The Litchbots, was founded in 2006 by a group of forward thinking parents, community mentors, faculty advisors, and students at Litchfield High School. In the late fall of 2011, Litchfield High School joined forces with Wamogo Regional High School in the true spirit of collaboration and team building in an effort to better serve our students in the communities of Litchfield, Warren, Morris, and Goshen. The team has participated annually since its inception in FRC sponsored national and regional robotics competitions as well as numerous other local competitions and demonstrations.
The Litchbots is a program for students in Grades 7 through 12 at both Wamogo Regional High School and Litchfield High School. It provides one of the only opportunities for teenagers in our small rural communities of Litchfield, Warren, Morris and Goshen to engage in practical applications of many of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines, identified as a priority for preparing our students for the 21st Century, nationwide.
Every student that meets school rules for both Wamogo Regional High School and Litchfield High School regarding participation in extra-curricular activities is accepted onto out team. We work together to design, build, program, and test one or more robots to accomplish prescribed tasks. In addition to developing skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork, these projects also provide one of the only opportunities to apply practical skills in design, mechanical and electrical engineering, metalworking, and software programming. The rules of Regional and National competitions drive the design focus for what the robots must be able to accomplish. Our biggest competition of the year is the FIRST Competition that held at the Hartford Convention Center in May, but we try to participate in regional competitions in the late Fall and late Spring, as well.
FIRST is an international, non-profit organization with over 20 years of experience. The program is described by its founders as: “A varsity sport for the mind”. FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) combines the excitement of a sporting event with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and tight time constraints, teams of 15 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a sizeable field of competitors. It’s as close to “real-world engineering and business” as a student can get. Volunteer mentors from the community and faculty advisors lend their time and talents to guide each team.
Through participation in FRC student members of The Litchbots can expect to glean science, technology, engineering, math, (STEM) and business related skills and outcomes. This will deliver direct benefit to our hometown communities as well as many other communities within surrounding geographic areas, in the form of a highly skilled and creative future workforce who will be ready to compete within the 21st century arena. Some of these 21st Century skills and outcomes students can expect to experience are:
• Integrating theory with hands-on, experiential learning
• Collaborative, project-based learning
• Teamwork that produces a final product per certain specifications.
• Strong social relevance
• Design, creativity and innovation
• Mathematics (algebra, geometry, trig, calculus)
• Science (physics, chemistry, experimentation)
• Computer Science (programming, 3D animation)
• Business (marketing, PR, fundraising)
• Finance (accounting)
• Fabrication (woodworking, metalworking)
• Small Electronics
• Language arts (writing, public speaking)
• Mentorship: Working side-by-side with skilled adult community members
• Increasing parental involvement in education – proven to directly correlate with academic success.