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2013 Submission

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Executive Summary

Briefly describe the impact of the FIRST program on team participants with special emphasis on the 2012/2013 year and the preceding two years
(500 characters allowed, including spaces and punctuation)
From 2011-2012, 100% of graduates went on to post-secondary education, 90% in STEM programs
2013, 100% entering post-secondary education, 100% in STEM programs
Taught members about how to safely use tools and machines, such as the mill and lathe
Technical skills are passed from older students to new members during build season and through an off-season project
Encourages social skills, self-confidence and public speaking by providing opportunities through community outreach events

Examples of role model characteristics for other teams to emulate
(500 characters allowed, including spaces and punctuation)
The implementation of a FIRST course, which incorporates FIRST into our curriculum
Team 3161 emphasizes gracious professionalism and coopertition to all its members and mentors, as well as other FIRST teams
Professional, respectful and helpful attitude towards others, for example, working with teams 1334, 1241, and 3683, as well as mentoring rookie team 4519
Good intra-team communication, emphasizing respect and equality
We value competitiveness, and our perseverance leads to success

Describe the impact of the FIRST program on your team and community with special emphasis on the 2012/2013 year and the preceding two years
(500 characters allowed, including spaces and punctuation)
We have a FIRST family of 16 teams in the city of Oakville
Team members come from all areas, including two other local high schools
Attracted students to our high school through elementary school presentations
Celebrate engineering, science, and technology through events such as National Engineering Month (NEM), and the FIRST social
Educating the future team members through the FLL program, several have joined our team, even as early as grade eight

Team's innovative methods to spread the FIRST message
(500 characters allowed, including spaces and punctuation)
Teaching the FIRST values in addition to technical skills through our one of a kind FIRST Course, a four part interdisciplinary course
We run an annual field trip, allowing students from our school to experience the excitement of an FRC Regional
Our annual FIRST social, which invites all FIRST teams to celebrate their successes of the season
Working with our in-kind sponsor, Creative Visual Solutions, to create a working prototype for a moving window display in Manhattan

Describe the strength of your partnership with special emphasis on the 2012/2013 year and the preceding two years
(500 characters allowed, including spaces and punctuation)
Working with other FRC teams such as 4519, 1334, 1241, and 3683
Introduced our title sponsor Anubis to FIRST, their 3D printing has become an option on FIRST’s virtual kit of parts
Working with our Professional Engineers of Ontario Chapter, hosting NEM and participating in events such as their license presentation ceremony
We work closely with our school council to outfit our workspace with vices, a mini mill, mini lathe and an arbour press

Team's communication methods and results
(500 characters allowed, including spaces and punctuation)
We use Google Groups, Trello, Dropbox and a subversion network
Agendas for every team meeting
Parent information meetings before and during build season
Outside the team, we promote our events through our school’s phone system, flyers, our school’s billboard, word of mouth, our website and social media such as Twitter and Facebook
This has resulted in about $2500 raised from our FORD Drive each year, 200 people attending NEM, and coordinated team member turnouts at each event

Other matters of interest to the FIRST judges, if any
(500 characters allowed, including spaces and punctuation)
We have ten returning alumni as mentors, making up 50% of our mentors
We currently have seven students from two other schools in our area, increasing from only one student last year
We have a very close partnership with our rookie team, Team 4519, sharing workspace and mentoring them in all aspects
We have started a total of 16 FIRST teams, ten Jr.FLL, five FLL and one FRC team
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Chairmans Essay

Team 3161-Tronic Titans from Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School in Oakville, Ontario, work continuously to improve ourselves. It is our mission to spread the message of FIRST within our community through participation, innovation and strong partnerships.

This is Team 3161’s fourth year involved with FIRST. During this time we have continued to strive for excellence. In 2012, we seeded third at the Waterloo Regional and first at the Greater Toronto West Regional where we were finalists. Our team has both a Dean’s List Finalist and a Woodie Flowers Finalist. In addition we received two Team Spirit awards and a Judges Award for Continuous Improvement. As of January 2013, we have created a family of 16 FIRST teams consisting of ten Jr. FLL teams, five FLL teams, and our first FRC team. Our team prides itself on the relationship it has with its sponsors that allow for our continuous growth.

We have established and maintained an instrumental relationship with the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) Oakville Chapter. The Tronic Titans attended many of their events such as their social networking event and license presentation ceremony. In return, the Oakville Chapter has sponsored our team and FLL tournament. Our mentors and students work with them often to help organize events and presentations and have also been invited to present at their symposium this coming April. Since our rookie year in 2010, we have been fortunate to be supported by our gold-level sponsor, Creative Visual Solutions. They have printed many of our team banners as well as applied the decal on our trailer. This year, they offered us the opportunity to create a prototype for a moving window display that would be featured in Manhattan.

We bring sponsors to our team, as well as the broader FIRST community. We came into contact with one of our sponsors, Anubis Manufacturing Consultants, through a demonstration at our school. This sparked their interest in FIRST, and they became our corporate title sponsor for the 2012 season. This year, they are contributing to FIRST internationally by providing a 3D printing voucher in the FIRST virtual kit of parts. In return, we have helped them launch their 3D printing business by promoting the brand and selling their new products. Together, Team 3161 and our supporters have created sustainable and beneficial two-way partnerships.

Over the past three years, we have started five FLL teams, and continue to mentor four of these teams. All of our teams received awards and three qualified for provincials. It has also led our FLL students to graduate into our FRC program as early as the eighth grade. Through this mentorship, Team 3161 members receive the opportunity to nurture their leadership skills while bringing up a new generation of our FIRST family. We have also sponsored ten Jr.FLL teams at an underprivileged school in our hometown. This coming season, FIRST will be incorporated into the classrooms of six and seven year olds. By implementing the Jr.FLL program, we have given these children the opportunity to explore science and technology in a new and exciting way.

The school system is an integral part of Team 3161’s community outreach. Throughout the year, we hold demonstrations at events such as Curriculum Night and Grade Nine Orientation. We also hold Tronic Tuesdays, where we run demonstrations in our school’s atrium during our lunch on the first Tuesday of every month. This gives many students the opportunity to learn about what we do. We also offer a taste of FIRST to our school and its students by inviting them to our regionals through a “buyout”. This is a field trip where they can attend competition and see what FIRST is about. This exciting event often inspires them to join our team. Each June, the Tronic Titans visit schools in our community to promote FIRST. This season, we branched out from our own school board into private and public schools, allowing us to reach an even broader audience. Our presentations have led to the birth of many FLL teams, as well as a new FRC team in our area. These visits inspire students to come to our school to join the team, bringing a multitude of people into the FIRST program.

Since 2010, we have participated in Oakville’s Midnight Madness, a downtown festival which attracts 50,000 local citizens each year. This enables our team to communicate with a many people and educate them about FIRST. We have had many successes at this event, both in attracting new members, as well as connecting with teachers from other schools.

In March of 2012, we hosted the PEO Oakville Chapter’s annual National Engineering Month. This was promoted through voice calls, flyers, Facebook, and word of mouth, resulting in an attendance of over 200 people. This day educated people about the fields of engineering, as well as various programs that are available for all ages. It was filled with many exciting workshops and interesting speakers, making it a huge success which we’ve been asked to host again. Our community involvement has led to many great opportunities, most notably the chance to introduce a new FRC team to FIRST; Team 4519 King’s Mechavaliers.

As a team, we continuously provide our members with insight into engineering practices and FIRST’s core values. We work year round, completing offseason projects which give younger members an opportunity to gain practical experience without the pressure of build season. New students gain the knowledge they need from veteran members and mentors, while older members continue to hone their skills. The Tronic Titans define a goal, determine the best way to reach it, and execute a plan to arrive at a final, quality product. Our team also works on several community outreach events, allowing new members to learn what it is like to give back to the community and spread FIRST’s message. Our constant activity forms a strong base both technically and socially for members old and new, creating a team willing to take on any challenge.

The lasting effects of our program have resulted in 100% of our alumni pursuing postsecondary education, with 88% graduating into STEM programs. Entering the 2013 season we have a total of 10 mentors and 37 team members, with 100% of our graduates planning to move on to postsecondary education and 100% entering into STEM programs. We are proud to have provided a solid base for our students to build upon in their futures.

Over the years we have created and maintained friendships with many FIRST teams. The Tronic Titans have been working with our sister team, 1334, since 2010. We often attend community events together and share tools, parts, and resources. We have also been working with 1241 for the past two years, helping train judges and referees for their FLL tournament, as well as sharing field kits. During the 2013 season we worked with 3683, giving them advice on team operations and organization.

Our annual FIRST Social is a unique celebration of the success of all teams. 2012’s Social included four FRC teams and seven FLL teams, as well as many of our friends, partners, and sponsors. This event brings people from all programs together, creating new inter-team friendships, and allowing us to show off FRC to the next generation.

It’s taken years of perseverance and dedication to become the great FIRST team we are today. This same perseverance continues to drive us, as we strive for excellence in all areas of FIRST. We have received several awards for our community outreach and recently achieved our first robot related award as a Regional Finalist. Team 3161 also hopes to motivate teams to embrace the qualities put forth by Woodie Flowers of gracious professionalism and coopertition. The coopertition bridge in last year’s game allowed us to work with teams from our alliance, as well as with our competitors. We were able to balance 18 times last season, and achieved this feat in every qualification match at GTR West. Our success in the 2012 season has proved our determination, and we hope to see that same motivation in other teams in the future.

The founding of our first FRC team has given us the honour of passing our knowledge onto new minds. We have been working with Team 4519 King’s Mechavaliers since March 2012. Team 3161 has visited their school on several occasions to help generate interest for their new team. We have been closely mentoring them, sharing our workspace until they can develop their own for the 2014 season. Our team teaches the Mechavaliers more than just technical skills. We guide them through team organization, sponsorship, community outreach, and award submission. Throughout this time, we continually emphasize the FIRST values of gracious professionalism and coopertition, while ensuring they have the passion to succeed in FRC.

The Tronic Titans are at the forefront of education, incorporating FRC into our school curriculum. Since the 2012 season, Team 3161 has run its FIRST Course, which includes all aspects of an FRC team, especially FIRST’s core values. There are four disciplines taught in the course; computer assisted design, manufacturing, team organization, and a robot culminating. While the course is held at Holy Trinity, anyone is welcome, and we have had students enroll from three other schools. Our lead mentor ran a workshop at Team 771’s symposium entitled “FIRST: More than an Extracurricular”, explaining all aspects of the course, as well as giving advice on how to start one at your own school.

It is through our creation of FIRST teams, our partnerships with our sponsors, events such as National Engineering Month, and our revolutionary FIRST course that the Tronic Titans have changed the way our community views science and technology. Team 3161’s continuous growth over the past four years displays our dedication to FIRST and its mission; to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders.

2016 Submission

Chairmans Essay

Team 3161 Tronic Titans is a local FIRST robotics team from Oakville, Ontario, Canada. However, we are more than just a team - we are a family. Every time we walk into our workshop, we feel like we are coming home. Like a family, we work together towards common goals: designing a robot, fulfilling FIRST’s mission to encourage leadership in science and technology, and growing our family to include our community. We aim for excellence in both fabricating robots as well as developing connections between members on our family, members of the community and corporate sponsors.
The impact of FIRST on Team 3161 is evident: 100% of our alumni have pursued post-secondary education, with 88% graduating into STEM programs since 2011, and 100% entering into STEM programs in 2015. All our mentors, besides our fearless teacher, are team alumni who have been inspired by FIRST and have chosen to return and inspire the younger generations.
Team 3161 has made a significant impact on our school community. It is seldom to attend an event run by our school without witnessing a demonstration of our robot. From grade 9 orientation in the fall, to our school’s Titanfest carnival at the end of the school year. We host and participate in 12 school events annually. Additionally, we host Tronic Tuesdays weekly in the atrium of our school. Through these events we are able to showcase our robot and team members to the entire school community. We are approachable, enthusiastic and strive to encourage people to join our team and learn more about FIRST.
While we spend a lot of time driving robots, we are also making the effort to drive changes in our society. One of our largest community events is our annual Ford Drive, hosted in partnership with Oakland Ford. Community members are invited to test drive Ford vehicles in their own neighbourhood and see us in action. Every test drive earns our team twenty dollars and provides the community with a chance to be part of our 3161 family. Families have the opportunity to learn about the FIRST program and what we do as a team. Starting from our rookie year, we have been demonstrating in Oakville’s community events such as the Midnight Madness and RibFest. In 2015, we attended the Science Rendezvous and Robots Rule in downtown Toronto to bring our enthusiasm to the heart of the city. We averagely hand out at least 1000 buttons to the public per year. Seeing the delight from people of all ages is arguably the best payment for our hard work.
Communicating excitement about STEM is part of the innovations that the team strives to accomplish. A perfect example of this would be National Engineering Month. It is the biggest celebration of engineering in Canada, encompassing 500 events from coast to coast. Our team partners with the Professional Engineers of Ontario Oakville Chapter to host events at our school. This is a family-friendly event open to anyone in our community. We conduct short interview based on the different specialties of engineers. We arrange engineering activities for children, youth, and adults alike to inspire future engineers. We introduce families to the FIRST program and encourage parents to expand their understanding of engineering so they can continue to explore STEM fields with their children.
One of the innovative ways our team is spreading the message and values of FIRST is our annual post-season FIRST Social. We invite FIRST teams from the surrounding area to come enjoy video games, a human version of the FRC game from that year, food, and dancing. Team members from various teams have the opportunity to socialize with, and learn from each other. We gather as a family to celebrate all the achievements we have accomplished in the past season. In our most successful year, we attracted more than ten teams with over 100 people taking part in our event. It also serves as an informal banquet for our partners and sponsors to show our gratitude for all of their support.
Another event we host to gather the FIRST family is our annual FLL Qualifying Tournament, the largest in Ontario, with more than thirty teams attending. One thing that makes our event unique is the call back period. Judges are able to call back teams who have outstanding projects and give them a more detailed review. The dedication that our team shows before, during and after the event is phenomenal. From planning several months in advance to working until late at night as well as all the hours spent in between demonstrates the unwavering attitude we have to spread the message of FIRST.
Continuous learning during the off season has always been a priority for all the members of the team. Engaging in SWATposium - a series of FRC related seminars run by Team 771 - the team further develops their knowledge in all aspects of running the team. In 2012, our lead mentor ran a workshop for our revolutionary FIRST course titled “More than an Extracurricular”. In 2015, we paid a visit to the award-winning Team 2056 to learn how to embody their design motto “Simple, Robust, and Effective”. We benefited greatly from these relations and partnerships with other FRC team.
All year round, the team’s senior members offer workshops covering the technical knowledge that the younger members are required to know. Every year, to be eligible to work on the robot, we have a safety certification process organized by our mentors. We communicate through the mailbot system offered by Google, in which we have a shared Drive folder holding our working documents so that anyone on the team can access them. We organize ourselves through Trello, an Internet application one of our mentors introduced to us. We aim to have everyone on the same page as we build and grow. Everyone in our team is fully involved and encouraged to actively participate throughout the year, both on and off season.
CVS Visuals generously provided us with the printing to decorate our trailer. One of our sponsors that became a member of the FIRST family is the Anubis 3D printing company, who sponsored us and gave us a tour of their facilities, teaching us how their 3D printers work. Anubis also 3D printed robot parts for us, and after learning about FIRST from us, they were eager to be a part of such a rewarding program. In 2012, they chose to sponsor not only us but also FIRST as an organization, giving vouchers to all FIRST teams for their 3D printing services.
In 2013, one of our senior members started a charity program named Robots Have Hearts. She utilized her network to collect and donate toys to children dealing with cancer at Camp Oochigeas. Following the success of the first year, we returned to this initiative in 2015 at Christmas by donating to the local Toys for Tots program funded by the Halton Police. With our effort, FIRST is now changing lives in our community.
It is important to our team’s continued success and future growth to encourage participation in FIRST from a young age. We present opportunities for children in the community to be a part of FIRST as they grow. Thus, we are heavily involved with FLL and Jr. FLL programs locally in Oakville. Over the past five years, we have started 10 Jr. FLL and 6 FLL teams as well as visiting local elementary schools to partner with teachers to incorporate the Jr. FLL program into their classroom curriculum. Our team serves as an open resource that teams can contact if they need assistance or are curious about learning something. We are constantly looking for ways to involve more children in our community into the FIRST program. Our current project is the library program we are developing in partnership with Oakville Public Library. The program is destined to run in Spring, Summer, and Fall. We spread the message of FIRST internationally by donating our FLL kits to children in Haiti. Though we might have different values, our passion to make the world a better place is the same. By donating the kits, we are eliminating the education gap between the first and third world countries.
In 2013, we started an FRC team, Team 4519, and hosted them during the 2013 season, sharing our build space, tools, and technical expertise. Their team built a twin robot to ours and practiced with us, going on to win the Rookie All-Star award at the Waterloo regional and qualifying for the World Championships in their rookie year.
Team 3161 has a commitment to solving real world issues. Since female engineers are a visible minority in the field of engineering, we are invested in the issue of gender equality. In 2014, we hosted a Women in STEM Night to empower girls in our community from Grades 7 through 12 to show them that engineering does not have to be a male-dominated field. This night features activities and speeches that encourage females to pursue STEM fields or hobbies such as the FIRST program. We received a SpeakUp grant for this event and following its success, we have applied for another SpeakUp Grant this year. We are in the process of planning another Women in STEM Night to be held after this build season.
Team 3161 is a family; we eat together, build together, and grow together. We are also part of a large extended family, from the families in our community that we have impacted, to partnerships with other FIRST teams at the Jr. FLL, FLL, and FRC levels, as well as our corporate sponsors. Many people consider their family to be the most important thing in the world - so does Team 3161. Both within our immediate members, as well as our extended family, we create lifelong friendships, a widespread of support networks, and continuously spreading the message of FIRST.