Tune in to RSN at 7 PM each Tuesday during build season (yes, including bag day!) to hear from six teams around FIRST® on how their week went. From their great successes and innovative ideas, to their struggles and pitfalls that happen to every team along the way.
Hailing from the small central New Hampshire town of Alton, FIRST Robotics Competition 319, Big Bad Bob, has been in FIRST since 1995. The team is a rising star in New England, recently showing great improvement on the field in the last few years, qualifying for the Championship the last three years in a row. While the team has been around for over 20 years, their first blue banners came just last year when they won the North Shore and UNH districts. Off the field, Bob has a 50/50 male-to-female ratio among their students, and also hosts their own yearly off-season event, Battle Of the Bay.
Apex was founded just last year and is based out of Seattle Christian Schools in Seatac, WA. Roaring onto the scene in the Pacific North West District last year, 5803 took home tons of hardware from winning a district event, earning the number-one seed at the PNW District Championship and a number-four seed on the Curie field. On top of that, the team won a district Rookie All-Star and Rookie Inspiration award, as well as their divisional Rookie All-Star Award. Off the field, the team works out of a biology classroom, and as a rookie, hosted Peak Performance, the second off-season event ever in the PNW.
Team 3847, Spectrum, was founded in 2011 by combining two previous rival robotics teams from St. Agnes Academy and Strake Jesuit College Prep, both located in the Houston, TX area. In just a few short years, Spectrum has risen in the ranks of FIRST Robotics Competition, winning a Regional Chairman’s Award in 2012 (their first year of eligibility!) and 2014, while winning a regional Engineering Inspiration Award in 2016. Today, Spectrum is made up of 35 students, hosts the yearly off-season event Texas Robotics Invitational (T.R.I.), and is known as one of the most active teams on social media, boasting a well-read blog and series of interviews called “How I Work”, profiling mentors and professionals around FIRST.
Cybertooth, team 3940, is based out of Kokomo, Indiana. They were founded in the 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition season, and are associated with Northwestern High School in Kokomo, and is sponsored by AndyMark and the Fiat Chrysler America (FCA) Foundation. Many of their mentors are engineers and staff at FCA and AndyMark. On the field, Cybertooth has won two regionals, as well as coming in second place at the Tippecanoe District in Indiana. Additionally, the team has won multiple imagery awards for their unique and ubiquitous style, and won the Quality award at last year’s Indiana State Championship shown by fact that their robot has not broken down on the field in the past two seasons. Off the field, the team demonstrates their robot in local community, assists other Indiana teams, volunteers at local FIRST events, and runs a camp for elementary school students.
The EngiNERDs, team 2337 are based out of the largest high school in Michigan, Grand Blanc Community High School in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Since its founding in 2008, the team has won seven district events, and won five district Engineering Inspiration awards, three district Chairman’s awards, and a Michigan State Championship Chariman’s award in 2013. As part of their larger robotics program, students on the EngiNERDs spend one year on one of their six “junior varisty” VEX robotics teams before moving to the “varisty” FIRST Robotics Competition program, where they are eligible to earn varsity letters. Off the field, the team demonstrates their robot in local parades and fairs, runs camps and workshops on STEM, and hosts an Extra Life video and board game marathon every year, raising over $19,000 for their local children’s hospital.
Winners of the 1993 and 2008 World Championships, it’s team 148, the Robowranglers! As an original and sustaining team founded in 1992, 2016 will be their 26th season in FIRST! Their 42 students and 17 mentors are looking to continue their dominating performance on the field from the last five years, which includes eight regional wins, seven quality awards, a Woodie Flowers Finalist award, and THREE division wins at the Championship. The team also boasts some great accomplishments outside of winning awards; having increased the participation in robotics programs in their district by over a factor of 10, as well as achieving a 100% college attendance rate for their graduating seniors.