This page is designed to provide a brief overview of how the competition robotics team works. For more detailed information, please visit the specific pages. If you have any questions, please contact the Head Mentor, Dr. Hollers, at firstname.lastname@example.org
What Is A Robotics Team?
The Blessed Trinity Robotics team builds and competes in the FIRST FTC and FRC competition robotics seasons. To learn more about these programs, go to www.firstinspires.org. To learn more about the Georgia chapter of FIRST, go to www.gafirst.org.
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.
What Is The Competition Like?
Blessed Trinity Robotics Team students can compete in either or both the FTC and FRC competition seasons. Both competitions are open to all age groups. Additionally, prospective 8th grade students are welcome to join the FTC competition season (they are not allowed in FRC because FIRST only allows high school students to compete in that league).
The FTC (First Tech Challenge) season starts in early fall. Practices occur 2-3 times a week. FTC competes in leagues which is a group of usually 10-16 teams that compete together in a series of meets which culminates in a league championship event. Competitions typically occur on a Friday and Saturday. Teams may choose to participate in as few or many meets as they choose, but participating in more improves their league ranking and they must still have 10 match scores to be highly ranked. A meet is approximately 3-4 hours long, and includes: set-up, inspections, 5 or more matches per team, and tear down. These meets will occur throughout the Fall semester. If a team qualifies for the World Championships, they compete in Houston in April with the FRC team.
To learn more about the FRC part of the team, see FTC
The FRC (First Robotics Challenge) season starts in early January and runs through the end of April (The spring semester). FRC has a limited build window starting typically the first weekend in January and ending in February (45 days total). Therefore, practices occur every day from 3:30-5:30 except for Tuesdays and Thursdays which are from 3:30-7:30 to allow students who compete in sports to come after practice. Once the stop build deadline is reached, district competitions begin. The team attends 3 district competitions that occur in February and March. This culminates in the State Championship in early April. If the team ranks high enough in the state, then they will qualify for the World Championships in Houston, TX in late April.
To learn more about the FRC part of the team, see FRC
So How Does It All Start?
Each year, FIRST issues a new challenge on Kickoff day. The challenge is different for FTC and FRC. FTC will then have an unlimited time to build and revise their robot using the engineering design process. FRC will receive the challenge and have 45 days to build and test their robot with brief periods before competitions to make minor modifications. To see and example of the different challenges, watch the videos from this year's challenges below and to the right.
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, people to program the robot, 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