FIRST Robotics Team 484, Roboforce is a high-school robotics team from Havertown, Pennsylvania. The goal of Roboforce is to give students the opportunity to experience real world engineering and give team members the chance to pursue their passion in STEM by competing in FIRST’s FRC Robotics Competitions.
The team begins each new school year with a series of meetings taking place on Tuesday and Thursdays from 6:30-9:00 PM. During these meetings, new and returning members learn how to operate power tools and machinery as well as getting experience with the programming, electrical, CAD, and mechanical aspects of building and maintaining robots. In addition to these experiences, students can get the opportunity to practice operating and driving robots during off-season events before the build season begins.
During the build season, which kicks off the first Saturday of January, the team meets 6 days each week to design, build, wire, and program a robot which can compete in that year’s competition. This build season lasts 6 weeks and ends with the “bagging” of the robot, where the robot is sealed in a large bag in preparation for the first competition.
After build season, the competition season begins. The team competes in anywhere from 2 to 4 competitions, each lasting 2 or more days. During this time students drive and operate the robot on the field, interact with the field through “human player” roles, maintain and improve upon the robot design to keep a competitive edge, and observe other teams to determine optimal strategies during gameplay.
Throughout the off season, build season, and competition season, mentors volunteer their time to teach the students about engineering and problem solving. The result is a program that inspires people to improve upon themselves and become further engaged in STEM all while having a great time. FIRST and Team 484 teach important technical knowledge, teamwork, and dedication to their members. Team involvement also strengthens students’ life skills, particularly their organization and their capacity for hard work. Participation on a FIRST team also makes our students prime candidates for many colleges and universities, and allows them to receive scholarships that are otherwise inaccessible. Being a member of our team is a privilege that is treasured by our students and enjoyed by our mentors.