8545 was also nominated for the coveted Inspire Award, reserved for the best overall teams at the championships.  This prestigious award nomination earned the Avanti Avengers (#8545) a slot at the Washington State FTC Championships.   Olympia High School entered four teams at the competition, two classroom-based teams and two after school club-based teams.  Bearly Digital (team #8547) and the Blue Bearries (team #9184) represented the OHS Robotics Engineering class.  Meanwhile, veteran and World Championship team Oly Cow (team #6424) and rookie team Robot C Robot Do (team #8548) represented the after school OHS STEM Robotics and Automotive Club.   At the end of Saturday's six qualifying rounds, Oly Cow was ranked 4th and became the captain of the 4th seed elimination round alliance.  During alliance selection, Oly Cow chose two of their schoolmates, Robot C Robot Do and Bearly Digital, to join them in the playoffs.  In the semi-final round, the all-OHS alliance made short work of the #1 alliance winning two straight matches, including a record 539 points in the first match.  The finals round was closer, but the Oly Cow-led alliance managed to again win two straight matches to become the Southwest Washington Inter-League Champions.  As a result, all three OHS teams earned berths to the Washington State FTC Championships.   However, the OHS teams were not done there.   During the awards ceremony, Robot C Robot Do was nominated for the Motivate Award in recognition for the STEM outreach to rookie FTC teams and mentoring the FLL teams at Washington Middle School.  At the culmination of the award ceremony, Oly Cow was awarded the Inspire Award as the best overall team in the division.... not too great a surprise after they were also nominated for the Connect, Innovation, Design and Think awards earlier the ceremony.  According to the judges, this selection was a "black and white decision",and "udderly obvious", since Oly Cow gave a "whole effort.... giving 100%, not 2%.... and did not skim on anything".   Congratulations to all our OSD teams for representing our school district so well throughout the entire season.   The four advancing teams now have three weeks to prepare for the Washington State FTC Championships on January 31 at the Showare Center in Kent, WA.  Admission is free and the public is welcome to come and cheer on our OSD teams in "Robotics as a Sport" as they try to earn slots at the Western US FTC Championships.  
OSD Middle School Varsity Robotics Teams Excel at Washignton State FLL Semifinals by rsteele - 01-18-2015
It was an exciting and successful competition during the Southwest Washington FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Semifinal at Chinook Middle School in Lacey.   Three middle schools in OSD had qualified a total of four Varsity Robotics teams during this year's international competition season.  Just like varsity sports, these after-school teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level.  Marshall Middle School and Washington Middle School each qualified a single team, while Jefferson Middle School was represented by two teams.  A the end of the day, OSD had two Award Winning teams and three teams earned berths at the  Washington State Championships (details below).   At the Lacey FLL Semifinal, our OSD teams had their chance to demonstrate their hard work on this year's challenge, World Class.  The teams were required to design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.  This video describes World Class Robot Game, while this video shows a robot completing the missions from the previous year's game (Body Forward).  The process for developing the research Project for World Class is described in  this video.   On Saturday, the Washington Wumps (team 5005) from Washington Middle School presented their research Project, demonstrated their teamwork and FLL Core Values (by solving a mystery challenge) and discussed the features of their Robot Design with three separate panels of judges.  While the team was in contention for a judged award, they did not secure the top spot among the 29 best teams in southwest Washington.  Unfortunately, during the afternoon Robot Game rounds, the Wumps did not score enough points to advance the State Championships based on robot performance.   BLT - Best Lego Team (team 5006) from Marshall Middle School impressed the judges, referees and other teams alike.  While they were in contention for an award, they did not secure the top spot in a judged category to win an award.  However, in the afternoon Robot Game rounds, BLT ended up in 5th place overall.  This strong robot performance combined with the impression made on the judges in the morning earned this Marshall team an advancement slot to the FLL State Championships.   The Jefferson Middle School teams had strong performances in both the morning judging and afternoon games.  The Jagwires (team 11388) was in contention in several award categories and took home the Programming Award for their solid code during the Robot Design Judging.  This award win (and nomination in other categories) combined with their mid-level performance in the robot games earned the Jagwires a berth at the FLL State Championship.   The second Jefferson team, the Excalibricks (team 11389) also had a strong showing in the judging sessions.  The team was nominated in several categories and won the Robot Design award during the technical judging session.  The team had a tense time during the afternoon robot games, struggling during the first two rounds with scores in the bottom quartile.  During the third and final round, the Excalibricks vindicated their Robot Design award by scoring 240 point and ending the robot game competition in 2nd place.  This great score combined with their award winning judging performance made the team an easy choice for advancement to the FLL State Championships.   Congratulations to all our FLL Semifinalist teams for representing our school district so well throughout the entire season.   The three advancing teams now have two weeks to prepare for the Washington State FLL Championships on January 31 at the Showare Center in Kent, WA.  This venue will concurrently host the Washington State FTC Championships, where four OSD high school Varsity Robotics Teams will compete.  Admission is free and the public is welcome to come and cheer on our OSD teams in “Robotics as a Sport” in their quest to be best in Washington State.
OSD Middle and High School Varisty Robotics Teams Deliver Award Winning Performances at Washington State Championships by rsteele - 02-02-2015
OSD was extremely well represented at the combined FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Washington State Championships at the ShoWare Center in Kent on January 31.   Two middle schools had qualified a total of three Varsity Robotics teams, while two high schools had qualified four teams. Just like varsity sports, these teams are an opportunity for experienced students to take their Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills to the next level. At the end of the day, OSD had an Award Winning FLL team, two award winning FTC teams and one FTC team headed to the Western U.S. FTC Super-Regional Championships (details below).   At the FLL State Championships, our OSD teams had their chance to demonstrate their hard work on this year's challenge, World Class.  The teams were required to design, build and program autonomous robots to complete several time-sensitive Robot Game missions, as well as research, develop and present their Project solution to an engineering problem.  This video describes the World Class Robot Game, while this video shows a robot completing the missions from a previous year's game (Body Forward).  The process for developing the research Project for World Class is described in  this video.   BLT - Best Lego Team (team 5006) from Marshall Middle School breezed through the FLL Qualifier in December earning the Gracious Profession Award, recognizing them as the team that best exemplified all the FIRST LEGO League Core Values.  At the Washington State FLL Semi-final competition, BLT ended up in 5th place in the Robot Game, thereby advancing to the State Championships.  The team presented their research project on Android security awareness to schoolmates and the Olympia Westside Rotary, prior to the Championships.  In Kent, the team placed 16th in the Robot Game among some of the competitors from the 575 FLL teams in Washington State.   Jefferson Middle School advanced two teams to the ShoWare Center.  At the FLL Qualifier in December, the Jagwires (team 11388),  won the Mechanical Design Award for their solid robot chassis and clever attachments. This was followed by the team capturing the Programming Award at the FLL State Semifinals earlier in January.  The team shared the student learning app they created for the research project with schoolmates and OSPI prior to the State Championships.  In Kent,  the Jagwires ended up in the top two-thirds of the 30 competing teams to bring an exciting end to their very successful season.   The second Jefferson team, the Excalibricks (team 11389) made a statement early in the season by taking home the coveted overall Champion Award during the FLL Qualifier in December. At the FLL Semi-final, the team was nominated in several categories and won the Robot Design award during the technical judging session. At the State Championships, the Excalibricks scored their season-high 320 points in the Robot Game, placing them in the top quartile at the Championships with a 7th place finish.   But the team wasn't finished there.  After sharing the student-led math learning app they developed for the research project with schoolmates and OSPI, the team presented this example of World Class learning to the State FLL judges.  The judges we impressed with the team's work and the Excalibricks were awarded the Research Award by the judges.  This represents the fourth year in a row where a Jefferson FLL team has brought home a trophy from the FLL State Championships.  The team will now share their success with the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce later this month.   Congratulations to the Excalibricks and all the OSD FLL teams for another outstanding season.   The OSD High School Varsity Robotics Teams competed in this year's FTC challenge, "Cascade Effect" (see this video animation.) This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle this year's game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   All eight Olympia School District FTC teams competed in the Southwest Washington FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Inter-League Championships on Saturday, January 10, at Wilson High School in Tacoma.  The fifteen teams from the Olympia League (high school teams from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Shelton) competed with teams from the Centralia and Vancouver leagues to earn some of the eight available slots to the Washington State FTC Championships.  Every OSD school earned an award and four teams earned berths to State Championships held this past weekend at the ShoWare Center in Kent.   The Avanti Avengers (#8545) got off to a strong start, consistently ranking among the top 5 teams through most of the qualifying rounds in Kent.  Unfortunately, two tough loss at the end of the qualifying matches ended up keeping the Avengers just out of the playoff round.  However, the Avanti Avengers conducted over 20 community STEM outreach projects over the last year, including a robotics summer camp for middle schoolers, workshops for newer/smaller FTC teams in the Olympia area, and the Lacey STEM Fair.  This year-round commitment to STEM education impressed the judges and earned the Avanti Avengers the FTC State Connect Award for community outreach.  Congratulations to Avanti, OSD's original FTC school, for another award winning performance at the State Championships.   Olympia High School qualified three teams for the FTC State Championships, one classroom-based team and two after school club-based teams.  Bearly Digital (team #8547) represented the OHS Robotics Engineering class.  Meanwhile, veteran and World Championship team Oly Cow (team #6424) and rookie team Robot C Robot Do (team #8548) represented the after school OHS STEM Robotics and Automotive Club.  Bearly Digital  took the risk to revamp their robot's lift system prior to State and unfortunately struggled with robot performance problems in Kent, ending up out of the playoff round.   Robot C Robot Do had their best performance of the year at the ShoWare Center, going undefeated through all but the very last round of the 48 qualifying matches.  Although there were only two undefeated teams, due to the FTC tie-breaker system, the team ended up in 5th place overall at the end of qualifying - just one spot short of becoming an alliance captain in the the playoff round.  However, Robot C Robot Do's performance did not go unnoticed by the other teams, and they were quickly snapped up as the first round draft choice by the #3 seeded alliance.  Unfortunately, during the best-two-out-of-three semi-final playoff round, Robot C Robot Do's alliance lost out to the #2 seeded alliance, ending the team's impressive run at the FTC State Championships.   Oly Cow struggled with technical issues throughout the qualifying rounds.  Fortunately, they got back on track by the last qualifying match and their robot's high scoring performance caught the attention of the #1 seeded alliance captain, and they selected Oly Cow as one of their playoff round partners.  Their playoff semifinal round went all the they to a tie-breaking match, but the alliance fell just a few points short of advancing to the FTC State Finals.   Oly Cow earned a berth at these Championships by winning the coveted Inspire Award as the best overall team in Southwest Washington.  Their technical excellence, high-end engineering and recognized leadership was again apparent to the judges at State, as Oly Cow closed-out the FTC State Championships Award Ceremony by repeating as the Inspire Award winner for the entire state of Washington.  This award earns Oly Cow a slot for a return trip to the Western U.S. FTC Super-Regional in California in March.   Congratulations to all our FTC Varsity Robotics teams for another award winning season, and Good Luck to Oly Cow as they take the next step in their attempt to repeat their journey to the FTC World Championships in April.  
OSD FRC Team Advances to Pacific Northwest Championships by rsteele - 03-21-2015
The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF), OSD’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, competed in their second Washington State Qualifier this past weekend.  The team, number 4450, is tackling the 2015 FRC game, Recycle Rush (see this game animation), which was announced on Jan 3, 2015 – kicking off a 6 weeks Build Season for the team. The second Qualifier was held Thursday, March 19 through Saturday, March 21 at Central Washington University. The team's alliance placed third in the 33 team event in Ellensburg this weekend.  This combined with their strong finish in their first Qualifier will earn the team a slot at the FRC Pacific Northwest Championships at Eastern Washington University on April 1 - 4. Check out the details (including images and video) of this season's competitions on the team's blog!! Congrats 4450.  Go ORF!!!  
Oly Cow FTC Team Competes at US West Super Regional by rsteele - 03-29-2015
All Olympia School District high schools competed in this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition, “Cascade Effect” (see this video animation). This is an exciting game which combines strategy and technical challenges for teams to sort out and prioritize as they design and build a Tetrix-based robot programmed in Robot-C to tackle the game.  The robot must perform autonomously for the first part of the match, then under two-person remote control for the remainder of the two-and-a-half minute match.  The competition takes place in a 12 foot square arena with four robots operating simultaneously as two randomly selected alliances.   Three OSD teams from Olympia and Avanti high schools excelled at the FTC South Washington Championships and earned the right to compete in the FTC State Championships at the ShoWare Center in January.  At “State”, one OSD team, Oly Cow (FTC Team# 6424), from Olympia High School advanced to earn a berth at the FTC Western U.S. Super-Regional, held this past week in Oakland, CA.   The Best of the West: FTC Western Super-Regional The FTC Western Super Regional brought together the 72 best teams from 13 western states.  On the first day, Friday, March 27, teams unpacked their robots, set up “the Pits”, and prepared their robots to pass the various required inspections.  After passing inspections, teams tested their robot functionality and took turns on the practice fields.  They also began scouting the other 35 teams assigned to their division, both as potential partners and adversaries, since teams are randomly assigned to alliances.  Oly Cow’s 100% CAD (Computer Aided Design) model and custom component design (they used very few kit parts) drew a lot of attention from participants and judges alike.  They team also had they opportunity to present their extensive design process, strategies, outreach and engineering skills to a panel of FTC judges.   The second day, Saturday, consisted of seven rounds of qualifying matches.  Oly Cow’s competition got off to a rough start, losing their first match.  However, after winning the next two matches, the entered the lunch break in 12th place.  Their afternoon matches were a split.  They won the first last matches in convincing manner, but dropped the middle two to other highly ranked teams.  The team ended Saturday with a 4-3 record and ranked 13th among the 36 teams in their division.   On the final day, Sunday, teams wrapped up the qualifying rounds with two more matches each.  During the first of Oly Cow’s two matches (against one of the undefeated teams), their robot developed a problem with its ball handling mechanism and they lost the high scoring match.  With the short time interval until their second match, the team was not able to fully repair their robot and they unfortunately also lost their second and last qualifying match.   At the end of qualifying, Oly Cow ended up in the middle of the pack, with their rank dropping to 19th out of the 36 teams in their division.  During alliance selection for the playoffs, Oly Cow was not selected by the four alliance captains, thus ending their game play at the FTC West Super Regional.  This represented just the first time in the team's 3 year history (10+ competitions) that Oly Cow did not make it to the playoff round of an event in which they participated.   Congratulations to the amazing students from Oly Cow for setting the standard for FTC excellence in OSD for three years now.  All the members of this award winning team are seniors, so the legacy they have established for Olympia High School Robotics will set the bar high for future members of FTC Team #6424.
Over 100 Robots Compete at the 6th Annual South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational by rsteele - 06-02-2015
Twenty four STEM Robotics teams from nine school districts converged on Jefferson Middle for the South Sound STEM Robotics Invitational on Monday, June 1.  This annual event takes challenges from OSD's STEM Robotics 101 curriculum and is open to schools using this free online resource. This was the sixth installment of this end-of-year STEM Robotics competition, which began with four OSD schools in 2010 and has grown over 50% a year since then (including cloned versions of the competition in Centralia and Camas).  Over 100 student designed/built/programmed robots competed in this year's competition.   Teams from elementary through high school competed head-to-head in three events; Robo-Dragsters, Cube Wranglers and Sumo-Bots.  First and second place awards were presented for top performers in each event, as well as overall School Champions in the Rookie (less than one semester of STEM Robotics) and Veteran Divisions.  Tremendous sportsmanship was demonstrated by all participants, from helping each other in "the Pits" to congratulating each other on the competition fields.   Robo-Dragsters In the Robo-Dragsters, robots must start upon detecting the movement of the starting flag, race straight and fast to the finish line, and stop as a result of sensing the dark finish line.  Several races were determined by 1/30 of second with instant-replay photo-finishes. The Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) took first place over Tumwater Middle School in the Rookie Division, while two teams from Washington Middle School battled for the top spots in the Veteran Division.   Cube Wranglers The Cube Wrangler was a new event added this year to increase the complexity and strategy elements of the competition.  Robots had to gather yellow 2-inch cubes and return them their scoring zone, with the highest valued cube placed in the center of the field and accessible to both robots. Nisqually Middle School placed first, just beating out Washington Elementary in the Rookie Division, while Washington Middle School edged out Aspire Middle School in the Veteran Division.   Sumo-Bots In the Sumo-Bots, opposing robots attempt to push each other out of a 3-foot square arena.  Teams must design, build and program a robot which keeps itself in the white arena while attempting to push its opponent entirely onto the the black border.  If one robot becomes unable to move while the other still can, the mobile robot is declared the winner.  Tumwater Middle School nudged out Washington Elementary in the Rookie Division, while Washington Middle school dominated the Veteran Division with their two teams going head to head in the finals.   School Champions All the events are run as double elimination tournaments, so each team competes at least twice in the contest.  Each school is allowed up to two entries in each of the three events - so most schools ran their own local competition to determine their top-two entries, with only the best of the best making the trip to the Invitational.  At the event, teams are awarded points for all finishes 9th place and above, including ties, to determine the overall school champions.  As can be seen in the detailed team results at the bottom of this page, the competition was extremely close with ties for sixth place and many third, fourth and fifth place finishes determined by only one point.   In the Rookie Division, Washington Elementary School was awarded the School Champion Award for their consistently strong performance cross all events, while Tumwater Middle School placed second and a third-place tie was split between White Pass Junior High School and Nisqually Middle School.       In the Veteran Division, there was little surprise when Washington Middle took home the School Champion Award after winning five of the six individual event awards. The remaining teams were extremely close with Chinook Middle School and Marshall Middle School ultimately placing second and third respectively.       A special thank you goes out to all the volunteers, tech support and logistics helpers who made this event possible for our students.  Thank you for allowing us to run a quality event. Congratulations again to all our participants and award winners. Overall Team Results
Rookie Division DragsterBot CubeWrangle SumoBot
Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Total
Washington ES 3 5 6 7 6 7 34
Tumwater MS 2 7 4 0 8 6 27
White Pass JH 4 6 0 3 3 4 20
Nisqually MS 1 3 8 6 1 1 20
Jefferson MS 1 3 3 5 3 3 18
Marshall MS 6 4 0 0 2 5 17
Chinook MS 5 1 3 0 2 2 13
Reeves MS 3 2 0 4 4 0 13
Miller JH 1 1 5 3 1 0 11
Bush MS 1 1 2 0 0 5 1 9
ORLA MS 8 0 0 0 0 0 8
East Olympia ES 1 2 1 0 0 1 2 6
 
Veteran Division DragsterBot CubeWrangle SumoBot
Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Total
Washington MS 1 7 8 6 8 7 8 44
Chinook MS 3 4 5 3 2 5 22
Marshall MS 5 2 3 5 3 3 21
Aspire MS 1 6 7 2 2 2 20
Capital HS 4 5 4 0 0 6 19
Onalaska MS 3 1 2 4 4 2 16
Chehalis MS 1 3 0 3 5 4 16
Jefferson MS 2 2 3 0 6 3 16
ORLA MS 2 0 0 0 3 0 5
 
 

FRC Team 4450, The Olympia Robotics Federation Attends the 2016 Kickoff by rsteele - 01-12-2016
Team 4450, The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF) went Saturday, Jan. 9,  to the Kickoff event of the 2016 FIRST FRC season and received the challenge called FIRST Stronghold for teams around the world. This year the game is about storming a castle, which involves breaching outer defenses, throwing "boulders" into the opponent's castle and scaling the walls if the castle is weakened. This looks very challenging and a lot of fun! As usual, the team has 6 weeks to design and build our robot. Team 4450's competition dates are: Auburn Mountainview - Mar 4-5 Cental WA Univ - Mar 18-19 Portland PNW Championships - April 7-9 (if we qualify) World Championships in St Louis - April 28-30 (if we qualify) To see an animated version explaining the challenge go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqOKzoHJDjA. Go ORF!!!
10 Olympia School District teams head to the FTC Inter-District Championship by rsteele - 01-14-2016

This Sunday, Jan. 17, ten teams from Avanti High School, Capital High School and Olympia High School will head to Wilson High School in Tacoma to compete in the FTC Inter District championship.  All together, around 20 teams will be competing for a birth at the FTC Washington State Championship. In past years, teams from the Olympia School District have proven to be a “Power House” and we expect that many these team will move on to the FTC State Championship on Jan 30, at the ShoWare Center in Renton, WA.

The name of this year’s FTC challenge is FIRST ResQ and this game is quite challenging. Robots have to pick up debris, climb mountains and rescue climbers.  If you would like to learn more about the game, here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inwQ_ykNKQI  
Three OSD teams earn their way to the the Washington State FTC Championships. by rsteele - 01-19-2016

This past Sunday, the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) South Sound Inter-District Championship was held at Wilson High School in Tacoma, WA.  The Olympia School District (OSD) fielded ten competitive teams out of 30 teams from around the South Sound.  The competition was very strong and teams gave it their all.

Team 9877, the Olympia High School Care Bears, earned their way into the semifinals as the 3th seed alliance captain and Capital’s team 9876 The Countdown, was the 4th seed alliance captain.  Team 8546, from CHS, Ultra Violet Catastrophe was picked to join the 2nd place alliance.  All in all, three Olympia School district teams made it into the semifinals at the South Sound inter-district championship.  When all was said and done, the Quality bears from Olympia High School made it into the finals where they lost, but still move on to FTC Washington state championship because they were the 2nd place finisher alliance captain.

There are other ways for teams to  move on to the state championships and that is through judging and awards.  And two of the Olympia School District teams did that!  The Avanti Mutants earned a berth at the state competition through the Inspire award as did 8548 “The Refs” from Olympia high school.

Congratulations to team 9877, the OHS Care Bears, team 9814, the Avanti Mutants and OHS team, 8548, The Refs. making it to the FTC Washington State Championship.  Good Luck!

The Washington State FTC Championship is going to be held Saturday, January 30 at the ShowWare center in Renton.  Robot competition will start sometime after 11:00.

If you would like to see a video of this year's FTC competition, follow this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inwQ_ykNKQI
Team 4450 at FIRST Day in the Washington State Legislature by rsteele - 02-02-2016
Team 4450 at FIRST Day in the Washington State Legislature Team 4450 participated in FIRST Day in the Washington State Legislature with several other teams from around the State on January 18, 2016. The Team brought a robot (Ibex) and a tri-board of information about the team. The students explained the FIRST program and their activities to legislative staff members and legislators who came by the teams in the hallways of the State Capitol Building Then the students met with the two Representatives of District 22, Chris Reykdal and Sam Hunt, and their staffs to explain what we do with robotics and in the community. The messages we focused on were: (i) FIRST = STEM, (ii) robotics is a sport where anyone can go Pro, and (iii) we would like to see robotics taught in all of Washington State Schools. We asked if they would like a list of the schools in their District where there is currently a robotics program. They said yes and we provided that list to them as a follow-up later. Team 4450 Mentors meet Representative Reykdal to Support Statewide STEM Robotics On February 1, 2016, Peter Cook and Randy Steele met with Representative Chris Reykdal of District 22 as a follow-up to the Team 4450 meeting with him on MLK day (FIRST day at the legislature). The point of this meeting was to support an initiative by Washington First Robotics and the Olympia School District to train teachers state-wide in STEM Robotics 101 as an intro to computer science (among other things). Rep. Reykdal was highly enthusiastic and agreed to write a letter of support for this proposal to Office of the Superintendent of Instruction which has issued a request for proposals on this topic. (see attached letter). This is a major step toward expanding STEM Robotics teaching in the State.
FRC Team 4450 heading to their first competition Mar 4/5 by rsteele - 02-29-2016
FRC team 4450, The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF) has successfully completed and tested 98% of their competition robot. The robot can cross 5 out of 8 defenses and can pick up a "boulder" and shoot it accurately into the castle. The robot can also climb the castle wall doing a "chin-up" on the bar high up on the wall. ORF team members have taken the robot to practice fields in Tacoma and Kent to try it out on a full-size field and the robot performed well.  Next, the robot was "bagged and tagged" according to FIRST rules. This robot can be taken out of the bag for six hours total before the competition to mount additional parts and practice driving before the first competition this coming week at Auburn Mountain View High School. Meanwhile, the team is doing more testing on the clone robot that is 85% complete in a practice space set up at Advance Equipment warehouse in Mottman Industrial Park. This partial practice field and defense elements were built by team parents with some help from Advance. ORF is planning to expand the field to a full size as soon as possible. ORF has also  created Star Trek style shirts (thank you O Bee Credit Union) and are working on pit sponsor banners (Thank you FastSigns).  Parts for the robot have been cut out and milled by H2OJet and DTI exact (Thanks again). This years FRC game STRONG HOLD, is very exciting and the video of this year's game can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqOKzoHJDjA Our upcoming competitions are: Auburn Mountain View - March 4 and 5 Ellensburg-CWU-March 18 and 19 PNW Championships-Portland-April 7 to 9 (if we qualify) World Championships-St Louis-April 28 to 30 (if we qualify) All competitions are exciting to watch and are free! Go ORF!!
Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF) has a great showing at first FRC competion! by rsteele - 03-08-2016
The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF), team 4450,  represented Olympia well at the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)  Auburn meet, ending up 5th overall (out of 40 teams) and bringing home the Spirit Award. ORF’s robot (called USS Kelvin), an Einstein class starship, was designed to cross several defenses, pick up "boulders", shoot boulders into castle windows and scale the castle walls. This year’s robot has more complicated functions than previous ORF robots, including a pneumatic gear shift which could also shift power to the climbing motors from the drive base. So, naturally more things can also go wrong. ORR’s first trials came when the robot inspector pointed out that the robot had several issues.  It was 1/2 pound overweight, 1" to tall and had a pneumatic valve with an illegal part number. The ORF pit crew had to remove a set of arms that were created to manipulate defenses (portcullis and cheval de frise) and then take the robot apart to extract the valve. This brought the robot into compliance, but left no time for testing and calibration of the robot before the matches. In the first qualifying matches, the team had an excellent start with accurate shooting making a strong impact.  ORF’s robot, the USS Kelvin,  was the first robot to scale castle wall, (after our alliance defeated the castle with 8 boulders).  This made team 4450 jump to 3rd place. Then the trials and tribulations started:
  1. The robot was knocked over by another robot accidentally, finishing the match on its side.
  2. After scaling the castle wall, the judges declared our kickstand that placed the robot in climbing position was not legal as it raised the rear bumper off the ground too far.
  3. A wire came loose at the beginning of the game and our robot sat out that match.
  4. The router fell off the robot and did not work for the rest of the match.
  5. The autonomous program (first 15 seconds) was not functioning.
  6. And to top it off…  a screw came off our gear shift and the robot could only move in a circle.
The pit crew along with the drive team repaired each of these problems except the kickstand between matches, so ORF lost 3 out of 9 games in the process and ended the first day in 18th place. On the second day of the FRC Auburn competition, ORF had three more qualifying matches and they won all three, including one where their alliance defeated four defenses and the castle so that they gained the maximum of four ranking points for that match and three in our other two matches. These three wins catapulted ORF into 5th place at the end of qualifying matches in which ORF became an alliance captain, so they could select partner teams for the finals.  During alliance selection, team 4450 was then selected by the 3rd seeded and became part of the third seed alliance. The  alliance won the first quarterfinal match, but lost the next two matches by only a few points and a penalty and just missed the semifinals. The day was capped by ORF winning the Spirit Award for team cheering, the Star Trek fun theme and the presentation to the judges. The team members of ORF also nominated Peter Cook (Head ORF mentor) for the Outstanding Mentor also known as the “Woodie Flowers Award”. Next, ORF heads to Ellensburg to compete at their next FRC competition on March 18 and 19. We expect them to again finish in the top of the division!   To check out the FRC game, Strong Hold, follow this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqOKzoHJDjA Go ORF!!!
FRC team 4450 Earns Spot at the World Championship in St. Louis by rsteele - 04-11-2016
This past weekend, while most students were on spring break, the Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF), team 4450 and their robot named USS Kelvin,  was hard at work competing in the FIRST FRC Pacific Northwest Championship in Portland, OR.  64 teams from Washington, Oregon and Hawaii competed for the opportunity to make it to the “WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP” in St. Louis at the end of the month. Competition started on Thursday afternoon and continued through late Saturday.  After the first day and a half of competition, Friday afternoon, team 4450 ended the day as the number one ranked team.  With two matches left to be played on Saturday, ORF’s team handily won the first match to keep their top seed ranking.  However, during  the second match of the qualifying rounds, “USS Kelvin’s” shooter broke and team 4450 lost the last match and dropped to 4th place.  However, ORF earned their spot in the semi finals and the opportunity to be the 4th place alliance captain. As the alliance captain, 4450 picked two excellent teams work with.  Team 2557 the SOTA bots from Tacoma, WA, and team 4061 the SciBorgs from Pullman, WA.  ORF was disabled by their opponent and lost the first match.  However,  this alliance came back and won the second match --or so we thought!  -But!!! Lost on a penalty in the second match and was knocked out of the quarter finals. :( 32 teams from our division earned a spot at the World championship and Team 4450, ORF was one of those teams because of their combined play throughout the season and their participation at the PNW Championship.  At the end of the PNW championship, ORF was ranked 15 out of 32 teams based on the high number of ranking points they earned throughout the season,  which more than qualified them for the “World Championship” in St. Louis. Team 4450, also earned the prestigious FIRST award for “Excellence in Engineering” at the Pacific Northwest championship for robot design of their robot the USS Kelvin.  USS Kelvin can Shoot from from anywhere on the field, scale the castle wall, breach defenses and play defense.   Team 4450 needs help in fundraising to get to the World Championship in St. Louis.  They need to earn $24,000 in two weeks.  All help is appreciated.    [donate2 need='FRC Team 4450'] Want to learn more about USS Kelvin?  Check out this video of 4450’s robot. Want to learn more about the FIRST FRC game Stronghold?  Check out this link about the game.
Team 4450 (ORF) Needs Your Help by rsteele - 04-14-2016
Team 4450 urgently needs help in fundraising to get to the World Championship in St. Louis.   The team needs to raise $24,000.00 for travel and hotel accommodations before they depart April 26th.  Please make your tax deductible donation to the Olympia School District Education Foundation or donate online through STEMPALS HERE. The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF), team 4450, is the Olympia School District's cross-district FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team.  This season, 2016, ORF's alliance placed fourth at the FRC Pacific Northwest Championships (out of 64 teams in the PNW), earning the team a berth at the FRC World Championships in St. Louis. Team 4450's success is the culmination of an intense six-week build and two-month competition  season for this cross-district team which combines students from Avanti, Capital and Olympia high schools.     Latest Press Release…. 26 Local Students Beat Out 2500+ Teams for Chance at World Championship of Robotics! This past weekend, while most South Sound students were lounging on spring break, 26 motivated students from Capital, Olympia & Avanti High Schools and their robot named USS Kelvin were hard at work competing for a highly coveted spot in the World Championships of Robotics.    More than 75,000 students from 24 countries competed in this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition, including 26 local students who make up the Olympia Robotics Federation FIRST Robotics Team 4450 (“ORF”). 64 top seeded teams from Washington, Oregon and Hawaii competed at the Pacific Northwest District Championship in Portland, Oregon April 7-9, 2016.  Competition started on Thursdayafternoon and continued through late Saturday.  After the first day and a half of competition, Team 4450 ended Friday afternoon as the number one ranked team.  With two matches left to be playedon Saturday, ORF’s team handily won the first match to keep their top seed ranking.  Any competition is not without its ups and downs though.  During the final match of the qualifying rounds, “USS Kelvin’s” shooter broke, dropping them into 4th place.  Nevertheless, ORF earned a spot in the playoffs and the opportunity to be the 4th place alliance captain. As the alliance captain, using their customized scouting data app programmed by two students, Team 4450 picked two excellent teams work with, Team 2557 the SOTABots from Tacoma, WA, and Team 4061 the SciBorgs from Pullman, WA.  ORF was disabled by their opponent and lost the first playoff match.  However, the alliance came back and won the second match –or so we thought!  The rules are complicated, and despite a terrific showing, the team lost the second match on a penalty and was knocked out of the quarter finals. Despite not making it further in the District playoffs, ORF and its alliance partners earned enough points from their combined excellence throughout the season to earn one of the 32 coveted spots from the Pacific Northwest District to compete in the World Championships in Saint Louis in 2 weeks!  ORF is currently ranked 15 in our District of 158 teams, and beat out 2500+ other teams worldwide to compete at this level. Team 4450, also earned the prestigious FIRST award for “Excellence in Engineering” at the Pacific Northwest Championship for robot design of their robot the USS Kelvin and for their development of a unique live scouting app used by many teams to strategize play.  This is the third time in four years the team has qualified to compete at the World Championships, which is a huge accomplishment.  They placed 11th in their Division the first time, and 5th in their Division the 2ndtime, so the team has high hopes for this year.  Both rankings put them in the top 50 teams in the world in prior years.
Team 4450 back from the World Championship by rsteele - 05-05-2016
The ORF team had a great time at the World Championships in St. Louis this last week. We played in the Galileo subdivision of the event (one of eight subdivisions with 75 teams each) and the whole competition was very exciting with 11,000 students in the Edwards dome.
ORF had its ups and downs in the World Championships. We had some mechanical problems and software problems that affected our performance and also bad luck with the assignment of alliance partners. However we competed well and won some matches that we were not supposed to win. So we are very proud of our team.
We traded wins and losses early in the competition with close matches decided by a few points. Then our power cable disconnected on the field and we stopped cold in one match. Our best match out of the ten we played was our next to last match where our alliance outplayed our opponents and we scored the maximum ranking points. In the last match our pickup mechanism lost a bearing, so we switched strategies to focus on defeating defenses, but it was not enough to win and we ended up in the lower half of the rankings.
We then supported other teams from the Pacific Northwest who ended up in the finals of their subdivisions and we focused on the learning opportunities which were available in workshops, the Innovation Faire and the college presentations.
The speakers at the championships said the FRC team students are the future leaders of innovation in our country. They told us we are inspiring other students, our sponsors and the public as we present what we are doing. This is what we aim to do in our community.

Team 4450 hosting 3rd annual Middle School Summer Camp 2016 by rsteele - 05-31-2016
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!!!   Team 4450 is running it's annual Robotics Summer Camp and the Name of the game is........ Hungry, Hungry Robotics!  This fun filled, exciting robotics summer camp will be June 27 - July 1 in the Capital High School Commons.  . Having fun and learning about robotics.... What could be more exciting?  Click on the link below for more details about the Robotics Summer Camp. Robotics Camp Information Flyer: Robotics Summer camp poster (10) Registration Form:  2016 camp registration form
Olympia High School Earns Berth at FTC Super Regionals by brenda - 03-02-2017
Olympia High School team qualifies for Robotics Super Regionals On Feb. 4, 2017 at the Showare Center in Kent, The Washington State FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Robotics Championship was held.   The Olympia School District had three teams qualify for this State competition:  Capital High Schools “The Count Down,” and Olympia’s High School’s, Oly Cow and the Bear Necessities. All three teams were very competed fiercely at State After a day of intense robot game play and focused presentations, Olympia High School's Oly Cow won the Motivate award and earned their way to the “Super” Regional Robotics Competition.  13 states from the western US, will be competing at Super Regionals and Oly Cow will one of the teams representing Washington State.  Earning the Motivate award is not easy, it is challenging and requires a lot of community outreach and service. Here are some of the criteria a team must demonstrate in order to win the Motivate award:
  • Demonstrate respect and Gracious Professionalism toward everyone they encounter at an FTC event.   
  • Demonstrate the successful recruitment of new teams, mentors, coaches and volunteers who are not otherwise active within the STEM community.  
  • Articulate the individual contributions of each team member, and how these attribute to the overall success of the Team.
  • All team members participate in their presentation, and actively engage with the judges.  
This year’s FTC robotics challenge, “Velocity Vortex,” has robots scooping up and shooting particles (whiffle balls) into a vortex in the center of the field and for the last thirty seconds of each match, robots can pick up the cap balls which are two feet in diameter, Between shooting particles and lifting cap balls, there is a lot of action going on in these matches. Teams of students have designed, built  and programed a robot to complete as many of these tasks as possible in 2 ½ minutes.  But that’s not all!   Students will also give a ten minute presentation about their robot, and team activities and turn in an engineering journal that includes their robot evolution, CAD designs, outreach and more. Check out this video to learn more about “Velocity Vortex!”   https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=velocity%20vortex The FIRST Super-Regional Championship will to be held March, 10-12, 2017, at the Tacoma Convention Center (1500 Broadway, 98402).    
Capital High Schools' FTC team "The Countdown" qualifies for Super Regionals by brenda - 03-02-2017
Capital High Schools' FTC team "The Countdown" qualifies for Super Regionals Capital High School’s team 9876, “The Countdown” earned their way to the the FTC Super Regionals Competition at the Tacoma Convention Center on March 10-12.  “The Countdown” will be joining Olympia High School’s team “Oly Cow” at this prestigious event.  This is the first time in the robotics history of The Olympia School District that two different high school have both qualified for this exciting competition. This year’s FTC robotics challenge, “Velocity Vortex,” has robots scooping up and shooting particles (whiffle balls) into a vortex in the center of the field and for the last thirty seconds of each match, robots can pick up the cap balls which are two feet in diameter, Between shooting particles and lifting cap balls, there is a lot of action going on in these matches. These two teams of students have designed, built  and programed a robot to complete as many of these tasks as possible in 2 ½ minutes.  But that’s not all!   Students will also give a ten minute presentation about their robot, and team activities and turn in an engineering journal that includes their robot evolution, CAD designs, outreach and more. Check out this video to learn more about “Velocity Vortex!”   https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=velocity%20vortex If you would like to see these robots compete, The FIRST Super-Regional Championship is March, 10-12, 2017, at the Tacoma Convention Center (1500 Broadway, 98402).