Team History

2000 – 2001:

The Arcadia High School (AHS) Robotics Engineering was started. The team was started by Richard Fretz. Richard was an Engineer at JPL who became the teacher of the Advanced Robotics Engineering class.

2011 – 2012:

The funding was not available to offer the class.

2012 – 2013:

Bill Chapman took over the Advanced Robotics class as the teacher and Robert Steele from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) became the team’s mentor.

2013 – 2014:

Sean Lin, a Mechanical Engineer from Raytheon became mentor. Also Raytheon became a team sponsor. This was also when the new Robotics Lab opened.

2014 – 2015:

The Advanced Robotics Engineering class transitioned to the PLTW Engineering Design and Development class.

Robotics Lab

Originally, the class met in Laurel Fretz’s classroom and built their robot out of the storage facility behind the wood shop. Later the class met in F-4 and the wood shop as the robotics lab. When the campus modernization started the robotics lab moved into a potable (P-7) and used the computer lab in B-5 as the Lecture room. In 2012 the program was refocused as the Engineering program with the school’s adoption of Project Lead the Way (PLTW).

In August of 2013 the new Robotics Design and Production Labs were available. Located in rooms E103 and E104, this are state of the art engineering labs that allow simultaneous design, construction, programming and testing of the robots in one location.

First Robotics Competition

The Advanced Robotics Engineering Class competed in the First Robotics Competition (FRC) in March of 2002 as Team 867, named Absolute Value. In 2006 the FRC team finished the qualifying meet at the Los Angeles Regional in 7th place. They were unfortunately eliminated in the quarter finals round having lost 2 matches (2 of 3).

In 2008, the team won the Autodesk Visualization Award at the FRC Nationals.

The team has competed in all but one FRC competitions since 2002.


2002 – Trinity (3-4-0) WP = 42.86%

2003 – Trinity II (2-5-0) WP = 28.57%

2004 – Trinity III (2-5-0) WP = 28.57%

2005 – Trinity IV No matches played WP = 0.00%

2006 – Trinity V (6-5-0) WP = 54.54%

2007 – Trinity VI (3-4-2) WP = 44.44%

2008 - Trinity VII (4-5-0) WP = 44.44%

2009 - Trinity VIII (1-6-0) WP = 14.28%

2010 - Trinity IX (5-5-0) WP = 50.00%

2011 - Trinity X (1-7-2) WP = 20.00%

2012 – Did not compete this year

2013 - Delta Zero (4-7-0) WP = 36.36%

2014 - Mouse Trap (5-5-0) WP = 50.00%

2015 - Guillotine (3-5-1) WP = 38.89%

2016 - Centrino (3-5-0) WP = 37.50%

2017 - Steamed Rice (5-4-0) WP = 55.56%

JPL Invention Challenge

Every year, JPL holds an Invention Challenge where schools and JPL Employees get to compete to solve some strange task.

2006, the team received the award for the “Heaviest” mechanism in the “Launch a Tennis Ball” contest.

2007 the team won 1st place at both the Fullerton Regional and the JPL Finals in the “Play a Song” contest.

2008 the team took 2nd place at the Fullerton Regional, and 3rd place at the JPL Finals in the “Aerial Car Race” contest.

2009 the team received the “Most Creative” and the “Smallest” awards at the JPL Finals for the “Ton of Bricks” contest.

2013 the team won the award for the “Smallest Device”.

NMTA Robotics League

2014 Southern California Regional the team won the “Sportsmanship Award”.


NASA JPL House Team

Arcadia Unified School District


In March of 2003, the team held a Robotics Expo in the high school gym for the middle school students. Starting in 2005 during the Arcadia High School Showcase, the robotics program was shown to the parents of the following year incoming freshmen. From 2010 onwards the Vex Robotics Club presented robotics to the incoming freshmen during the campus open house.

2008 - The Autodesk Visualization Award is presented by Autodesk, Inc. and recognizes excellence in student animation that clearly and creatively illustrates the spirit of the FIRST Robotics Competition.