Welcome, current or interested parents of FIRST students!
Immersion in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) creates well-rounded, professional, and prepared individuals, who have experience in solving problems during a limited amount of time, and under great pressure to do well. Your students will learn to manage themselves and others, to quickly master mechanical and technological ideas, to solve difficult challenges in stressful environments, to organize their time to master many techniques at once, to professionally address and interact with real-world organizations, and to innovate using all their resources. To ensure their success, they will require tremendous support from you and the rest of your family.
“Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”
-US FIRST Website
FIRST was founded by Dean Kamen in 1989, in an effort to influence young men and women to develop scientific and technological skills. The program in which we, the WiredCats, participate, is called FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). FRC requires us to design, construct, and program a robot to be competition-ready in six short weeks, as well as taking on the responsibility of representing FIRST and STEM sciences in our community. To learn more about FIRST or FRC, please see our FIRST Robotics Page.
Team 2415, the WiredCats, asks our parents to support us in the busy season ahead, as we work to develop our team for another year of success. It is important to understand that becoming a full, active member of the team will require many hours in the “RoboDen” and out in the community. The build season of FRC consists of six weeks of hard work designing, constructing, and programming our robot for competition, beginning with the kickoff on January 5, 2013. Tournament season constitutes six weeks of travelling nationwide to our competitions. We will require your student to work several hours, several times a week to ensure that we are ready to compete on an international level. The season culminates in a trip to International Championships in St. Louis, provided that we meet the requisite requirements to qualify for this highest level of competition during our regular season.
WHAT FRC SEASON INCLUDES
We receive a mission in early January, during FRC Kickoff (please note that kickoff is a very important day for our team, and it will be best if your child attended both the presentation and the design meeting afterwards). Over the following six weeks, we will be hard at work preparing what we think is the ideal robot to complete the mission at hand. Usually, our robots are around 200 lbs and somewhere between 4-6 feet tall. The challenges we achieve are generally themed around games or sports, and are comprised of three portions: Tele-operational (Tele-op), Player-Controlled, and an End-Game. To learn more about what each of these sections entails, go here.
The challenge takes place on an (approximately) 30 x 60 foot arena, which is divided based on the year’s challenge. The field allows for six robots to participate; these six robots are divided into a Red Alliance and a Blue Alliance, with three robots to a side, and the match is won by whichever alliance gains the most points in the two minute, thirty second time period. For more information on this year’s challenge, visit this page.
Apart from the robot portion of the game, what defines FIRST Robotics is the interdisciplinary program that supports more than just scientific skills. Some of your students will be involved in a more behind-the-scenes aspect of the competition. This part of our team is dedicated to business and marketing, which includes gaining sponsorships, handling the team’s budget, managing and sustaining the team, organizing community outreach, documenting the team’s success, and preparing materials in order to apply for various awards that FIRST offers. This business sub-team works year-round to make sure that the team continues to run smoothly in order to acheive success.
Team 2415, the WiredCats, would like to thank our parents for the opportunity and support that comes from being a FIRST parent. If you would like to continue to support the team as a whole, we would happily accept your sponsorship and donations, whether it be through food for team events, team t-shirts, connections to printing or machining companies, publicity, or other related services. A complete list of sponsorship opportunities is available upon request. Please note that sponsorship is completely optional, as we know how much you do for us already. Please attend our local competitions if you can – we really appreciate it!
THANK YOU, PARENTS!