It should come as no great surprise that robotics teams in the Bellevue area are not only popular but also successful, given the Microsoft pedigree that students often seem to have nowadays.
The success of Interlake’s robotics team, though, is far from everyday. In its five years as a team, members have expanded from a group of five to an army of 60, most recently under the leadership of club president and Interlake senior Kevin Kimura.
“Saints robotics is run by students under the advice of experienced mentors … [and] not only fosters interest in engineering and science, but also precipitates leaderships skills and cooperation,” Kevin said.
Robotics clubs are oriented around different robotics competitions, most prominently the VEX and FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC). Every aspect of the club gives opportunities to students, in “engineering, design, business, and leadership,” Kevin noted.
Students meet for two hours, twice a week, in addition to the time they have to commit to working on their own time and going to competitions. Within the club, the Build Team creates robots – even meeting daily, when competitions get close. The Programming Team writes the controls for the robots while another group of students maintain the website and the Public Relations Team works with sponsors, foundations, and fundraisers. There’s even a group of students that works solely on creating graphics.
The Saints Robotics Club also seeks to “promote creativity and competitiveness” in addition to real-world skills, Kevin said.
In that spirit, Saints Robotics is hosting a Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction on Dec. 10 at Interlake High School. The team’s goal for the year is to advance, via two regional competitions, to the international FRC championship, and to “fund another entry into the VEX world championships,” said Kevin. Last year, Saints Robotics won a regional qualifier to earn the chance to compete at VEX’s premier event.
From 5-7 p.m., the team will show off their robots, auction off donations from local businesses and serve pasta from Maggiano’s. The items being auctioned range from the standard – gift cards to Sports Authority and Puetz Golf; to the beautiful – a floral centerpiece from TJ Bloom; and the delicious – pies from Sharis and cupcakes from Cupcake Royal, among a series of other items.
Tickets, sold at the door, are $12 for adults and $10 for students.
Interlake High School is located at 16200 NE 26th St., Bellevue.
For more information, visit the Saints Robotics website at http://www.saintsrobotics.com/.
Derek Tsang is an intern at the Bellevue Reporter. He attends Interlake High School.