We are Team Phoenix 6554 FRC Robotics Team (FIRST® Roboits Competition aka FRC) and we need your help. We are a Junior High and High School Community Robotics Team. At the FIRST ® Orange County Regional Competition, we finished 4th place, won the Highest Rookie Seed award and won the Rookie All Star Award granting us an invitation to the First Championships in Houston, Texas.
We would like to travel to Texas to inspire local students as well as other rookie teams that if with passion and a lot of hard work and determination, anything is possible.
Although we have incredible enthusiasm, we have limited resources. To meet our goal of competing at the championships we need assistance and that is where you come in...
Who are we?
We are Team 6554 Phoenix Robotics. Our team is based in the small community of La Mirada, CA. We are a community team that provides our local area with hands on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education for the future of our community.
Our team members attend schools from 6 different districts.
Where will the money go?
Your money will help us to cover entry fee as well as travel expenses to Houston, Texas.
Our expenses include:
*Entry fee for Championships
*Vehicle Rental for team transport
*Food for the team members
*Hotel or AirBNB accommodations
What does this experience mean to us?
This team is all about doing our best, despite low expectations. When we first began, our team had little experience, little funding, but a ton of passion.
Our team despite all our disadvantages, still qualified for World Championships. Our very small La Mirada team is composed of 12 students as opposed to the usual size of 35-100.
Other teams get almost an entire year to prepare for build season, sponsorships, learn machinery equipment, learn to fabricate, learn to CAD (we use Solidworks), learn marketing and branding, learn programing (we use Java)... the list goes on.
Phoenix 6554, well we had a month.
Despite working with a tiny budget, being several months behind, having very little experience as well as having limited grant qualifying opportunities, we were blessed to secure a spot for the once in a lifetime opportunity... We received the Rookie All Star award which gave us a spot to go to FRC's Worlds Championships Robotics Competition
This robotics program has taught us that even though the odds are stacked against us, with hard work and all inspiration, we can tackle anything we set our mind to. Many members of our team have begun to look at a STEM for the first time.
During the construction of the robot for the competition we faced what we felt was the impossible, build a competition robot in 6 weeks. As we progressed through the build season and tackled challenges, we slowly realized what our small team can accomplish.
Some of the challenges we faced included:
* Due to a lack of sponsors, we had to seek out sponsorship opportunities in the heat of build season costing us much of our build time.
* Although it may not appear so, our robot was built from metal rejects and scraps, because we lacked materials or a budget to buy market priced materials.
* Much of the team and our head mentor didn’t have any experience building a robot and had to learn during the build season.
* We lacked normal manufacturing machinery, so we had to work with small garage sized equipment.
* The team and the mentor had no experience in programming requiring us to learn through experimentation and many all nighters.
Nonetheless we overcame these challenges to complete the construction and to be ready for the competition. We exceeded all expectations finishing 7th in Orange County Regional and won the coveted Highest Rookie Seed Award, and Rookie All-Star Award (the most prestigious award available to Rookie teams.)
Short and Long Term Goals Besides Championships:
Our short term goal is to inspire students to create the future of science and technology by continuing the program in La Mirada and to start a Lego robotics program for special needs students in our area. We are also planning on building an Off-Season robot before the end of the year to teach our new students how the design and build process goes. By the end of this school year we will be able to reach our short term goals.
Our longer term goal is to use STEM based programs to inspire local students to create their own teams and our alumni to branch out and mentor and inspire children in their areas to enter the world of STEM.
We Thank You
We will greatly appreciate any donation to this team that will allow us to travel to Texas and compete.
Any overage or shortfall in our fundraising will be placed into a sustainability fund to ensure that our team continues for years to come.
Help spread the word!
A letter from Seth Borja - A 6554 team member
There are many experiences in life; some forgettable and some you remember for a lifetime. My name is Seth, I am a fifteen year old home educated high-school student and I am blessed to be a part of one such awesome event.
I never had much of an interest in engineering or technology, both were intimidating subjects to me; ideas of the far future for college.
Late last year, I ventured into this unknown territory, and joined a FIRST robotics team based in La Mirada; it has been one of the best choices I have ever made.
With a group of equally opinionated students, we had to learn to work together, to think clearly and rationally in times of stress, and most of all to respect each other despite differences. Through dedication and hard work, as well as the inevitable learning of life lessons, we have progressed from a place of very little experience and a truckload of prototyping wood…
…to a fully functioning robot capable of competing in the FIRST® robotics competition, FRC!
Throughout this time, I have developed confidence in myself, learned about engineering, and acquired skills with various tools. Anxious and slightly intimidated at the challenge ahead, my team and I competed at FRC’s Orange County Regional at the University of California Irvine, and we were blown away by the outcome. Our robot, designed and constructed by a group of teenagers in a small garage, not only competed well, but incredibly well! Our robot soared past quarter-finals, and then progressed to semi-finals where we came just shy of victory. But that was not the end…
…In a fantastic turn of events, our team was ranked 7th out of 52 teams, and we were blessed with the Highest Rookie Seed Award, placing us as the highest ranking rookie team in the entire tournament. Not only that, Phoenix went on to win the Rookie All Star Award, which qualifies us for World Championships in Houston, Texas.
With this challenge ahead of us, very little time, and exhausted funds, I ask you to please consider sponsoring our team. We anticipate the cost to be $8,000.00 to $10,000.00 dollars, to cover registration and travel expenses for the team; any donation will be greatly appreciated. If the donations fall short, all funds will go to next year’s robotics team to ensure that other people, like me, can explore the amazing world of FIRST robotics.
~Seth Borja (Team Phoenix, 6554)