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2015 News

A New Season for the CyberKnights

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Seattle Mini Maker Faire

On September 19 and 20, we went to the EMP Museum in Seattle to participate in the Seattle Mini Maker Faire, where makers from all around the Western Washington area showcased their inventions to exhibitors. We participated in this event, showcasing both our 2013-2014 season robot, elGato, as well as our 2014-2015 season robot, Monolith. Many exhibitors visited our booth, from inventors and businessmen to teachers and families, curious about our team and the FIRST program. Many families wanted their children to participate in a program like FIRST LEGO League or FIRST Tech Challenge. We had a great time being there, and we hope to participate again next year.

Unified Robotics

This season, during Wednesdays in October and November, we are hosting a Unified Robotics Club at Roosevelt High School. Collaborating with Roosevelt’s Unity Program, CyberKnights members alongside students in the special-education program will be building, programming, and competing against each other with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robot kits, opening students’ interests in science, technology, engineering, and math in their future. We also have been featured in the Seattle Unify News.

WHEN: Wednesdays at 3:30-5:00PM starting October 21
WHERE: Roosevelt High School, Room 341 (Mr. Ledcke)

Girls Generation 2015

On October 17, we participated in the 2015 Girls Generation off-season competition at Tahoma High School. Although we did not get selected for the playoff rounds, we had a great experience competing against the other all-girl drive teams. Congratulations to the winning alliance (Team 1983 Skunk Works Robotics, Team 1318 IRS, and Team 4060 SWAG), as well as the Finalist Alliance (Team 3663 CPR, Team 360 The Revolution, and Team 2907 Lion Robotics) in this year’s competition. Many thanks to our pit crew members for maintaining the robot and helping train our all-girl drive team!

FIRST STRONGHOLD

On October 14, FIRST released their teaser trailer for the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition game: FIRST STRONGHOLD. As of now, we do not know any details about the rules and the objective of the game, but we are extremely excited and looking forward to what FIRST has for us this season.

Welcome New Members!

This year, our team has welcomed 9 new members ranging from Software Engineering to Manufacturing to Photography. We have recruited 2 freshmen, 6 sophomores, and 1 senior. 4 of these members came up from our FIRST Tech Challenge teams in our K-12 pipeline. We will soon be starting our pre-season training and looking forward to sharpening the skills on all our team members.

Summer Outreach Events, Barbecue Party, and Other Updates

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FRC Barbecue Party

On Saturday, July 25, our team hosted a barbecue inviting all of the PNW teams to come together and just have fun. We had around 40 students from several teams come to this event, as well as the Founding Chairman of Washington FIRST Robotics Kevin Ross. We all had fun conversing with each other, and played games like Ultimate Frisbee and, our team game, Monster, in our High School building.

We thank everyone who was able to attend to our barbecue! We had a blast meeting all of you and we look forward to seeing you all again in the future. We would also like to thank all the parents who were able to bring food and grills to this event. This wouldn’t have been possible without your help!

Bellevue Boys and Girls Club’s Teen Tech Center Outreach

On Wednesday, July 8, our team went to the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club speak to a small group of kids of varying ages, demo our robot from Aerial Assist, elGato, and talk about the FIRST program and what we have learned as a team. It was great seeing all the kids interested in robotics and the FIRST program. Thank you for having us come! We had a great time there!

King’s Schools STEM Camps

During the week of July 27, our school was hosting Summer STEM Camps, as well as teaching students in several other topics. We helped out the FTC Robotics Intro Class with our head coach and the Advanced EV3 Robotics Class. The FTC Robotics class had 4 groups of 2 students in the 7th-9th grade, each building a robot with FTC parts like TETRIX, Samantha, and NXT bricks that would battle at a soccer tournament. The EV3 Robotics class had around 10 students in the 4th-8th grade each with 2 EV3 kits building robots for a soccer tournament also. They also had to use Bluetooth to create a remote control for their robot with an EV3 brick. Students were engaged and had fun building robots and playing a tournament with the robots they had built and programmed.

Seafair

On Friday, July 31, we headed down to the Boeing Tent in Genesee Park demoing our Aerial Assist robot and talking about the FIRST program with several teams in FTC and FRC. We had a blast driving our robot around and talking to people and kids about FIRST.

Regarding our Los Angeles Trip

Unfortunately, due to reported increase and threat of gang violence in the area, our team was unable to go to Los Angeles. We hope to continue our communication with the students there and plan to visit again next summer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students at Adventures Ahead, and all those affected by the violence in the area.

Our Trip to Uganda

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Recently, a group of students from our team went to Uganda, Africa where we have developed an ongoing robotics program at the Beacon of Hope School which we implemented three years ago. We plan to continue this annual outreach trip for years to come and we have kept and will continue keeping in communication with the school to help and assist in the growth of their engineering program. The program uses NXT robot kits which we provide, and we aid them in the construction and competition of the robots. This program has significantly impacted these 60-70 students in the program and increased their aptitude in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Strong friendships have developed through this outreach program, with many students from each school keeping in communication with each other throughout the years. One of the Beacon students, Denish Oleke, who had been a student we’ve worked with in this program for three years, came to Seattle to visit and attend our school for three months. We were fortunate to have him join our team and accompany us on our trip to the World Championship. Working alongside Denish was a special opportunity for our students to see a glimpse of how their outreach efforts have come full-circle. Denish gained valuable experience while he was here, and has now returned to Uganda to be an assistant instructor.

The community in Uganda welcomed our team with inquisitiveness and enthusiasm. We were interviewed on a national radio talk show along with a few team members from the Beacon of Hope School. We are all so grateful for this unique opportunity to build and maintain relationships, and watch the amazing things that are developing all around us.

Ronald McDonald House, Go Girl Go, and more

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Ronald McDonald House

A few team members went to the Seattle Ronald McDonald House doing STEM-related activities with children living there, including a plastic-bag parachuteslingshot rockets, and Jenga. We plan to continue visiting the Ronald McDonald House and do activities there.

Go Girl Go!

Team members attended the Go Girl Go! event in Seattle and demoed our 2013-2014 season robot, and our FTC robot from the 2011-2012 FTC season with Team 3663 Cedar Park Robotics and Team 2930 Sonic Squirrels.

Future Plans

We are currently planning an event, and will be announced very soon. We are also preparing to fly to Uganda, Africa to the Beacon of Hope School to work with their STEM program and teach robotics using NXT kits.

Meeting with Senator Kohl-Welles and Future Plans

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Meeting Senator Kohl-Welles

A few team members went over to Senator Kohl-Welles’ (WA District 36) office talking about FIRST and advocating to spread the funding for FIRST to reach the greatest number of students possible in the Pacific Northwest participating in a FIRST program, as well as including FIRST programs to as many public schools as possible. The senator was very attentive and interested in the program and our team, and we look forward to continue connecting with her.IMG_2500

Shoreline STEM Festival

Some team members participated in the Shoreline STEM Festival on May 9 with Team 3070 Pronto and Team 2930 Sonic Squirrels demoing our robots and talking about our team, our robot, and the FIRST program.

Future Plans

Even though the 2015 season is over, our business team is working on our plans for the summer and pre-season later this year. We are planning to attend the Go Girl Go! event FIRSTWA is hosting the end of this month. In mid-June, several team members will fly to Uganda, Africa to the Beacon of Hope School helping them start an FTC team there, and do robotics camps with LEGO NXT kits. We are also planning to be at SeaFair in the summer as well as the Seattle Mini MakerFaire in the fall demoing our robot as well as talking about FIRST and our team. Also during the summer, our school is hosting summer STEM camps teaching kids to build LEGO robots as well as advanced TETRIX robots, and we will be helping out with them. In the beginning of August, we will be flying to Los Angeles to the Adventures Ahead community center to further their skills in LEGO robotics and FLL. Later this year we plan to attend Girls’ Generation hosted by Team 2046 Bear Metal. We also have a couple events in the works, so stay tuned for more information about them!

FIRST 2015 World Championships and Other Updates

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Outreach Visit to CRISTA Assisted Living

On April 16, we again visited CRISTA Assisted Living to present our 2015 season robot, Monolith, and explain what we accomplished this season. We had our drivers and software lead explain about the robot design and functions. The seniors at the assisted living were in absolute awe when seeing the robot preform.

FIRST 2015 World Championships

On April 22-25, we traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to complete in the FIRST Robotics World Championship. We again experienced some problems with the robot and combined with being paired with teams who refused to cooperate with us, we again ranked very low. But thanks to the 6th ranked alliance with Team 66 The Flyers, Team 1592 The Bionic Tigers, and Team 1024 Kil-A-Bytes, we got selected as their last pick. We then went on to place 3rd within our division at Worlds, ending our 2015 season with a strong finish.

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Autodesk PNW District Championships 2015

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Our team attended the Pacific Northwest District Championships held in Cheney, Washington. Due to some major and mysterious electrical issues, we placed 46th out of 64 teams in the qualification rounds.. The electrical problems resulted in our robot starting and stopping at random times and the sub-systems crashing. However, thanks to the help of many other teams and the very talented Control System Advisors (CSA), the team was able to solve the electrical malfunctions and get the robot, Monolith, up and running. After getting Monolith functional, team 4911 was selected as the third alliance partner by teams 3663, Cedar Park Robotics (CPR) and 4450, Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF). Our alliance’s performance was amazing, as we finished third in the entire competition with an average alliance score of 201.33, only being edged out by teams 1983 Skunkworks Robotics, 955 Crescent Valley Robotics, and 2930 Sonic Squirrels with an average alliance score of 202. Their alliance barely beat out the CyberKnights’ alliance by 2/3 of a point. We went on to win the Judges’ Award, which is awarded to the team with unique efforts, performance, or dynamics that merit recognition. After the conclusion of the competition, the we found out that we officially qualified for the FRC Worlds Championships held in St. Louis, Missouri. We achieved this impressive achievement by ranking 14th out of the entire Pacific Northwest.

Shorewood Meet

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On March 21 and 22, our team competed at Shorewood High School. We partnered with the alliance captain Titan Robotics Club team 492 and with Ramen team 4461. Our alliance performed well at the competition, and we had a great time with them. We won the District Chairman’s Award, which is the most prestigious award in FIRST, “honoring the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST” (info provided by FIRST). We are very blessed to receive this particular award as a second-year FRC team.

Mount Vernon Meet

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Last weekend we competed at Mount Vernon High School and made it to the final rounds with Cedar Park Robotics (CPR) team 3663 and the Adna Pirates team 5478 as our alliance partners. In addition, we also won the imagery award. The imagery award “celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance” (info provided by FIRST). At the competition, we were excited to partner with Cedar Park Robotics and the Pirates. Our alliance played great together and we are excited to continue our partnership with CPR. The competition was super fun and we are super excited for the competition this weekend at Shorewood!

Update 3/7/2015

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Engineering:
We are practicing with Cedar Park Robotics (team 3663) for our next meet in Mount Vernon. We are modifying and improving the performance of our robot, Monolith. We believe that we will do well for our next meet. Go CyberKnights!

Business:
We have prepared a business presentation for Cedar Park Robotics, and will have the presentation in the Files page in the website. Our storefront team has been practicing and feels ready for Mount Vernon. We also have been updating our brochure, including creating a dedicated Outreach brochure.
Our scouting team has been practicing and been storing data to our database. The website is still being improved. Our photos tab is still in construction. The graphic design team has also been fixing our pit banners to keep it aligned and looking nice. We have also been planning to send emails to our state legislators, and we have been sending out emails to our school’s DECA team.
Also, our twitter account has been revamped and will be posting updates. Follow us!

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