Team 980 meets on Tuesday from 6:00pm – 9:00pm and Saturday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
907 Flower, Glendale, CA 91201
The FIRST Robotics Competition Team 980 ThunderBots, is an award-winning, non-profit organization of dedicated mentors, sponsors, and teachers working with students (through Grade 12) in a fast-paced robotics project. Each year, FIRST creates a new game to stimulate students’ critical thinking skills, providing an environment that encourages growth in problem-solving and teamwork. Our team engages students with professional mentors with years of experience in advanced development projects and business management. Besides creating and competing with a robot, our students also perform important non-engineering functions for the team, developing skills in marketing, communications, finance, and sound business practices. Additionally, FIRST graduates have access to over $16M dollars in college scholarships each year. We think of FIRST as a sport-like competition where all the students can become professionals.
Team 980 students attend various schools in the northern Los Angeles area, including John Burroughs, Bellarmine-Jefferson, Verdugo Hills High Schools, along with smaller local academies and home-schools. Team 980 competed in two FRC Aerial Assist events in 2014. Highlights include the Los Angeles Regional and the Inland Empire Regional Competitions. Our robotics team gained many new student members and some new mentors. We showed steady progress in these highly competitive events and made significant design improvements throughout the season. In LA Regional, we made it into qualification rounds and became finalists. Our last event of 2013, the Fall Classic, was hosted by Team 980 at John Burroughs HS. Team 980 has successfully hosted this SoCal off-season event since 2008.
The FIRST real-world experience helps mold our students into productive young adults.
Our mentors believe in the future of our students and challenge them to excel in a competitive world. Through our robotics program, we see the energy of young people redirected into creative problem-solving and teamwork which leads to success at many levels. People are impressed in seeing the diversity of teams that participate in FIRST. Teams composed of diverse ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups are extremely successful, not only in the competitions, but also in the “big-picture” results. Team 980 succeeds at many levels in FIRST, but the real trophies are our students who emerge as productive and energetic contributors to our future.
Like most FIRST teams, we need to raise funds in order to participate in the program (about $20K for 2013). A significant portion of the funds go to event registration fees ($9K) for two regional events in Long Beach and San Diego. We hope to qualify for the FRC Championship in St. Louis (additional $10K). The team typically purchases at least $5K in extra parts, materials, and tools for construction of the robot. In addition, funds are needed for team travel and miscellaneous expenses to participate in events at remote locations (about $10K, depending on the size of our traveling team). These funds are generally obtained via donations from generous sponsors. Students and parents bear a portion of their travel costs (transportation, lodging, meals, etc.) for some of the events.