The goal of FIRST Robotics is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders through engagment with mentor-based programs that build technology skills, and this provided encouragement to The High Rollers, making it our priority to help communities embrace the culture of STEM. Winston Churchill famously said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." We have made and will continue to make great advances in our goal to transform the lives of our students, our community, and the world.
ROBO.CAMP brings the ideals of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to elementary and middle school students. Our team established ROBO.CAMP in 2007 with the goal to provide mentors, equipment, and training sessions to a younger generation of students at their school or at the Cimarron-Memorial High School campus. Through exciting, hands-on, and competitive fun the ‘Campers’ play competitive matches on either our resident or mobile VEX playing fields and they learn first-hand the importance and application of STEM. Campers build and test their robot designs using VEX EDR or VEX IQ hardware parts made of aluminum, plastics, gears, motors, and programming code against other robots on the field. Due to the popularity and growing attendance of the program, a program that started with only a handful of students, has grown to hundreds of students across four states in the Southwest and counting. For example, Team 2485 The W.A.R. Lords (We Are Robot Lords) graciously hosts the event annually in San Diego and we are invited to bring our students, alumni, fields, kits and parts and travel to their campus to deliver our top-notch training and competitive camp experience. ROBO.CAMP financially benefits these hosting teams by helping them raise funds needed to sustain their robotics programs and helps jump-start their team new recruit efforts.Learn More
Girls In Engineering
Females are historically underrepresented in STEM fields and in FIRST programs. Team 987 works to welcome all girls who display an interest in learning engineering skills by introducing the All-Girls Camp and Girls-Only Nights. We have thrived in altering the culture of male-dominant teams through these events and continue to strive and make girls feel comfortable in learning manufacturing in the presence of male peers. Female students are also learning heavy machining techniques and electrical skills. They work with male team members at the same level of expertise to promote a positive outlook on the future of FIRST's program.
CMHS is a Title I school, meaning over half of our students come from low-income households. This fuels our desire to bring the best STEM education to an under-served population. A great accomplishment in 2014 was introducing engineering and IT academies to CMHS. They are not only project-based to give students a hands-on learning experience, but also give them a glimpse into what FIRST is all about by participating in FRC.
Mobile Machine Shop
In support of FIRST's message of Gracious Professionalism, we created the Mobile Machine Shop, a fully loaded custom trailer with an array of dedicated power/hand tools, the same kind of tools we use to create our own robots. When the Mobile Machine Shop hits the road for local competitions in the Las Vegas and surrounding areas, student from any school are welcome to stop by and use the equipment or learn to use it safely by trained student team members certified in the operation of the equipment. Adult team mentors are also available in the mobile machine shop to supervise and advise students, if needed. Other FRC teams from around the country who traveling to robotic competitions in Las Vegas rest assured that they have machining support and expertise available during competition from our Mobile Machine Shop staff. Mentors and members from other FIRST teams have thanked us for being there with our gear, ready to help and "going out of our way to make them successful".
Helping The Community
FRC teams are not the only beneficiaries of team assistance. When the younger FIRST students struggle, the entire community struggles. In 2015, when the High Rollers discovered 85% of the student body at Whitney Elementary were classified as homeless, we committed weeks to gathering donations to provide for the students. We also brought a robot to demonstrate the future they could build for themselves by getting involved in STEM, and we now offer annual scholarships to our summer camps which introduces students to FIRST. Our local efforts continue by working at Safe Nest to help abused women and children, as well as having our high school participate in local food drives. We also host demonstrations for children at the Discovery Museum, encouraging the youth to start their paths through FIRST. We've continued our efforts to help the greater FIRST community through team members of 987 who traveled to New Hampshire to participate in alpha testing of the new 2015 control system. Our team hosted workshops for other FRC teams on how to implement the control system, and transported demo robots to regional tournaments to familiarize teams. In addition, we host FRC and FLL workshops for teams to learn from the expertise of our team's experienced members. In the process of hosting FLL Qualifiers and Championships since 2005, training other schools in our area to host their own, has also been a priority. Additionally, we co-host VEX Middle School State Championships & Qualifiers along with student-run FTC camps. These events provide more off-season experience to dedicated students and get more students excited about FIRST and its programs.
This summer, we traveled to the other side of the world to China. This summer marked the second year in a row that we were invited to visit China. There, we went specifically to Shenzhen where the CRC, China Robotics Challenge, was being held. A few days before the start of the competition, we got the chance to work with the various Chinese teams to help them improve their robots. Though we helped any team that asked for help, our focus was on Chinese Teams
9020 and 9028.
Once the competition began, we worked diligently to make sure everything ran smoothly while also cheering on the determined Chinese teams. Not only did our team win first place in the international bracket of the competition, but one out of two teams who we mentored, 9028, even won the Chinese bracket! Both teams ended up in the final rounds competing against one another. They were able to genuinely experience the true intensity of a FRC finals match.
The lifelong bonds and memories made in China have impacted not only members on our team, but students from different parts of the world.