Mission Statement:

Team #11117 Autonomice aims to provide a platform for students to learn outside the common academic setting of a class. The skills provided through robotics — teamwork, creativity, design and innovation — are important to our future success. The skills learned go far beyond robotics; we feel that by participating in robotics we are fulfilling to our school's motto: “Shaping the minds and the hearts of the people who will change the world.”

                                        

Team & Program Summary and History:

Spartan Robotics began as a class in 2016 as part of Saint Paul Academy and Summit School’s new Computer Science and Engineering department. As part of our class requirements, each student spends well over twenty hours out of class working on the robot and outreach.

Two years ago, in our rookie year, Spartan Robotics was very successful. Our team received the Think Award and the Rockwell Collins Innovative Design Award during separate 2016-17 regional FTC competitions. After being on the winning alliance our first regional tournament we qualified for the state meet, where we placed 5th in our division with a final regular play record of 4-1. This success led to a raging interest in robotics at our small school. It was so popular that last year we expanded to two teams (#11117 and #12660). Spartan Robotics Team 11117 won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award and the Promote Award at our qualifier.

This year we were able to progress even further with the completion of a large new math and science building at our school. We also worked this year to differentiate ourselves more from the other St. Paul Academy team — whereas last year the teams were designed to be equal in level, this year team 11117 is the team with those who are dedicated to spending extra time on robotics and outreach. To do this we separated our daily work, although were always able to help each other out when needed. We also came up with all-new branding. With new resources, space, funding, and opportunities we have been able to put all of our efforts into this year’s tournament.

Team Income:

Financially, we are a school-funded class and club. Because of our relationship with St. Paul Academy we are not able to accept or ask for money and resources from people or businesses, although we are able to seek mentorship. Instead, we work with advancement and admissions to run open houses, give tours to the school’s donors, and promote the robotics program. We encourage donations to the school as a whole, which supports our robotics program.

Location of the Team:

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States

Team Outreach Goals:

  1. Connect with the professional STEM community,
  2. Promote the mission of FIRST, and
  3. Mentor and learn from other robotics teams.
  4. HOMAR FTC Library

Team Impact/Outreach:

In future years, we intend to develop relationships with other FTC teams in the area, reach out more to local elementary schools, work more closely with leaders in the STEM community such as Medtronic, Stratasys, Microsoft, and Aero Systems Engineering, and present at more formal events.

                                                

Summary of Future Team Plans:

Now that our team has more experience with FIRST competition and communication, the Autonomice will work to improve other areas. For the years to come, we want to continue the culture we have created around robotics by inspiring more students to join the competition through a second class. We are looking to develop stronger relationships with other FTC teams and running a lower school robotics team.

Sustainability:

Team #11117 Autonomice has many goals for future years relating to sustainability. We have leadership positions so that the returning members will come back and lead new members as upperclassmen. We will continue to work with the middle school and lower school to form strong relationships with their FLL teams and other robotics programs, which will then funnel students up to our team in future years. We are also looking to coach a lower school robotics team, which would get more K-5 students interested in robotics. Additionally, we will continue our work with our school’s admissions and advancement departments to ensure continued funding and new members.

                                                                        

Student Team Members:

The students of Saint Paul Academy represent a number of diverse backgrounds. The competition of robotics has brought together and created a family of students from a variety of ages, genders, talents, interests, and geographical locations. Through Spartan Robotics, these students are able to establish deep connections with one another despite their differences. Moreover, the team brings together students with varying degrees of experiences, creating a learning environment among students.

Team Mentors:

Spartan Robotics currently has 3 mentors. We have two coaches who are employed by the school, and are the teachers of the robotics class. Our last mentor does not have a student on the team, but is a part of the SPA community and the professional STEM community.        

Team Organization

Our team is split up into five main branches: coding, building, business, outreach, and notebook.

Coding: The coding team is responsible for all of the programming for the robot. They are involved with creating our autonomous routine and coding the controllers for tele-op. They are also very involved in creating the strategy for the season.

Building: The building team is responsible for building the robot. This includes the main chassis and all attachments.

Business: The business team is responsible for maintaining the team’s social media presence and website. They also connect with the school community as a whole, and are in charge of communication with advancement and admissions to coordinate tours for alums, donors, and prospective students.

Outreach: The outreach team works closely with our lower and middle school robotics teams along with reaching out to alumni for possible mentorship. They also coordinate with admissions to prepare for open houses and plan our visits to STEM professionals.

Notebook: The notebook team works to make sure the other team members are up to date on their entries and they also create, format, and put together the Engineering Notebook as a whole.

Each of these “sub-teams” had a captain in charge of that specific aspect, and often point persons for more specific projects. Due to the wide variety of tasks and student talents, many members are considered to be part of of multiple teams.

For our robots drivers and driver coach, we chose team members with both building and coding expertise so that they could answer any questions that came up in the moment.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

  • Students from grades 9-12
  • Students with a variety of backgrounds
  • Happens as a class during the school day
  • Multiple advanced coders and builders
  • Several years of code, designs, and institutional knowledge to build off of

Weaknesses

  • Lots of members makes it difficult to make decisions and communicate
  • Tend to get attached to designs and become close-minded
  • Don’t always get approval from the rest of the team before doing things

Opportunities

  • Working with the lower and middle school robotics programs
  • Giving tours of our lab through advancement and admissions office
  • Large budget provided by school
  • Contacts in the STEM fields
  • Lots of space dedicated to robotics

Threats

  • Not allowed to fundraise
  • Very specific school administration rules
  • Uncertainty around digital presence guidelines
  • Not all students can fit the class into their schedule
  • The class is only during first semester

                        


Approximate Expenses for this year:

Registration

National Registration

$275.00

Qualifier 1

$175.00

Qualifier 2

$175.00

State Tournament

$300.00

Pre-season Expenses

Field

$500.00

Parts

$1000.00

Phones, Control, and Electronics

$300.00

In-Season Expenses

Parts

$500.00

Total

$3,225.00

Opportunities for Support: Mentors:

We are looking for mentors from a variety of backgrounds. Members of the STEM community that are involved with 3D printing, machining, building, and advanced coding techniques would be most involved with the robot. For non-technical help, we are looking for mentors that could assist us with developing a stronger engineering notebook and business plan.


Twitter: @AutonomiceS

Reddit: u/Autonomice11117

Email: 11117autonomice@students.spa.edu

Website: https://www.autonomice.com/

Follow our Youtube channel (@autonomice 11117) for how-tos, 3D design timelapse, file links, and assembly instructions.

                                        

Coaches:

Kate Lockwood

klockwood@spa.edu

Kirsten Hoogenakker

khoogenakker@spa.edu

Thanks to team #4140 Fish in the Boat (https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/fundraising-toolkit/ftc-team-4140-business-plan-example.pdf) for inspiring the layout of this business plan.