Darren Collins, Head Coach
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 experience with design and computer science. In 2012, Mr. Collins started a Robotics class at the High School. 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
Maggie joined the team as a parent volunteer during the 2016-17 season and served on the Booster Club board before being hired as the assistant coach in 2017. While her background is in medicine, she uses her organizational skills to provide administrative support and make travel arrangments for the team. “I like that the club takes in students of all interests and skills. Mostly I like the changes that I see in students who grow through their experience with robotics. ” She is married and has a son on the team in addition to two grown children and 2 grandsons. She enjoys traveling, swimming biking and is currently pursuing a degree in molecular biology.
Adrienne became involved in the club through Bryan Andrews, one of the founding members of the team. When asked what she likes about the club, she stated, “I like that FIRST teaches students how to think outside of the box and solve problems.” In her free time, Adrienne likes to go mountain biking and backpacking and is starting to learn how to rock climb. She also works for FIRST Washington and her work helps her to inspire at a larger scale. She has become more involved in the team once again through her daughter Claire.
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. Throughout college, Austin came back to help on the team for short periods of time. Since then, Austin has been working closely with the scout lead and the strategy team during the competition season. He has also been working with the designers to give constructive criticism on different mechanisms. In his free time, Austin spends time taking care of his daughter and watching movies. He likes FIRST because of it “gives kids opportunities to learn valuable skills, develop character, and push themselves.”
By day a software developer, Bob Woodbury was a Tahoma Robotics Club software development mentor by night. When asked why he likes working with our club, he said: “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 helped the club develop software to scout other teams’ strengths and weaknesses during competition. As a mentor on the Robotics Team, Mr. Woodbury was a key player in our success and is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, we lost Bob Woodbury in 2018. He will forever be missed.
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. Her fascination with our club’s robot-building activities has brought her back. Her expertise is in making bumpers as well as team spirit wear. She likes FIRST because it helps to get kids involved in STEM. She also subscribes to the values of the program such as Gracious Professionalism. In her free time, Janice enjoys running her quilting business.
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.”
Joseph joined the team after his workout buddy at Pinnacle, who happened to be the President of the School Board, suggested that he mentor on our team. This was after seeing some of the projects Joseph was working on since retiring from Boeing after 32 years, like a wooden-geared clock and a working model of a Toyota engine that he printed on his 3D printer and put together. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has worked in space technologies and military weapon systems. He held software and mechanical safety responsibility of the satellite delivery and support structure (Inertial Upper Stage – IUS) inside the space shuttle. He also worked on the Air Launch Cruise Missile, Minute Man, Peacekeeper Missile Systems, and AWACS, where he was responsible for the safety of 72 aircrafts and was first on call for in-flight emergency. Over the past 30 years, Joseph has also been studying the way that the brain works and how to create a better life balance. He’s learned, and likes to share with the students, that the 6 human needs are growth, significance, certainty, uncertainty, contribution, and connection. He enjoys the FIRST program because of its ability to help kids grow and connect with one another, learning and growing as human beings. To Joseph, an important aspect of being a mentor is his ability to teach kids in a way that works for them, to help them drive themselves to future success. In his free time Joseph likes to invent then make things in his shop, go fishing, and spend time with his wonderful wife and 2 dachshunds.
Mark joined the team as a parent volunteer in 2017 and currently serves on the Booster Club Board. He has been a Maple Valley resident for many years and is pleased to be able to serve the students of Tahoma. He works with a local city government and uses his those skills to mentor the business team with fundraising as well as providing event and builds season support. He has a son on the team as well as 2 grown children and 2 grandsons.
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.