Community News

Meet our Regional Robotics Teams!

November 20, 2017

Envisioning a Bright Future for Our Youth

Sending our Regional Robotics Team to the First World Robotics Championship

The Community Foundation is proud to have supported the Thurston County robotics team, Olympia Robotics Federation Team 4450, and the Mason County Robotics Team, Aldernating Current Team 5295, for the past three years. 

We have seen these powerful teams of young people grow and achieve great success. ORF has gone to the World Championship three times in four years, and Aldernating Current placed 16th in World Championships this year!

A now thriving program, the Robotics Team model combines competition, cooperation, and learning in a technology-infused education program in which students apply their core curricular math and science concepts to engineer solutions to real world problems. The program’s vision is to transform students from consumers of technology into creators of technology, and to help them envision career opportunities in STEM.

The Thurston County Team is made up of students from Olympia, Capital, and Avanti High Schools. In Mason County a wide range of schools participate, including students from Oakland Bay Junior High, Shelton High School, and North Mason High School, as well as homeschooled high school students.

“Kids have so much fun they do not realize they are learning how to solve problems via critical thinking,” says Aldernating Current lead coach and mentor Alan Walker. 

The program also builds strong community-oriented students and leaders. Participating students design, build and operate robots, scout at competitions, run team meetings, build and manage their own budget, 

mentor new members and other teams, and accomplish countless other tasks. Their hard work pays off in myriad ways, and many of the students have received scholarships because of their participation in the program. 

This inspiring program is an excellent example of how initial funding can attract new donors and business sponsors. Using their grant support to demonstrate financial credibility, these incredible students now raise additional funds themselves through marketing and outreach efforts and fundraising, including giving presentations to their legislators, to service organizations, local businesses, and to schools.

The Community Foundation’s past investments in these two teams are a great example of how a few small grants from our general unrestricted funds to promising programs have made a huge difference in our community now and for years to come. 

November 20, 2017

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