WHO we are

We are the Issaquah Robotics Society (IRS), a high school robotics team based at Issaquah High School in Issaquah, Wahsington, USA. We are team number 1318 with the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Tom and Cathy Saxton founded the IRS in 2003 with eight students and three mentors. Since then, Team 1318 has grown into a strong and driven team with almost 80 students and 15 mentors, making the IRS one of the oldest and largest FRC teams in the Pacific Northwest Region. We continue to teach skills, inspire values, build friendships, and make memories that we will hold onto forever. As of 2018, we have attended FIRST World Championships seven times.

Our goal is to inspire students to pursue careers in design, engineering, manufacturing, and business, and to spread STEM across our local community. While doing so, we provide opportunities for personal growth, team collaboration, and lifelong friendships.

What We Do

Our year has four seasons: fall training season, winter build season, spring competition season, and summer off-season. Student members pursue different tasks during each one of these. Over the fall training season, veterans partner with mentors to teach rookie members basic robotics skills. Build season is where these skills get applied. Staring in January, we receive the rules of the year's FRC game and we get to work. We have only six weeks to design and build a robot from scratch, so we meet up to five times a week. March through April, our robot competes at locations all across the United States. Members delve into robot strategy, data analysis, maintenance, presentations, and robot driving. If we do well, we attend the world championship. Finally, during the summer off-season, the team pursues new, exploratory projects without the stress of school. This is when the majority of community outreach takes place. Though robotics is year-round, students aren't expected to attend every single meeting. 
 

More Than Robots

Anyone can join the IRS and we try to give everyone something to do. We adapt every year to improve training and to make sure everyone finds a place on the team. Managing a robotics team on this scale can be difficult and expensive, so our team operates like a small business to stay afloat. This means that besides our technical subteams, we have a business team as well. They write business plans, organize events, design flyers, and manage funds. The IRS can serve as a small-scale model of a real-world business setting, providing invaluable experience. Additionally, our members organize volunteer events in the Issaquah community to spread the message of FIRST and STEM. FIRST gives awards for these non-technical skills, so students on these subteams are recognized for their efforts and actively contribute to the team's success.

  The team after winning the Entrepreneurship Award after the 2016 PNW District Championships

The team after winning the Entrepreneurship Award after the 2016 PNW District Championships

THE SUBTEAMS

Mechanical

From working with power tools to assembling drive trains, this subteam is behind the mechanisms and assembly of our robots. While everyone in the team helps with prototypes, these folks know mechanical design, and will be behind the final robot after stepping through the engineering process. 

CAD

The Computer-Aided Design (CAD) subteam works with software to create full 3D models of our robots' parts. This process is integral to the successful design of our robots, ensuring that all parts are efficient and safe.

Electrical

A robot wouldn't be very useful without a control system, and our electronics subteam specializes in that. From stripping wires to soldering, they make sure our microcontroller computer is able to control our motors and pneumatics. Their robust circuit boards allow us to move the robot precisely.

Business

This subteam works behind-the-scenes to ensure that the team runs smoothly. They have many jobs, including fundraising, corporate outreach, and marketing. They write everything from our business plan to our social media posts.

Programming

This subteam makes sure that we can actually control the robot. Working with Java and the WPI Robotics Library, they make our robot function under both human and autonomous control. In addition to programming joystick controls, they also delve into vision processing and app development. 

Scouting

Using data on the game, our robot, and other teams, the scouting subteam creates a strategy for our competitions. To do this, they write custom software for data collection, and forge relationships with other FRC teams.

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About FIRST

From the FIRST organization: 

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

FIRST is "More Than Robots." FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21 st century work-life skills.

To learn more, please visit firstinspires.org

 The audience at FIRST World Championship 2017, the moment that the IRS's alliance qualified for "Einstein's" (Finals).

The audience at FIRST World Championship 2017, the moment that the IRS's alliance qualified for "Einstein's" (Finals).


JOIN US

STUDENTS

If you want to join us, we're flattered! Anyone and everyone from Issaquah High School is welcome to join regardless of prior skill. You can come during our orientation meeting in late September (look for posters and iVision announcements). After that, we have Fall training meetings every Thursday night in the wood shop and material science room. For more information on meetings, please check out our calendar under the resources page

MENTORS

We're always looking for more mentors to train our students. Maybe you've seen us at an event and want to help technically, or maybe you want to keep our team running on the business side. Either way, we'd be more than happy to have you on board. Please send us an email from the "Contact Us" page for more information. 


JOIN FIRST

FIRST is an international organization with teams all across the world. It has programs for all ages, from Kindergarten to 12th grade. We encourage every student to join a FIRST team, and any parent to mentor one. If there isn't a team in your area, start one! More information can be found at firstinspires.org/start-a-team.

Additionally, volunteers are always wanted at competitions. FIRST is mostly a volunteer-made organization. If you want to help out that way, information can be found at firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer


OUR AWARDS

  • 2018

    PNW District - Yakima SunDome

    District Chairman's Award

    Event Winner

    PNW District - Auburn Mountainview

    District Engineering Inspiration Award

    Event Finalists

  • 2017

    PNW District - Auburn Mountainview

    District Chairman's Award

    PNW District - Auburn

    Entrepreneurship Award

    PNW District Championship

    Event Finalists

    Houston World Championships - Turing Division

    Division Winners

  • 2016

    PNW District - Central Washington University

    District Event Finalist

    Quality Award sponsored by Motorola Solutions Foundation

    PNW District - Philomath

    District Event Finalist

    Gracious Professionalism Award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson

    PNW District Championship

    Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers

    Girl's Generation (Offseason)

    Event Winners

  • 2015

    PNW District - Auburn Mountainview

    District Event Winner

    Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox

    PNW District - Mount Vernon

    District Event Winner

    Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation

    PNW District - Shorewood

    District Event Winner

    Team Spirit Award sponsored by Chrysler

    PNW District Championship

    FIRST Dean's List Finalist Award (Sarah Powazek)

    Girl's Generation (Offseason)

    Event Winners

  • 2014

    PNW District - Glacier Peak

    Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers

    PNW District - Shorewood

    District Chairman's Award

    Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation

    PNW District - Auburn

    District Event Winner

    Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation

    PNW District Championship

    Regional Winner

    World Championship - Galileo Division

    Division Finalists

    Girl's Generation (Offseason)

    Event Winners

  • 2013

    Central Washington Regional

    Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers

  • 2012

    Seattle Cascade Regional

    Quality Award sponsored by Motorola

  • 2009

    Oregon Regional

    Regional Winner

  • 2008

    Oregon Regional

    Regional Chairman's Award

    Seattle Regional

    Judge's Award