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Mariner High School Student Strengthens Family Bonds Through Unified Robotics

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Gabi Stansberry and Madeleine Schwitters at the 2016 Special Olympics Unified Robotics Championship event at Pacific Science Center.

As a student with special needs, Gabi Stansberry has struggled with many things that most 14-year-old girls her age take for granted. Finding friends with common interests, having opportunities to try new things, and being included in a society that doesn’t understand her uniqueness have been constant challenges.

After living in Oregon for most of her life, Gabi recently moved back to the Seattle area and is a freshman at Mariner High School. She was excited to get to know her extended family, especially her cousin Madeleine who is currently a junior at King’s Schools in Seattle.
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Planning in Special Olympics Unified Robotics

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Written by Sammy Murphy, a member of the Unified Robotics Leadership Club.

As we move through life, each of us on individual paths, we tend to gloss over the intricate details building the programs, places and people around us. When I first joined Unified Robotics, I possessed an idea of the immense amount work necessary to run the program. I imagined weekly sessions, careful correspondence, and checklists–all stereotypical activities associated with management. In many ways, this idea proved to be accurate in that these activities transpired. Yet, my vision of Unified Robotics lacked a full grasp of the complexity found within Unified Robotics
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Unity within the Election

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Written by Sammy Murphy, a member of the Unified Robotics Leadership Club.

Since the past week riots and protests have rumbled through the streets of my hometown Seattle. Flags burn and windows shatter as protestors march to the beat of “Not my president, not my president.” while Trump supporters roll their eyes and  demand that protestors “suck it up.” Either in triumph or terror, the American people cry out recklessly in the wake of the election.
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2016 Championship: Important Information for Teams

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2016_urchamp

The following information is from an email sent to Unified Robotics teams in the greater Seattle area for the Championship. The email was written by Noelle Foster, Consulting Mentor for Special Olympics Unified Robotics.

Dear Unified Robotics Teams, Parents, and Volunteers:

This email contains a lot of information that will be important in preparing for the Unified Robotics Championship.
I’m sorry for inundating you with so much info, but the event is coming up soon – with a major holiday right between now and then!  Parents/Students: many things in this email are for the coach/teacher to do (i.e. Register team) on behalf of the team. 

Schools must submit a roster for each team that is competing at the Championship Event email to Morgan Larche mlarche@sowa.org by Nov. 21st. (Your school may have multiple teams – each one needs a separate registration). Turning these forms in on time will allow SOWA staff to form brackets and send them out to coaches a week prior to the Championship event. One delayed roster can delay the whole process, so please be prompt when turning the form in. Please note: Students cannot be added to the roster after the roster is submitted. Roster attached.

What:   Unified Robotics Championship Tournament
When:  Saturday, Dec 3rd, 9:00am-4:00pm
Where:  Pacific Science Center:  200 Second Ave N. Seattle
Team Check-In: 9:00am 

Before the event: REQUIRED ACTIONS for SCHOOLS

  • Email your team roster to mlarche@sowa.org (see above paragraph, form is attached)
  • Arrange for Field Trip forms and transportation with your school.  If you will have a bus transporting your teams, please let us know so we can arrange with Pacific Science Center
  • Please have your mentors and students sign a photo release form prior to the event (attached)
  • Be sure you’ve completed the SOWA “Commitment to Inclusion” form (attached)
  • Each robot needs a name.  Please provide these to me ASAP (i.e. “My Pretty Pony” or “Darth Vader”)
  • Each team needs a name.  Please provide these to me ASAP (i.e. “The Wild Horses” or “The Warriors”)

Before the event: INFORMATIONAL AND SUGGESTED ACTIONS

  • Take photos and short video clips (5-8 seconds each) and send them to me so I can include them in our 2016 Video. Send via email noellefoster@me.com or DropBox
  • Bring the Bling!  Team Spirit to the max! (optional) matching teeshirts, pompoms, buttons, colored hair spray, face paint, necklaces, headbands, glow necklaces (for the final rounds in the IMAX Theatre)!  Each team should provide their “fans” some spirit gear for cheering them on.
  • Each team needs a short cheer (“When I say Wild, you say Horses! Wild…Horses! Yayyyy!”), or move (like “The Dap”)
  • Spirit March:  Each school will enter the competition arena in a procession. Optional: Bring a sign or banner with your school name to carry.
  • Awards:  VIP Judges will be conversing with each team during the event.  Awards will be given out for several categories.  Below (in this email) I have provided some questions that the judges will ask.  Your teams (partner+athlete) can practice these in advance so they will feel comfortable answering. Please remember this is casual and low-pressure!
  • Cheerleaders:  We encourage you to invite your school’s cheerleaders to help spread your school spirit.  If your cheer squad is planning on attending, please let me know.
  • Attached is a promo flyer for the event to email out to your staff, students, and families.  We mailed flyers to your school to display.  Let me know if you did not receive these.
  • If you do not have a practice field please contact me.

Day of event:

  • Please arrive early! Team Check-In is at 9:00am, and team pictures at 9:15.  Teams must be through this process and seated by 9:45
  • Entrance to PSC is free for Unified Robotics teams, coaches and families.  I will provide you more information about this in the coming weeks.
  • Teams/Students – Please bring your own lunches/snacks that are easy to eat on the go. There is a Cafe at PSC, but lines could be long during the lunch break (which is scheduled to be 30 min).  Families and spectators will have a longer break for lunch and can go to the cafe or food court.
  • Opening Ceremonies in the Laser Dome – be seated by 9:45.  Teams will be introduced, so sit together if possible!
  • March to the Match – quickly gather your school (robotics team and fans) and walk in the procession to the Ackerley Gallery where the Qualification Matches take place.
  • Throughout the event, there will be cheering and (hopefully) a drum line to accompany the Spirit March, advise your auditory-sensitive students.
  • There will be 4 Divisions, each competing simultaneously (4 Fields).  Once all teams are registered, we will let you know which Division each of your teams will be participating in.
  • Semi-Final and Final Matches will take place after lunch in the PACCAR IMAX Theatre.  Please get there as quick as possible to assure your school can sit together.  Teams that advance to the Semis will sit in reserved seating in front.
  • The Laser Dome and PACCAR Theatres are dark.  Please let me know if this is a problem and what I can do to support your needs.
  • Award Ceremony will be after the Final Matches.  Teams will receive Awards for robot, and non-robot, related achievements
  • Attached is a proposed Event Fact Sheet with Timeline. Included on it are the tournament and division guidelines.

Judges Questions:

  1. Describe your robot and its design features.
  2. What was the best moment/favorite memory from Unified Robotics?
  3. What is one thing you learned about your partner?
  4. What was the most challenging part of Unified Robotics or building your robot?
  5. How did you come up with your robot’s name?

Participating Schools include:  Roosevelt, Ballard, Franklin, Auburn, APL, Edmonds Heights, Newport, Lake Washington, Ingraham, King’s, Eckstein, Hazel Wolf, TOPS

If you have questions, please contact Morgan Larche – mlarche@sowa.org, Mike Thompson – mthompson@kingsschools.org, or Noelle Foster – nfoster@unifiedrobotics.org.

Looking forward to seeing you on Dec 3rd!

Noelle Foster
Consulting Mentor for Unified Robotics

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