For six weeks this year, Aviation High School students met with OMAX engineers every Friday to cut aluminum components for a project they needed in a regional robotics competition, the 2010 Microsoft Seattle Regional. To science and technology enthusiasts, it's considered a robotics Final Four event spotlighting the next generation of talented engineers. The school's involvement with a national organization called FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, encouraged OMAX Corporation employees to volunteer their time in the mentoring program.
The students from Aviation High School call their competitive engineering group the Skunkworks Robotics FIRST Team 1983. This year's challenge involved designing and constructing a wireless vehicle to interact with other similarly engineered robots in a soccer game. The team endearingly named their robot Pel Le Pew.
The students approached OMAX with their design files to cut aluminum framework, brackets, and wheel holders on a MAXIEM™ JetCutting Center. They produced a lightweight truss out of hollow 4 inch wide tube with 1/8th inch thick interior walls. To ensure clean cuts, they inserted steel into the aluminum tube as sacrificial material. The hands-on experience motivated the students to think about other materials that can be cut on waterjet technology for future projects.
The hard work paid off for the Skunkworks Robotics team this year. They won the highest award presented at the Microsoft Seattle Regional, the Chairman's Award. Their coach stated this award signifies the team's loyal dedication and effort in teamwork and their collaboration with professional engineers in the community.
The Skunkworks Robotics team thanks the many people who believed in their mission and helped their project become a success. Pelè Le Pew personally thanks the OMAX engineering team and the MAXIEM 1530 JetCutting Center.
Aviation High School Skunkworks Robotics - FIRST Team 1983
Location: Des Moines, WA
Rookie Year: 2007
Mission: To be a premier FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) participant while preparing for college and our futures