FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology is an international youth organization that operates four levels of robotics competitions:
Every year FIRST releases a challenge game. Students, coaches, and mentors work together for a two month period to create a robot capable of competing in the competitions. Teams design, build, and program their robots from scratch.
Our team is divided into three general sub-teams: Technical, Programming, and Business. Each sub-team handles different aspects of the team. Although these subteams are separate, students can be in multiple subteams if they choose.
Mechanical: This subteam is in charge of designing and building the robot according to the rules set by FIRST for the competition. They take game strategy into account so the team can maximise the points they score in games while making sure the robot stays within the robot budget.
Programming: This subteam writes the code for the robot and helps the mechanical team implement it efficiently. They also collaborate with the mechanical team to help design the robot in an achievable manner.
Business: This subteam deals with the business and marketing side of the team. They organize outreach events to spread the team's name and keep the team's social media updated so parents, fans, and other teams can see what we're is upto. They are also in charge of the team budget and finances.
Pre-Season: September - December
The goal during the pre-season is to train new members to perform the tasks required of members when the competition starts. The things you learn will depend on your sub-team. For example, one of the things that mechanical team members learn about is the tools of the shop and how to use them safely.
During this stage, new members can switch between sub-teams to see if they like one or the other. Members can also decide to join multiple sub-teams if they wish.
Members of the team also use this time to learn about new systems and try out different designs.
TL;DR- The team prepares for the build season.
Build Season: January - February
During the build season, all the team members and mentors work really hard to create a robot. The build season starts by learning about the year's challenge; this includes learning about the rules and the scoring system. After that, the team strategizes and creates a plan for building the robot. The next few weeks are spent meticulously building, coding, and testing the robot. Once the robot has been made, it's time to move on to competition season!
Competitions: Starting Mid-February
The competitions are where we get to put our robot to the test against other teams. At competitions our team is paired up with other teams for each match and we compete against another set of teams. The top 10 teams are picked at each event based on the points scored by their points scored during matches. These top 10 teams pick the other teams they want to ally with and these 10 alliances compete with each other to win the event.
Teams first compete in District competitions and depending on their ranking they move to State competitions. If they place high in those as well, they go to Worlds!
Competitions are extremely exciting and the feeling of watching the robot that you've been working so hard to create win a match is unparalleled.
Our team hosts a district competition at Reading Memorial High School every year. This is called the North Shore District Event.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!
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