Thank you to Microsoft for supporting FIRST Robotics Competition! Throughout the FRC season, we will get to know Microsoft-sponsored teams. This week we talked to FIRST team 5031, Full Metal Mustangs from Downsview Secondary School in North York, Ontario.
1. How is your team preparing for the 2018 season?
Team 5031: Our team is still very young and has lots of potential for growth in the future. Last year our team was struggling the most with our programming. To assist the students in learning programming languages, the school began to offer a programming course in visual basic. In addition, last summer, our team held a four week workshop for grades 8 and 9 students to develop their programming skills and work on our previous years robots. They also became familiar with electronics, pneumatics, driving and design of the robot. We even competed at the Fall Fiesta to introduce the students to the rules and regulations of the competition.
2. Have you seen team progress from last year to this year?
Team 5031: We have definitely seen progress in the last year on our team. To begin, we are much more confident in our programming of the robot. We are expanding our skills in design and build of the robot and were able to use components like motor controllers, limiters on the motors, and gyros ensure we drive straight, and even pneumatics for controls.
3. What makes your team unique?
Team 5031: Our team has grown a lot in the past year from 12 students to 25 students. In addition, the number of female members has increased from 2 to 12 students. We have even started recruiting even more grade 9 students than in previous years. Our team has two professional engineers which assist us with the deign and build of our robot. The greatest strength of our team is our students. Whether before school, lunch time, after school or weekends, the students are always excited to come in and work as they have a great passion for robotics.
4. What events are your team attending this year?
Team 5031: This season we will be competing at the Durham College District Event as well as the York University District Event. We hope that we will be able to qualify for the Ontario District Championships and maybe even World Championships!
5. How has the Microsoft grant helped your team so far?
Team 5031: We were very honoured to receive a Microsoft Grant this year. The grant has been very beneficial to our team as it helped us pay for the competition fees and even purchase a new laptop for our programmers to use.
Best of luck in the season, FIRST team 5031!
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