The Bronx Science Sciborgs represents the co-ed robotics team from one of the top public high schools in the city. There are approximately 50 members on the team, ranging from freshmen to seniors, who are subdivided into different departments. Our team is comprised of some of the brightest and the best of our school - every member on the team has shown a strong dedication and passion for what they do, whether it's programming, construction or public relations.
We are dedicated to finding ways of applying technology for practical uses by designing and building a robot for the FIRST robotics competition. However, we are not just a team about excelling in our craft or winning a competition, but also about expanding our knowledge and carrying it on to others. Almost every member on the team since its founding in 2002 started out with little to no experience in their field. It is the team's goal to pass on the skills/knowledge to those who have a passion to learn and shape them into an educated and experienced engineer or programmer.
We collaborate together in a multitude of ways to both learn and teach robotic technology to each other and to the community at large. Our influence reaches people of all age levels. The Sciborgs have held computer classes at local nursing homes, on Women in Engineering day and various other programs. Every year, the Sciborgs participate in the Maker Faire, teaching kids about robotics and facilitating in the development of their interest in coding and constructing robots. In 2006, the Sciborgs assisted in founding one of the only all girls robotics team in the entire FIRST competition. By doing so, the team helped females step out of the pre-established shadows and discover their place in programming and engineering.
We are here to build something big. We're here to create something magnificent. We're here to be a part of the force that is transforming the world. Join us as we head into competition with spirit, determination and probably a Taylor Swift cardboard cutout.
FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
Each year, high school teams across the country compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition, commonly referred to as FRC. The FIRST Robotics Competition provides the opportunity for high school students and their mentors to work together to solve a common problem. They will have six weeks to design and build a robot using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Each year the challenge is designed by Dean Kamen, FRC staff, and a committee of engineers and other professionals. The competition is in the form of a game, often with unique twists and opportunities that give teams the ability to strategize and construct a robot that fits best to their strategy. FIRST redefines winning for these students by rewarding teams for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, Gracious Professionalism, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring points is a secondary goal- winning means building partnerships that last.
Dean Kamen is an inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. His passion and determination to help young people discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology have lead him to create FIRST, which he started "to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders". "FIRST is more than robots.The robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect – of the program nor of themselves. They leave, even after the first season, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future.
Anyone can start their own team! We love to see new teams compete ever year at the FRC competitions. You’ll find that FIRST teams are often very friendly and are willing to help out other teams, even when they are facing each other in competition. To start a team, you'll need adult mentors with technical expertise, high school aged students, sponsorship, a meeting place, space to design and build a robot, access to tools, and the ability to donate your time during the build and competition season. Learn more about how to start your own team here.
Inventor and FIRST® Founder Dean Kamen launched the 2015 FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) season with the Kickoff of a new robotics game called RECYCLE RUSHSM before a crowd of more than 800 people at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H., hometown of FIRST Headquarters. Nearly 75,000 high-school students on approximately 3,000 teams at 107 venues around the globe joined the 2015 Kickoff via live Comcast NBCUniversal broadcast.
RECYCLE RUSH is a recycling-themed game played by two Alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.
At the Kickoff, FIRST Robotics Competition teams were shown the RECYCLE RUSH playing field and received a Kit of Parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, a PC, and a mix of automation components worth tens of thousands of dollars – and only limited instructions.
Co-heads: Peter Coulombe and Brian Shelton With 21 members, the Sciborg’s construction team is responsible for the physical design and build of the robot. Once the game is announced, the construction department, along with the programming department, must plan out a “blueprint” of the robot, so that the physical automaton works fluidly with the virtual code. During build season, members divide up into small groups to work on certain tasks and parts of the robot.
Head: Kshitiz Sharma Without code, the robot is just metal and wires. The 20-member programming team is responsible for the virtual code and software of the robot. Using Java, the programmers must design and write a functional code that will enable the robot to carry out tasks efficiently. In the short amount of time before build season and during build season, veteran team members must teach new members to code before they can start working on the coding. Those working in electronics must wire up the electrical components of the robot.
Co-heads: James Seo and Mona Miao Consisting of 9 members, the Public Relations department deals with the creative, business and outreach aspect of running a robotics team. Working as the face of the Sciborgs, the PR team connect the team to the outside world by reaching out to sponsors, maintaining the website with articles and pictures, designing business products, preparing award submissions as well as coordinating all outreach efforts.
The Sciborgs were formed in November of 2002 by three teachers and eight students, at The Bronx High School of Science, with the help of a Professor at Manhattan College. It was a rough start for the founding members though. When the team was started, there was little support from the school as well as very little funding to run a team that usually takes $50,000 to run. The team had too few tools, too small a work force and, as is the way of Bronx Science students, a 2 hour train ride home for each member. But as is also the way of Bronx Science Students, the team completed their robot and went on to compete at the NYC Regionals.
With the new school year at hand it came time to recruit new members. With most of the original team still intact, they set out upon the school and recruited a new set of about eight students. The new workspace for the team moved to Manhattan College and a new teacher, Mr.Omoloju, as well as new mentor, Jon Cook, had joined the team. With more students and growing interest, the team began to expand. With sponsors such as the Bronx Science Alumni, The Hennessey Family Foundation, Con-Edison, and the support of the school and family, the Sciborgs had a promising year ahead. After six weeks of work the team had created an award winning robot. At the 2004 NYC regionals the team reached the quarter finals and won the Delphi “Driving Tomorrow’s Technology” Award for an innovative stair climbing mechanism.
With the ’03-’04 year gone, most of the original team has graduated and the team lost 3 mentors. But with every graduation, there is a new freshmen class and new mentors. The team has grown in popularity within Bronx Science. The new year brought a multitude of new faces and skills, totaling over 60 members. The team’s new strength and numbers brought a much needed boost. The Sciborgs shop was relocated to a shop room within Bronx Science. As the ’04-’05 game was released, “Stack Attack”, build season kicked in and once again, according to the rules of FIRST, the robot was shipped off and competition was at hand. The team once again climbed the ladder and made it to the quarter finals. But as an added bonus, thanks to great leadership and organization, the team was awarded the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award for great business planning and organization.
In ’05-’06 the team was a force to be reckoned with in Bronx Science, boasting over 60 members with more to come in the freshmen class. Not only had the sponsorship of the team increased funds to a $35,000 budget but with the new budget came a new mentor, Thomas Redding, a colleague of current mentor Jon Cook, and other new members. In all of the outreach to local community centers and word of mouth, the team recruited 2 core members from Hostos-Lincoln Academy for Science as well as two new 12th grade members and a multitude of freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Work continued on and as always, starting in January and going for six weeks, the robot was completed to compete in the “Aim High Challenge”. Along with robot building the team held computer classes at a local nursing home, Women in Engineering day and various other programs. The outreach program had increased tenfold and at the ’06 NYC regional, the Sciborgs were ready. Reaching the quarter-finals for the third year in a row was a disappointing blow, but not for long. The hard work and community outreach had paid off, because at the awards ceremony the Sciborgs won the Regional Engineering Inspiration Award, allowing them entrance into the Championships held in Atlanta, Georgia. The Georgia trip was one for the record books for the Sciborgs. it was the team's first trip to the International championships and a long deserved trip after 3 years of dedicated work.
The ’06-’07 year brought many of the same things as years before - new members, new mentors, more funding and more robotics. But this year brought all of that, multiplied by two. With help from Sponsor Barry Weinberg, the Sciborgs worked with their female colleagues to form an all girls robotics team to build, compete and share ideas along side with. Both teams worked together in the same shop space to create two unique robotics designs to compete at NYC. The Sciborgs competed at both NJ and NYC regionals. At NJ, the Sciborgs were regional finalists thanks to their teammates and the monster defense driving brought by team captain, George Hsieh. At NYC, thanks to their new sister team the IRON “Fe” Maidens and consistent community outreach, they won the highest honor that FIRST awards, The Regional Chairman’s Award, as well as making it to the quarter finals. Their sister team, after only 5 months in creation and many community programs held, was awarded the Rookie All Star Award. These accomplishments granted BOTH teams entrance into the Championships. Once again giving them a chance to compete in the International finals.
The Sciborgs were the Connecticut Regional quarter-finalists and NYC Regional quarter-finalists in 2008. In 2009, the team won the Rockwell Automation and Innovation in Control Award and were NYC Regional finalists and the winner of the Connecticut Regional. The Sciborgs were once again finalists at the 2010 NYC Regional and won the Pit Safety Award. In 2012 and 2013, the team were NYC Regional quarter-finalists.
Since then, the team has continued to grow, gaining new recruits and mentors yearly. More and more students are finding an interest and a passion in engineering and technology as they find their niche in the Sciborgs and FeMaidens community. The '14-'15 year has brought new changes, thanks to the support of the Bronx Science Alumni Association. Preparation for a new, expanded construction shop began and was finally unveiled in January. With new tools, a new captain and an everlasting spirit, the team will be heading into competition carrying knowledge, determination and probably a Taylor Swift cardboard cutout.