This page contains information that should be useful to new or potential members.
The meeting times and locations are available at the "Calendar" link at the top of this page. Meetings are held in room 521 on most Wednesdays nights from 7:15pm - 9:15pm year round. During the school year, there may also be occasional meetings at lunch. During the main season (January through April) additional meetings are scheduled on weekends. Meeting times are also sent out on the team elist.
We are a FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) team, part of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organization. FIRST is a non-profit organization which organizes robot competitions for elementary through high school. The stated mission of FIRST is:
"Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."
We are team number 971, Spartan Robotics. Both the team number and name may be used to describe the team, so don't be surprised if people start refering to the team as team 971. We train new members throughout the summer and fall semesters, as well as attending a couple of off-season competitions during October and November (one or two are relatively local, the other is in Madera, which is a travel trip). The main season itself is January through April. A game is released in early January, then we work to build a robot for six weeks and end up going to several regional competitions (in past years we have gone to UC Davis and SJSU) during March. If we qualify at one of those events, we attend the World Championship in St. Louis in April.
As a new member, it can be hard to figure out something to do. Because new members don't have any training it can seem hard to participate. But, if you do your best to attend the weekly meetings and are constantly asking for something to do (if you sit there waiting for something to do, you may or may not get to do anything; if you proactively ask around, then you will certainly be able to find things to do) and attending any training meetings which are organized, you will be able to find things to do and have a great time on the team. Every year we have new members go from knowing nothing to being key contributors by the end of the season. All of them are persistent and show up to most of the meetings.
Despite being a robotics team, there are many tasks which we have that do not involve robots themselves. There are sponsor relations (writing), management/leadership, "scouting" (strategy at competitions), graphic design and several others.
If you want to find out more information about past year's games, you can check out the past games page on our website, and if you want to find out more about the team in past years, check out our history page.
The team has several forms of communication which we use in order to get information to members:
The team attends four to six competition events during the school year, two - three off-season events and two regionals plus the World Championship if we qualify.
Off-Season - "Chezy Champs": This event (called Chezy Champs) generally occurs in late September and is held at Bellarmine College Prep, a high school in San Jose that is relatively close. The event is Saturday and Sunday with practice matches on Friday evening. Chezy Champs has some of the best teams on the west coast and is a lot of fun to be part of.
Here are notes from an orientation meeting for new members and their parents. It answers many basic questions about our team and the commitment required to get the most out of being on the team. It also has an approximate schedule for the current 2016-2017 season.
If you are interested in joining the team, go to the 'Steps for joining the robotics team' page and follow the instructions. Because of growing interest in being part of the team, membership is limited to current MVHS students.