The Blessed Trinity robotics team is a competition team that will design, build, and compete with a robot in FIRST regional and national competitions.
What Is FIRST?
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization created to motivate the youth of today to become science and technology leaders of tomorrow. To do so, FIRST engages the youth in an exciting program where they can build technology, science, and engineering skills as well as life skills such as leadership and self-confidence. This program is known as the FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition). FIRST is the governing body of robotics competitions in the nation. Similar to other governing bodies like the GHSA, they determine rules for competition, team status, and design a new challenge each year in which teams will strive to compete. You can find out more about FIRST by going to their website at www.usfirst.org.
What Is The Competition Like?
Competitions typically occur on a Friday and Saturday. Students and the robot will arrive and set up the pit on Friday and the competition will last most of the day on Saturday. Each team is assigned a pit and as the competition is going on, students make modifications to the robot, present their pit area, and talk to judges about what the team is doing to help achieve their goals as well as how the robot is designed. Additionally, there are often higher level employees from major corporations who will attend the competition. Students get to interact with these individuals as well, and sometimes these interactions can lead to gaining new sponsors and even internships. Once it is our turn, the team will be placed on an alliance of 3 teams and the competition will begin. The tournament works in a bracketed format with the best teams being aligned on two alliances in the finals. The winning alliance in the finals (3 teams) will qualify for nationals in St. Louis.
So How Does It All Start?
Each year, FIRST issues a new challenge on Kickoff day (in early January). For example, last year’s challenge was to pick up large exercise balls covered in a slick material, launch them over a 6 foot tall structure, and then either shoot the ball into a goal 10 feet off the ground for 10 points, or into a much lower goal for 1 point. Once the challenge has been issued, teams will get a “kit of parts”. The kit includes all the basic parts to build the base of the robot and get it moving. From this point, students will design and arrange the base parts as well as other parts to build their working robot. After 45 days, work has to be complete, and the robot is bagged up until the first competition.
Who Wants To Join A Robotics Team?
You may be thinking this is only for those who are extremely technologically inclined, or you may not want to pick up power tools or turn a wrench. While these are components of the team we need, there are a number of other jobs that are equally as important. We need photographers and videographers to film and take pictures of competition and practice, presenters to talk to judges at the competitions, drivers to actually drive the robot during the competition, people to write business plans and executive summaries for investors, people to update a web site for the team, and people to communicate with the various forms of media. These are not the only positions, so please let us know your interest level and we can find a role for you.
Who Can Join A Robotics Team?
First, you do not need any experience with robots, programming, or computers. We will train you in your area of interest. Second, all students are welcome to join the team. Even students that participate in sports during the robotics season are welcome to participate.
What Are The Blessed Trinity Robotics Team Goals?
· Promote FIRST Robotics
· Ensure Team Sustainability
· Maintain Public Communication
· Develop and Maintain Partnerships
· Pursue Ways to Impact our Community
· Enhance Student Knowledge and Problem Solving Skills
· Exhibit Professionalism in All Team Activities
· Establish a Positive, Team Oriented Environment