By Zayne Troeger

Gracious Professionalism.

That’s the FIRST moto. FIRST is an organization that runs and organizes the robotics competitions. FIRST is actually an acronym that stands for, “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”

There comes a time in every robotics season when the team has to switch from the build season to the competition season, which is called “Bag n’ Tag”. This years transition deadline was on Feb. 21.

This is also the day that most of the teams showoff some of the features of their robots. In the team’s video, we revealed the robots’ intake system, how we are able to pick up the gears, and raise the robot up off of the ground. What they did not show off was how they plan on scoring the balls or how their autonomous period looks.

The Build Season. The build season is a period of six weeks that the team has to build and make any adjustments to their robot in this time. After the “build season” is over, they are not allowed to make any adjustments unless it’s on certain days or during certain times.

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The Competition Season. The competition season is a period of time that comes after the build season where the team goes to places that hold competitions with teams from many different high schools in order to compete with their robot. Every year the game is different and has different features to it to make the game more interesting and fun. The competition goes through a bracket. The more points you score during the game, the more points you get for your team, which advances your team farther in the bracket. The more points that you have the better your team’s ranking is.

(Watch the reveal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmM0fF36bVw)

The UHS Robotics team starts their competition season March 2 in Spokane. They will face off against 29 other teams from places like Okanogan and Anacortes of Washington.

The next competition that they are planning on going to is in Ellensburg, WA between March 16-18, where they will face off against 37 other teams from the pacific northwest.

For a robotics team, there are many talents and skills that go into making a functional team and a good working robot. One of the people who have the skills to achieve both of those features is Elijah Pine, a high school senior. Mr. Pine’s is the team’s Safety Captain. He’s also part of the Pit Crew and on the Build Team. For this first competition, he is looking forward to “kickin’ butt and takin’ names,” Mr. Pine said.

Another important person on the robotics team is Mr. Alexander Gutierrez. His job on the robotics team is working on the Chairman’s Award and dancing. The reason why Mr. Gutierrez is so important is because he helps to get the Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award available for a robotics team. It is awarded to a team that is a model for other organizations to be like, whether it be their gracious professionalism or their character and skill.

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With all of the jobs and responsibilities in robotics, it takes smart and well-trained coaches to manage everyone and everything that is required to happen by a certain time. One of those coaches, the lead coach in fact, is Mr. Kyle Sipe. Mr. Sipe is a science teacher at Clara Brownell Middle School while he’s not coaching FRC. His experience is quite impressive. As the head coach and one of the founders of the Umatilla Robotics Team 4125, Confidential, Mr. Sipe has taken three teams and qualified for the World Championships three times in the last five years! Mr. Sipe and all of the members feel their robot will do very well in the competitions that they are entered in!