Our year is split up into three major periods otherwise recognized as Pre-Season, Build Season, and Competition Season. During the first few months, also known as “Pre-Season”, students meet up with their mentors and team leaders to learn about FIRST and to gradually master the tasks needed for “Build Season.” These meetings generally take place once or twice a week, depending on the sub-team.
Below are the tentative 2015-2016 pre-season meeting days for each of the respective sub-teams:
Tuesdays: Communications, Design
Wednesdays: A/V, Programming
Thursdays: Strategy, Business, Design, Electrical, Mechanical
In January, our Kickoff event marks the start of build season and things get a whole lot busier. Students are required to attend Saturday meetings from 9 AM to 2 PM. Throughout build season, meetings will be held after school and the frequency of those meetings are determined by the team leaders.
After build season is over, “Competition Season” starts. Although the activity around the robotics room is not as hectic, sub-teams are still busy with updating code, building spare parts, rehearsing Chairman’s, and of course attending the competitions to see our robot in action! At competitions, students are required to wear the current team t-shirt and khaki pants to show solidarity with the rest of the team. We do a lot of work in robotics, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun! Robotics is a family, and it forms common bonds between each member of TEAM 1403.
FIRST Lego League
We introduce FIRST to the younger generations through our FIRST Lego League teams at the Montgomery Upper Middle School. We mentored the team for two years, helping the students build their interests in STEM and lead them into a high school career. Our team also volunteers at the Summer Enrichment Robotics Program, where fifth through eight graders participate in one-week sessions about robotics, science and technology.
Our school helps to tie together our diverse community members through various activities including the Fall Festival. For six years, we set up VEX robot obstacles at the Fall Festival to allow young kids spark up their interest in robotics as well as FIRST. This community event is one of the biggest activities of our year, as we are educating and informing our community about FIRST and our team.
We are also involved with the Cambridge School for children with mild language based conditions and give them short demonstrations. We give the students hands-on experiences with our VEX Robots and talk to them about the amazing opportunities FIRST provides. We hope to spread our love of STEM and robotics to them.