The second competition of the 2017-2018 season was at Auburn Mountainview Competition March 29-31. The team again was able to load the RV before competition on Wednesday. They then set up the pits the Friday of competition, preparing everything for Saturday and Sunday. The team came in strong to this competition, with the robot, as well as imagery, improved upon since last competition. The Saturday of, the robot still had issues with breakage, but was much more functional and effective in competition. By the end of the competition, the team was able to win the Entrepreneurship award after an amazing discussion with the judges. Competition season overall was really fun, with the members getting lots of experience with talking to judges and other competition specific roles.  

The team went to the first competition of the 2017-2018 season at Mount Vernon High School March 2-4. The team loaded the RV the Wednesday before the competition and set up for competition Friday, setting up the wooden pits and preparing the robot for the next day. The day of the competition, even though the robot experienced some breakage, the team stayed optimistic and spirited throughout the competition. While the team was not chosen for alliances, team members had lots of fun at the competition.

Today marked the last day that the team could work on the robot before competitions without having any limitations to what could be added and the time frame with which that had to be done. As this was during the school’s midwinter break, the meeting was able to start at 9 A.M and ended at 9 P.M when the robot had to be put in a bag and stored away. The team came in full storm, with many people working on a multitude of tasks from adding art and painting the robot to finishing adding manipulators and making other last minute modifications to ensure the best performance during competition. When the time to bag came, the team gathered around to look and reflect on the work that had been done throughout build season, and then they ended the day with a late dinner at I-Hop to celebrate the robot being completed.

The team started off the year at the FIRST major event of the season, kickoff, where FIRST introduces the competition rules and gives teams the time to collaborate about ideas. The team sent most of its members to kickoff, with a few staying behind to read the rules closely once they were released. After the initial kickoff event at Mountlake Terrace High School, the team headed back to brainstorm ideas and strategy. They first started with explaining the game, with the members asking the rules committee for clarifications with the rules. The rest of the day was spent brainstorming strategy so the team could start brainstorming ideas for the design of the actual robot as soon as possible. This  event helped the team bond and get focused on the new competition and marked the beginning of six weeks of hard work.

Saints Robotics helped FIRST Washington to host another FIRST Lego League (FLL) competition/qualifier at Chinook Middle School for the local western Washington FLL teams. The team helped to set up the competition, preparing the team pits and playing fields. During the competition, the team’s members had to judge, direct, and organize over 40 FLL teams. The team assisted by helping reset fields, manage teams, and take part in judging the teams. The team even provided their own MC, who commentated during the robot competition portion of the event which was split from the judging portion in the morning. The event was a huge success and helped the team learn how to work together and manage responsibilities, important skills for when the build season comes along.

The team competed at Girls Generation at Maple View Middle School, competing with their robot, Woodie Fliers, against teams from all over western Washington. The team started off the competition strong, using the manipulators that had brought them success in the previous competitions. They had around 40 members participate, with the girls doing the forefront of the workload: fixing, driving, and coding the robot, as boys were not allowed to touch the robot. Overall, the team performed really well and had a lot of fun learning the ropes of the FRC competitions, with their success bringing good omens for the future.

The team held a Saints Engineering Robotics Camp (SERC) at Highland middle school which provided children from first to fifth grade a hands-on opportunity to build and program robots. The camp accepted kids from elementary and middle school, and actively advertised this summer camp to all the schools in the Bellevue School District. Campers work mostly with Lego Mindstorms and were taught how to use this technology as well as implement a well structured and thorough design, so that their robot could complete a set of challenges given to them.

The team started the 2016-2017 season implementing a training system to help keep all of its members entertained and learning, solving one of the biggest issues from the previous year. Building on the groundwork laid the year before, the club continued its active role in hosting FLL Eastside Qualifiers and attending science fairs across the district, helping to inspire kids at these events to pursue STEM in the future. The team continued its tradition of hosting a summer camp called SERC (Saints Engineering Robotics Camp).

When the six weeks of build season came around, the team was prepared, focusing on finishing with as much time to practice as possible, which showed in the district competitions. The team went to the Glacier Peak and Auburn Mountainview FRC District Events and managed to do well each time, winning the Imagery Award and the Engineering Design Award at the second competition. The robot’s name itself was Woodie Fliers, in honor of Woodie Flowers, one of the heads of the FIRST Program. The 2016-2017 season left the team with high hopes for the future.