FAQs - Parents Guide to Team 303 Robotics
New parents to Team 303 often have questions about RAMP and Team 303. We have tried to answer some of the more frequently asked questions here. However, if you have a question you would like answered, please Contact RAMP and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
RAMP needs many parents to assist in the fundraising efforts for the team. Most of this effort is centered around working at the concession stands at robotics events during the year. Students help at the events with setup, cleanup and judging of the events that the team is running.
SignUp Genius is an online tool that helps us organize and manage volunteers and supplies that are needed for each event. When you go to the link for the event sign up you can easily see where additional volunteers or donation items are needed and sign up. You will also receive an e-mail reminder a few days before the event detailing what you volunteered for.
FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition)
FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) is designed for students in grades 9-12. This is the high school robotics team's main activity! Kickoff for the season starts on the first Saturday in January. Teams design, build and program a large (up to 120 pounds) robot in 6 weeks and then compete in district and regional events against other high school teams. This is what Team 303 focuses most of its efforts on throughout the year. All BRHS students can participate on the FRC team.
Students on Team 303 split into two groups: build and team development. The build team focuses on everything relating to the robot, and team development focuses on the general operations of the team such as imagery, fundraising, and outreach. The 2 sides of the team support each other in many ways. Within the two halves, there are eight sub teams so students can focus on more specialized tasks.
Bridgewater hosts an FRC competition in the MAR (Mid-Atlantic Robotics) district. RAMP runs its biggest concession stand fundraiser at this event. All parents are needed to help at this event.
FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge)
FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete against other teams. BRHS has several FTC teams. The FTC events take place in the fall and are used to train the rookie members of the team. Senior members of the team are typically mentors as well as the adult mentors. All BRHS students can participate on the FTC team.
The FRC challenge is announced the first weekend in January. After the January kickoff, Team 303 meets almost nightly and during the day on weekends at the Mavis(STS) warehouse facility which is located near the Somerset Patriot's stadium. They work on building, programming and testing a robot designed to accomplish the goal of the challenge.
Build season begins when the challenge is released the first weekend in January and runs for 6 weeks. This is followed by an 8 week competition season.
Team 303 has many different opportunities for students who would like to join the team. There are 2 main sub-teams for Team 303, the Build Team and Team Development. Students on the build team work on the actual building of the robot and work with mentors on the electrical, mechanical and programming aspects of building a robot. Students on team development work on the team marketing, public relations, team identity, team spirit, organizing student led community events, creating program brochures and many other activities to keep the team running. The team needs students with a variety of skills in order to be successful!
During build season the Team 303 build team meets at Mavis/STS Tire & Auto Center which is located at 1 STS Drive in Bridgewater (down the road from Patriots stadium). The team needs a large indoor space to work on building the robot. Mavis/STS very generously donates warehouse space to the team so that they can work on building their robot and have plenty of room for the necessary tools and equipment. Stop in some time and take a look at the facility when you drop off your child.
The Team 303 team development members meet after school at the high school most of the time. During build season they meet at Mavis/STS on Wednesdays along with the build team.
Parents and student should always check the Team 303 Calendar for the most current meeting dates and times.
Yes, robotics competitions are a school sponsored activity and are therefore considered to be an excused absence from school.
Weekend long competitions require a huge time commitment from students to attend and still be able to get their homework done for the following Monday. Team 303 has team members of all academic abilities that are able to participate with the team and complete all school assignments.
It depends on the competition. Most of the time bus transportation is provided. When transportation is provided, permission slips will be distributed in advance with details of the trip. When transportation is not provided, you must arrange to drive your child to the competition or arrange for a car pool with another family.
The competitions are big events that are generally held at large high schools, college campuses or regional arenas. The first day of the competition is usually reserved for the set up of the pit area and practice matches for the robot. Typcially only the pit crew and drive team will attend the first day. The second day consists of qualifying matches which are used to rank teams and assist them in determining alliances for the elimination rounds. The third day will have a few remaining qualifying matches. Once the qualifying matches are completed, the top 8 teams will choose 2 alliance partners to compete in a best of 3 elimination tournament. The events are FREE to attend and you are encouraged to attend and cheer on the team! For more information about the FRC competition and this years game visit firstinspires.org
Competition dates begin after the 6 week build season. In order to give all teams equal time to work on their robots, all teams must "bag" their robots at the completion of the build season. Teams are not allowed to touch their competition robot while it is in the bag. All teams are given 6 hours to unbag and tweak their robots immediately prior to each competition.