What is Team 25?
Raider Robotix is not just a team, but something much more. We are a close-knit family. Though the hours are sometimes extensive and the work tougher than most have ever seen, students get much more out of it than anyone else can imagine. All the time and work put into each season results in strong bonds between students. Being a part of this program prepares them to be a part of the real world. It enhances their character, boosts their self-image and motivates them to take part in the fields of science and technology. The FIRST experience completely changes their lives forever.
Raider Robotix, also known as Team 25, could possibly be the only club in North Brunswick Township High School (NJ) that is unrivaled by any other. We formed in 1998 when NBTHS participated in the Systemic Science Initiative. Annually, our team takes part in the FIRST Robotics Competition, an international contest where high school students are paired up with engineers to build competitive robots. In 2000, we were named National Champions from a total of 400 teams, earning ourselves a name in FIRST as well as international recognition.Then we did it again it 2012.
How do we recruit members?
Raider Robotix has underneath it 3 FTC teams (the most any high school has in the State of New Jersey). It is a requirement that all first year students be placed in one of the FTC teams to learn more about FIRST. Once they complete their first year they move up to FRC Team 25. Thus allows them to participate more actively and to find their future roles on FRC Team 25. Two of the FTC teams are included within the curriculum of a Freshman Engineering course offered by the school. Also, with our large scrimmage Brunswick Eruption, we can attract younger students from around the community.
How does Team 25 organize itself?
We organize ourselves into different groups to maximize what our team is capable of, ensuring that the members of each group are not strictly isolated to the work of their group but get involved in other groups as well. The groups are as follows:
The Chairman’s Award is the greatest honor in the FIRST competition. The award is given to the team that best exemplifies the ideals of FIRST. To exemplify FIRST a team must show community involvement, demonstrate their partnership, inspire other teams, be a role model and be of service to the community of FIRST. To earn this award the team must demonstrate all aspects of their team by the creation of a Chairman’s submission in the form of a written submission and/or video. There are very specific criteria for this submission as well as a specific due date.
This sub team is made up of students that are interested in documenting our team’s efforts in the form of a submission. This submission can take on many forms. Coordination with the other sub groups is essential for the success of the project. The resulting document is a chronicle of our team’s efforts. This committee demands students with skills in writing, design, advertising and presenting. You will most likely end up creating 10,000 word essay, a portfolio, a power point presentation and various public relations material.
This team does the actual creation and assembly of our robot during the build phase. The jobs vary depending on the direction of our engineering mentors, the BMS shop crew and the abilities of the students. Normally this group dissolves into the Drive and Pit Teams once competition starts. Be aware that to be a part of this crew and to be trusted enough to work in the BMS workshop, you must demonstrate utmost respect for others, common sense, safe working skills, a lot of interest, hard work and good communication.
Communications/Public Affairs Team
The Communications Team works to hone interviewing skills and presentations. They often speak directly to groups, judges and the media. At competitions they are stationed outside the pit area to greet other team members and present our image to the public. The team will also keep up to date on FIRST rules revisions and inform the team throughout the competition season. This team will submit press releases and articles to the local news on a monthly basis. They will take and archive photos of the events of the season.
The Drive Team consists of an arm operator, a chassis driver and a human player. A competitive selection process using several robots from previous years selects the drive team. Students interested in becoming drivers practice as much as possible to develop their skills. There is a main team and a back-up crew usually made up of rookie drivers.
The drive team is required to stay with the robot a majority of the time at the competitions. They will also arrive early and stay late to practice at the competitions. This group must communicate well with all other groups, especially with the Scouting Team and the Pit Crew.
The Pit Crew is a small group of students involved in the construction and maintenance of the robots, practice playing field, tools, and other accessories. During the off-season, students are expected to maintain current robots and tools. Once the competition season starts, the crew is responsible for the creation of a playing field to season-specific plans for designing the robot and robot driving practice. At competitions, their one major responsibility is the maintenance of the robot and tools. This job requires one to be punctual and to be present when needed. It also requires one to be very well organized with the storage and upkeep tools and batteries. Like all groups, the pit crew must be willing to listen and learn from adults and work with your peers.
This team develops the code for the autonomous and teleoperated functions of the robot. The team teaches (and learns) the C++ programming language during the off-season to newcomers and works on the actual programming of the robot during the build season. This team is also involved in the electrical wiring of the robot, including sensor integration. Close cooperation with the Build Crew is essential during build season, and both groups gain excellent experience managing the interdependencies between hardware and software.
The Scouting Team is formed prior to the competition. Students on this team will develop materials and methods to assess other teams’ robots and strategies, giving our team as much advantage as possible. The collection and analysis of team data will assist our team in all phases of the competition. The team is also responsible for the creation of the competitive assessment book working closely with the photo team.
As you may have guessed, the Web crew develops and maintains our Web presence. Members of this team need to have Internet access at home, a willingness to learn web technologies such as Flash to ensure that we run a competitive site.