Team 4450 hosting 3rd annual Middle School Summer Camp 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

Team 4450 back from the World Championship

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 (ORF) Needs Your Help

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.

FRC team 4450 Earns Spot at the World Championship in St. Louis

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.    To donate to this need, click here.

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.

Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF) has a great showing at first FRC competion!

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:
Go ORF!!!

FRC Team 4450 heading to their first competition Mar 4/5

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
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!!

Team 4450 at FIRST Day in the Washington State Legislature

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.

Three OSD teams earn their way to the the Washington State FTC Championships.

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:

10 Olympia School District teams head to the FTC Inter-District Championship

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:


FRC Team 4450, The Olympia Robotics Federation Attends the 2016 Kickoff

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

Go ORF!!!