Welcome to the Team History page for Mitty Robotics from Archbishop Mitty High School, San Jose, CA.
Our team was born from the interest of several Mitty students who had joined the AMHS Science Club. Some of these students had competed together in the 2003 San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation’s Tech Challenge. After deciding to learn more about robotics competitions, some of the Science Club members attended CalGames for the 2003 FRC game, Stack Attack, sponsored by the Western Region Robotics Forum (WRRF). This got the kids hooked, and they convinced the Science Club’s moderator to let them form a team of their own. After attending robotics workshops hosted by the WRRF, loose leadership positions were formed. During our first season, everyone worked hard and helped where they could.
After an intense build period, the team was excited to attend our first competition—the 2004 Silicon Valley Regional, “FIRST Frenzy: Raising the Bar” with our robot Mark I. At the Silicon Valley Regional we were the eleventh seeded team after qualifying rounds, but we still became alliance captains. Our alliance, which included Team 568 and Team 1120, made it to the Semi-Finals, and TKO received that Highest Rookie Seed Award and the General Motors Industrial Design Award. From that point on, TKO’s history was set in stone.
As the years went by, TKO has had many highs and many lows. In 2009, we failed for the first time to reach the finals in regional, and in the same year one of our faculty mentors, Mr. Miller, passed away. In 2015, we lost two more mentors; our head mentor since our conception, Mr. Chris Fairley, decided to retire from teaching and pursue other ambitions, and Ms. Saunders, a mentor since 2005, decided to retire as well. However, our team has had many admirable events throughout its history. In October 2008, we hosted CalGames where—throughout the event—Archbishop Mitty students who had never attended a robotics competition proudly chanted “T-K-O.” In 2009 at the Silicon Valley Regional, our soccer playing robot, named Brandi, met former Olympic Soccer gold medal winner, and Mitty alumna Brandi Chastain. Our team also met John Doerr of KPCB, who took a hard copy of our team manual as an example of a well-written business plan, and asked the team and the Brandi’s to take a picture with him. In 2012, our basketball shooting robot beat alumnus Aaron Gordon, a current forward for the NBA’s Orlando Magic, in a free-throw contest at a school rally. In 2015, our team made it to the playoffs at an official regional after a three year drought. And in 2016, our team participated in competitions like the Sacramento Regional, Silicon Valley Regional, Chezy Champs, and Cal Games. Our robot was able to power through the competition making it to the quarter finals in Cal Games.
Today, our team has close to 110 members supported by three faculty moderators and several parent mentors, volunteers, and alumni. We represent the diverse ethnic makeup of Archbishop Mitty’s student body. Girls make up about one-fourth of the team and continue to serve in leadership positions. We remain a team that allows freshmen to take on key responsibilities, and sophomores to assume leadership roles. Our team is always willing to work with other teams, and frequently scrimmaging with Team 846 “The Funky Monkeys” from Lynbrook High School. TKO continues to push the boundaries of STEM and STEM education in Mitty and at other schools. We frequently display our robot in the foyer at Mitty and during lunch time. We also visit elementary schools in our area, like Murdock Portal Elementary and Queen of Apostles School, trying to interest youngsters in science and engineering. In general, TKO tries to be more than a robotics team, we try to have a positive impact on all the people we meet.