FIRST® (For Inspiration Recognition of Science and Technology) is a program created by Dean Kamen, and MIT professor, Woodie Flowers. They created FIRST as a way to inspire kids to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. FIRST consists of four subgroups: FLL Jr.®, FLL®, FTC®, FRC®. To learn more about FIRST check out firstinspires.org
FIRST Lego League Junior (FLL Junior): is a non-competitive robotics program designed for children ages six to nine. FLL Jr.® teams conduct much smaller projects and make models out of Lego elements to illustrate one part of the topic.
FIRST Lego League (FLL): is an international competition for elementary and middle school students. Each year a new challenge is announced that focuses on a different real-world topic related to the sciences.
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC): is a robotics competition targeted toward middle and high school-aged students. Each year students are given a new challenge, building a robot to fit within an 18-inch cube at the start of the match.
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC): is an international high school robotics competition. Our team competes in the FRC division of FIRST in which the game is announced at the beginning of January every year and students only have 6 weeks to design, build, wire, program, and test a robot.
We are Team 5030, the Second Mouse, a FIRST® Robotics Team from Utica, New York. The team welcomes any local high school student from the area and works out of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Established in 2014, the team was the only FRC® team within a 35-mile radius and has represented 10 different schools. We constantly challenge ourselves, trying new ideas and always learning, even if something fails the experiences and lessons learned can help improve our robot the next year.
Our Mission: To promote STEM education for K-12 students while remaining active in the community, prioritizing the growing field of engineering.
Our rookie season started was plagued with many troubles. Being a new team we had no resources, young mentors, and students all learning about FRC and how to build a robot during our limited build season. These setbacks wouldn't hinder 5030 from going 10-2 finishing as the 2nd ranked bot at the New York Tech Valley Regional. As the captains of the 2nd seeded alliance, we picked teams 340 and 1708. While getting knocked out in the Quarterfinals, 5030 would go on to collect the Highest Seeded Rookie Award and the Rookie All Star Award. The latter would qualify us to attend the 2014 World Championship in St. Louis. Attending the World Championship was a great experience for a young team, seeing how 400 teams all create a robot for the same challenge opened the student's eyes on how FRC works and inspired them to try even harder the next season.
2015 saw 5030 take a larger step in challenging ourselves with our robots designs. The students quickly got to work designing a robot to stack the game pieces quickly and efficiently with their hard work paying off. At the Tech Valley Regional, we finished as the 7th ranked bot. We would end up joining the 3rd seed alliance alongside teams 263 and 527. While narrowly missing out on advancing to the Semifinals, our team did win the Industrial Design Award. The following week we attended the Finger Lakes Regional, where our team finished as the 4th ranked robot. As the captains of the 3rd seed alliance, we picked teams 1511 and 870 to join our alliance as we advanced to the semifinals a combination of mistakes and technical difficulties would end our season.
2016 saw our team start growing and challenging themselves even more, with more unique designs and continually trying new building designs and techniques. Traveling down to NYC for our first competition, we finished as the 5th ranked robot at the New York City Regional. As captains of the 3rd seed, we picked teams 694 and 5016, wherein a tough nailbiting eliminations bracket, we finished the victors. Winning our first regional event, securing our entrance to the 2016 World Championship. Before the championship event, we attended the Finger Lakes regional, where technical and electrical issues sidelined our robot, even causing a few wires to burn out. Our team's Vice President Aidan would go on to win the Dean's List Award at Finger Lakes, representing model leaders in the FRC community. We used the World Championship as a great opportunity to learn from many renown teams, being able to see their design up close and asking them for tips and lesson proved invaluable experience for the students.
2017 saw 5030 pushing the bounds when it came to building our robots. We gained access to CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines, allowing us to create more intricate parts that can be precisely manufactured. We started designing more custom parts, allowing us to widen our design capabilities, building a custom drivetrain, and building a practice robot for the first time in our history. Building two robots allow us to keep working after the six-week deadline, give our drivers a chance to practice, and allow us to build and test new parts. Heading back to the Finger Lakes Regional, we finished as the 4th ranked robot and captain of the 4th seeded alliance. Picking teams 870 and 1511, we won the Quarters and lost in a close semifinals match. 5030 would have the honor of winning the Dean's List Award again with our Vice President Jason being the recipient. At the New York City Regional, after mistakes and a few close losses, we would be picked to the 7th seed alliance. Unable to come away our season would come to an end, but not before winning the Quality Award for our unique and reliable robot.
2018 was a big year for 5030, moving into our newly renovated workspace, which had access to the newly built machine shop and 3D Print Lab. These new additions allowed our students to prototype and build parts faster and in-house leading to a quicker robot build. Again building two robots, we would go on to attend three regionals events. 5030 had the pleasure of assisting in the creating of the Central New York Regional, hosted at SUNY Poly, only a few feet from our shop. At the inaugural CNY Regional, we would join the 1st seed alliance of 2791 and 340, en route to our 2nd regional win. Along with earning a spot to the World Championship for the 3rd time in our team's history, we also won the Gracious Professionalism Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award at CNY. Building on the successful first event, 5030 went to the Finger Lakes Regional, ready to push the robot further, designing new parts and testing new autonomous programs. While missing out on the Elimination tournament, our students used the time to make upgrades and continue improving our robot for our next competition only 10 days later. At the Buckeye Regional, we would be invited to join the 4th seed alliance of 3314 and 4145, where we would go on to get the victory in the best of three final matches. This would mark our 3rd regional win in three years, and help spread the name of 5030. At the World Championship in Detroit, we worked with many teams from across the globe, who helped us improve upon our robot, and teach the students the ins and outs of their robot to help us grow.
2019 5030 would compete again at the Central New York Regional and the Buckeye Regional. At the CNY Regional, we would be invited to the 4th seed alliance of 4930 and 125, where we would be knocked out after the hard-fought Semifinal matches. At the Buckeye Regional, we would struggle with various robot issues, causing us to miss out on the elimination round. While not ideal, the mistakes and issues along the way served as notes for what to improve upon in the 2020 season.
BECOME A SPONSOR
Our team is a non-profit, sponsorship based organization that is heavily reliant on the local business support that allows us to exchange abilities and resources with our community, local schools, and the businesses that sponsor us. Allowing our students to reach their full academic potential while simultaneously doing something they love is one of the many benefits of assisting our team. Whether that assistance is providing mentors, donating materials, or offering financial support to us, every contribution counts towards our ultimate goal of creating a healthy, hands-on educational environment for our students. For more information on sponsoring our team, you can email a team mentor at the link under "Contact Us", or click the "Become A Sponsor" button below.
FRC TEAM 5030
THE SECOND MOUSE