Team 156 Robotics Plus Mayhem (RPM) is in its 10th year as a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics team at Fairview High School in Fairview, PA, located in Erie County. Students, mentored by adult volunteers, experience real-world business and engineering as they prepare to compete in regional competitions held across the United States. Responsibilities include designing, building, and programming a robot as well as developing a business plan and delivering presentations.
Known as "the varsity sport for the mind," FIRST robotics encourages high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Our team competed at the Finger Lakes, Pittsburgh, and Buckeye Regionals in our previous seasons. We were a part of the winning alliance at the Buckeye Regional in 2017, and this allowed us to compete at Worlds in St. Louis! Most recently, we took the district championship title at the 2019 Mahoning Valley Robotics Challenge.
This year, after our new members were introduced to the team, both students and mentors were divided into groups. We were challenged to build and present functional designs, that when combined, formed a single unified "Golf Ball Transporter." This project was designed to mimic the FIRST robotics experience, from the drawing board to presentation and competition. Perhaps most importantly, we learned the lesson that even competing teams have to work together in order to succeed.