Parker Robotics Prevails

by Nathan Satterfield ’19
The robotics team has had a very long and super-successful season this year! We took home five trophies, including our very first State Championship win! The success of Parker Robotics has been on the rise recently, and we followed up the 2017–18 season with even more success!
The season started way back on September 8 and 9 when the entire Robotics team worked both days to create three robots for the year’s competition. At noon on September 8, the game for the 2018–19 season was released, and build sprint took off to put together the best robots possible during the course of the two days. Joining our students were alumni, volunteers from around the Illinois robotics community and students from other teams, along with our mentors. The weekend was a huge success and kicked off what became another great year for Parker Robotics.
The team then spent the next couple of weeks designing and building robots for students to drive during County Fair, when a few hundred people from the community drove our robots and toured our brand-new workshop.
Following that event, it was “game on” for robot building. Both of Parker’s FIRST Tech Challenge teams created their robots and competed at their first league meet on November 10 at Lake View High School, where the all-freshman team, 9410 Frank's Garage, went 5-0 to rank #1 and 3507 Robotheosis, the sophomore-through-senior team, went 2-3 to rank #6.
Both teams went back to the drawing board following the November competition to expand upon their initial designs and get ready for the December 1 competition at Wolcott School. At this competition, 3507 went 5-0 to rank #1 and 9410 went 4-1 to rank #2!
Parker’s success continued at Saint Patrick’s High School on January 12, when 9410 went 5-0 again and 3507 went 4-1!
After having a couple of more weeks to finalize their robot designs, the teams competed at the Chicago League Championship on February 9 at Parker. The teams competed and hosted the tournament to make for quite a busy and stressful day, but the teams prevailed and saw great success: 3507 ranked #1 by the end of the day and chose 9410, ranked #3, to join them for the elimination matches, when Parker’s team narrowly lost to the Latin Robotics team and Ogden High School team. Team 3507 had even greater success when they won the Inspire Award for the third straight year, which qualified the team for the Illinois State Championship. Team 9410 won the Think Award, which is the second highest ranked award given at tournaments, but unfortunately did not advance to the State Tournament.
As shown by the banner outside of Parker, 3507 Robotheosis had the most successful state championship run that we have ever had. The team took home the State Championship Award, winning the tournament after intense elimination matches. The State Championship win qualified the team for the Detroit World Championship.
The week of April 22, the team packed into a coach bus and traveled to the Cobo Center in Detroit to compete in the FIRST Detroit World Championship. This is the first time that a Parker Robotics team has qualified for the Championship. At the World Championship, the team started off 0-3 with our robot breaking in those matches. After some practice and repairs, the team went 4-0 to have a 4-3 record. We then lost the last two matches to have a final record of 4-5 and in 51st place out of 80 teams in our division. The Championship was an amazing experience and the team learned a whole lot from the other teams in attendance.
To finish off a spectacular season, the team is hosting the Chicago Robotics Invitational (CRI) off-season event for the second year in a row. Thirty-six teams from ten states and two other countries (India and Romania) will be traveling to Parker on July 19 and 20 to compete. Everyone in the Parker community is invited to stop by and see some of the best teams in the world compete in a modified version of this season’s game.

Students on the team would like to send our thanks to Aaron Lee (computer science teacher), Elizabeth Druger (science teacher), Xiao Zhang (science teacher) and Mike Johnson (former Parker parent and volunteer mentor). We would like to send our extra special thanks to Aaron Lee, who spends more than 12 hours a week working with the students to teach, mentor and support us in our robotics work. Without the help of Mr. Lee, the robotics team would not be as successful as it was the past few seasons. We also want to thank the Science Department as a whole and the school for their support of the robotics program!
Personal Note from Nathan: I’ve been heavily involved in the robotics program since I was in 6th grade, and I have been heavily involved throughout high school. The program has helped shape me as a person, and it’s an amazing experience. You don’t just build robots; you learn how to be a leader, how to write better, how to work as a team, how to design, how to build and much more. The people that you meet at competition are really awesome, and the robotics community is vast. There is a huge amount of opportunity to be as involved in the team and general FIRST program as you want. For students and parents reading this, I highly encourage you to get involved in robotics. Being on the team has done so much more for me then I could have ever imagined, and it's a whole lot of fun, while also being a fantastic learning opportunity. Get involved! Support the team!
If you are interested in joining robotics and becoming part of the robotics family:
Middle School: Robotics begins in 6th grade, competes in the FIRST Lego League (FLL) program and is run by Adam Colestock (
Upper School: The Upper School robotics program competes in two programs: FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), which is run by Aaron Lee (, and MATE ROV Underwater Robotics, which is run by Elizabeth Druger (
Parents: The high school FTC program is always looking for members of the community who have any sort of technical background in programming, design or engineering. If you or anyone you know might be of assistance to the team in terms of helping out after school or on the weekends, please contact Aaron Lee.
Team Members in the FTC Program:
9410 Frank’s Garage: NOTE: I put these in alpha order
Jacob Boxerman (9th Grade)
Colin Brown (9th Grade)
Lucas Garcia-Sjogrim (9th Grade)
Finn Hall (9th Grade)
Audrey McNabola (9th Grade)
Jacobe Richard (9th Grade)
Star Rothkopf (9th Grade)
Ryder Selikow (9th Grade)
3507 Robotheosis:—NOTE: These seem to be randomly ordered, I’d recommend alpha order within grade
Benji Gourdji (10th Grade & Team Captain)
Grayson Schementi (10th Grade)
Takato Muro (10th Grade)
Tessa Samuels (10th Grade)
Elijah Underhill-Miller (11th Grade)
Anna Amacher (11th Grade)
Will Rantala (11th Grade)
James Leet (11th Grade)
Owen Bowers (11th Grade)
Isabel Olesinski (11th Grade)
Zach Morgan (11th Grade)
Nathan Satterfield (12th Grade)
Levi Sheridan (12th Grade)
Adam Keim (12th Grade)
Max Lewandowski (12th Grade)
Cole Rodgers (12th Grade)
Olivia Garg (12th Grade)
Gus Caplan (12th Grade)
Evan Fischer (12th Grade)
Beck Utigard (12th Grade)
Jonah Meiselman-Ashen (12th Grade)
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.