First Robotics Competition

Grades 8 - 12

Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the Ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”

About the Program

The specific rules and guidelines change every year but the challenge remains the same: Under strict rules, limited time and resources, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship.

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About our team

Our team is open to any student in Grade 8-12 in Niagara, regardless of the school they attend. No special skills or experience are required! Registration starts in the summer. During the pre-season from September to December, team members work with mentors at weekly meetings to learn mechanical, programming and business skills. In January, the season starts with a kickoff where the game is revealed. For next six weeks, the team will meet several times a week to build and program their robot and prepare for competition.

About the competition

Our team enters two regional competitions every year in March or April. Competitions are usually located in Southern Ontario (past locations include Humber College, Waterloo University, and Newmarket). The competition takes place over two days, with Alliances of three teams competing against each other in qualifier matches. The top teams advance to to the finals, where Alliance Captains select the teams that will compete with them throughout the playoffs.

Teams that do well in their district events qualify for  the ONT District Provincial Championships, a three day event that usually takes place in April. From there, a few lucky teams will qualify for the FRC World Championship!

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SOME OF THE SKILLS YOU CAN LEARN

Programming

  • learn to program in Java
  • learn object-oriented programming
  • learn to use version-control systems such as git
  • learn wiring

Mechanical

  • vertical mill
  • lathe
  • CNC machine
  • power tools
  • hand tools
  • powder coating

Design

  • using 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to create designs and technical drawings

Marketing

  • developing marketing and fundraising strategies to promote the team
  • managing social media
  • website design
  • planning community outreach events
  • photography and videography

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