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Enumclaw High Robotics Club sets sights on state tournament and beyond | Slideshow

Robots are rolling, picking up cubes and doing chin-ups in the  Enumclaw High Robotics Club.

The robotics team will be competing with its robots in a series of tournaments beginning today at Auburn Mountainview in the Tahoma League competition. The next tournament will be Sunday at Tahoma High.

The club is in its fourth year at Enumclaw High and the team advisor Jim LovellFord said this year the team has done very well and has an excellent shot to advance to the state tournaments in Issaquah, Jan. 26 and to the next level.

The FIRST organization sets up the robotic competitions each year for schools across the country. FIRST is an acronym formed from the title, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

On the FIRST website the competition is described as combining, “…the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team ‘brand,’ hone teamwork skill, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.”

FIRST began in 1989 and is based in Manchester, N.H. According to the website, the organization is designed to, “motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.”

LovellFord said this year the Enumclaw High team’s task was to build, “…two pairs of robots (four robots total) competing against each other in a 12-by-12 foot field.”

LovellFord said the this year the challenges are to:

(1) pick up to four 2-inch cubes and place them into baskets which are situated on teeter-totters;

(2) push these same type of cubes into scoring areas on the field;

(3) raise flags up flag poles by twirling a pulley system and

(4) go up a plank and after attaching the robot to a chin-up bar, lift the robot off the ground.  Different points are assigned depending on the complexity of the task.

The time is broken up into three periods:

(1) Autonomous – where robots are preprogrammed;

(2) Teleop (telecommunication operations] – two drivers using Xbox type controllers operate the robot to perform the previously mentioned tasks and

(3) End game – this is where the robots raise the flags and/or perform the chin-up.

LovellFord said the Enumclaw team benefits from many businesses and individuals sponsors in the community contributing funds for the program.

In the past seasons the team place 11th at state in the first year and second in state in the second season.

Camie Went wrote in a email that, "Beside engineering, programming and competing with robots, our team also works to serve the community. In October we canvassed local neighborhoods and collected food for POM (Plateau Outreach Ministry). We have also designed a tech assistant partnership with Southwood Elementary. Teachers contact us to assist with tech-related projects both in and out of classroom. This fall we prepared student laptops for teachers by bookmarking all their favorite teaching websites. Robotics tech assistants have also helped students is Mrs. Emerson's fourth-grade class learn how to create PowerPoint presentations. This part of of club is growing and we are excited to be working with and for our community."

The club members are Nathaniel Allen, J.J. Craig, Paul Crews, C.J. Eckblad, Corrina Garton, Todd Groennert II, Alex Hebrank, Jacob Hechtar, Chris Hogan, Trent Johnson, Brent Leffers, Mia Malgarini, David Mundt, Joey Bode, Preston Went, Alayah Woodley, Michael Pedersen, Bryn Zeman-Witzel, Haley Unger, Patrick Schwendeman, Chase Vranizan, Cody VanHaalen, Matt Green.

The club advisers are Jim LovellFord (head adviser- high school math and robotics teacher), Camie Went (assistant adviser- second-grade teacher at Westwood Elementary), Corey Cassell (community mentor, school board member and Boeing employee).

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