2019 PNW District Championships!

After three exciting days of intense matches and many nail-biting moments, SERT officially ended our 2019 competitive season at the Pacific Northwest District Championships in Tacoma, Washington placing 36th out of the PNW’s top 110 teams.

Although we narrowly missed a berth at World’s this year, we never stop trying to be our best, and by all measures built the (functionally) best robot in our team’s history. In fact, Chimera was a scoring machine. But this year, playing defense turned out to be equally valuable and in the end, our robot’s fantastic ability to score points couldn’t overcome deficits in our defensive game.

That said, SERT rocketed into the District Championships as semi-finalists in both qualifying events, all while battling sticky pulleys and runaway conveyor belts. After a hard-fought competition at the PNW Championships, we ended the season placing in the top 25 percent of the region’s best robots.

Nor did we return home empty-handed. At our first qualifying event, we won the Entrepreneurship award for creating an exceptional business plan outlining a clear strategy to fund the team’s goals for the year. At our second event, SERT’s incredible 13-step climber automation process developed by our software team earned us the Autonomous award.

Perhaps more so this year than any before, we pushed ourselves to learn everything we could about everything from prototyping, robot design, and fabrication to grant-writing, data analysis, and general team organization. We also ended the season with a tight-knit team pumped full of lessons learned, and ready to take on a new year, a new game, and a new robot.

Summer break? Not at SERT!

Now, in the middle of the summertime, the fervent hubbub that had constantly surrounded the Foundry has largely given way to a calmer ambience that’s still occasionally interrupted by the whirring of a drill or saw as members are hard at work on various summer projects. Some are tinkering with tiny circuit boards in hopes of creating a self-balancing robot. Others are busy cutting parts to build new carts for our batteries and robot.

In our MakerSpace, the 3D printers are working hard and students are busy honing their CAD skills. At the software table, keys click furiously as members type away and create new libraries to control our robot and develop training materials for the flood of newcomers that will inevitably come at the start of the school year.

Outside the Foundry, SERT is busy holding robot demos, teaching summer camps, fundraising, volunteering, and recruiting all across the city. There’s always more to do.

As always, a huge thank you to friends, family, mentors, and all of our sponsors for supporting us every step of the way this season. We really wouldn’t exist without you.