March 11th Financial Meeting


COVID-19 Updates

Dear Swerve Families,

We continue to monitor the situation with the COVID-19 virus and the Executive team feels that our responsibility to our volunteers, students, families and community requires us to make the following changes in Swerve’s events and shop time:

  • All volunteers and students should not come to the FTC shop unless they are competing in World Championships in Houston (meaning only 417). Currently that event is still taking place. If we are notified otherwise we will let you know as soon as possible.
  • For those coming to the shop – if you have been in a high risk situation, like visiting a hospital or have a family member who has been exposed, please notify Heidi Lovett before showing up.
  • All outreach events scheduled through March 31 will be cancelled. All of the events were scheduled in schools around the area and out of an abundance of caution Swerve Mentors and students will not be attending those events.
  • The Botswana fundraiser scheduled for March 13 will be rescheduled to a later date TBD.

We will continue to keep you updated on any further changes.

I have taken this information from Northshore School District posting as additional information for you:

Dr. Jeff Duchin from Public Health Seattle & King County said today that children are not believed to be at serious risk for the disease, but we must be mindful of the population that is at higher risk. The new public health recommendations to slow the spread of coronavirus we received following today’s press conference indicate that those people at higher risk should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible; e.g., those with weakened immunity, pregnancy and those who are 60 and over.

Dow Constantine also said this landscape is shifting by the hour. He added, “The reality is this, the more we slow down the spread of this virus, the more we slow down the disease, the greater the chances of keeping people healthy, of saving lives.”

Here are theCOVID-19 resources that Northshore School District has provided to their families.

Warm wishes and good health to all of our families.


Malia Fazzio
Board President
Swerve Robotics
925.699.6068


From the Director

It is hard to believe that we are already near the end of December. It seems like I just welcomed so many of you to our family, and now it is the competition season. Time seems to be flying – and I have been following suit. In this calendar year, I have had the privilege of flying to Botswana twice as we started the FLL program there, Dubai for the FIRST Global Competition, and finally a long awaited family reunion trip to Australia (I got back just a week prior to this writing). Jet lag aside, this has been a most incredible year for me both personally and professionally. It has been both freeing and very difficult for me to step aside from coaching to focus on more of the work of the Executive Director.

2019 has been a time of change and growth for all of us. We saw our largest group of Seniors yet leave the nest to fly off to colleges across theUSA. It was a difficult parting, but we also welcomed many new families to our flock. It has been such a joy to watch as the newer members of our group have jumped in to help us out with coaching, volunteering, mentoring and other support – like a brand new newsletter! (Thank you, Laura.)

The Board has grown in size, and is working hard on improving our policies, processes, transparency, and structure. By the time
you read this newsletter, our FLL Jr teams, and many of our FLL teams as well, will have completed their seasons. With just one returning coach in each program, there has been a tremendous learning opportunity for coaches and students alike. We are so proud of the caliber of coaching this season and the effort put in by so many working parents and busy kids to participate in this program. The FTC teams are just ramping up their competition seasons as they are preparing for their first judged event this season – the Feynman Interleague in Tacoma. Although the holidays are upon us, our students are seeing only robot meeting opportunities, so please feel free to tell your FTC student “no” – your family time is top priority in this hectic world.

As you enter the break from school, work, and other scheduled routine activities, I hope you will reflect on a great year of learning, discovery and joy. I know that I have seen incredible growth in our students – confidence in their skills, opinions, and even their voice. The students who worked so hard to take FLL to Botswana should also be proud that the 12 teams that started there also completed the season and are planning for next year as well!

We look forward to further growth together and would value your feedback, volunteer time, or other help as we seek to improve further the Swerve Robotics experience for all. Thank you for your ongoing support.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate at this time of year. I hope all have a wonderful time with family and take the time to rest and enjoy the season.

Heidi Lovett


African Tech Roundup interview

Heidi Lovett, founder and Executive Director was recently interviewed about Swerve Robotics and our work to bring FLL to Botswana. If you would like to hear the interview, please listen on your favorite Podcast site or at the African Tech Roundup website. It was an honor to speak with Andile Masuku about the work we do here at Swerve Robotics to empower the youth of our community and world.


Super day at the State Championships!

On Sunday, March 17th Washington finally held their FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) State Championships. Swerve had 5 teams at the event - 2 FLL and 3 FTC all competing at the same time! In addition, we have two closely affiliated teams that students from FTC 417 SKID have been mentoring that were also competing. The results of the day were incredible!

The FLL teams were very successful - Squeaky Wheels our most veteran FLL team won a project award and our very own Night Gnomes won the Innovation award for their project and have been invited to compete in the Global Innovation award competition! This is no small deal and we are very excited for these little Gnomes.

The FTC teams also had a good day, all three of our FTC teams were selected to participate in the Elimination rounds on separate alliances. In addition, our friends from Woodinville High School - the 11970 Titanium Talons - were also selected to play on an alliance in the elimination matches. Every one of the 4 alliances had a team from Woodinville on it! Our home town was well represented. In the end, only one alliance was able to win the game and it turned out to be our very own 8923 - Perpetual Velocity that took the game. 6220 Centripetal was on the finalist alliance and the other two teams, 11970 and 417 SKID were eliminated.

When it came time for the awards, we knew that 417 was not eligible for the Inspire Award as they had recently won it in British Columbia and had already secured a spot a the World Championships. So, we hoped that our other two teams would be nominated for awards. In the end, 6220 won the Collins Innovate Award and 417 won the Motivate Award.

Now we have two of our 4 FTC teams that have advanced to the World Championships and we are preparing for travel to Houston TX in mid-April. In addition, 417 is raising money (would you like to help them??) to pay for their travel to Botswana where they will be providing a group of up to 40 teachers a "boot camp" experience to introduce them to FIRST LEGO League as we start the program in Botswana. Please join us in congratulating our teams on a very great day!


FLL (LEGO Robotics) Camp this Summer!

On July 8-12, our team will be running a LEGO Robotics camp at the Wooden Cross Lutheran Church to teach kids ages 9-14 the fundamentals of building and programming LEGO robots.

This robotics camp is meant to prepare children for FIRST LEGO League, a LEGO robotics competition (http://www.firstlegoleague.org) in a fun and hands on manner. During the camp, your child will be building and programming a lego robot to autonomously perform various missions in the HydroDynamics robot game: https://www.first-lego-league.org/en/2017/hydrodynamics.html

Date: July 8th to 12th

Time: 12:30PM to 4:30PM

Location: Wooden Cross Lutheran Church (17401 198th Ave NE, Woodinville, WA 98077)

Cost:  $250 per child - Checks should be made out to Swerve Robotics and sent to 18606 201st Ave NE Woodinville WA.

To register for our camp, please fill out the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/ltbcYbJWg5NabD6x2

This camp will be used to fundraise for our trip to Botswana this summer. We will be bringing this exact camp and curriculum to the country of Botswana which has had limited exposure to science education to mentor teachers and leaders in Botswana and help them start their own FIRST teams. All proceeds from this camp will go towards the Botswana endeavor.

If you are not available for this camp, please share this information with your friends and family! Thank you for your time, and we hope to see you from July 8 - 12!

If you have any further questions, you can reach us at swerverobotics.org.

417 S.K.I.D.


History being made!

Swerve Robotics is so very proud of our FTC teams. In mid February, 6220 Centripetal won the Inspire Award at the British Columbia Provincial Championships earning them a spot at the World Championship in Houston, TX. The other two teams competed at the FTC West Super Regional in Spokane WA March 8-11, 2018 where both 417 SKID and 8923 Perpetual Velocity advanced to the World Championship as well. For the first time in the history of Swerve Robotics, all three teams will be competing at the highest level. Please join us in congratulating our teams on their highly successful season thus far.