Guess who was at the Qualcomm Worlds Pizza Party? Spartronics, Dean + Don!!

Qualcomm, a Sponsor of Spartronics through the amazing local support of Qualcomm’s Andy Rimkus, a Bainbridge Islander, invited us to a pizza party Wednesday night at the FIRST Robotics Worlds Championships in Houston.

Garrett Ponder, Senior Manager of Marketing (Strategic Partnerships/Sponsorships) at Qualcomm and a California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo graduate (where we have several Spartronics either headed or alumni attending!) is pictured here with our team members attending the pizza party. Andy knows Garrett, who is based in San Diego.

Garrett Ponder

And there were some very important VIPs in attendance, including legendary FIRST co-founder Dean Kamen and one of our favorite FIRST people, Don Bossi, President of FIRST, who always seems to find Spartronics at every event he attends that we are at!

Below are photos of Dean with team members Bo, Charlotte, and Chris, and Don signing a Spartronics shirt!

Qualcomm is the presenting sponsor of the FIRST World Championships.

THANK YOU QUALCOMM as you made this a memory for many Spartronics members that they will NEVER forget!

qualcomm logo

A Spartronics First: Jon Coonan Named “Dean’s List” Finalist for Worlds

It’s the first time it has happened to a member of Spartronics Team 4915:  Team Co-Captain and Marketing Lead Jonathan “Jon” Coonan was named a FIRST Robotics Dean’s List Finalist and will be attending a VIP Luncheon at the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston with Co-Founder Dean Kamen.

At the Dean’s List Celebration Luncheon on Friday, April 24, Dean’s List Finalists from around the World — including Jon and four others from the Pacific Northwest Division — will attend, special guests, Dean Kamen and other FIRST dignitaries, as well as past winners.

Jon’s name was the 5th and last finalist announced at the PNW District Championships in Cheney, WA, just after four other students Jon knows from other FRC teams were announced by Kevin Ross, Founder of FIRST Washington, including CyberKnights Team 4911’s Madeleine Schwitters.

Here is the video of Jon’s incredibly surprised — and appreciative — reaction from the event:

Marketing Mentor Kevin Hawkins, who wrote the nomination along with guidance from Coach Enrique Chee and lead Mentor John Sachs, told judges:

“A born self-starter who embraces new challenges, Jonathan is someone who will spread the word of FIRST around the globe. He knows life is more than robots, but embodies the ideals of FIRST in everything he does. For example, he wanted to do something meaningful for his summer vacation. He went to work as an unpaid communications intern at the Seattle non-profit Hoja Nueva to help migrant cacao growers of Peru. He will travel there this summer and will help build an Education Center for children. He also will attend the MIT LAUNCH Entrepreneurship summit.

“In front of hundreds of children grades K-4 at elementary school assemblies, during our annual 4th of July parade that attracts thousands, in meetings with State Legislators, during gatherings of our civic clubs, at our annual all-robotics team open house attended by 500 supporters, in programs presented at our local mall and at our Arts museum, Jonathan is there, using his exemplary communications skills to get people excited about STEM/STEAM and FIRST Robotics,” Hawkins wrote.

Hawkins, who was invited by Jon as his guest for the Dean’s List luncheon, added, “Jon has a heart of gold and embodies a term we use in FIRST — gracious professionalism — in everything he does. He knows he’s been very blessed in life, and feels compelled to give back. I’ve watched him grow from an overly-eager freshman who possessed this insatiable appetite to discover and learn to a mature leader who is thoughtful, kind and willing to put others needs ahead of his own. That’s a rare quality to find in a high school junior and I’m glad we have Jon one more year. In terms of winning at Worlds? He’s already won. Just ask anyone on our team.”

Houston we have no problem: Spartronics are headed to Worlds!


We finished ranked 16th in the PNW out of 155 teams in three states: Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The top 39 teams qualify, along with teams that won Chairman’s or Rookie All Star Awards.

See the official link here:

While the team finished the qualifying matches ranked 38th at the PNW District Championships this past weekend in Cheney, WA, Spartronics did finish strong, winning the last three matches for a .500 record of 6 wins and 6 losses.

Despite the challenges of the tournament, Spartronics robot Helios played well and both driving and shooting improved throughout the matches. In fact, during the next to the last match of the last day, Helios hit a KPA of 36, a pressure just 4 points shy of scoring the magic 40 KPA that results in a ranking point for one’s Alliance, regardless who wins the match.

23 students, Coach Chee and mentors will be traveling to Houston for the FIRST FRC Robotics World Championships with full details and schedules here:

Houston Worlds

This marks the 3rd time in 4 years that Spartronics has earned its way to Worlds.

Spartronics Currently Ranked #4 in Washington, Oregon and Alaska

Spartronics Team 4915 are now ranked 4th among 153 teams from the states of Washington, Oregon and Alaska after four weeks of competition, according to FIRST.

Team 1595, The Dragons (Spokane, WA) is number one with 154 ranking points, Team 5803 (Seattle, WA) are second with 148 points, Team 3238 Cyborg Ferrets (Anacortes) is third with 142 points, Spartronics have 129 points and Team 2046 Bear Metal (Maple Valley) rounds out the Top 5 with 109 points.

Ranking points are accumulated from two District Event competitions, as well as from winning awards. This is the final weekend of competitions for the PNW District and Spartronics will learn this Saturday that we officially qualify for the District Championships in Cheney, WA.

All of this, of course, would NOT be possible without our AMAZING Sponsors, whom we promote at EVERY event!