In honor of Bainbridge High School’s Team Spartronics, registered competitively as Washington’s FIRST Robotics Team 4915, Bainbridge Island Mayor Anne Blair proclaimed April 9, 2015 as Spartronics Day.
The purpose of Spartronics Day is to celebrate the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and robotics in schools; to raise awareness about the benefits of FIRST robotics; and to generate funds to attend the World Championship in St. Louis at the end of the month.
A fundraising blitz on Thursday — lasting exactly 49 minutes and 15 seconds — found team members and volunteer mentors outside of Ace Hardware, Town & Country Market, Westside Pizza, the ferry terminal and Safeway to solicit funds. The team’s 2014 competitive robot ATLaS made an appearance at the Pavilion.
This is the second time the two-year old team has qualified for the FIRST Robotics World Championship.
This year, the theme for the competitive season is recycling. Teams play a game that involves two alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers and properly disposing of swimming pool noodles that represent litter.
Team 4915 spent six weeks creating a 120-pound Grabber Actuated Elevator Automaton robot. Named after the mother goddess in Greek mythology who presided over earth, GAEA can successfully grab and stack totes as well as recycling containers and transport them to the scoring platform.
Inventor, entrepreneur and science technology advocate Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989. His goal was to inspire young people’s interest in science and technology with robot-building activities he calls “Sport for the Mind.”
Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, the not-for-profit organization works to motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.