FUSD Team Competes in Robotics Tournament

By: Angie Wang

On April 2, 2011, FIRST Robotics Team 2489, the Insomniacs, competed at their annual Silicon Valley Regional (SVR) at San Jose State University. SVR is a three-day event that began on Thursday with practice rounds and ended on Saturday with quarter finals, semi finals, and finals.

The Insomniacs participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Regional, one of many held in the nation. FIRST stands for “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” and is designed to promote careers and expertise in engineering as well as entrepreneurship. FRC inspires the minds of future scientists and engineers by producing a hands-on experience that allows high school students to create a fully functional washing machine sized robot within a six-week build season.

FIRST founder Dean Kamen uses to word “competition” loosely. A main belief in the FIRST program is “gracious professionalism”. It stresses that communication between teams during the competition in order to keep one another afloat is the backbone behind a friendly, well-spirited robotics tournament.

FRC started off their season with Kickoff, an event that announces the season’s competition. For weeks prior to Kickoff, FIRST released a series of obscure clues to hint at the idea behind the competition. This season, the chosen game was called Logo Motion, in which robots assembled by the teams would attempt to arrange inflated tubes in the shape of the FIRST logo: an interconnected triangle, circle, and square.

FIRST Robotics Team 2489 was organized in time for FRC’s 2008 build season. During SVR in their first year, the team won the Rookie Inspiration Award. Team 2489 was recognized for being an exemplary FIRST team and making all efforts in reaching out to the community and recruiting future engineers. Originally, the team only included members from MSJ, but they decided to expand their team and reach out to students outside of just one school. Today, Team 2489 is open to any interested students within FUSD. Currently, the team incorporates members from Washington, Irvington, and American High Schools, as well as from MSJ.

FIRST Robotics Team 2489 is a unique team because they equally stress engineering as well as business. While most FRC teams have only a few members dedicated to community outreach and recruitment, half of Team 2489 focuses on what makes up the Business division. The team likes to put equal emphasis on both the Business division as well as the Build division to show that everyone can find their part in robotics, whether it be writing essays for grants or putting together an actual robot.

Every year, FIRST Robotics Team 2489 participates in SVR as well as in one other regional. This season, the team decided to attend the Sacramento Regional in Davis, California on March 19, 2011. FRC Team 2489 is still a relatively new team and hopes to continue to expand and further involve more students with engineering and professional business interactions. If robotics sounds interesting, feel free to check out FRC Team 2489’s website at www.team2489.org, or contact the team at info@team2489.org

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