In 2008, a student approached a teacher to request he be the head mentor for a FRC robotics team. He agreed and applied for a grant from the Lowell Community Fund. The funds were used for the first year to gain experience with smaller robots. The following year we moved forward in the FIRST program, graduating to larger robots.
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Purpose, Vision and Mission
Purpose - to increase the understanding of science, engineering, and technology in everyday life while building self-confidence, communication and leadership skills in local youth through robotics and community involvement.
Vision - to become a world class team in the FIRST program and enable our students to the the STEM leaders of their generation.
Mission - Develop a team that will design and build competitive robots, educate the community in STEM and become self-sustaining through business program and community sponsorships.
Arrow-Bots Lego League
In 2013, Bess Hudson noticed that although there was a well-known FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team in Lowell, Red Arrow Robotics, there was no FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team in the Lowell School District. In response, she started the Alto Arrow Bots. The team started with five members in the first year. As word spread around Alto Elementary, the team’s meeting place, popularity skyrocketed the next year. By 2014 the Alto Arrow Bots had gained a team of nine students out of the 10 maximum, ranging from fourth to seventh grade, so they decided to try a competition that year. The undertaking was immense. Mrs. Hudson was assisted by both Anderson Hudson from the Lowell Robotics Team as a mentor, and parents of the team members.
All of the members of the team learned about the NXT Mindstorms LEGO robot, presenting and researching information, and teamwork skills. The team was incredibly enthusiastic about competition, and all of the members had an amazing experience. In the end, the Alto Arrow Bots won the Presentation Award for their creative skit which was a personification of computer dangers, like viruses. The mentor, Anderson Hudson, also won the Outstanding Young Mentor Award in representation of the Lowell Red Arrow Robotics team.
The Alto Arrow Bots could never have gotten as far as they have without their sponsors:
- Alto Branch of Kent District Library
- Alto Lions Club
- Cutting Edge Controls
- FRC Team 3234, Lowell Red Arrow Robotics
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What is FIRST?
FIRST (For Inspiration of Science and Technology) is an organization committed, in the words of founder Dean Kamen, "To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders." FIRST was founded in 1989 with this mission and has since evolved into an immense program influencing the lives of over 250,000 students worldwide! FIRST aims to inspire these young people to lead careers in science and technology by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs which will build science, demand innovation, and equip them to succeed in their future endeavors by developing skills that encourage communication, teamwork, leadership, and self-confidence.
Dr. Woodie Flowers, the FIRST National Advisor, describes the excellent attitude desired of all students--high-quality work, emphasizing the value of others, respecting individuals and the community--as "Gracious Professionalism". FIRST inspires students to learn and compete at full-throttle, but it also reminds them by Gracious Professionalism to treat one another with respect and generosity. As a product of this gracious behavior, the FIRST concept of Cooperation will be realized. Cooperation involves learning from everybody, and paying back what you've learned to everybody. It involves helping and cooperating with other teams even as you compete against them. Visit the FIRST Website to learn more.
What is FRC?
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a program of FIRST encompassing over 2,200 teams which embody more than 55,000 high-school students. The annual game challenge is released on the first weekend of January, at "Kickoff". Teams then enter "Build Season", a 6-week period during which a robot must be prototyped, designed, constructed, and programmed to participate in the competitions.
In 1992, the FIRST Robotics Competition was held for the first time in a high school gym in New Hampshire. In the game, "Maize Craze", Robots had to go around the gym and pick up corn to BETTER DESCRIPTION. In contrast, this years game, "Logomotion", will be hosted worldwide, eventually culminating in the World Competition at St. Louis.