The main function of our build team is to fabricate parts necessary to construct our robot. The build team spends the entire first week of the season brainstorming ideas for the robot. When the final design is decided upon, this mechanical unit uses a variety of machines to construct each component that is needed. Each part of the robot, with the exception of electrical components, is student fabricated using the industrial sized machines in our shop space. These machines range in size and type, from conventional lathes to a CNC Mill that students learn to program. At the conclusion of the Build Season,our core build members host training sessions for underclassmen and other interested parties, as well as help mentor our VEX Competition students.
Our business team works tirelessly all year round. This team is responsible for creating a business plan that is used for our team to be acknowledged for the entrepreneurship award. In addition, members that are a part of this team create presentations, essays, and props for the chairman’s award. Competing for this award allows the judges to see the whole dynamic of our team, inside and out. Working on recruiting and maintaining sponsors is another aspect connected to the business team’s list of goals to achieve yearly.
Team 203’s programming team runs a year-round operation. Beginning in the summer, our team collects returning students are collected to reflect upon and subsequently improve upon the previous season. Students collaborate and learn techniques that would have improved the quality of the previous season, as well as learn to teach these technique to incoming students. At the start of the new school year, returning students meet with our new students and enlighten them about the FIRST environment. Much of the offseason is spent attempting to improve our processes and train new students so that they are ready to advance to our varsity group. During the build season, our programming team works furiously to give life to the shell that is provided by the build team. In past years, the program of choice had been LabView, but our entire programming squad has recently transitioned to using C++.
The graphics team makes a variety of things throughout the year for our team. Throughout the off-season they prepare banners for the pit that show support for our team and the school. During the season, they design the t-shirts that we wear to competitions while incorporating the FRC game for the current year. The design chosen for the shirt is also the one that the graphics team uses to put on the robot. The graphics team creates the designs made for the team’s hoodies. The design process that they use is not only a one or two person effort. The whole design team is involved, sometimes even the whole team. They first come up with ideas that fit what they are trying to create, and then they come up with various different ways of making that design. After that they start reducing the number of designs until one has been chosen.