Robotics team heads to state contest this month

Team Pi-r8s are headed to the state robotics competition. - Courtesy Photo
Team Pi-r8s are headed to the state robotics competition.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

One of Vashon’s robotics team is headed to state competition after coming in first at a match earlier this month.

Two high school teams, the Vashon Royal Navy and the Vashon Pi-r8s, had a fantastic regular season, and both  teams made it into the playoffs.

Team Pi-r8s, with seniors Theresa Aguilera, Lance Warneke, Gavin Johns and Sean Yeoell, is moving on to the state championships. The other Pi-r8s team members are Brady and Tanner Stinson, Henry Kenoyer, Julian Dichiara and Aaron Kitchener.

The second team is the Vashon Royal Navy, a mostly sophomore group that also includes senior Kelvin Rogers, finished the finals in fourth place. The other team members are Jacob Danielsen, Nicholas Jones, Aeryn Johns, John Kehl, Ben Gallagher, Alden Rogers, Michael Clark, Oscar Lewis, and Gil Westphal.

Both robotics teams start their season in early September when the previously secret game is revealed, designed entirely new each year. They then spend the next couple of months designing, building and programming their robots and readying them for competition. The teams participate in an international robotics competition called FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), a program designed to give students a project-based opportunity to take their STEM interests and apply them in competitive sport-like events.

Next year, the group will welcome new participants.

“With the seniors leaving us this year, we will be looking for new team members to replace them,” said coach and organizer Bruce Johns. “They are a great bunch and will be missed.”

The Washington State FTC Robotics Championships is a public event and will be held at Issaquah High School next Saturday. Jan. 25.

For more information about the Vashon team or the competition, email

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