Dear Parents and Students,
The 2011-2012 school year is the first year for Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, MD to have a FIRST Robotics Team. In FIRST vernacular, they are known as a rookie team. If you aren’t familiar with FIRST it stands for For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology. It was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen inventor of, among MANY other things, the Segway.
The FIRST program offers competitive robot sports for several age groups. For the high school bracket there is the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) – “the varsity sport for the mind.” This is the program in which the Wilde Lake High School team will participate. In January FIRST will hold a kickoff event for the competition season. During the kickoff event the teams will see a demonstration of the game that their robot will be competing in as part of an alliance with two other teams. After kickoff there is a six-week period when each team builds their robots from a standard set of parts. Teachers and volunteer professional mentors lend their time and expertise to the team to provide as close to a real world engineering experience as a student can get.
The excitement really begins when the competition season starts. Teams will compete in the DC Regional on March 29th through the 31st. Although we have received a generous award by NASA, JC Penny and the WLHS PTSA we still need your support in the form of transportation, meals and snacks, fund-raising and professional assistance in the upcoming months. We are very fortunate to have professionals in the field who are willing to donate their time: Brett Lapin, Amy Bayes, John Jacobson. We would welcome any other professionals who are willing to assist us in the upcoming months.
Capital College hosts the local official kickoff ceremony on January 7th and teams have until March to produce a working robot. The build phase is time consuming, challenging and invigorating. Our goal is to produce a robot that performs well at the D.C. Regional meet in March.
We invite you to send us an email or call for more details or to join our group as we create Wilde Lake’s FIRST Robotics team.
Randy Hubbard – Mentor
Ann Bailey – Mentor
Wilde Lake High School