The Little Robots That Could

GWCS Coyote Robotics compete at the 2017 FTC Virginia State Championships!

Teams 965 and 3749

First Tech Challenge (FTC) Velocity Vortex

It has been a long, long road to get here.  It started in late September 2016 when FTC revealed its new challenge for the First Tech Robotics 2016/2017 competition. This may be the longest sporting season ever—starting in September with the “big reveal” and ending in April 2017 with the FTC World Championships.

Coach Gary Lindner

Since its inception in 2005, Coyote Robotics, headed by Mr. Gary Lindner, has never failed to qualify for the Virginia State Championships. These amazing performances are accomplished by a handful of dedicated students who devote many of their weekends and evenings to designing, building, programming, repairing and operating the robots.   Assisting the students are Mr. Lindner and parents, who coach, mentor, scout out the competition, provide transportation and support and resources to the Coyote Robotics program.

Team 3749 - The Bionic Penguins

Team 3749—The Bionic Penguins has had an impressive season—coached by Mr. Lindner and captained by Andra, a 9th grade Robinson High School student, The Bionic Penguins reached the final or semi-final matches in all four FTC competitions that the team attended. The team also includes Michael, Nick, Aspen, Danny, and DJ.  On February 25, 2017, The Bionic Penguins reached the Division Semi-Finals at the Virginia State Competition in Lynchburg, Virginia but sadly did not qualify for the Super-Regional Competition to be held Scranton, Pennsylvania on March 17-19, 2017.

Team 965 - The League of Incompetent Gentlemen

Team 965 - The League of Incompetent Gentlemen has been anything but “Incompetent”.  The League is coached by Robert Carlisle and is captained by Kelley, an 11th grade GWCS student.  The League has also qualified for the final or semi-final matches in all of its four FTC competitions. The team also includes: newcomer, Christian, Michael, Danny, Preston and mentors: Douglas Fuller and Isaac Weeks.

Rockwell-Collins Innovate Award

At the 2017 Virginia State Championships, The League qualified for the Super-Regional Championships in Scranton, PA by winning the prestigious Rockwell-Collins Innovate Award for the most innovative robot design of the 52 teams that competed in the event.

Teams at the FTC events come from all sizes of school and the team sizes vary from just one or two students, to teams of dozens of students.  The two Coyote Robotics teams have so far represented GWCS at five events this year, in front of hundreds of Virginians, and they have handily shown that a small team from a small school can hold their own against some of the biggest, most tech savvy high schools in the state.  Team 965 will go on to show the same against teams from Virginia-to-Maine.  FTC competitions are a great way to meet like-minded individuals, make friends, learn new skills, practice “Gracious Professionalism”, and basically have an amazing time. In 2017, FTC will offer more than $50 million in scholarships from 200 providers, making it a worthwhile venture for those interested in a career in engineering, robotics and science.

For those interested in learning more about FTC and its positive impact on students, please visit:

Cristie Carlisle
Proud Coyote Robotics Parent