We are team 1209, the RoboHornets, from Booker T Washington High School. Our team is part of an organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which was founded by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. We have been a team for more than 15 years, and our team has grown to over 50 members.
With the new year, our team would like to encourage those who are interested to join the RoboHornets. If you would like to apply, fill out our Google Forms document.
During the fall, we meet every week after school on Wednesdays. The first few meetings of the year are centered around teaching rookies the basics of what we do in classes called Robot 101. In the classes, new members will learn the basics of safety, electronics, drafting/CAD, programming, mechanical systems, and marketing. Non-rookie members use their time to teach these 101 classes and to hone their own skills in particular areas. The second part of the fall includes working on side projects and preparing for build season.
Build season begins early January at the “season kick off” where we and other FRC teams are given that year’s competition. FRC teams have six weeks to build and program their robot. During build season, our team meets three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. One of our biggest sponsors, The University of Tulsa, allows the RoboHornets to meet on their campus and use their labs while building the robot. After the robot is complete, the team prepares for competition. Last year, the team went to two regional competitions: Rock City and OKC.
When not working robots, our team volunteers in the community. The Booker T. Washington RoboHornets strive to exemplify the values put in place by FIRST. We have participated in FRC competitions for 15 years and FTC competitions for 5 years. In addition to our FIRST related activities, we also impact our community by going to local schools to promote STEAM and generate interest in robotics. Additionally, we work with local charities such as the Little Light House and the Food for Kids Program. In the past year alone, our team has worked to create new FLL teams throughout our community, as well as hosting our own FLL Qualifier at Booker T Washington High School in the fall of 2017. We show our robot at the Mini Maker Faire every year and take our robots to Carver Middle School to get incoming freshman to join robotics.
We surveyed the members of BTW Robotics and asked what was memorable about being a part of FIRST and how it has helped them. Here are some of our favorite responses:
- “I think that the most memorable experiences of FIRST I have are the competitions I have attended. So far being a part of FIRST has helped show me how to take more initiative and taught me how to work with a team while developing my leadership skills. ” -Peyton Kroh, Vice President of Membership, Class of 2017
- “FIRST has helped me by teaching me the skills it takes to build a robot and giving me a business set of mind. I have learned that being able to market your idea to other people is important on the team and in real life.” – Jomari Gee, Class of 2019
- “You get to build cool robots and stuff. Traveling, I don’t get to do that much. And I get to meet new people at competition.” -Elyjah Armendariz, Class of 2019
- “FIRST has helped me in many ways such as helping me further understand the mechanics of certain systems, bettering my marketing skills through interactions with other teams, and giving me a place to be around people who are like-minded to myself.” – David Fournet, Class of 2018
- “It gives people the chance to do something they would never have the chance to do.” -Alex Cook, Class of 2017