The mission of FIRST Robotics is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Episcopal allows students to participate and begin developing these skills in 6th grade with First Lego League (FLL). This program allows us to introduce younger children to science and technology in a sporty atmosphere. The objective is to make young children enthusiastic about science and technology, to equip them with the idea of team spirit, and to encourage them to solve complex tasks in a creative way. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team includes Upper School students (grades 9th through 12th). Robotics at Episcopal is making an impact. Alumni of this program have been accepted into prestigious college programs in engineering at, but not limited to, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Colorado School of Mines, Michigan and Louisiana Tech.
FRC students learn and practice skills directly applicable to engineering such as applied physics; computer-aided design (CAD), computer numerical control (CNC) machinery; operation and maintenance of pneumatics, electronics, motor and electrical systems. Applied computer science, using but not limited to Java, Arduino and LabView programming languages; elementary networking; mechanical design and assembly; quality assurance; and safety are experienced by the students. In addition to the robot build and community service, the robotics team members also have opportunities to express and develop a wide variety of skills: website design, audio-visual presentations, essays, product design, graphic arts and design, animation, finance, team leadership, project management, logistics, strategic game play, advertising, marketing, public relations, and fundraising.
Episcopal’s FRC Team, KnightVision although a small team with limited funds has shown perseverance and determination. Last year, KnightVision won its first Regional event, Rock City, allowing them for the first time in six years to compete in the FRC World Championship. Also KnightVision won the Louisiana State Champs in May 2017 and the Red Stick Rumble in August 2017. It was positive affirmation that our teachers and professional mentors are vested in the students and that they excelled because of collaboration, creativity and self-confidence. The bar is now high for this year’s team and we are hopeful to have your participation to reach and exceed a high level of success again.
The cost to offer FIRST Robotics Programs for Episcopal students is $44,800 each year. The competitions are expensive and most are out of town. There are significant entry fees, travel and per diem costs for the students, teachers, and mentors. The budget also includes the robots, registration fees, construction costs, prototyping, travel, tools, supplies, and promotional materials. We want to make sure that every student who wishes to can participate. Sponsorship can take the form of monetary donations or a donation or discount on supplies.