Robotics team to St. Louis

By Erick Yanzon

The MTHS Robotics Club, known as Team 1778 “Chill Out,” is having their regional competition on March 23 and 24 at the CenturyLink event center.
The team has declared 2012 to be “The Year of the Penguin.”
These students have been working hard on their basketball-playing robot since Jan. 7.
Franklin Koenig, president of the team, said, “There are a lot more students this year. This is the biggest team we’ve had, and it gives us a lot of personnel working on something.”
Robotics is to travel to the Edward Jones Dome, in St. Louis, Mo. if they win the competition. Even if they don’t win, they would still be able to go because they could have a special pass to go and to experience a national championship tournament.
The team is also hoping to get the ‘Chairman’s Award,’ which is the most prestigious award that a team could receive. Their six week season of change and fix it with lighter objects wherein it would still be able to lift and shoot balls.
This year’s game, Rebound Rumble, features four basketball hoops at each end of he playing field, with the highest hoop worth the most points. In autonomous mode at the beginning of the match, successful robots will shoot and score by programming alone; no input from the operators.
During teleop mode, three-on-three alliances play it out, scoring baskets for their alliance or defensively blocking opposing shots. In the final seconds of the game, alliances will attempt to balance all three bots on the wobble bridge for maximum points. For more information about the game, visit the FIRST’s website at
Regardless of the busy schedules for building robots, the team is also really involved in the community. They do different fund raising events throughout the year.
During the fall of 2011, they started three teams at Maplewood Elementary, and other various middle and elementary schools.
They helped the Heroes for the Homeless organization by assembling bags of different fruits and vegetables that got distributed.
The team also participated on the annual Families And Community Engaged event of the Edmonds School District by showing kids information and to help and promote the engineering and STEM programs.
After the competition, they are still planning to be involved on the Food Lifeland and other different organizations.
They are also planning on giving some students a “Full-time Award” by having 40 hours a week for six weeks working on something to show some recognition especially for the most dedicated ones who work hours and hours after school everyday, and even on the weekends.