1. What do you do?
Teams from all over the world design, build, program and test a robot in six weeks to compete in the FIRST® Robotics Competition. During the competition teams work in alliances of (usually) three robots. Previously, the games have been sport-themed; for example, the 2013 game Ultimate Ascent® was similar to Ultimate Frisbee. In 2015, Recycle Rush® showed us how cleaning up can be fun if you have a robot.
2. How much do I need to know about robots?
No knowledge is assumed. The goal of FRC is to teach students about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), so you only need enthusiasm and a strong commitment to learning! Our team also needs students to create videos, organise events and to communicate with members & sponsors.
3. What are the age requirements?
The age range for FRC participants is high school students, and as such the team will take on students who will be entering year 8 and up.
4. Who are the other teams? When and where do you compete? How often?
There are a few thousand teams globally (most are in the USA), and each team attends a regional event. We will attend the Sydney regional competition each year with option to compete at Hawaii or other US regionals. In the past the team has also made it to the World Championships in St Louis.
Regional events and Championships occur through March and April and each event lasts for 2-3 days. The Australian off-season invitational event, Duel Down Under, takes place at the end of June in Sydney in each year.
5. How do I fit this in with school and everything else – how much time does it take?
Membership is for 12 months, with training provided prior to the six-week build season. Your involvement depends on your role in the team, but we’re very flexible, and we understand that all students have school and other commitments. The busiest time is building the robot starting on the first weekend in January and continuing until mid-February. During this period, meetings occur at least 2-3 times a week, especially for the first few weeks prior to the start of the school year. During the off-season (after the competitions), much of the work is media-related and as such can usually be done at home. Meetings will continue to occur monthly.
We know you can’t always get time off school for the competitions, so attendance is encouraged but not required.
6. I don’t want to build the robot. What else can I do?
The team organises our own events and presentations to sponsors and the public, create videos and interact on social media, design the team shirts each year and run the website. Even before the new year, we’re preparing for the next season…
How do I get started?
You can reach us at any time through firstname.lastname@example.org