Our Mission: "To build and foster a student-led environment where members develop the STEM, business, leadership, and collaborative skills crucial to innovation in society"
The original Iron Claw formed in 2002 and competed in FRC until 2008, when the team disbanded because of the retirement of its lead mentor. However, in the fall leading up to the 2016 season, a group of students who had joined nearby Team 668 of Pioneer High School brought FRC back to Los Gatos High School and restarted Iron Claw in the 2016 season.
Team 972 was founded with a strong belief in the importance of student leadership. All aspects of our team–designing and building our robot, training members, fundraising, and hosting outreach events–are coordinated by students. We strive to create a hands-on learning experience for all of our members.
Our cultivation of a student-led environment has extended beyond our team and inspired interest in STEM and FIRST throughout our community. Each spring we demonstrate our robot at local elementary school science fairs to spark interest in FIRST among younger children. We also believe strongly that people should be able to pursue STEM regardless of their backgrounds.
Due to the fact that we need to fundraise large amounts of money every year, we often come to the conclusion that we spend more than the amount that we raise. Our success as a team the last few years has allowed us to advance to the World Championship in Houston the past two years now. This championship competition costs us nearly $50,000, which is half of our budget. This success took a large hit to our budget the last two years.
With our team also growing in size, we are striving to find more sources of income. This year, we have written a record amount of grants and done many outreach events to spread awareness of STEM. We started doing dine-out fundraisers and are looking into creating a camp for younger kids. This camp would allow us to spread ideas of STEM and robotics, our main goal as a team. Our success, the last two years especially, created more problems than we thought; not only to our budget, but we needed to create a “pit” to easily store and transport our materials. With our team rapidly growing, we are trying to keep up financially.
- Anne Curry
- Mornay Van Der Walt
Organizer and beneficiary
Los Gatos, CA