FIRST Robotics Competiton
What is first?
The FIRST Robotics Competition is the ultimate Sport for the Mind; it is a combination of the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams of students are challenged to design, build, and program an industrial-sized robot in a six-week time period, raising funds and developing important teamwork skills in the process. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Each competition season culminates in an exciting FIRST Championship.
Who is part of FIRST?
Dean Kamen created FIRST in hopes to encourage students to participate in STEM thinking similarly to how an athlete dedicates his/her hours on practice. FIRST is currently an international competition spanning the hemispheres. Teams from all over the world meet at the WORLDS competitions in St. Louis and Houston. Despite being from different places, robotics and the competition bring them together!
When is FIRST?
FIRST build season kickoff is around January and there is a six week build season before the regionals begin. Competitions are held at regional, state, and world levels. There are also off seasons such as NTX starting up this year for North Texas which is being hosted by Plano Senior High School (Team 6171) and Plano Academy High School (Team 5431).
How does it work?
There are a total of six teams on the field during one match. Within the match there are two alliances that are formed randomly for the qualifications round: red alliance and blue alliance. Each alliance includes three teams. The Bot is placed on the field and the drivers stand behind the driver station. From there, each alliance team helps their teammates and goes for that year's specified objectives. The alliance that wins is rewarded ranking points, OPR, etc. After multiple matches are played there is ranking of the teams. The top eight teams are marked alliance captains and can now choose their alliances for the quarter finals. After the quarter finals is the semi finals and finally the finals.
2016 FIRST Stronghold was the first year our team participated in the FIRST Robotics Challenge. We worked hard during the 6 week build season and resulted in amazing outcomes. Our team was able to compete in the WORLDS competition in St. Louis and we had a blast. We finished the season with an Rookie All-star Award and smiles all around.
2017 FIRST Steamworks was an amazing season. We participated in multiple regionals and also went to the WORLDS competition in Houston! This time around our team was awarded the Innovation in Control Award for strong determination after a rocky start. See the hard work put into this year's competition here. We headed home with high hopes of participating again at the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition!
2018 FIRST Power Up was a season to remember! We participated in multiple regionals (Dallas and El Paso). Although we didn't make it to the world championships this year, we were part of the final 8 alliances at both regionals. The team definitely saw improvement in process and publicity over the three years! Hopefully we will continue our growth and make it a chain reaction to help other interested STEMists!