Robotics Teams From Highline Schools Compete at Seattle Regional Competition

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FIRST Founder Dean Kamen speaking at the Seattle Regional on Friday

The 2012 FIRST Robotics Regional Competition is now complete and in the books, and once again teams from the Highline School District made an impact.

Founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen — inventor of the Segway — the goal of FIRST is to get students interested in science and engineering by engaging them in a technology-based sport involving the design and construction of robots.

There are so many teams competing in our area that this annual event is actually two complete regional competitions happening simultaneously — the Seattle Cascade Regional and the Seattle Olympic Regional.

All together nearly 100 teams competed, including teams from Turkey and Mexico.

Three teams from the Highline School District took part in the Seattle Olympic Regional:

  • Aviation High School’s Skunkworks Robotics (#1983)
  • Evergreen’s TEC Robotics (#2942)
  • Highline High School’s High Tekerz (#3574)

This year’s challenge — called “Rebound Rumble” — had the teams building robots that could shoot basketballs into one of four baskets to score points, with bonus points available for teams able to balance their robots on teetering bridges that separated the two sides of the playfield.

Here’s an animation that explains the game:

Among our local teams, the High Tekerz from Highline High School wound up ranked 30 out of 46 during qualifications. They went on to win the Engineering Inspiration award from the Olympic judges for the “team’s outstanding efforts in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school, as well as their community.”

The TEC Robotics team ranked 7th coming out of the qualification rounds and made it to the quarter finals before being eliminated.

Aviation High School’s Skunkworks Robotics team has a well-earned reputation for excellence and demonstrated that again this year ranking 1st in qualifications. They went all the way to the finals before losing a closely fought third match by just one point, 67-68.

The Skunkworks Robotics team earned recognition from the judges, winning the Industrial Design award for “form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge.” They also won a regional award for the effectiveness of their website design.

In addition, Jacob Ebey from the High Tekerz won one of two FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Awards handed out personally by Dean Kamen on Friday. This award “celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.”

Congratulations to all of our Highline teams!

You can get complete results and additional information at the FIRST Washington web site.

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7 Responses to “Robotics Teams From Highline Schools Compete at Seattle Regional Competition”
  1. Shari says:

    This is seriously impressive stuff for every single team. Congratulations to the students and teachers and corporate mentors who worked so hard and thanks for representing Highline so impressively in STEM. REALLY great job. You all gave us something to be pretty proud of as a community.

  2. Mary Zaches says:

    I love positive stories about our high school kids, what could be more inspiring than a bunch of kids doing great things that will actually help them get into college and get employed when they are finished. Go FIRST Teams. Please, if you see these kids fundraising help them out, they need to raise $20 K to pay for airfare, hotels and food so they can compete in St. Louis.

    • Shari says:

      I might have missed this in the story and in my quick surf through the FIRST website, but can you tell us which teams are going to St. Louis? And where are the kids trying to raise money? I haven’t encountered any around town. Is there going to be a fundraising event where the community can donate? Have the corporate sponsors donated towards competition travel costs? Thanks!

  3. I’ve got a gallery of photos from the event up at my web site. Mostly from the Cascade Regional where I was a judge, but a few from the Olympic Regional where the Highline teams were competing also.

  4. Nancy Baskett says:

    High Tekerz is a 4-H Robotic Club.

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