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On our team we employ the use of a Jedi-Padawan system. Our veteran team members (Jedis) teach our new members (Padawans) how to work on their sub team. Sub teams are important as we can divide and conquer work, and still come together as a team and make important team decisions.



The SOTAbots are a Washington robotics team combining nontraditional High School students from The Industrial Design and Engineering Arts School (iDEA), Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) and Tacoma Science and Math Institute (SAMi). Every year, we have six weeks to design and build a robot. We are not given a kit, just the game manual, and a size and weight requirement. We must review the game manual and determine the best way to play the game, score points and work well with other bots that will vary in capabilities. Robotics is a great way for students to get involved in their community and learn business skills that they can later apply to real life situations. To get involved with our community we volunteer at STEM nights and visit Elementary and Middle schools to teach kids about Robotics. Each student involved in FIRST Robotics will learn and build teamwork skills, how to work under pressure, goal setting, problem solving, and how to run an efficient and successful business.


On the SOTAbots, the Media Subteam is in charge of tasks like documentation of our progress though photography and videography, while also putting together various graphics and items for team and public spaces. We are always working to develop a broader and better image for out team through communication and collaboration with our community.


Programming’s goal is to take Build’s elegant collection of metal and motors and give it life. The robot is programmed in Java implementing industry level patterns and practices to make our code as robust as possible. We’re also responsible for creating Scouting’s android app, training our own AI machine learning image detection model, and the occasional bit of tech support.


The SOTAbots use scouting to get a sense of how our fellow competitors play the game, as well as to learn where we stand relative to them. Scouting is as much about knowing our opponents and our allies as it is knowing ourselves and our robot and drive team's limits and skills.


The Business subteam keeps all of SOTAbots running smoothly by helping organize fundraisers, keeping track of our budget, and making sure everybody in SOTAbots has an affordable way to get to competitions.


The SOTAbots uses FRC awards to shape our team's mission. When school starts up in the fall, student managers of our team revisit awards guidelines and start the process of brainstorming and delegating each award to its appropriate subteam. We work in committees to organize for the Impact and Engineering Inspiration Award, integrate the guidelines for the Gracious Professionalism, Spirit, Imagery, and Industrial Design Awards in the team's day-to-day operations. We strive to embody the principles of the FIRST Robotics Organization, and throughout our team's history we have received awards that recognize our work.

FIRST Robotics is a global organization that challenges students 9-12th, it combines Science and Technology to create challenges with strict and limited resources, within a tight schedule. FIRST was founded March 28th, 1989, by Woodie Flowers and Dean Kamen.



Our robot has to be built by someone, and that someone is the Build Subteam. We design the robot in CAD and build it during build season. We're then on-call in the pits at competition to fix our robot whenever needed.


We make presentations to teach the team how to be safe. We communicate with other teams at competitions to promote a safety culture. We communicate with other leadership to ensure everyone is being safe in their respective subteam. We also present to individual subteams about safety topics relevant to them. We make SOPs (standard operating procedure) to ensure everyone knows how to stay safe in their specific area of work.


 Outreach coordinates our involvement in our community. Team members teach STEAM lessons at HeadStart, assist at school STEAM nights and youth programs at local museums, volunteer at food banks, and much more. Our goal is to make STEAM education accessible to all. ​

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