We are a FIRST Robotics team in Auburn Hills, Michigan with students from Notre Dame Preparatory School.
As a team, we also participate in OCCRA (Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association) league in the fall and VEX Robotics. We use these leagues to help all students at NDP learn about science, technology, engineering and math. Growing a “farm team” is important to us and we have been working with the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan to host badge workshops and introduce girls and leaders to the FIRST programs. These “farm teams” are scattered throughout the region and help promote early entrance into STEM programs. The Killer Bees helped develop the Boy Scouts Robotics merit badge and act as technical advisors for boys who wish to earn the merit badge.
Our FRC team averages about 40 students per year and 8 active mentors. The team has about a 50/50 ratio of males to females and we strongly encourage anyone who has interest in robotics to learn to work on the robot, even those who have never been in the “shop” before and want to know how things work. Additionally, students do not have to have a STEM interest or career goal to join the team. In fact, most of our students participate in robotics and another school activity such as marching and symphonic band, chorus groups of all types, athletics at the varsity and junior varsity levels, theatre performances and volunteer service opportunities.
In Oakland County, there are more teams per capita than anywhere else in the world. We have 41 teams in Oakland County and 82 teams within 25 miles of our school. To leverage our strength in numbers, we have started the Purple Alliance to really make a difference in our community. We found that to make a real difference, we needed lots of people. We have many FRC team friends and working together off of the field benefits everyone!
Our ethos is to work hard, play hard, have fun and always improve. This focus on continuous improvement has led us to many blue banners and trophies and drives us to be a competitive team with a fun spirit. We help newly formed teams recruit students, help with design decisions and discussions, share our sponsor presentation strategies and support our rookie teams through their competitions with scouting data advice and alliance selection strategies.
Our two main mentors, Jim and Tim have a combined 34 years of FRC experience! They have lots of stories – and some will be featured on our blogs.