What is FIRST?
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is an organization run by Dean Kamen dedicated to bringing science and technology into communities all over the world. Dean has created several robotics programs to help inspire students from ages 6–18 and prove that science and technology is cool.
Who is FIRST Team 1425?
We are known as Wilsonville Robotics—Team 1425, Error Code Xero. Comprised of students from Wilsonville High School, Sherwood High School, and West Linn High School (all in Oregon), we compete in the FRC—FIRST Robot Challenge—a yearly competition for high school students. The teams are given six weeks starting January to build a robot that will compete in that year’s game. The game typically involves two alliances composed of 3 teams going head-to-head to score points in a fast-paced challenge.
What does FIRST Team 1425 do?
This year, the “Challenge” all FIRST teams—including ours—must accept is called “Rebound Rumble”. The goal of the game is to shoot (or dump) foam basketballs into four hoops at three different heights while trying to maneuver around other robots. A larger point amount is given if the basketball is scored in a higher hoop rather than a lower one. Teams also have a chance to score additional points in the last 30 seconds by balancing their (team’s) robot(s) on the tipping bridges in the center of the arena. For additional information on this year’s game, check out:
Why would someone want to join?
You will be a part of a larger community, gain friends, and have fun! If you have ever wondered why you are learning math or science, this gives you an opportunity to actually use those skills on a real problem. Because of the lack of technical education classes, this is one of the only opportunities to learn how to use machines. You will gain experiences that many college students do not even get a chance to have. Even one of our lead mentors, Mr. Troha, says, “The robotics challenge is a bigger project than I had during the 4 years of my mechanical engineering degree.” You have access to $12 million in scholarships and 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 bring with them.
Does FIRST Team 1425 only meet during the build season?
Absolutely not! Our team consistently participates in community service activities outside the build season, such as Wilsonville’s local WERK day and Wilsonville’s annual city parade. In addition, we annually host an “Energy Fair” at our school, in which we offer several different games for kids, as well as having greener alternative energy demonstrations. Also, our team gets together for “Team-Building Activities”, which could range anywhere from working together at the Tilikum Ropes Challenge Course to simply going bowling at the local alley and hanging out.
Does the robot get to destroy other robots?
The FRC competition is more like a sporting event in which teams work in cooperation with other teams. Gracious Professionalism is the key to FIRST Robotics and destroying an expensive robot that took 40 students 6 weeks to build would not be very good sportsmanship. However by joining the team, you can learn how to build your own robot to destroy on your own time.
How much time does FRC Robotics take up?
We want everyone who is interested to be able to find a spot on our team. We
understand students have busy lives, but there are minimum time expectations for team members.
During the off season, members of the team are training in an area of interest. (i.e. mechanical design, electrical, software, marketing, web design, animation) These sub-teams meet usually once a week for 2 hours. During the build season (January/February), the team meets five days a week. Each member is expected to attend a minimum of two days a week for a total of about 6 hours. Some of the team leadership will attend every day and put in over 25 hours a week.
How much does it cost?
As you can imagine, building a robot can be expensive. Luckily, the students are able to raise most of the money through donations. Xerox has been very generous to fund a large portion of our budget. In order to cover some miscellaneous costs, members pay $50. The $50 activity fee pays for a team shirt, some spirit gear at competition, and food during Saturday meetings. Scholarships are available for families in financial difficulty.
How can someone join the team?
There are no tryouts for the team, but you need to let us know that you want to be a part of Robotics. If you are interested or have questions, you can contact (Click name to send message):