Hey! We are the robotics team of Triangle Lake Charter School, called the LakerBots. Our team number is 5085, which is to say that we were the 5085th team to join FIRST robotics. Our team is split in two, as we have a middle school team and a high school team that meet at different times, though collaborate occasionally for events that apply to both teams. The middle school team currently has eighteen members while our high school team has eleven. If you want to learn more about our middle school team, go to our Middle School Perspective page to see more details. The high school team is split into several categories, as we have our PR team, drive team, coding team, and safety captain. For the building of the robot, we all chip in and merge to assist with that. To learn more about one of the listed categories, go to the corresponding page.
This is our 7th year doing robotics and we grow in numbers each year. We have our shop teacher, Darrel Rothauge, and our 5 other mentors, Spence, Pam, Lori and Fred, supporting us and teaching us as we go along.
Now to explain what FIRST robotics is. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition and Science and Technology, and with FIRST kids are given the opportunity to learn more about science and technology and teamwork; all students, kindergarten through 12th grade, are able to participate in it. FIRST is an organization founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, who described FIRST as to saying:
“Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, innovation, and that foster well rounded, life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”
Our school participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) every year, which includes middle school and high school students. Each season, a task or “game” is designed and released to the teams in January. From there, it is a flurry of brainstorming, planning, programming, and building until Stop Build Day, which is a mere six weeks later. District competitions begin in March, followed by the Regional Championships in which teams can qualify for the World Competitions. This year’s World Competition is going to be held in Houston, Texas, where international winning teams meet to battle for supremacy.
Then also besides competitions and robot building, robotics gives us the chance to improve our communication and planning skills as we also focus on marketing and media. We work with businesses to find sponsors and we communicate with the public to keep them informed of what is happening. In addition, there is also the coding of the robot, which to do we need to learn a different language and be creative to come up with instructions. All in all, robotics has a bit of everything for everyone.