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Highlights: NASA-Sponsored FIRST Robotics Teams
In the features below, NASA-sponsored teams
tell their stories of participating in FIRST Robotics.

Team 1002:

Team 1002 robotTeam 1002 from Marietta, GA was a second year NASA recipient. The grant has allowed our team to be in the position that we are now--confident that we will be capable of participating in FIRST for a long time to come. We now have in place an extensive outreach program and a fund-raising effort that will allow the team to compete each year. The 2005 season was exciting for the CircuitRunners. We competed at the Peachtree Regional on opening weekend and even though we found that problems existed with the robot, the team as a whole was ready to compete. We had a great competition and did not leave empty handed. Because of the efforts of the team in many other areas, we were award the Peachtree Regional Chairman's Award. This made the team realize that there is more to competing than just what happens on the field. With this award we were granted the opportunity to compete at the Championships, which was an eye-opening experience for the students and one they will never forget.

Team 1619:

Team 1619 robot"Up-A-Creek" Robotics, the Silver Creek High School robotics team sponsored by Lockheed Martin IS&S had a very successful rookie season in 2005. The team competed in the FIRST Robotics competition in March at the Colorado Regional at DU Arena. The results far exceeded all of the expectations for a rookie team. We ended up in 6th place in the qualifying matches out of 38 teams and were in 1st place after the first day (7-0-1 in our first 8 matches). The team's placement in the qualifying rounds and the ability to compete in the finals on Saturday afternoon was a huge success. But the team's spirit, attitude and conduct at the event was even more incredible. Through consistent and positive behavior they were able to present a unified and mature team to the judges and this resulted in the team winning two very important awards: the XEROX Creativity Award that "celebrates creative design, use of a component, or creative or unique strategy of play" and the "Engineering Inspiration" Award, which celebrates a team's outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, within their school and community. Criteria includes: the extent and inventiveness of the team's effort to recruit students to engineering, the extent and effectiveness of the team's community outreach efforts, and the measurable success of those efforts. This is the second highest FIRST Award a team can garner. All in all, a very successful rookie season!

Team 1656:

Team 1656 robotThe Haverford School Robotics Team was founded in the summer of 2004 by Haverford senior Jason Schutzbank. Under the advisory of Mrs. Megan Connolly and Mr. Andrew Gehring, the team quickly grew to a core membership of ten (10) students by the beginning of the competition. Haverford Robotics entered its first robot, AlFe, in the 2005 Chesapeake Regional Tournament in Annapolis, MD. Although we were unable to make the playoffs, we performed very admirably for a rookie team. Because of financial restrictions, we were unable to compete in additional official FIRST competitions. However, in May, thanks to the very generous support of the Haverford School community, we were able to compete in an off-season tournament at Montclair High School in Montclair, NJ. At this event, we placed 5th out of a field of 22 robots, and only lost in the playoffs to the robot that placed second at the National Championship in Atlanta, GA. We will compete in our final off-season competition in November at Wissahickon High School in Ambler, PA.

Team 1094:

Team 1094 robotRiver City Robots (RCR), FIRST team #1094, is a small but ambitious team. Since our inception 3 years ago, we have averaged 12 active students (10 boys, 2 girls) and 6 mentors. The team is open to any interested student in the area and is comprised of students from multiple municipalities and school districts. We’ve had gifted students, “at-risk” students, traditional students and home-schooled students. Our focus this season is on community outreach. The RCR students have pledged 100 service hours to not-for-profits for our 2005/2006 season. Requests have been made for the students to put together a one-time address label database for the city of O’Fallon and to create a power point presentation for the YMCA in O’Fallon. We have performed short skits for elementary students, participated in math and science night for middle school students, organized a 4th of July demo (2004) with other area teams and we will be giving a presentation for a Senior Citizen Care center. We try to maintain good relationships with other teams. One nearby FRC team was unable to begin until two weeks after the kickoff and requested assistance. Our team took their mentoring responsibility seriously and two RCR students pulled “double duty”. They met after school with the fledgling team and would work evenings on our team’s bot. The RCR team participated in the St Louis Regional in 2003, 2004 and 2005 making it to the semi-finals in 2004. The team competed in the Atlanta National Championships in 2005.

Team 1584:

Team 1584 robotI represent team 1584, "The Nederland Highlanders", from Nederland, CO, a rural mountain community about 25 minutes west of Boulder, CO. As a rookie team in 2005 we did not know what to expect, but one thing is certain, we would not have had a team if NASA had not sponsored us, so thanks! Since beginning on this path so many exciting things have happened! For example, not only did we tie for 2nd place for our "Average RP", but we made it into the 8th seed and got to pick our partner teams in the finals! We finished 12th overall, out of 38 teams, at the Denver regional competition. Another very exciting thing is that our high school will offer a semester-long robotics course this fall, which will conveniently run in conjunction with the competition! With only about 200 9-12 grade students, and 26 that signed up for the robotics' class, there is substantial interest! That interest has also trickled down to the lower grade levels, and we plan to involve elementary students and middle school students in a cohesive technology education process. One of the most exciting benefits we have realized so far is that most of the mentors, who did not know each other before the competition, are now collaborating on various projects with the intent to fund the robotics competitions and technology education programs in the future so that we end up with a self-sustaining program. It will take a few years of hard work and play, but ensuring this program continues until technology no longer exists, which is another way to say indefinitely, is a necessity!

Team 1595:

Team 1595 robotTeam 1595 was a FIRST rookie this year from Saint Georges School, a small private school in Spokane, WA, nearly 280 miles away from the closest team in Seattle. Our team was comprised of 11 students from a student body of just over 120 students and five mentors, which included the high school physics teacher and four engineers. The strategy was to keep it simple, adapting the design to the limited resources that we had available to us. The robot arm was powered entirely with pneumatics and included a unique retractable claw that enabled us to place tetras five high on the center goal without touching it. We took great pride in our autonomous scoring capability which was 100% at regionals and Atlanta in placing tetras on any of the three goals and/or knocking down either hanging tetra. This durable effective design, along with the drive team's ability to adapt, allowed us to win our regional and go to Atlanta.

Team 1414:

Team 1414 robotWe're a 2nd year NASA grant recipient - Team #1414, iHOT from the Atlanta International School in Atlanta, Georgia. iHOT, the International House of Technology, first competed in the 2004 season, where we won both the Regional and National Rookie All-Star Awards. Our robot this year was named Mort Subite, and featured a ridiculously tall extendable arm. Though our robot did not make it beyond the Peachtree Regional, our team won the the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers award for Entrepreneurship. Our Animation won the Regional AVA Award, and was entered in to the National Competition. To our great excitement, our animation succeeded in winning the National AVA Award. As iHOT heads into next year's season, we are focusing extensively on workshops and training sessions to bring newcomers up to date and expand the knowledge of veterans

Team 440:

Team 440 robotFIRST Robotics Team 440 consists of a group of Detroit High School Students (from Cody HS and Redford HS) working with teachers and engineering mentors. To be competitive, the collocated Robotics Team is exposed to an environment that encourages the use of the Internet to coordinate team activities and communicate design intent through CAD, animation, and web-page writing. Team members monitor their group activities on Team 440's group web site. The site is used to share ideas between the team members from the two schools and archive procurement records, fund raising, community service, and picture taking activities. A robotics workshop area is set up at both schools. Informally, the students may meet any time during the week at their respective schools to work on robotic activities.

Team 1501:

Team 1501 robotJerry and Mike Smyth, father and son engineering mentors showed the students a new construction method that the FIRST robotics organization has never seen. Typically robots are built from tubular aluminum or 80-20 aluminum extrusion frame designs. In order to be different than all the other teams in the nation, monocoque construction was introduced to the students by engineering mentor Jerry Smyth, ex-naval aviator from the US Navy. Monocoque is typically used in constructing airplane fuselages or spacecraft fuselages. Because of our limited resources this year and lack of access to CNC machines, monocoque construction techniques enabled our team to hand assemble the robot using a few tools such as a brake bender, tin snips and of course a rivet gun. Chrome 0.10" thick aluminum was the material of choice to skin our robot. The results where absolutely stunning.

Team 1245:

Team 1245 robotIn 2005, team 1245 "Shazbots" was a second year team.   We began the preseason early with a series of general robot educational classes.  We hosted a Lego League tournament as a fund- raising event.  The students and mentors were able to get enough other sponsors to buy some new tools and prototype supplies.  Our robot "The One Eyed Cyclone" looks cool but proved a challenge to drive accurately. Our design used many pneumatic cylinders. The air pump was not big enough to keep up.  The frame was built out of welded aluminum and held up well.  At the end of the event our robot was still fully functional.  We attended the Denver Regional and finished a respectable 17th out of 38.  We won 6 and lost 5 matches.  Jesse Johnson was awarded the Regional Woodie Flowers volunteer of the year.


Curator: Cassie Bowman Small rover NASA Official: Mark León

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Last updated 09/05/05

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