A classroom with electronics and gear for the Olympia Robotics Federation was broken into and vandalized late Sunday or early Monday.
The team — which is made up of 30 students from Capital, Olympia and Avanti high schools — has been working daily to prepare for its first competition in March.
“The robot may have been damaged,” the club’s lead mentor Peter Cook told The Olympian. Cook estimated that about $1,000 worth of damage was done to computer monitors alone.
The classroom, which is a portable at Capital High School, also was broken into a couple of days earlier, but there wasn’t extensive damage, Cook said. He said he believes that break-in may have been interrupted and that the vandals returned to finish the job.
“It’s just a bad thing because we like going out into the community and volunteering, and we’re part of a program that’s looking to help students get interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields,” said senior Anakin Duncan-Kimble, 18.
Cook said the team, which has competed in world championships three times, already has ordered some replacement equipment.
“It’s very unfortunate, but we’ll keep moving on — keep progressing,” Duncan-Kimble said.
Olympia Police are investigating.
For more information on the club, go to https://orf4450.org/.