Although the highlight of this Saturday, January 5th will be the announcement of the much anticipated 2013 FRC game, there is another event taking place. Two of Raider Robotix’s four FTC teams will be competing at the NJ FTC Liberty Science Center Qualifier event.
The FTC season coincided with the start of the school year and began on September 8, 2012 with the announcement of this year’s game, Ring It Up:
North Brunswick Township High School has four FTC teams: Teams 2825, 3568, 3719, and 6508. Many, but not all, of these students are introduced to the “JV Raider Robotix” program as freshman via encouragement from the high school’s freshman engineering courses taught by coach Roger Weiss. In total, the teams are comprised of approximately 70-80 students across grade levels. For example, Team 3568 has retained many of its original 2011 members, who are now sophomores, but also has members who are freshmen or juniors. Some of these students are also active on the FRC team. In general, the FTC teams at NBTHS are an excellent way to introduce students to FIRST teach them valuable skills before the FRC season begins.
With such a large number of participants, the FTC teams are primarily student led in every aspect from mechanics to programming to team image, outreach, and marketing. Several dedicated adult mentors and coaches provide guidance and assistance when needed (e.g. machining raw materials). With this approach, students are put front and center in a FIRST environment and are able to experiment and empirically learn what factors are needed to create a winning team in all aspects.
Several of the FTC teams have already achieved success this season and are qualified to attend the NJ FTC State Championship at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in February.
FTC Team 6508, the Radioactive Raiders, won their ticket by being the finalist alliance captain at the Robo-Joust Qualifier held in Livingston, NJ. Additionally, Team 6508 won the Motivate Award at the Bridgewater-Raritan meet earlier in November.
FTC Team 3568, the ICE Wolves, qualified by winning the Think Award at the 26 team Robo-CATastrophie Qualifier held in Maplewood, NJ. They also won the Innovate award at the smaller Cookie Carnage meet at West Windsor Plainsboro North High School.
FTC Team 3719, the Rampage Raiders, won the Motivate Award at the Moorsetown, NJ weekend meet held on December 9th.
Team 2825 will compete for the first time this weekend at the Liberty Science Center competition, along with Team 3719. Both teams are hoping to qualify for the state championship at this event.
Good luck teams!