Unified Robotics Board of Advisors

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During the fall of 2015, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 4911 CyberKnights founded the offshoot program Unified Robotics. Originally centered around the partnership between students at King’s and students with special needs at Roosevelt High School, the program has amassed an extensive network of participants and supporters that spans across the entire nation.

Such growth, however, only remains manageable when supervised by exceptional leaders who are in turn guided  by exceptional advisors. Starting this 2017 Unified Robotics season, a select few will form a counsel aimed at providing professional input to the Unified Robotics program.

Although our program intends to remain firmly rooted in its foundation of student leadership, guidance will be provided by experts and leaders in the STEM field. Through this, we hope to further nurture a combination of energetic ingenuity and informed management.

On August 9th, representatives from Unified Robotics discussed the logistics and future direction of Unified Robotics with this newly formed team called the Unified Robotics Board of Advisors. The Board includes industry leaders, advocates and policymakers, key supporters of the program, as well as key student leads and mentors involved in the development of Unified Robotics:

  • Jennifer Annable, Executive Director, Academy for Precision Learning
  • Jeff Black, CFO, Orion Industries
  • Will Daugherty, President and CEO, Pacific Science Center
  • Dr. Jennifer Fung, Research Scientist and Instructor, University of Washington Haring Center
  • Lauren Feaux, Special Needs Community Advocate, Microsoft retiree
  • Joe Hampson, VP Sports and Community Outreach, Special Olympics Washington
  • Jeff Hansen, Brand Strategy, Microsoft
  • Andrew LaPrade, Unified Robotics Student Lead, King’s High School
  • Dave Lenox, CEO, Special Olympics Washington
  • Donna Lew, Director and Coach of Robotics Team 488 xbot, Franklin High School
  • Laurie Machida, Unified Robotics Student Lead, King’s High School
  • Michael Mattmiller, CTO, City of Seattle
  • Erin McCallum, President, FIRST Washington
  • José Oglesby, Special Needs Community Advocate, Unified Robotics Coach at Ballard High School, Microsoft retiree
  • David Perry, Executive Director, Oregon FIRST Robotics
  • Traci Ratzliff, Legislative Analyst, Seattle City Council
  • Dr. Gary Stobbe, Board Certified Neurologist and Medical Director of University of Washington Medicine Adult Autism Clinic
  • Mike Thompson, Educator and Coach of Robotics Team 4911 CyberKnights, King’s High School
  • Tom Vertetis, Managing Partner, PCVA Law
  • Cameron Foster, President, REIGN Sports Management
  • Noelle Foster, Mentor for Team 4911 CyberKnights and Unified Robotics
  • Delaney Foster, Founder of Unified Robotics, Student at George Washington University

Post-meeting, a few of our revised goals include, but are not limited to: focusing on growth via sustainability versus expansion, creating Unified Robotics alum networks, and providing new teams with proper instruction regarding the planning of a proper season.

With our new guidance, we, as a team, find ourselves more confident in our ability to organize this upcoming season, which in turn enables us to better reach out to fledgling Unified Robotics teams in Washington and other states. With this in mind, look forward to upcoming guidebooks and other tutorials that will detail how we organized and executed our 2016 Unified Robotics season!

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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Upgrade Your Game Event

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Special Olympics International and Microsoft invited Unified Robotics™ to participate in a demo about the program. Several members of the CyberKnights, who participated as peer mentors at Unified Robotics™ in its pilot season, attended this event in order to share and expand the program to more schools and individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. Read More