1122 228th Avenue SE Sammamish, WA 98075
Introduction Skyline High School, located on the plateau in Sammamish Washington is large school noted for its high level of academic competition and stellar sports. Skyline High School is acknowledged for its FIRST® Robotics Team 2976, known as the Spartabots. The FIRST® Robotics Program is a character building, career inspiring, and exhilarating experience. Working together as a team with mentors, students gain practical knowledge in creating a business plan, manufacturing, programming, digital media, fundraising, web design, public speaking and many other imperative life skills as they compete with over 40,000 other high school students at 45 regional events globally. We are a relatively new team with an appetite for success greater than the physical size of the team. Each year, FIRST® presents to each team a challenge in the form of a game. Teams have to design, manufacture, and program a robot to do the specific tasks for the challenge and based on the rules that FIRST® sets. Teams have an intense six-week period called “the build season” where they have to design, build, and ship away their robot to the regional competition. A robotics team operates very much like a full-fledged business. The teams often write a business plan in order to guide the members. Well-organized teams have general divisions such as Build, Programming, CAD, Finance (fundraising & budgeting), Marketing, and possibly Animation. In a speech for a recent initiative to rocket the US up to a top country for science and mathematics, President Barack Obama said, “The key to meeting these challenges – to improving our health and well-being, to harnessing clean energy, to protecting our security, and succeeding i n the global economy – will be reaffirming and strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation. And that leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today, especially in those fields that hold the promise of producing future innovations and innovators. And that’s why education in math and science is so important.” The country and the world are at a point where we are faced with numerous problems, and we rely on the young minds of today creating the solutions that will lead to a better tomorrow. FIRST® fosters these kinds of students; students that are specializing in the STEM fields as well as other business and people skills. We hope to spread the inspiration and let others discover the excitement and wonders of being a part of science and technology, and the amazing FIRST® programs.
“This is the only sport I know of where everybody who plays can become a pro” – Walter P. Havenstein, Chairman, FIRST
Executive Summary Mission Statement
“The Skyline High School Robotics Team #2976 is dedicated to cultivating skills for life. We nurture and inspire young minds in the fields of STEM and welcome all students with varied interested and backgrounds. Students are given a unique opportunity to develop creative thinking, leadership, public relations, business strategy as well as web design skills, and are encouraged to work together through collaboration and teamwork.”
Our Story We are Spartabots, a robotics team based in Skyline High School in Sammamish, Washington. Skyline High School’s Robotics Team 2976 started out as a small group of highly dedicated students with one mentor in 2008. The team had no real experience, and very few sponsors, but a couple of motivated young minds with a decent range of technical skills. After the 2010 competition, many of the team’s members graduated from high school, and the team was left to a very small pool of inexperience members. Team 2976 essentially restarted as a rookie team for the 2011 FRC competition. Many of the members recruited that year were new, and had very little technical experience. The season was a complete mess. With a new mentor, new students, and the workspace being the mentor’s garage, the year was a period of confusion, chaos, and unorganized build meetings. Somehow, with limited funding, and long nights of hard work in a cold garage, Team 2976, the Spartabots were able to pull through and shipped an unfinished and untested robot to the regional competition. The 2012 competition team came with yet another new mentor, and a good amount of new students. This year also came with a wave of more parental support, corporate sponsorships, and a small build room inside Skyline High School. With a core group of about 8-9 students, and a few dedicated mentors, there were a few more glimmers of hope for success along the strenuous path to produce a full-functioning robot for the 2012 FRC Competition, Rebound Rumble. Today, after the 2012 competition, we have emerged as a much stronger team with a bigger bond with our community, mentors, parents, and corporate sponsors. We are creating more organized structuring for the team members, redesigning our room, and evolving into a well-established team. Team 2976 hopes to continue on the path to success, and grow our team into not just a team of winners, but team of people with skills that can benefit society in the future. Founded in 2008, our team is distinguished by our members’ fervent commitment to fulfilling FIRST’s mission of inspiring pursuit and awareness of science and technology within our school and community. In the coming years, our growing team is eager to expand our outreach by mentoring local teams, educating new and potential
members, providing opportunities for the public to interact and learn about science and technology, and involving ourselves in the animated fields of robotics.
Future Team 2976, the Spartabots has plans to grow tremendously in the future, and have developed this business plan for that purpose. We hope to expand our fundraising program to make it more effective, and bring in more money. The team hopes to look to gaining a higher quantity of funding from the wide-range of potential corporate sponsors here in the amazing city of Seattle and the surrounding areas. We also look to expanding our team and bringing in new skills. Currently we have a small team of about 10 contributing members. Our team lacks skills such as animation, and CAD (Computer Aided Design). We hope to expand our team size to closer to 20 members, and learn skills such as CAD which are imperative to a smooth build season, and a well-designed and built robot. Team 2976 hopes to use their higher levels of funding to attend more regional competitions, and improve our tools and equipment. Community outreach is where we hope to develop our program the most in. Tutoring FLL (First Lego League) teams, volunteering, and taking on community projects are examples of what we could do. We also hope to develop a green initiative. In technology, there is a lot of damage done to the environment, so it would highly beneficial to develop our robotics program into one that uses modern technology and techniques to becoming a greener team. Winning is one of the highest tasks on our list, but our main goal is to promote the excitement and scope of science and technology and follow the idea of gracious professionalism.
Green Initiative Plan We will have paper, plastic, and aluminum recycling bins in the workspace. We will also coordinate battery and inkjet cartridge recycling to promote greater environment responsibility in the community. We will make sure to turn of lights and equipment when not in use. The Spartabots also plan to initiate an manage more eco-friendly campus projects, such as the use of LED or fluorescent lights for lighting or solar-powered water heating for the school.
Project Light Feet Idea Credit to team 2415 for this idea. The goal of Project Light Feet is to motivate FIRST teams to demonstrate environmental responsibility by offsetting their build-season carbon emissions. To calculate the carbon footprint of an FRC tea m during the build season, the power required by each of the machines in the build rooms, and multiplied by how much each machine is used. That number can be converted into pounds of carbon using an online calculator. Then you have to find out online,
how many trees will have to be planted to offset the carbon footprint. Each team would have to plant about 3-4 trees to offset the carbon footprint. In order to promote this idea, the Spartabots will try to plant trees to offset the carbon footprint of all the teams in Washington State.
Public Relations External Relations is key to the success of any organization, as it raises interest among the people of a community to participate in or donate to the cause. At its core public relations revolves around the truth that people act based upon their conception of facts. By managing, controlling, or influencing people’s perception, public relations initiates a sequence of behaviors that will lead to the achievement of an organization’s objectives. The Spartabots utilized a multitude of methods and approaches to raise awareness of the team within the community. During the summer, the Spartabots hold a booth at the local Farmer’s Market to attract attention to what high school students are capable of by bringing in a few robots and allowing the children there to play around with them. We also participate in local elementary school science fairs, where we, like at the Farmer’s Market, allow students to learn about our team, FIRST, and robotics as a whole. Next year, we also plan to participate in Issaquah’s Salmon Day’s Festival Parade, where various organizations from around area walk through downtown Issaquah with floats to spread the word of their respective organizations. As the media plays an immensely large part in the spread of new ideas in the 21 st century, the Spartabots ask for occasional press releases that show the community our latest ventures. Below is the front page article of the “Issaquah Reporter” newspaper on March 30, 2012, summarizing our participation in the Seattle FIRST Robotics Regional competition:
Successful Business Letter Spartabots Robotics Team Skyline High School 1122 228th Avenue SE Sammamish, WA 98075 (Corporate Address) Dear Sir/Madam, The Spartabots Robotics team of Skyline High School, Sammamish, WA is a team of high school students from grades 9 through 12. The objective of the team is to â€œcultivate skills for life. We nurture and inspire interested young minds in the fields of STEM and welcome all students with varied interests and backgrounds. Students are given a unique opportunity to develop creative thinking, leadership, public relations, and business strategy. We foster pride in each of our sub-teamsâ€™ accomplishments while emphasizing collaboration and teamwork as a whole.â€? The team is part of an organization called FIRST Robotics that holds regional competitions in the spring of each year, with a specific theme to each competition. FIRST Mission: To inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, 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. In preparation for this event, the team students learn engineering, production, management and team building skills. As the Vice President of the team, it is my privilege to work with these young, intelligent minds to develop their robot. Our previous robots have been able to play soccer, play basketball, and another that has been able to climb a 15-foot tall vertical pole. Due to the limited financial support from the Issaquah School District, our students look to fundraising and donations to fill the financial gap to meet our budgetary needs. We are requesting your consideration of donations of funds to aid us in our robotic ventures through the coming years. Your support is greatly appreciated from the Spartabots team members, team parents, mentors, and coaches. Sincerely, Gokul Kumarresen Vice President, Spartabots (425) 281-6083 firstname.lastname@example.org
LEADERSHIP: The Spartabots have various levels and branches of leadership positions within the team. Overseeing the team as a whole is a responsibility of the Teacher Advisor, the Team President, Vice President, Secretary, two Treasurers, and three Directors of Fundraising. The roles and responsibilities of the executive board are listed below: President/ Vice President o Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission and overall direction. o Leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of the executive board. o Overseeing the complete operation of an organization in accordance with the direction established in the strategic plans. o Evaluating the success of the organization. o Maintaining awareness of both the external and internal competitive landscape, opportunities for expansion, new developments, etc… Secretary o Ensuring meetings are effectively organized and minutes. o Receiving agenda items from members. o Circulating agendas and reports. o Taking minutes. o Maintaining effective records and administration. o Keeping up-to-date contact details. o Keeping a record of organization’s activities. o Keeping a plan of future activities. o Responding to all committee correspondence. Treasurer/Directors of Fundraising o Meet with club officers and advisors to develop a club budget for the year. o Account fully for all money that is received and/or spent. o Promptly pay bills authorized for payment by the club budget or by club members o Deposit collected funds in a timely fashion. Within one week is recommended. o Maintain financial records including copies of invoices, bills, and cash receipts relating to the funds and property of the club. o Maintain an inventory of club property and equipment. o Writing proposals to receive grants and corporate sponsorships o Planning and overseeing fundraising opportunities TEAMS: Below the Executive Board, the Spartabots, in order to maximize group participation and responsibility, have provided a multitude of opportunities for members to experience the world of Robotics. We have sub-divided our remaining team into groups based on necessary tasks that have to be completed. Each team has a leader to make sure everything in that team’s sub-divisions are running smoothly. DESIGN: The Design team is responsible for creating schematics of the whole robot using CAD. By first virtually creating the robot, we can get much of the prototyping done virtually first, allowing us to construct our robot more efficiently.
CHASSIS/DRIVE: The Chassis/Drive team is responsible for the creation and function of the chassis and drive mechanism of the robot. It is divided into two sub-divisions. o MECHANICAL: This sub-division is responsible for the fabrication of the chassis and drive mechanisms of the robot after proper acknowledgment and agreement on a final design. They create and maintain the build schedule together with the Mechanical sub-division of the Robot Functions team. o PROGRAMMING/STRATEGY: This sub-division is responsible all the software that goes into the chassis and the driving mechanisms of the robot. It is also responsible for helping plan strategy, brainstorming, and prototyping.
ROBOT FUNCTIONS: The Robot Functions team is responsible for the creation and function of the areas of the robot above the chassis. Due to the complexity of this task, some members of the Chassis/Drive team, if significant progress has occurred in that sector, are urged to report to the Robot Functions team for further aid. This team is divided into two levels. o MECHANICAL: This sub-division is responsible for the fabrication of the areas of the robot above the chassis and other necessary functions of the robot after proper acknowledgment and agreement on a final design. They create and maintain the build schedule with the Mechanical sub-division of the Chassis/Drive team. o PROGRAMMING/STRATEGY: This sub-division is responsible all the software that goes into the main functions of the robot, other than drive. It is also responsible for helping plan strategy, brainstorming, and prototyping.
MANAGEMENT AND MEDIA: The Management and Media team is responsible for maintaining contact with the media (namely the Issaquah Press and Sammamish Review), ordering uniforms, buttons, and travel management. This team is also responsible for regularly updating the team website (www.spartabots.org)
PUBLIC RELATIONS: The Public Relations team is responsible for helping the Executive Board with communication with the community and the school district. It is also responsible for outreach to corporations and businesses for donations and assistance.
Team Spokesperson Although we hold individual pride for our team, the overarching value that FIRST teaches is Gracious Professionalism, which means that you should compete like crazy, but treat your competition with kindness and respect. One should leave the competition with a sense of pride and integrity. Thus, we are always willing to share our business plan with the world. We are hoping that this plan will lead us to success in the future, and if this works, it would be a greater accomplishment if we share this success with all the other teams. So, during the competition, our Executive Board and the PR team will be more than happy to be spokespersons of our business plan.