After viewing this year’s teaser trailer, we all sat quizzically, awaiting the morning of kickoff, analyzing every small detail, attempting to decode what the game might be. Then the game was revealed, so we set to work. Over the course of those six weeks, we each individually put in close to 131 hours, some a little more. It wasn’t always easy, but through our teamwork, we managed to not only build a full-size field, a robot, and disassemble the rule book, but we also grew closer and learned more about the new members, becoming a patchwork family. Even while knowing it was six weeks, thinking back, it seems like it was only 2 minutes and 6 seconds. But as they say, time flies when you’re having fun, and we had quite a bit.
We are Team 5437, and this is us. We strive to change the world by impacting those not only in the communities around us, but also in communities miles away. We believe that through dedication, perseverance, and teamwork, anything can be accomplished. In our Chairman’s award, we tell of our humble beginnings as the underdog, and how we pushed through the hardships striking our town to assist in the attraction of the prosperous gazes of companies upon our promising area: All we needed was a chance to show it. These past three years have brought forth many new opportunities to the new generation of innovators living in our small town. Our collaboration with the businesses and companies around us, along with the government officials in our town and state, has provided us the chance to introduce the next generation of workforce members to careers they might not have known of. The shot we were given when we originally learned of FIRST opened doors we didn’t even know existed, let alone ones we could actually walk through, hand-in-hand with other low income, hardworking communities. We are honored to be affiliated with such a powerful and inspiring vision of the future.
On Tuesday, December 19, 2017 our team spoke with our state and community leaders about the influx of job opportunities brought about by the increased amount of quality workforce members established by our team’s coordination with FIRST.
Over the summer our Team has been in talks with Rockline Industries about apprenticeships for the youth in our region. Rockline Industries operates a highly automated facility in Booneville, AR. Through our talks and negotiations, we have created an apprenticeship program available to First Robotics young adults. The Robotics Apprenticeship will allow First Robotics Youth to shadow selected staff at the production plant in Booneville showing them what industrial robotics is about. This is an initiative we have created to develop a Highly Qualified workforce for our region.
Team 5437 is sparking a Revolution! Please help us get it ignited!
Our goal is to identify and empower youth on the spectrum by showing them that they possess unique skills and abilities. These abilities paired with high interest activities involved in our organization will help develop workforce skills and most of all social skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.
Our team had the privilege to speak with our city’s mayor, Jerry Wilkins, to introduce the idea of a Mayor’s Youth Council. He toured our STEM Lab and Build facility. We introduced him to F.I.R.S.T. Inspires ideology and our teams Initiative. We took this opportunity to educate our Mayor with a presentation. With our presentation “Robotics as a Stimulus for Economic Growth” we are educating the importance of a Highly Qualified workforce combined with our deep moral values and how this is a very valuable asset for our region. After meeting with him he is thrilled to see the initiative of the young minds of his town and gave us a green light to draft a presentation to create a Mayor’s Youth Council. With the Mayor’s Youth Council the youth of our community will have the opportunity to learn how their local government operates. This council will prepare and educate our future leaders. Through our initiative we are paving the way for STEM and creating the next generation of leaders.
Team 5437 comes from a community with many low income families. With the new school year right around the corner, we decided to do our part by donating 16 backpacks of school supplies for both boys and girls in the first grade that are in need of help. We also provided each classroom K-6 at Booneville Elementary School with disinfecting wipes. We hope this small donation helps both the students and their families, and shows the students that one small act of kindness can go a long way and inspires them to use Gracious Professionalism by helping those around them.
Our team gratefully received a private tour of Fort Smith’s new Osteopathic Medical College by some of the admission staff members. While on the tour, we were given the opportunity to open up some of their mechanical medical mannequins and make relations with parts and structures our robot uses in correlation with their high tech robotic mannequins used for learning. Our team blew their minds when we showed them our 150 pound robot, which definitely wasn’t the tiny robot they were expecting to see roll through their doors that day. They were amazed to see that the same technology they were using inside their mannequins to prepare their students for the future, we were using to make these big bots to complete very different tasks. While they have professors standing behind one way glass controlling mannequins with detectable heart beats and pulses and a chest that is able to rise and fall to simulate various breathing patterns, we stand in alliance stations with other teams and control strong, rigorous robots we have built that can do things such as pick up ball and gears, shoot balls, hook gears on little pegs, and even climb ropes. We are thankful we had the exciting chance to learn how robotics can be used in areas outside of mechanically and/or electrically inclined careers. It was interesting seeing how you can use robotics in the medical field without just peering into human bodies. Instead, we got see how robots can be used to prepare medical students for interacting with patients and saving lives.
A portion of our team traveled to Dover, a neighboring town, to introduce the prospective principal and students to the world of FIRST Robotics. Lexi and Chandler displayed our robot and its capabilities to the potential FIRST students. Our representatives informed the students how the FRC program has inspired them as students and individuals beyond just the FIRST Robotics organization. We plan on assisting with the start up of a robotics program in their community. Our goal was to inspire them as we have been inspired. We shared with them our team model and the message that FIRST is more than just building a robot. We hope that through our efforts Dover will be able to capture the undiscovered and underprivileged STEAM superstars that are walking the halls of their schools searching for a creative outlet for their unused talents. Our team shared with them the world that is opened up to teams through the FIRST INSPIRES organization.
Our team had the opportunity to be part of the Fort Smith business expo. It was an honor to be invited. While there we had the opportunity to educate many different political, educational, and industrial guest on First and the difference it is making in our Worlds youth
Last week at FRC’s 2017 World Championship in Houston, we won some awards. Out of the three Engineering Inspiration Awards given out at the Houston Championship, we were one of the lucky teams to receive the award. Our ranking at the end of the Qualification Matches was 19th seed, however we were the 2nd pick of the 1st seed alliance. Our alliance fought hard and made it to the Finals on the Galileo field, where we sadly lost after winning the first match. However the international allies that we made are game changers for us. We made friends with fellow FIRST competitors from all over the world. This has opened a door for our small community and team that can take us anywhere. All of that we have learned from all of the brilliant from around the world is the prize that we have claimed. We consider ourselves blessed beyond words to have friend now on every continent on this planet!
While competing at the FRC Houston World Championship, the team had the opportunity to make some new friends from all over the world. Pictured are teams from China, Switzerland, Turkey, and Israel.
Our team has been asked by Senior Writer Sean Gregory from TIME Magazine to have a story written about us. He spoke with four members of the team Joie Bogart, Alexis Danekas, Roberto Montoya, Will Tanner and our mentor Coach Robert Dean.
Our team has been invited to the Fort Smith Business Expo on May 5, 2017. Our team will be speaking to several companies about FIRST Robotics.
It was a big day for Team 5437. We had the pleasure to host four distinguished guests: Arkansas House Speaker Pro-Tem Rep Jon Eubanks, Arkansas Senator Gary Stubblefield, US Representative Bruce Westerman, and John Novak, a living legend in the Arkansas FIRST community. We took this opportunity to educate our Nations Politicians with a presentation. With our presentation “Robotics as a Stimulus for Economic Growth” we are educating the importance of a Highly Qualified workforce combined with our deep moral values and how this is a very valuable asset for our region. We especially want to thank Rep Eubanks and Senator Stubblefield for sponsoring our team!