We are a diverse group of 12 girls and boys, in grades 9 to 12 from six different school districts in the New York Hudson Valley region. We are united by a common passion for FIRST, STEM and robotics.
Last year four senior members of our team graduated. This left a large vacancy in our team for leadership and technical knowledge. Our current team was faced with challenges that pushed us to go above and beyond in design, mechanics, programming, outreach and management. The frame design for this years robot was designed by our freshman member which was built and prototyped using Fusion 360, CNC machining and 3D Printing. Our junior and senior members implemented the designs and then fine tuned the design based on their experience. Our drive team consists of both freshman and senior members to help pass down knowledge. Again in the programming group, a junior member and a sophomore member work together to build the autonomous. A freshmen wrote our website using only HTML and CSS. Our documentation team rose to the challenge and have documented the engineering and outreach notebook using Latex and Overleaf. They encourage all of team members to document their ideas and progress. Looking back at this year's progress we find that the “Freshman Designed, Senior Tested” approach brings out creativity from all members of the team, is very inclusive, and helps share knowledge and practical experience to all members of the team.
An important part of being a member of Team Robocracy is making time for our robust outreach in the community. We seek to empower other kids to develop STEM skills that they can use for the rest of their lives, building their own resilience. We started the first FTC camp in Hudson Valley, we teach FLL camps, and run after school enrichment programs targeting underserved communities. We are also very active within our FTC community, aware that when another team excels, we all win. We open source our solutions, mentor other teams, and share ideas with other teams through online chats. After refurbishing old computers, we've donated eight computers to impoverished schools in Haiti and plan on donating eight more to the Dominican Republic, loaded with educational programming. We are developing their awareness of STEM and FIRST. We each strive to learn two new skills during the season and we have a strong culture of mentoring each other. This protects the team from losing skills when our members graduate.
We are very grateful for our membership in 4H, which has enabled us to reach many communities that would otherwise not be exposed to STEM and robotics. 4H also gives us access to important resources such as advertisement, Lego Mindstorm kits, and liability insurance for our workshops. This is our second year running an FLL team in Traphagen, which has the second lowest math scores in the country. We want to help improve their scores. As the only STEM-based 4H club in our area, we also take seriously our role of promoting and inspiring interest in STEM at fairs and in all of the outreach we do.