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!