The Sonic Squirrels 2930 robotics team is part of FIRST Robotics, which combines the excitement of competitive sports with the tremendous opportunities to develop STEM skills under the guidance of professional engineering and business volunteer mentors. Our team fosters well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Students on our team learn and apply vital workforce skills, including, engineering, programming, computer-aided drafting and design, marketing , graphic design, website development, business planning, and fundraising skills. Our team designs and builds robots based on an annually themed challenge under strict rules, limited resources, and tight time constraints. In the off season, we spend time in the community working with others at STEM related events.
FIRST Robotics Team 2930 strives to inspire members to become leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and business, in an enthusiastic and encouraging environment. The team actively reaches out to the community, striving to inspire all youth to develop a passion for STEM and inspiring people of all ages to become involved in FIRST. As active member of our community, we strive to positively impact society through service to others.
Our Mission Statement: Have Fun! Build Fun! Be Fun!
Have Fun:Have fun learning, teaching, and experiencing.
Build Fun:Build up other teams and a good working environment in which we build a robot as well as many other aspects of our team.
Be Fun: Be fun and spirited people.
TEAM 2930 GOALS
- Fully understand and exemplify the concepts of Gracious Professionalism™, Coopertition™, and other FIRST principles. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. Coopertition is defined by displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition.
- Foster a zeal to give back to the community.
- Develop engineering, business, problem solving, communications, and teamwork skills working together to achieve our team and FIRST missions.
- Build confidence in communications and leadership by engaging with the community through the world of FIRST Robotics and STEM.
- Actively encourage and support the growth of all FIRST programs.
FRC Team 2930 was founded in 2008 by Kevin Winter, a teacher at Snohomish High School. Our team followed him to the new Glacier Peak High School, and we competed for the first time in the 2009 season, playing the game ‘Lunacy’. Jin Hayashi, another teacher at Glacier Peak, joined in 2010 and became our main faculty advisor for many years to come, replacing Kevin Winter before the 2011 season. We were known in our first years as “Roboshi”, then switched to using the name “TaterBotz”. In 2014, we underwent a major rebranding to appeal to a broad demographic and allow us to better accomplish the FIRST mission at our outreach events. Our students decided on the name “Sonic Squirrels”, and our redesigned logo represented the team’s approachable yet slightly edgy character. We became an outreach-oriented team and began to compete for the major community involvement awards such as the Imagery Award, Engineering Inspiration Award, and Chairman’s Award. During these years our main mentors were Lori and Steve Hittle; since 2016 they have moved on to mentor some of the other teams in the Everett area. Our sponsorship and mentorship have changed over the years. In our earlier years our largest sponsor was Boeing, as our lead engineering mentor Jeff Austin was a Boeing engineer. We spent most of our years building in generous mentors’ garages, including those belonging to Jeff Austin as well as the Hittles. Our 2014 rebranding allowed us to better advertise ourselves to potential mentors and sponsors, and after that season we picked up new mentors from Microsoft and Boeing. 2015 was a breakout year for us, as we won the Chairman’s and Engineering Inspiration awards for the first time during our district events and qualified for the District Championship and World Championship for the first time. We won the Pacific Northwest District Championship with our alliance partners Team 1983 Skunkworks and Team 955 CV Robotics, and also qualified for the World Championship as a recipient of the Engineering Inspiration Award. We went on to win the Imagery Award in our division at Worlds, competing against 150 teams from around the globe. 2016 was a year of change for us, as we transitioned to meeting and building at Glacier Peak High School.
Sean Wilson, a new faculty advisor, offered his classroom as a team meeting space, and Jin Hayashi moved rooms to be next to the school’s machine shop. We now use this machine shop for woodworking and metalworking, with final assembly in Mr. Hayashi’s classroom. Newer faces have entered the picture since then, with Leidos engineer Joshua Myers stepping into the lead engineering mentor position, Melanie Limtiaco beginning her current role as lead operations mentor, and Sean Wilson transitioning into his role as lead faculty advisor. The need for a district-wide team became apparent, students from Snohomish High School’s FRC team, 5495 The Aluminati, banded with the Sonic Squirrels to create a Snohomish School District Team under the Squirrels’ name. The 2018 season saw a year full of spirit awards and the creation of the most contagious cheer in the Pacific North West, ending at the district championships. 2019 was a year of exciting challenges and the beginning of change for our team. We had an amazing competition season and made it all the way to Worlds and even ended up being an alliance captain on our field (Turing) there. We also won blue banners for the Mount Vernon event and our own Glacier Peak event. We started to use SolidWorks to document our robot, and we saw major structural improvement, especially with the operations team due to the use of Trello and the officer team. We also welcomed a new lead programming mentor, Bryn Dole, who brought a new perspective to the team with his industry experience.
After a phenomenal competition season, in September of 2019, the Sonic Squirrels attended an invite-based off-season event, Chezy Champs, in San Jose, California, hosted by none other than 254, the Cheesy Poofs, where they made it all the way to the Quarter-Finals as an alliance captain. 2020 was shaping up to be a grand year. The engineering team relied heavily on SolidWorks to design our robot, making each aspect in a 3D model before manufacturing. With our newly bought router, and mentor Beau Brown’s determination and focus, we were creating a robot that was unlike any of our past others and was a testament to our advancement in engineering. As such, we won the robot quality award at our Glacier Peak event, the first time we hosted week 1. However, our season was cut short due to the unfortunate coronavirus pandemic, but this gave us the time to shift our team onto the Microsoft Teams program, with the help of mentor Jason Reiner. After Jin Hayashi took a bit of a step back, we gained a new advisor, Kyle Scott, a teacher at GPHS who helped guide our operations subteams and boosted the team morale as a whole through build season. FIRST hopes to host make-up events as well as District Champs in the Fall of 2020. 2021 was an interesting year that took place online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We attempted to follow our same schedule, working around information that was released from first. We met weekly online to have main meetings, and subteams met online at least twice a week. A robot was built and tested at mentors shops during quarantine. This same robot was later used to win the PNW Block Party at Jackson high school. We submitted videos of the robot completing different tasks assigned by FIRST. We also had a team working on the new Game Design challenge, where we won the Imagery Award. We finished off our season with educating and recruiting members for future years. The 2022 season will be our fourteenth season. With FIRST continuing to grow as an organization, and with the great support our team gets from the surrounding community, we can expect many more great seasons to come.