The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF) is a high-performance team from three Olympia high schools: Avanti, Capital, and Olympia, operating under the umbrella of FIRST Washington. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization that inspires students around the World by organizing robotics competitions.
Although we use competitive robotics as a learning platform, our team is so much more than robots. We create partnerships with business and service and organization sponsors, do public outreach at events such as Harbor Days, Capitol Lake Fair and Lacey STEM Fair and support STEM education in the middle schools and high schools. We learn computer science and engineering principles, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, business and project management, wrapped into a fun, hands-on experience. We pride ourselves on developing leadership skills and the ability to represent Olympia in regional and national competitions and in our annual trip to the state legislature to support STEM funding.
The team strives for excellence by building on student leadership with mentor support. We have won awards every year of our team competitions at the local and regional levels and we have gone to the World Championships in three out of our first five years. We are a diverse team representing a range of ethnicities and economic classes with 25% girls and inspiring 96% of our team alumni to go on to university and future jobs in a STEM field.
Our team is dedicated to strengthening the interest in STEM across the South Sound by hosting summer camps for middle school students, starting FIRST LEGO League Jr. (K-4th grade) and FIRST LEGO League (4th-8th grade) teams and mentoring other FIRST Robotics Competition teams in Mason and Lewis counties, while participating in community outreach in support of STEM education.