Darren Collins, Adviser
Darren Collins teaches at Tahoma Senior High School, mainly physics but also astronomy and chemistry. He was introduced to the idea of a robotics team by a teacher from another school. Then, in 2006, he was approached by a group of students at Tahoma Senior High wanting to start a robotics team as part of the national FIRST Robotics Competition. Mr. Collins was suited for the adviser position on the Robotics team because he majored in physics and has a little experience with design and computer science. In 2012, Mr. Collins started a Robotics class at the High School. Mr. Collins is married with kids, and finds a balance between his family and work and the Robotics team. He enjoys music, camping, fishing, swimming, and a number of other outdoor activities. We really enjoy the opportunity that Mr. Collins has provided by being the leader of the Tahoma Robotics Team.
Maggie Baldridge, Assistant Coach
Austin Weary joined our club in its first year. In our teams rookie season, we went to competition with a robot named Epic. Austin enjoyed this and would have been back the next year for more, but instead it was off to college. He found himself back here for the 2008 competition, but only for a short time — he had to go back to college after just a week. It was the same story for the 2009 season. Since then, Austin has been working closely with the scout lead during the season and is still with us today.
By day a software developer, Bob Woodbury is a Tahoma Robotics Club software development mentor by night. Asked why he likes working with our club, he says: “There’s nothing else like it. Our club’s robots are very competitive, and the program is intellectually challenging — there is no high school sport more exciting than a FIRST robotics tournament.” He has helped the club develop software to scout other teams’ strengths and weaknesses during competition. As a mentor on the Robotics Team, Mr. Woodbury is a key player in our success and is greatly appreciated.
Greg Ramig is a mentor for our team because he has fun working with the kids and he feels that he knows a lot about the different things we do in the club. Electronics is the main activity that he helps out with for the club. His knowledge of electronics comes from studying electronics engineering and from being an electronic tech in the Army. In 2011 he really helped out Team Alpha with the minibot deployment mechanism, and he also helped with the electronics wiring for Ursa Major. Mr. Ramig has a motto about himself that he was kind enough to share with us: “If I can’t fix it, it ain’t broke.” That is pretty true about Mr. Ramig; he is a really awesome guy and I have enjoyed working with him this year.
After a 20-year career as a programmer, Janice Nelson became interested in Tahoma Robotics Club when her son, Mac, joined the club in his senior year. She assisted us that year with various logistical matters, including hotel bookings. After Mac’s graduation, Mrs. Nelson took the next year off, except for her support during the Portland FRC regional competition. But her fascination with our club’s robot-building activities has brought her back. Earlier this year, she helped with our fundraiser. Now she is assisting the design effort from a creative standpoint and helping with supervision of fabrication.
Jonathan Grimm learned about robotics through his son, Justin when he joined an FLL team. Jonathan joined Bear Metal after a couple years as just a parent. He works as a computer consultant for Hitachi Consulting. He enjoys playing video games every now and then as well as driving his boat on the lake. His favorite part of robotics is “thinking of the different things you can do.” He also built a “battle bot.”
Matt Lobeck found out about our club at a Boeing booth at Seattle SeaFair in 2010 and realized we were located near where he lives. When he visited one of our meetings and saw all the potential and complexity of the students working together, he offered to be a mentor. Mr. Lobeck works at Boeing as a simulation systems project engineer. His spot of expertise is electronics, simulations, and technology, with 28 years of experience in engineering.
Mr. Davis has been working with club members as a mentor. Like many of our club’s mentors, Mr. Davis works for Boeing – he works on the P-8A program as Lead Software Architect. When Mitch, his son, became a club member, they both learned Autodesk Inventor together.