Welcome to F1S FIRST Robotics - **Update for the 2020-21 Season - We will not be able to accept new students this year due to COVID and FIRST uncertainties.**
We are the Technomancers team 1758. We are comprised of high school students (grades 9-12) from SFHS, WFHS, and WHS. The Florence Career Center is our central meeting location. We are one of two teams in F1S to be comprised of ALL 3 high schools (FAST swim team being the other). Our team works together in every facet. Individual home school rivalries are left at the door. Florence One Schools support this endeavor along with Otis Elevator and GE Healthcare companies in Florence. Each year other area companies and individuals help us financially along with the students participating in fundraisers.
We are a part of FIRST Inspires, this is a not for profit international organization promoting STEM to all ages. There are the Lego (FLL) Leagues, followed by the older kids in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Leagues, and finishing up with FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). We are the FRC team 1758.
How do I get my child involved? We begin meeting in the fall each year. The meetings begin once a week to learn simple machines and how they work, simple coding for programming, to learn safety in our building, to learn the rules of FIRST, begin fundraising and finding sponsors, and to clean and prepare for Build Season. Look for us on F1S social media, this webpage, or email Laura Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I need to do? Show up. It’s that simple. There is not an application or interview process. We need welders, programmers, wood workers, wiring students, and students that are willing to reach out in the community to speak about us. If you don’t know how to do these things, we will teach you! To travel with the team there is a requirement of 90 build hours.
What is the time commitment for this group? From September through December, we meet once a week on Wednesdays from 6-8pm. In January the true commitment happens. Kickoff is the first Saturday in January. We begin at GE Healthcare to watch the International FIRST kickoff video and instruction for the game. We then have 6 weeks to build a working robot from scratch. At this point, meetings are 3 days a week. We meet Mondays 5:30-9pm, Wednesdays 5:30- 9pm, and Saturdays 12-6pm. After the first competition, we drop our meetings back to once or twice a week, depending on what groups need to meet before the next competition. Our season ends the beginning of April with cleaning up our shop area, securing the tools and robots.
What is Build Season? This is the busiest time for everyone on the team. It runs through January and February. This is the bulk of team commitment. We are told how much the robot can weigh, its dimensions, and its jobs. The 2018 robot had to weigh less than 130lbs and be less than 2 ½ feet squared. It also had to pick up boxes and place on low scales, high scales, and lift itself at least 13 inches off the ground. The 2019 robot must weigh less than 125lbs and be 2x3ft at its base. The robot must pick up cargo balls from the floor and place in rocket ships along with picking up circular panels to keep the cargo in place. Our 2020 robot has to shoot cargo into 2 different cargo holds, drive under a trench and spin a colored control panel.
We are in the community too. We have a tent set up each year at the SC Pecan Festival in the fall and the International Festival in the spring. Our outreach group sets up demonstrations with younger FLL teams, Girl’s University and with other area youth inspired groups.
Who helps build the robot? FIRST Inspires focuses on students doing the work. Our existing team members teach the newer members. We do have wonderful mentors from our community that assist and teach the students. GE Healthcare, Otis Elevator, ACS Technologies, Honda of SC, and Arauco are a few of the men and women that volunteer their time for our team. Everyone that mentors are just that…volunteers.
How do I earn build hours? Build hours are earned by coming to the meetings, volunteering time at the SC Pecan Festival, leading and volunteering time to showcase what we do for F1S.
How many competitions are there? There are lots of competitions worldwide held between the end of February and into April. Technomancers 1758 attend 2 competitions a year. Our first is the Palmetto Regional held the last weekend of February every year in Myrtle Beach, SC. There are 65 teams from around the country and sometimes International teams that come to compete. Placing high enough can secure a seat at the World Competition held each year in Texas. The second competition varies each year based on the Lead Mentor’s schedules. The team has traveled to Miami, FL, New Orleans, LA, Huntsville, AL, Cleveland, OH, and Knoxville, TN to name a few. The size of competitions range from 55-65 teams trying to win a spot to World Competition (April 17, 2020).