FRC Team 25 has underneath it multiple “Junior Varsity” teams, where students compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) before moving up to FRC at the end of their initial season. We adopted this model after discovering that incoming members of Raider Robotix were often overwhelmed by the unfamiliar and intense activity of a new FRC season. Additionally, due to the overwhelming interest in our FRC team, most new members never got the full hands on experience needed to completely grab their interest in STEM fields and robotics. As a result, in 2006, coach Roger Weiss worked to start a pilot FTC program at NBTHS. Since then, the program has blossomed and now consists of four different FTC teams, all four contenders and very close to becoming Championship teams themselves. You can follow their journey on the collective North Brunswick FTC Robotics Facebook page. [webmaster’s note: the Facebook page no longer exists. 20161006]
FTC is designed for those who want to compete head to head using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. At each competition, awards are given to the winners, as well as to teams for their efforts in community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments. Students compete at meets and qualifying tournaments with no entry fee for a chance to earn a spot at the NJ FTC State Championship. Students participating the FTC program learn essential skills that help them upon joining the FRC team. Through fundraising they learn entrepreneurial skills; through building their robots they learn engineering design skills, and through competition they learn about gracious professionalism. As a result of this program, we get only the most motivated, persistent students with initiative on FRC.
The 2012-2013 Season
The 2012-2013 competition season game is called Ring It Up! This year, the teams were active competitors in the NJ FTC league and in surrounding regions, and some came very close to attending the World Championship.
The Radioactive Raiders (Team 6508) earned the following distinctions this season:
- 2013 NJ FTC Livingston Qualifier Winning Alliance Captain
- 2013 NJ FTC Livingston Qualifier Inspire Award
- 2013 NJ FTC Showcase Team-Community Outreach Excellence
- 2013 NJ FTC Championship Finalist
- 2014 Eastern Super Regional Quarter-Finalist
The Ice Wolves (Team 3568) earned the following accomplishments:
- NJ FTC State Championship Winning Alliance First Pick, Winning Alliance and 7th Seed of the Parkway Division (read about it here)
- VT FTC Finalist Alliance Captain(#1Seed)
- Featured in an article in a local newspaper, The Sentinel, on 1/31/13.
- 2nd Place and Winning Alliance Captain at the Weekend Meet in Moorestown, NJ
- NJ FTC “Robo Catastrophe” Qualifier Think Award
- NJ FTC Cookie Carnage Meet undeafeated 1st Place, Innovate Award
Team 2825 won the Motivate Award and/or Connect Award at almost every meet they competed in. They placed top 20 in every competition they attended.
Team 3719, the Rampage Raiders, won the Motivate Award at the NJ FTC Moorestown Afternoon Meet. They also placed 12th of all NJ FTC teams and were invited to the State Championship through Qualifying and Ranking Points.