Build Season: Week 5

Spartronics student working on the robot

Robot Name Reveal

Spartronics is excited to announce the name of this years robot: CHAOS!

CHAOS is an acronym for Cargo Hatch-panel Ascending Operational System because of the robot’s capability to manipulate hatch panels and cargo (two important game pieces this year) and its ability to climb.

Spartronics has continued its tradition of naming robots after Greek mythological figures; CHAOS shares its name with the Greek deity of the void between Heaven and Earth. We think the name fits this year’s space-themed game, Destination Deep Space, perfectly!

Spartronics students working

Subteam Updates

Despite the snow, Spartronics has continued work on CHAOS as Bag Day approaches.

For those who don’t know, Bag Day is on February 19 and marks the end of Build Season. Every FRC team in the world is required to stop work on their robots and to pack them away in a sealed plastic bag in preparation for competition season. We have a countdown to the time we’re bagging CHAOS at the top of our website.

Some students in the Mechanics subteam took parts home before the snowstorm, allowing construction to continue smoothly. CHAOS has been almost completely assembled with both climber and intake mounted.

Work will now begin on a second robot, identical to the first. While only one robot will be bagged on February 19 for use in competition, a second robot will allow for more drive team practice and time for programming.

Electronics is also making sure that we’ll meet our deadline on February 19. All electronic and pneumatic systems have been successfully mounted on the robot. They’ve also wired the electronics and pneumatics together to power said pneumatic systems.

Programming has finished writing and testing code all of the robot’s subsystems. They’ve also been working on computer vision, which uses cameras on the robot to help the driver with maneuvering. Finally, the subteam has even finished Dynamic Path Planning, which enables automatic driving to any point on the game field. We’re confident this feature will help CHAOS in its competition season.

In Marketing, preparations for our March 13 All-Robotics Open House continue. The event will feature Spartronics, 2-3 FLL Junior Teams, and an FLL team. These three tiers of FIRST Robotics teams cover ages 6-18!

We’re excited to see everyone there!

Spartronics shirtSpartronics shirt back

Spartronics First: A “Deep Space” Game Shirt!

For the team that has endured “Snowmageddon” – independently scheduling at-home build sessions around the island as our high school facilities were closed for nearly a week – there was one reward. For the first time, Spartronics provided each team member and mentor with a FREE, limited-edition black and white Spartronics shirt based on this year’s space-themed game “Destination: Deep Space – Presented by Boeing.” 

These new black team shirts are an extra shirt. They are not a substitute for our standard, Blue and Yellow Team Shirt. The new black shirts are for wearing outside of our competitions. Our Blue and Yellow Team Shirts must be worn at Spartronics events. Everyone is encouraged to wear the new black shirts everywhere else: at school, around town, on vacation, after hours at events — you name it! Students (and mentors) are very excited to wear this phun, new shirt!

Modern collision and repair logo

Sponsor Spotlight: Modern Collision

Modern Collision is a general auto service, collision repair and refinishing business located in Fletcher Bay off Miller Road. They have been providing general mechanical repair and service to Bainbridge Islanders for more than four decades. Their motto is “Employ the best employees and strive for excellence in every job, never forgetting it is the vehicle owner who ultimately writes our paycheck.” They’re also members of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE), the Automotive Service Association of Washington (ASA-WA), and are an EnviroStar 5-star (highest rating) shop.

We asked them a few questions about their company:

Spartronics: Can you give us a brief description of your company and what it does?

Modern Collision: Modern Collision Rebuild & Service is a family owned and operated business located on Bainbridge Island since 1974.  We provide mechanical repair, collision repair and refinishing service to Bainbridge Island, WA and the North Kitsap area since we opened for business in 1974.

Spartronics: Why’s Modern Collision sponsoring Spartronics?

Modern Collision: We believe in supporting our community through many different avenues and feel that Spartronics is a great club that promotes creativity, problem-solving and great values among our youth.

Spartronics: Is there a way Spartronics fans can support your company?

Modern Collision and Repair

Modern Collision: Yes. Stop in for an oil change, a cup of coffee, or repairs.  You can like us on Facebook, or Yelp, and please tell your friends and family. We love referrals
Spartronics: Is there anything else you would like us to include in Modern Collision’s Sponsor Spotlight newsletter feature?

Modern Collision:  Each year Modern Collision offers BHS students the opportunity to experience a technical career exploration program through Bainbridge Youth Services where students have the opportunity to learn about the auto repair industry with hands-on experience. We support our community through the Classic Car Shows which benefits Helpline House Project Backpack, the Rotary Auction, Little League, Race for the Cure and many more.

Modern Collision
(206) 317-5436
MON – FRI: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Build Season: Week 4

spartronics students

Subteam Updates:

Build Season marches on! Students are continuing their hard work, aiming to make the best robot they can.

The Mechanics subteam has moved on from design to manufacturing the various parts used in the robot’s subsystems. Once these parts have been manufactured, students will be able to begin assembling them into a functioning robot.

Members of the Electronics subteam have finished all electronics systems, including the final electronics board. This electronics board will be a part of the final robot and will contain its electronic systems. They’ve also completed a similar pneumatics board. For those who don’t know, pneumatic systems are those which utilize pressurized air.

Programming has also been very productive! They’ve finished writing code for all the robot’s major subsystems and will soon move on to testing this code on the testbed, which contains the circuits that will eventually be present on the actual robot.

Finally, Marketing has also been busy with its Build Season tasks. Most importantly, the subteam has begun preparations for upcoming All Robotics Open House. The event’s on Wednesday night, March 13, 5-7 PM and everybody is invited! Visitors will be able to meet Spartronics new robot and, hopefully, younger students from one of the Islands’ FLL teams.

We’re excited to see you there!

Marketing Lead, Chris Mentzer

Chris Mentzer, Co-Captain and Marketing Leader Becomes Spartronic’s First Driver from the Marketing subteam!

Drive Team:

Drive Team has been announced! Below is a list of everyone and their roles:

  • Kenneth Wiersema – Drive Coach

  • Chris Mentzer  – Driver

  • Cruz Strom  – Mechanism Controller

  • Ronan Bennett – Human Player

  • Jack Chapman – Primary Technician

  • Violet Advani – Backup Drive Coach

  • Ethan Rininger – Backup Driver

  • Peter Hall – Backup Mechanism Controller

  • Declan Freeman-Gleason – Backup Human Player

  • Lucas Nalley – Backup Technician


Mentor Riyadth Al-Kazily

Woodie Flowers Award

Riyadth Al-Kazily (Pictured Above) has been chosen by Spartronics students to be the team’s nominee for the 2019 Woodie Flowers Award.

The award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design, recognizing mentors who lead, inspire and motivate students through communication excellence.

Riyadth encourages every student to participate, using his energy and creativity to explain often highly complex mathematical, scientific, and engineering concepts in a fun and interesting way. His enthusiasm for Science and Engineering is contagious and this makes Riyadth a perfect fit for the Woodie Flowers Award.

In his 6 years as a mentor, he’s brought his deep knowledge and energy to many areas of the team, inspiring and motivating scores of students.

We believe Riyadth is fully deserving of the award and wish him the best of luck!

Sears & Associates Logo

Sponsor Spotlight: Sears & Associates

Larry and Renee (Pictured Below) Sears established Sears & Associates in 1988 in an effort to use their experience with insurance to provide better coverage options to the community. As an independent insurance agency, the firm understands the importance of affordable coverage.

Here is a link to its website, where you can read more about the company and its mission. Sears & Associates is a Legacy Sponsor of Spartronics – supporting our team every year since our inception!

We asked Renee Sears a few questions about her company:

Spartronics: Can you tell us a little about Sears & Associates?

Renee: We are a local owned Independent Insurance Agency for Businesses, Home, Automobiles, Boats, etc. As an independent insurance agency and member of the community, we are equipped to recommend the policy best-suited to your needs. You can turn to us with confidence, knowing your interests come first.

Renee Sears

Spartronics: Why is Sears & Associates sponsoring Spartronics?

Renee: We think it is an exciting program and wished this type of leaning was available when we went to school!

Spartronics: Is there a way Spartronics fans can support Sears & Associates?

Renee: Like us on Facebook (the link is here).

Spartronics: Is there anything else you would like us to include in your Sponsor Spotlight newsletter feature?

Renee: People can contact me by email at, and our website is located at

Thank you for your support!

Build Season: Week 2

Spartronics students working

Subteam Updates

The brainstorming phase of Build Season is over! Spartronics has split up into its subteams, where everyone’s working hard together to construct a great robot.

Students in the Mechanics subteam have finished prototyping, and are moving on to finalizing various mechanism designs. They’ve also split up into five groups who, aided by students working on CAD and Electronics, are working on various elements of the robot’s design. The subteam hopes that they’ll be able to begin building within the next few days!

The Electronics subteam is helping all but one of the aforementioned groups in the Mechanics subteam with the electronics in their designs. They’ve also managed to secure space in the overall robot’s design for electronics.

Programming has also been keeping busy. They’ve done some initial coding, but are waiting until more details of the robot’s hardware are finalized to do more. Additionally, they’ve also got a camera working. This provides an additional option for this year’s Sandstorm phase.

The Sandstorm phase takes the place of the usual autonomous phase, taking up the first 15 seconds of each game. In it, robot driver’s view of the field is obscured. Robots can either be programmed to run autonomously or be driven with the aid of cameras. While we don’t know what method we’ll be using, Spartronics is excited to see how we’ll perform during this novel game phase!  [Watch this year’s Game Video from FIRST to see the Sandstorm phase.]

After the conclusion of a very successful fundraising season, with a record 33 Sponsors, the Marketing subteam has made a smooth transition into Build Season. They’ve started the process of updating some of our outdated website pages and have finished this years’ new sponsor banner, which can be found at the bottom of this newsletter. Finally, they’ve also completed this year’s Team Shirts and other cool Spartronics swag, including an all-new jacket.riven with the aid of cameras. While we don’t know what method we’ll be using, Spartronics is excited to see how we’ll perform during this novel game phase!  [Watch this year’s Game Video from FIRST to see the Sandstorm phase.]

Hab station

NEW! Spartronics Joins the Peninsula Alliance
Spartronics is excited to announce its membership in the Peninsula Alliance. The Peninsula Alliance is a new organization which is coordinating the efforts of six participating teams in order to construct a practice field for this year’s game at Central Kitsap High. The six teams are Spartronics (Team 4915), ROCK (Team 3223), Roboctopi (Team 4918), SRF (Team 3826), Bremertron (Team 3049) and Aldernating Current (Team 5295).

Having a practice field will allow Alliance members to better prepare and practice for “Destination Deep Space” this year’s game. Spartronics Co-Captain Cruz Strom will be leading our field elements team in building a Habitation Platform (CAD illustration above). The HAB is Spartronics’ contribution to the practice field. But that’s not the only noteworthy thing about Cruz Strom…

FIRST logo

Spartronics Team Captains

Dean’s List Nominees
Co-Captains Cruz Strom (left) and Declan Freeman-Gleason (right) have been named by the team’s professional mentors and Coach Chee as the team’s nominees for the 2019 Dean’s List Award.

Sponsored by the Kamen family, the award aims to recognize students with exceptional leadership, creative or technical abilities who best represent FIRST’s values. Finalists will be chosen at the regional or state level and winners will be selected at the World Championship.

Cruz, the Mechanical subteam lead, and Declan, the Programming subteam lead, both said that they were “honored” to be nominees. We wish them both the best of luck!

Jason Shutt Logo

Jason Shutt

Sponsor Spotlight:
Jason Shutt, REALTOR

Jason Shutt is a leading real estate broker on Bainbridge Island recently joined the island’s leading brokerage firm, Windermere Real Estate. Jason specializes in “waterfront neighborhoods” on Bainbridge, and is website — — uniquely features profiles of the 10 waterfront neighborhoods he’s identified for Bainbridge Island, including a breathtaking aerial tour video.

Students may know him as “Mr. Shutt,” a former well-known science teacher at Woodward. Today he’s also a prominent community leader and a perennial Spartronics Sponsor.

We asked Jason to tell us about his business and support of Spartronics:
Spartronics: Can you give us a brief description of what you do?
Jason: I am a Realtor on Bainbridge Island who helps people make well informed and strategic real estate decisions. For people selling a home, I help reduce their stress and work to put them in the best position to maximize the return on their investment. For those who are buying a home, I acutely listen to assess their needs and understand the lifestyle they are seeking to help them find the home on the island that’s just right for them. When people are both buying, and selling, I work to ensure the timelines of the two transactions are well thought out so the process is as smooth as possible.

Spartronics: Why are you supporting Spartronics?

Jason: When I was a science teacher at Woodward Middle School, my goal was always to get kids out of their seats and actively engaged in problem-solving activities where they built confidence by finding success under their own determination. What I see in Spartronics is just that: an opportunity for students to collaborate in teams and pursue their own ideas for the ultimate problems solving, engineering. The successes I see on the kids’ faces, and in the program itself, tell me it’s a “teaching style” that I favor. Except, instead of some elemental understanding of Newton’s Laws or plate tectonics, the outcome of Spartronics is experiential learning in the values of teamwork and goal accomplishment; those are preparing you all for life in much grander ways. 

Spartronics: How can Spartronics fans support you?

Jason: For any adults who are interested in an analysis of the island’s real estate market, they can view my 99-second infographic here, and sign up for monthly delivery. Liking my Facebook Page and Instagram profile is always appreciated as well.

Thank you Jason Shutt! We greatly appreciate your support! Also check out his website that features some super-cool videos (shot by a team that includes a Spartronics’ alumni) and a GREAT list of the Public Beach Access Points across Bainbridge Island.