Titan Robotics kicked off their 10th season as the 2024 FIRST Robotics Challenge got underway Jan. 6 at Beverley Hills United Methodist Church.
FIRST Robotics announced the game Crescendo for the challenge, which is a worldwide competition for student teams to build and test robots. FIRST announces the high school challenge in early January and teams compete in early March with their robots.
“Our high school robotics team received the challenge today and we now have eight weeks to complete that challenge,” said team member Megan Trueblood.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. The organization sponsors annual challenges for student teams to test the robots they build in a competition of as many as 3,500 teams from around the world.
Once the challenge was announced, the Titan Robotics team began to brainstorm and strategize for this year’s competition.
“Our robots are built completely from scratch,” said team president Charlie Sokolove. “Then we have to design, manufacture, program and test the robot all from scratch on our own. We need to have a competition-ready robot by March 1 and hope to qualify for the World Championships in Texas.”
Titan Robotics will compete for a chance to win local, regional and global titles. Students have eight weeks to design, manufacture, assemble, and program a robot for the game.
During this time, some team members prepare a presentation detailing the ways the team contributes to spreading STEM in the community to enter the competition for the Impact Award. This award, the most prestigious FIRST award, is given to teams whose work serves as a model for others. The Titan Robotics team has won this award at the local and regional level for the past two seasons. If Titan Robotics is successful again this year, they will head to the FIRST Championships in Houston in April to compete with other teams from around the world.
“Part of our community outreach is sponsoring programs that are free for all students to participate,” said team member Taylor Hoganson. “We have student mentors and create teams at elementary schools and do STEM nights at schools.”
Christina Lytle, whose daughter participated in Titan Robotics prior to her graduation in 2019, is now a volunteer with the program.
“Titan Robotics gives students a window into what their professional lives could be like,” Lytle said. “It gives students a reason to want to take challenging math and science courses and gives them real world skills that employers value. Local company Building Momentum is one of our sponsors and have employed our kids. And we have alumni working for top companies like Space X, Lockheed-Martin, and Tesla. And Google is a mentor for the team.”
A goal of Titan Robotics, a student-led organization founded in 2014, is to spread awareness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the local community by competing every year in the FIRST Robotics Competition and participating in numerous outreach events.
Added Hoganson, “We work hard to get community sponsors so that these programs are free for all, including the students we work with at the Campagna Center. We want people to know what we are doing.”
Learn more on the Titan Robotics website: https://frc5587.org.