One robotics team in Bellevue has something to celebrate. Since 2014, Sammamish High School’s robotics team, the Robototes-team 2412 recently qualified for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC) PNW district championship.
Named after the school’s mascot, the Totems, or commonly shortened to “totes,” the team has participated in FRC since 2008.
The district championship was held April 3-6 at the Tacoma Convention Center.
Qualifying for the district championship requires teams to spend long hours building robots and participating in outreach events.
“As a team during build season, we meet after school from 3:30 p.m. to around 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from around 9 a.m.-noon, although these meeting times get later and later as build season progresses,” said Sammamish High School (SHS) sophomore Robototes student Gavin Smith. “On top of building a competition robot during build season, we participate in many outreach events, such as helping Odle Middle School’s VEX robotics team, and showing our robot at science fairs.”
At the district championships, the Robototes didn’t have much of a chance in moving on. Leonardo Ohata, a freshman on the team, said the team began to lose hope.
“Our alliances lost game after game. We started to lose hope. But, our individual robot scored a lot of points. After qualifications, we were surprised we even got chosen to play on an alliance,” he said.
Although the Robototes lost their games, they kept earning ranking points.
“The top 26 teams get to go to the world championships in Houston. Luckily for us, every award given out is worth five ranking points, but at district events awards are tripled in value,” Smith said. “Due to a couple team members talking to judges about how we made a digital model of our pit before we made it, and a digital model of our driver control board on top of just our robot, we won the Imagery Award.”
The team secured the 26th spot and will be going to the world championships in Houston, Texas.