A Brief History 

Team 20 has a long and successful history in robotics. We’ve shown two generations of high school students what engineering is about. It all started in 1992 when Paul Kane, a technology teacher here at Shenendehowa High School, met with the Dean Kamen. Kane registered our school in Dean’s new project to promote science and technology amongst high school students. This project was called FIRST: For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. That year, Team 20 along with only 27 other teams, participated in the first FIRST competition in Manchester, NH. The game was “Maize Craze”, the robots were tethered on wires and the matches were held in a high school gym. It was a far cry from the professional events in arenas that we expect from FIRST today, but it was the start.

As FIRST grew from a one-regional affair into an international competition, Team 20 was there every step of the way. When FIRST held its first Championship in 1996 (suitably located in Disney World’s futuristic Epcot Center), Team 20 was among the many teams present. In 1997, Team 20 became the first team to add a shifting transmission to its robot, a design that was later used by hundreds of other teams. We’ve competed in Championships in four different locations; Orlando, Houston, Atlanta, and St. Louis.

See our formidable collection of past robots!

Team 20 hasn’t merely experienced the meteoric rise of FIRST as a bystander; it has helped spread the organization. The team mentored several rookie teams in its long history, including Team 250 – The Dynamos, Team 1493 – The Falcons, Team 3044 – 0xBE4, Team 1665 – Weapons of Mass Construction, Team 2791 – Shaker Robotics, and Team 2370 – The iBots. Currently, we are even teaching our own rookie team so they are prepared for competitions at the varsity level!