My students spend thousands of hours every year building their robot and making the best use of the limited tools they have. They dedicate their lives to robotics for 3 months out of the year, a time commitment that can sometimes be similar to a full-time job. Using outdated and lackluster tools makes their lives harder and reduces the quality of their work. These students deserve the best they can get, and I truly hope we can reach our goal.
To improve our efficiency, The Combustible Lemons need new hand tools and better safety equipment. The new hand tools and screwdriver bits will reduce the occurrence of stripped bolts, allow for multiple students to work on similar elements of the robot at the same time, and allow us to work in tighter spaces. Proper measuring equipment will save the team money by preventing wasted material. The safety glasses will make sure there are enough for every student in the shop, as well as parent and sibling visitors at competitions that need to stay safe. Disposable earplugs will prevent hearing damage from loud saws and other power tools. Proper surge protectors will protect our delicate electrical equipment and keep our workplace safe. These items are essential to the continued operation of our team.
This year, the team just barely qualified for the District Championship, being the 60th team to qualify, but we placed 13th overall, and we are aiming to go to the World Championship next year.
Our district, FIRST Mid-Atlantic, is one of the most competitive districts in the country, and possibly the world. Even with sub-par tools, we managed to be one of the best teams in the district. However, our current tools are a significant disadvantage in comparison to those of other similarly performing teams, so new tools will bring our team to completely new heights. FIRST Robotics competition is a great learning opportunity for every student, and new tools make it safer and more fun!
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