Gunn Robotics Team prevails in Baltimore contest

Hoop-shooting robot accompanies 12 students to competition that drew 63 teams

Driving a robot capable of shooting basketballs into hoops, Gunn High School's Robotics Team placed first overall in a recent national competition.

Twelve members of Gunn's 55-member Robotics Team took their robot to Baltimore, Md., March 9 and 10, where they competed against 63 other teams from around the United States in the Chesapeake Regional competition associated with FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

In addition to the overall win, the Gunn team also won in the categories of "engineering excellence" and "safety."

The win means the Gunn team's $5,000 entry fee to upcoming FIRST World Championship competition will be waived. That contest is scheduled for April 25-28 in St. Louis, Mo.

Created entirely by students, Gunn's robot is capable of shooting basketballs into hoops of varying heights and balancing on a small bridge, Adams said.

Gunn team members who went to Baltimore, accompanied by parent volunteer Debbie Sutherland, were Gray Adams, Brendan Caporaletti, Andrew Chen, Delia Gratta, Tony Jin, Joseph Milia, Philippe Napaa, Meera Parat, Gregg Ratanaphanyarat, Jeffrey Sun, Alexander Sutherland and Keshav Varma, Adams said.

The students work under the direction of Gunn science teacher Bill Dunbar, who was not available to make the trip, Adams said.

Chris Kenrick


Posted by moi, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

The red hair rocks!

Congratulations all around. You should be extremely proud of yourselves. Go get 'em!

Posted by Rajiv Bhateja, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 19, 2012 at 11:17 am

Correction: The teacher's name is Bill Dunbar. And he's the best.

Posted by Paly87, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by randy albin, a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2012 at 11:38 am

this verifies that Gunn is an outstanding high school. many Gunn grads are very successful in successful careers. the Gunn Alumni Association is very active

Posted by Charlie, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

As a Gunn alum (and Paly parent) I congratulate the outstanding achievement of these cool kids. Hope you had fun, doing this!

Posted by Tony, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Hi, GRT placed 1st in the Competition, and won the Engineering Excellence Award and the Industrial Safety Award (no rankings).
Great article!

Posted by robomom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Other robotics teams compete in local competitions (San Jose, Davis). Gunn must be extraordinarily well funded.

Posted by Grayson, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I give out pretty good quotes, if I say so myself.

Posted by Ruchita, a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Actually Gunn robotics is Not well funded compared to other bay area teams. It is the least funded in that aspect. The reason being that companies think it is well funded, hence they do not sponsor it!

So if you know of any business that would like to sponsor the team, or you are such a business - please contact their coach/contact listed on their website page.

Posted by Give Credit When Due, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I believe that Seth Mallory play a great roll as an adviser to the team and should be acknowledged as well.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Seth Mallory, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm

The Girl Scouts robotics team called the Space Cookies won the Chairmen's award at the regional last weekend. Many of the Girl Scouts are from Palo Alto. Way to go Girl Scouts. The next competition for the Girl Scouts, Palo Alto High School, Castilleja School, and GRT will be at San Jose State University March 28-30. Admission is free but best wear closed toed shoes.

Posted by Congratulations, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

On top of spending many hours in their club building their robots these students spent an enormous number of hours cooking, cleaning and selling food at the concessions at Stanford sporting events in order to raise money for their projects. This is a major commitment of time and energy. These students should be commended for their dedication. Those with snide remarks are lacking something in their life. Try getting involved in something that is meaningful to you like these students have done. Go Gunn Robotics!!!

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