Ever since it's creation in 2012, Western High School's FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams have celebrated and embraced all races, ethnicity, and genders. In it's inaugural year, the robotics program only had one FTC team with seven members. Now, it has grown to four teams with well over 60 members. Each team is unique in their own way and strives to uphold the values of FIRST. Team 6322 WiredCats Alpha is Western's first team. Throughout the past 8 years they have evolved into a team who holds many accomplishments under their name, including League Champions and State Champions. Team 9110 WiredCats omega, was the second established and is currently the largest WiredCats team. They strive for inclusivity and unity in our members, and wish to uphold the values of FIRST while building their robots. The third team, 10022 WiredCats Gen 3, is a female-led team that works to inspire their community through their contagious spirit and strives towards innovation. Western's fourth team, 10366 WiredCats Future, encourages middle school students from all over to come together and participate in robotics.
The Western WiredCats are now competing for their sixth year in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Teammates come together to share ideas and collaborate with their common interest in engineering. Since there is only one team, it embraces and encourages all students to join and participate. The team currently has many members who work in four different fields: mechanical, software, electrical, and administration. Although members have experience in the FIRST Tech Challenge competition, only a handful have some experience in FRC. Given the team's determination and resilience, the inexperience will not hinder the team but instead will drive members to be limitless and Imagine the Impossible.
The recently-added FIRST Lego League program at Fox Trail Elementary is in it's second year. In this program, students grades 4th and 5th will use LEGO to build a competition robot and to learn about design and FIRST core values. FLL includes a pre-programmed competitive robot, year long community project, and judging interview. Team 45639 Foxbots works to uphold FIRST's values while competing at a high level. In their rookie year, They won the judge's award, and in this next season, they continue to succeed!
Only in it's second year with the WiredCats organization, VEX Robotics will work as an introduction to the world of robotics. Mentored by the program's veteran members, the VEX robotics team will be taught the principles of engineering and will learn the innerworkings of competition level robotics. The team functions similar to our FTC teams, with a similar sized robot and game structure. Both programs are excellent ways to introduce students to STEM.