I am the lead mentor for our district's FIRST Robotics Competition team, the Pandamaniacs. We design and build 150-pound robots in a little under two months to compete in an annually-changing challenge. The team draws students from all of the district's high schools, which ranges from high-income areas to Title I programs for under-resourced areas.
Our students work with mentors in industry and gain valuable experience for life and their future careers, as well as access to over $80 million in scholarships reserved for FIRST participants.
We've experienced tremendous growth over a few years, adding students and serving them better by attending multiple regional tournaments. (And making the playoffs at them, too!) Our goal is now to sustain and build on this level of performance.
Our team uses tools like these to fabricate robot parts, simulated versions of things on the competition field, and other projects like our newly-built organizer for our pit area. We have used these tools for many of our 16 years, but these tools are approaching the end of their useful life.
These new tools will allow our students to produce better parts for our robots, and do so more safely.
This improvement to our quality process will save us time and wasted materials when we are fabricating parts, which will save us additional money over the new tools' life span.
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