FAQ

Who are we and what do we do?

We are Wilsonville Robotics Team 1425 – Error Code Xero. Wilsonville High School provides space for our meetings and storage and we consist of students from both the Wilsonville and West Linn school districts and many mentors from around the area and compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Known as “the varsity sport for the mind,” FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, our team is challenged to raise funds to design, build, and program robots capable of excelling at challenges against a field of competitors – in just six weeks! With the guidance and support of engineering-professionals who volunteer their time, our members will learn and build the skills to design, fabricate, program, and wire a robot and market our team to sponsors as well as organize outreach events. It’s a great opportunity for students to experience what real-world engineering projects are like as well as a great opportunity for gaining both technical and teamwork know-how.

When we’re not building or competing, we’re involved in learning or inspiring others to learn the skills need to build robots and maintain the team. We participates in Fun in the Park, a community fair, volunteer at the Wilsonville WERK day to clean up our city, and demonstrate our robot and share FIRST values at various venues.

 

Here is what some members had to say about FIRST

“Robotics is where I found my people in high school.  I came in as an awkward out of place freshman, and left with a community, a family.”  Claire – Alumni Class of 2013

“Robotics is an opportunity for me to express my creativity and explore my interests, with people who understand me, and still like me.”  Kelsey – Alumni Class of 2013

“Robotics is more than a sport or an extracurricular activity – it is a way of life.  Because of this team, I have decided to look into engineering as a permanent career.”  Karen – Alumni Class of 2014

“Robotics showed me how the real world engineering process worked.”  Ryan – Alumni Class of 2015

“It was an amazing experience.  It has helped me discover what I want to do and who I want to be.”  Tori – Alumni Class of 2015

“It means not only coming together as a team to design and construct a robot, but learning valuable skills, such as communication, leadership, and gracious professionalism. By working as a team, you use cooperation and teamwork to accomplish a challenging, but rewarding task.” Austin – Alumni Class of 2016

 

How do I join the team?

There are no tryouts for the team, but you do need to contact us to sign up.  There is a $200 activity fee per student, but scholarships are available; this fee pays for a team shirt and meals on the Saturday meetings during the build season and sometimes at competitions. Come train with us — no experience required! If you are interested or have questions, please contact us!

Also, feel free to drop by at our team meetings! We meet at Wilsonville High School at 6:30pm to 9:00pm every Tuesday. We host a demon­stra­tion and recruit­ing event at the end of each school year, and will update this page with that date when we schedule it.

 

Don’t live near Wilsonville or West Linn?

If you want to join a FIRST Robotics team in your local area, visit FIRST’s website to find a local team.

 

What is FIRST?

FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization that seeks to train middle school and high school students to be the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through their Junior FIRST Lego League (Jr.FLL), FIRST Lego League (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) programs. These are mentor-based programs that develop technical and leadership skills and inspire innovation.

“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”

— Dean Kamen, Founder

Learn more at http://www.firstinspires.org/

 

Why should you participate in FIRST robotics?

FIRST’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology innovators by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build engineering and technology skills to encourage advancement and that foster valuable life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

  • You will be a part of a larger community, gain friends, and have fun!
  • FIRST kids are significantly more likely to attend college, major in science or engineering, and be outstanding future employees and citizens. FIRST is about changing our culture… for the better!
  • If you have ever wondered why you are learning math or science, FIRST gives you an opportunity to answer that question actually use those skills on a real-life problem.
  • Because of the lack of technical education classes, this is one of the only opportunities many students will have to learn how to operate industrial machines.
  • You will gain experiences that many college students do not even get a chance to have.  “The robotics challenge is a bigger project than I had during the 4 years of my mechanical engineering degree.” – Physics Teacher Mr. Troha
  • You have access to $12 million in scholarships and will be more eligible for interviews at top companies like Xerox and Boeing.
  • This is a chance to set yourself apart from everyone else on your college application.  Colleges are impressed by the leadership and technical skills that FIRST Robotics students can bring with them.

 

What are the sub-teams and what do they do?

Team 1425 is organized into smaller, technical and non-technical teams to work on specific projects to prepare for the competitions and other events.  Students will choose to join one or more of the following sub-teams:

Mechanical – Designs, fabricates, and assembles the mechanical subsystems of the robot and performs maintenance.

Electrical – Designs, fabricates, and assembles the electrical subsystem of the robot and the operator interface (OI).

Software – Writes all code that will be used to control the robot both in teleoperated mode (drivers control the robot) and autonomous mode (the robot controls itself) and the interface code with our operator interface (the panel of buttons used to control the robot, also known as the OI).

Strategy – Leads the discussion on how the game will be played in order to maximize performance, develops the Drive Team skills, and markets our team at the district and regional events to other teams for consideration in alliance selection.

Scouting – Develops an android app for use on tablets with a paper version that will be used to collect data on how other teams’ robots perform during matches to give the team insights during alliance selection and to give suggestions on in-match strategy.

Marketing – Raises awareness of our mission, values, and activities throughout the local community and schools and at competitions, presents messages to our sponsors, and organizes fundraisers.

 

When are the meetings, competitions, events, etc?

The Build Season starts with “kickoff” on the first Saturday in January and extends for 2-3 months until competitions begin in March and April.

Other events that we participate in include: community service events – including Wilsonville WERK Day, Wilsonville Fun In the Park, Old West Linn Days; sponsor events (showing off the robot); other competitions held locally such as Bunny Bots, Girls Generation, Rookie Rumble; and informational events or training such as FIRST FARE or AutoCad training.

 

What is the time commitment?

During the build season the team meets four weeknights from 6:30 to 9:00 each night and on Saturdays from 9:30 to 3:30.  It is not expected that you will be present at every build season session and you will need to decide how to best balance your school work, family, and other commitments with robotics. However, you will learn more and be better prepared if you attend more meetings.

During the offseason we have team meetings every Tuesday and some sub-teams meet on other nights independently for the purpose of training and working on special projects.  Again, you need to determine how to balance your school work while participating in robotics.

Remember: school comes first!

 

What can/should a parent or guardian do to help?

There are many ways to help with the team and support your student.  Please refer to our Team Handbook for an explanation of areas in which you can provide support or assistance or contact us.