Get ready to meet CHAOS.
Bainbridge High School’s robotics team is holding its annual open house next week at BHS.
The team — officially called FIRST Robotics Team 4915 Spartronics — is a student-led squad, now in its sixth year. (FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).
Organizers of the open house — 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13 in the BHS 300 Building — are hoping for a big crowd. Last year’s open house drew more than 300 people.
“Robots are fun to watch for kids, parents and grandparents,” said Spartronics Coach Enrique Chee, who is also a BHS teacher and Science Department Chair. “This is a student-run event, so you can ask students questions and see first-hand about what goes into building robots.”
“And you get to see our newest robot CHAOS — which stands for Cargo Hatch-Panel Ascending Operational System — a 123-pound competitive robot high school students built in just six weeks.”
At the open house, the Spartronics team will be joined by younger students with FIRST Lego League (FLL) and FLL Jr. robotics teams.
There will be free refreshments at the event.
The open house will happen just after a big weekend for high school robot-builders. The competitive season for robotics begins this weekend.
Spartronics students will staff programming, mechanical, electrical and pneumatic, and marketing stations, as well as demonstrate CHAOS in action.
The team is heading into its first of two qualifying district competitions this season at Auburn Mountainview High School, March 8-10.
The next district competition is slated for March 22-24 at Glacier Peak High School.
If 4915 Spartronics qualifies for the Pacific Northwest District Championship, the team will head to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center for advanced competition April 3-6. Top teams will qualify for Worlds at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center later in April.
Team Spartronics is in its sixth year as a FIRST robotics team.
FIRST challenges team members to build and program a robot that competes in a 3-on-3 game that changes each year.
This year’s game is called “Destination: Deep Space” and is presented by the Boeing Company.
FIRST teaches students how to compete fairly and friendly, raise funds, promote the messages of FIRST Robotics and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), hone teamwork and learn communication skills.
FIRST was co-founded by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen and MIT Emeritus Professor Woodie Flowers in 1989. Their goal was to inspire young people’s interest in science and technology with robot-building activities dubbed “Sports for the Mind.” It’s known as the “only school sport where every student can turn pro if they choose.” Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, the non-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. Spartronics is a FIRST Robotics Team 4915 with some 50 students, 17 professional mentor volunteers. The team must raise funds annually to build two robots (one for competition, and an identical robot for driver practice), register and compete in competitions, cover travel expenses for competitions, provide tools, supplies, and equipment, create marketing materials, equipment and programs, and perform extensive community outreach and programming.
Some two-thirds of the team’s funding comes from local area businesses, as well as contributions by family and community support directed to Spartronics through the Bainbridge Schools Foundation.
Spartronics sponsors for 2019 include: ACE Hardware; Alaska Airlines; Andeavor; the Bainbridge Island School District; the Bainbridge Island Review; Bainbridge Schools Foundation; BARN; BIMA; Boeing; CAVU Networks; Columbia Bank; Dalton Family; F5; Fairbank Construction; FBO Partners; FIRST WA; FirstTech Credit Union; Island Family Eyecare; Island Fitness; Jason Shutt, Realtor; Microsoft Philanthropies; Modern Collision; OSPI; Professional Options; and Sears & Associates. Silver Sponsors: Sound Reprographics; Spartronics Families; Town & Country Markets; WAV Group; Westside Pizza; Wildernest; and Xerox.
Learn more about the team at Spartronics4915.com.