Here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us by sending an email to us.

What is FIRST?

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a global organization trying to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) amongst the young people of today.  Through robotics competitions held for students aged six to eighteen, FIRST hopes to teach not only engineering and teamwork, but also a concept called Gracious Professionalism®, which means to not only respect the members of our teams, but also other teams and our communities.  It’s why we at Cupertino Robotics say that we’re building people and robots.

What is the FIRST Tech Challenge?  

The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is a robotics competition for students in grades 8-12. Students work to solve complex challenges and develop engineering skills in both hardware and software. Not only do students learn about engineering, but they also gain valuable life skills in communication and leadership. At CHS Robotics, we use FTC as a “junior varsity team” for freshmen and sophomores to prepare them for the FIRST Robotics Challenge. Cupertino Robotics fields six FTC teams: Team 4950, Tino Dynamite; Team 6038, Tino Autobots; Team 7128, Tino Trailblazers; Team 7610, Tino Frontier; Team 11466, Tino Voyagers; and Team 11467, Tino Vanguard. Learn more about the FIRST Tech Challenge by clicking here.

What is the FIRST Robotics Challenge?

The FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) is a competition open to all high school students interested in engineering.  FRC teams build large robots weighing under 120 pounds that compete in a different challenge each year that requires a culmination of hardware, software, and electrical engineering combined with hundreds of hours of work.  Cupertino Robotics has a single FRC team, composed of juniors and seniors, team 2473, the Goldstrikers. Learn more about the FIRST Robotics Competition by clicking here.

How do I join? Do I need any previous experience?

It’s easy to join the club or team. To join a team, simply drop by at one of our info meetings (held at the start of the school year for FTC and at the end of the school year for FRC) and attend the summer training. Or, if you decide to join later the club on in the year, drop in during one of our club meetings held every other Tuesday at lunch or email us at cupertinorobotics@gmail.com and join our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/tinorobotics/. We teach robotics from the ground up, so no prior experience is necessary.

I want to be in robotics, but I have a fall sport/band! How do I participate?

Since robotics requires a significant commitment of about five hours a week, you most likely will have scheduling conflicts and won’t be able to make our meetings.  However, you are welcome to join the Cupertino Robotics Club, which requires far less commitment. As a part of the club, you’ll still be able to participate in many exciting engineering activities and have some of the same experiences as being on a team.

How can I support the teams?

The participation of Cupertino  teams in FIRST competitions depends on the generous contributions of those in our community.  While the bulk of our funding comes from private sponsors, community support and member donations make up nearly 25% of our $30,000 budget.  Donations of tools and parts are also greatly appreciated and accepted. You can also show your support by cheering on the teams at one of our many competitions or by donating your time by becoming a mentor.  Learn how by clicking here. Thank you for your support.

Can I join if I am from another school?

Due to limited space and our school’s rules, we cannot allow students from other schools to join our club or teams.  If your school does not have its own team, you can join another local team by clicking here or by forming your own team, which you can learn how to do by clicking here or here.

How can I participate if I’m not interested in working on the robot?

You can still be a member of our club and hear guest speakers and attend business tours or be a member of one of our business committees.

Got more questions?