What does P.E.A.C.C.E. stand for?

Practicing Engineering And Competitive Cooperative Excellence!

What is a robotics team?

A robotics team is a dynamic group of all diverse kinds of people– from different locations, age-ranges, with different skills and talents, who have various hobbies, and even more. It’s essentially a small business, with several categories of tasks to do. Each robotics team is different in it’s own way, but they are all a family, to each other, and to FIRST. There are many things that need to get done in a robotics team, which are not simply putting together robots! Whatever your passion, you can get involved in ours, or any team.

What is FIRST?

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a program made to get kids of any age involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Each year they present teams with a new challenge and hold competitions for the teams to compete. The competitions involve completing a series of tasks to complete by the robot in both autonomous and teleops modes. There are different levels, starting with FLL (FIRST Lego League) for grades 4th to 8th,  FLL Jr. (FIRST Lego League Jr.) grades K to 4th, FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge), grades 7-12, and finally, our team is FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) for grades 9-12.

Am I eligible to join, and how?

We accept a large variety of students, including both homeschoolers and public schoolers, ages 14-18 (but in some cases we’ve allowed younger students). If you’re interested, click here.

What can I get out of joining this team?

Not only do you learn all about STEM and about running a business, but it looks great on a college application. FIRST also offers many scholarships!

When does the FIRST “build season” start?

The first Saturday in January, and it lasts for 6 weeks. Build season is followed by competition season which usually lasts from early March to late April depending on the chosen competitions and advancement.

Is this battlebots?

It’s something different. FIRST games have a series of challenges, but none involve purposeful destruction. It is a cooperative competition.

What does it take to build a robot?

Lots of teamwork and dedication. There are many different aspects of building, like engineering, prototyping, machining wiring, and programming. Not simply just screwing nuts and bolts together!

When are meetings?

During off-season (the time in-between competition season and build season, May-December) we meet Monday and Thursday, 6:30-9pm. During build and competition, meetings pick up and it’s a lot more commitment. To find out more, see our calendar of events.

What is the time commitment?

It depends on your position, during off-season as a student we meet twice a week, during build season we meet every night (day on weekends) of the week. Being a mentor  board member, committee chair, or team captain. The higher your position, the more often you need to be here. Read above for more information on regular (off-season) meeting schedule. Additionally, throughout off-season, we have several fundraising opportunities. Mainly in Summer, we spent a few weekends going to fairs where we display the robot, represent our team, and fundraise!

I’m not too interested in technical things, can I still get involved, and how?

Of course. Running a robotics team is similar to running a business. Putting together a robot is more than just mechanical design and assembly. Other skills are needed such as fundraising to get income and grant writing, and sponsor outreach. Students interested in media such as photography, social media, newsletter writing, and essay writing about the team to help win us awards like the Chairman’s Award, which is FIRST’s most prestigious award! We have even more than what’s stated here, so for practically any interest that you have, you will fit in here.

Does it cost anything to join?

No, it is free to join!

When/where are competitions?

Different places. We usually do one or two in-state and 2 overnight ones in different states. This year, and next, the Worlds Competition will be held in Detroit, Michigan.

What does the robot do?

All different kinds of things based, for example this year the robots had to pick up Power Cubes (milk crates) and place them on a scale and a switch, the robots also had to climb.

How big is the robot?

It depends on the year, 2018 was 33 in. by 28 in. by 55 in tall and just under 120 lbs. They are usually around the same size.

How big are teams?

Usually anywhere between 5-50. Currently ours is about 20.

What happens when I age out of the team?

Students age out after highschool, usually at 18, but up to 19 in some cases. Don’t worry though, you can come back as a mentor at that point!

Who are your sponsors?

Our two main sponsors are Arthur G. Russell and 4-H. To read more, go to our sponsors page.