Team SWAG 4060 is looking forward to a great 2016-2017 season!

Our team has made a lot of progress over the summer. We are got a new, high-tech 3D printer, which has helped us substantially with our engineering projects! Our shop bot is also up and running. The CNC machine is ready for use, and we hope to train seven students to use it. We are also extremely excited to say that the robotics team's room in the school is now nearly twice its original size. It's a perfect space for designing, programming, and constructing our robot this season!

We are so glad to have a brand new FTC team that SWAG founded last year, FTC Team 10244. We are excited to help this awesome group of seventh, eighth, and ninth graders learn about science, technology, and engineering through robotics. SWAG mentors will help this FTC team master basic programming, design, construction, and operation of robots. We are so excited to help this team!

Our next big event is in Wilsonville Oregon. Over the summer, we have been fine-tuning our bot. We are ready for a successful competition!


This is shaping up to be a great season for Team SWAG. Programming classes are popular, Summer STEM Academy was a major success, and our community is more excited about STEM than ever! Team SWAG 4060 is incredibly proud to be a part of furthering our community's dedication to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This will be an amazing year.
 
 
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This summer, Team SWAG 4060 hosted an incredibly successful week-long Summer STEM Academy. SWAG team members planned, prepared, and ran this camp from start to finish. They mentored students during the week, helping nearly a hundred students from across Southwest Washington learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This year's theme was "Drone Zone!"

One of the coolest pieces of technology at STEM Academy was the Parrot Bebop Drone. Thanks to our team's generous sponsors, SWAG was able to purchase about 20 of these high-tech unmanned aerial vehicles. Team members taught camp attendees how to operate them. To challenge their skills, campers had to navigate their drones through an obstacle course. 
By the end of the week, many students were experts! 

Students also explored the fundamentals of robotics through constructing and programming LEGO Mindstorms robots. Mentors from Team SWAG helped students master the basics of programming and operation of these easy, but exciting, robots. Campers used the light detection technology in their LEGO Mindstorms bots to navigate an maze. By the end of STEM Academy, campers designed and programmed amazing robots that entered the ring in SumoBot competition!

The camp also featured many other aspects of STEM. Guest speaker Jeff Evans showed campers some amazing ways that science can be used through an entertaining and educational magic show! Every camper also spent a full day on the Centralia College campus exploring biology, chemistry, physics, and other exciting STEM fields. STEM Academy also had an amazing full day field trip hosted by Boeing's Future of Flight Foundation. Through numerous enriching activities, Team SWAG's STEM Academy helped campers experience science in amazing new ways.

 
 
As Stop Build Day rapidly approaches, Team SWAG 4060 is busy preparing for another great season!

Our scouting strategy has been established. A team of scouting leaders has drafted match and pit scouting sheets. Members of the scouting team are learning about the ins and out of our robot's parts and strategy, ensuring that the team will be able to effectively strategize with alliance members. SWAG hopes to create a thorough database of team information which we will be able draw on when picking alliance members for the final rounds of competition.

Today, the team received a new Leapfrog Xeed 3D printer. This wireless printer is one of the best 3D printers around. It offers professional, high quality printing. We are incredibly grateful to the Chehalis Foundation for donating this incredibly advanced piece of technology, which is valued at nearly $10,000. We are excited to use this 3D printer to create parts and prototypes of our robot.

In other news, the team's third annual spaghetti feed and silent auction event was a success. We would like to thank everyone who supported Team SWAG! We are also very appreciative of all of the parents and members who have brought food to fuel our team during our long days working in the robotics room. 

We're looking forward competition season. The team is ready to return to St. Louis!
 
 
On November 22, Team SWAG 4060 opened the doors of W.F. West High School to FIRST teams from across the state. Team SWAG was proud to, for the first time in its history, host a FIRST Tech Challenge competition. The FIRST Tech Challenge, also called FTC, is a robotics competition for students in middle and high school. FTC offers students the challenge and fun of building a robot, but is less expensive than FRC, making it accessible to schools that could otherwise not afford to participate in FIRST competitions.

Members of Team SWAG were thrilled to be honored with the opportunity to host an FTC League Qualifier event at their own high school. After learning of this opportunity, team members spent weeks preparing for this exciting competition. Team SWAG mastered every aspect of FTC competition, from the rules of competition to the operation of the scoring system. With the help of community volunteers and FIRST officials, Team SWAG was able to successfully host a fun, exciting FTC competition!

SWAG 4060 loved having the opportunity to share their love for robotics with the smaller teams who attended the competition. Student members of Team SWAG served as mentors and assistants to teams who had issues with their robots. Student duties ranged from repairing faulty control connections to making adjustments to robots with illegal placement of hardware. This competition gave SWAG students an opportunity to become both teachers and collaborators, an experience that many members of the team enjoyed!

Next month, Team SWAG 4060 will host a second FTC League Qualifier event on December 6. This event will also be held at W.F. West High School, and any community members who are interested in learning more about FIRST are invited to attend! It's sure to be another thrilling event. Team SWAG members are excited to once again serve as teachers and mentors to FTC teams!
 
 
There are only two times of year: robotics competition season and preparing for robotics competition season! As Kickoff approaches (only 66 days away!), Team SWAG is busy preparing for success.

On October 18, sixteen team members forwent the homecoming dance. Instead, they attended Girls' Generation at Tahoma Junior High School. This exciting FRC event is all about empowering women in STEM fields. All 24 teams at the competition had all-female drive teams. SWAG's girls were front and center, responsible for driving, scouting, and strategizing. To prepare for this competition, the hardware team worked on improving the robot's speed and maneuverability. By the time of Girls' Generation, the girls had mastered the controls. The robot performed well, and the team had a great time at the competition!

The next weekend, on October 25, the STEM/Robotics Booster Club hosted a fundraising event. The team served a pancake breakfast to customers who came to support Team SWAG. The Booster Club had been preparing this event for weeks and was thrilled to raise over $1000! This money is going to go towards purchasing a new trailer for the team. This trailer will be used to transport the robot, pit supplies, and important spare parts. It will be a great asset for Team SWAG! More money is needed, however, so the team will continue its fundraising efforts.

An exciting new development is that Team SWAG has been given the honor of hosting two FTC competitions! These events will take place on November 22 and December 13. They will be held at either W.F. West High School or Chehalis Middle School. Team SWAG is thrilled to host these competitions. SWAG hopes that the FTC team members who attend these competitions will have a great experience and be inspired to further pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Between these exciting events, work on designing a new, highly functional pit for use at competitions has been underway and the hardware team has made lots of progress on creating a tee-shirt cannon. Tomorrow, elections for team leadership positions will be held. Team SWAG is ready for another amazing FRC season!
 
 
Team SWAG had an amazing summer preparing for this year's season!

SWAG's second annual STEM Academy was a huge success. Students of Team SWAG taught over sixty kids design, building, programming, and problem-solving skills through a fun challenge. Participants were challenged to design, build, and program a boat to sail around obstacles. SWAG students served as mentors, teaching students the skills necessary to solve the difficult problem we had prepared for them.

To enrich camp participants' experience, the team organized a visit to the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, where the maritime history and boat design information they learned inspired them. Team SWAG believes that STEM fields are crucial in all parts of life, and a visit to this museum showed camp participants how true this is. Camp participants also spent a day at Centralia College in workshops led by professors. By the end of the week, multiple participants had succeeded in completing the challenge and were inspired to join Team SWAG 4060. 

The team also hosted multiple community information sessions. SWAG had a booth at the Southwest Washington Fair, where students attracted lots of attention with a Rubik's Cube-solving robot they had designed. The team invited the Olympia Robotics Federation, FRC team 4450, to join us in an onstage demonstration. Team SWAG is always happy to meet up with ORF, a team we helped to start. Together, the teams showed fairgoers the teams' robots. The team was able to recruit multiple new members and sponsors for not only Team SWAG 4060 but also our middle school FTC team! 

After our great summer, the team is looking forward to another successful season. SWAG hopes to make a triumphant return to the World Championship in St. Louis! This year, the team is aiming to be the fastest robot on the field. Students have been testing out different drive train ideas, looking for speed and maneuverability. Other preparations our team is making for the season include developing a tee-shirt cannon. Creating this cannon will be not only a fun challenge for team members, but also useful at competitions, school assemblies, and other events! 

Team SWAG 4060 is excited to begin its fourth season as a team. St. Louis had better be ready for Team SWAG to return!
 
 
Team SWAG 4060 had an incredible time at this weekend's Pacific Northwest districts competition in Auburn. Almost every student who attended had the awesome opportunity to be part of the drive team, getting on the field and in the action. 

From the beginning, this competition was a success. On Friday, the team was given the honor of being named the team with the safest pit area. Additionally, the team's Safety Captain, Camren Richards, was named the tournament's Safety Star of the Day for his contributions to the tournament. He passed out safety kits to each team present at the competition and made sure that everyone was following safety precautions, ensuring that the tournament ran smoothly.

On the second day of the competition, Team SWAG was selected to join the top seeded alliance, joining Skunkworks 1983 and Issaquah Robotics Society 1318. Working together with their alliance members, Team SWAG was able to rise to the top. In one match, the team's alliance scored 220 points! The team was thrilled to be a part of such a successful alliance.

The team was even more excited when, in the third match of finals, SWAG, Skunkworks, and IRS were named champions! SWAG also won the prestigious Engineering Inspiration award, which the judges awarded to Team SWAG for its outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within the team's school and community. The team's many STEM-related programs, such as Olympic Elementary STEM Day, W.F. West STEM Summer Camp, CAD and SolidWorks classes, and programming education, contributed to the win.

This year has been amazing for W.F. West's Team SWAG 4060. Being part of such an excellent alliance was amazing, and the team is proud to be able to call themselves District Champions. The team looking forward to presenting on the Engineering Inspiration award next week at regionals in Portland! SWAG is incredibly grateful to the Chehalis Foundation and the Bezos Family Foundation for their continued support of the team. Spreading FIRST's message of celebrating science and technology remains the team's top priority, and SWAG hopes to continue shining its light throughout the community. Without the generosity of sponsors, parents, friends, and mentors, SWAG would not have been able to have the amazing, successful season it has enjoyed. 
 
 
Last weekend, W.F. West’s robotics team attended districts in Mount Vernon, WA. The team’s robot, driven by students Niko, Kyle, Dylan, and Jaiteg, performed incredibly. Maneuverability and height were used to give Team SWAG 4060 an advantage over competitors, making it the top defensive robot at the tournament.

Team SWAG made it to quarterfinals! It was a fun competition. The team is currently ranked 55th out of 150 FRC teams in the Pacific Northwest District. SWAG is in the running for district championships, where the top 64 teams from across the Pacific Northwest will compete. The students are excited for their next competition, which is March 27 through 29 in Auburn, WA.

You can follow Team SWAG 4060 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for live updates during each competition, and watch live streams of the matches online! None of this beats being at the tournament, though. From the hard-working drive team to the busy scouts, everyone had a great time. The students are all looking forward to Auburn!
 
 
Last weekend, Team SWAG 4060 went to our first competition of the season, and it was a blast! We competed in the districts competition at Auburn Mountainview High School.

We had lots of fun, and our robot was great! The drive team performed amazingly, and we were the top defensive robot at the competition. You can view videos of our matches on our new Youtube channel. We were picked by the eighth place team. Sadly, we didn't make it to regionals, but we're hoping that we will do even better at our next competition and be able to qualify.

On March 21 and 22, we will be attending a districts competition in Mount Vernon. If you would like to cheer on Team SWAG from home, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for live updates during each competition, and watch live streams of the playing field online! None of this beats being at the tournament, though. From our hard-working pit crew to our busy scouting team, everyone had a great time. We're all looking forward to Mount Vernon!