8th Grade Info Night FAQ

Hello to all of the new 8th grade students and parents we met tonight! We put together a list of the most common questions we got tonight from parents and students, read more (click on 8th Grade Info Night above) -->

Hello everyone!

Thanks so much for checking out our team!
Here are some of the FAQ's that we got tonight- we hope they're helpful!

Is the robotics team a class?
The Mountain View High School Robotics Team is run as a school club, not a class, which means we meet after school and on weekends. You can, however, get elective credit for the club by spending a certain number of hours at team events. Elective credit will go on your official high school transcript much like a class.

Are there any requirements or prerequisites to be on the team?
No and no. We have no restrictions on who can join the team, any grade level and any skill level is welcome. We also have no required payment or mandatory attendance to be on the team.

What's FIRST and FRC?
FIRST is an international organization that has different levels of robotics competitions. FRC is the highest. We have a six-week build season and regional competitions with about fifty teams each. Visit http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc for more information about FIRST and FRC. 

What does your robot do?
The robot you saw tonight was built to compete in the 2011 FRC competition, here's a link the the youtube video will show you the game animation for that year's challenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93Tygo0_O5c We get one of these animations at the begining of every build season, for example the robot we are currently in the middle of building is built to compete in this game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOXsdhZZSdM

What does your school year schedule look like?
We divide our year into offseason, build season, and competition season. Offseason runs Sept. to Dec., build season runs Jan. to mid-Feb., and competition season runs March- April. We have five competitions per year, two offseason and two competitive. Offseason events are not official FIRST events in that they don't qualify you to go to World Championships like a regional would, additionally they're smaller events. 

In other words, our year looks like this:
September through December: Recruiting new members, Wednesday lunch meetings, weekend training
October: Calgames- a two-day local offseason competition
November: MadTown Throwdown- a three day travel offseason competition held in Madera, CA
January to Mid-February: Build season- we're in the lab every day after school until 5:00, plus weekends
March: Sacramento Valley Regional- a three day (Thurs-Sat) travel regional competition held at UC Davis, and Silicon Valley Regional- a local three day (Thrus-Sat) competition held at San Jose State University
April: World Championships in St. Louis, MO- a four day travel tournament with over 300 teams (our team was 2009 World champions).

What should I be doing right now as an 8th grade student/parent?
Join our elist, check our website, facebook, youtube, twitter, anything! Just keep an eye out for what the team's up to. We're currently in the middle of build season, so we don't have projects going on that current 8th graders can work on, but as soon as we do you'll all be the first to know! Most likely that will happen over the summer after our current season is over. Our team has summer projects that are a great way for new members to start building up skills with projects like swerve drives or Tshirt cannons.

When can I come see the team?
Our first local regional is March 29-31 at the San Jose State Event Center, and we would love to have you come see us then! There will be fifty teams from all over California, and you'll get to see what an FRC competition is like- they're a lot like any sporting event.

See you all on the team!

-Teresa Zarmer and Charlotte Swasey, Team Presidents