About the Program
The W.A.F.F.L.E.S. FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team was started in 2013 and given the team number 4476. As an entirely community-based team, any area student in grade 8 through 12 is welcome to join! No prior experience is required.
An FRC team is like a small business, and the technical aspects of the team are about as close to real-world engineering as you can get. Each year in January, a new game challenge is released. Teams then have less than two months to design, build, program, and test a 125-pound robot to compete in exciting events throughout March and April. Robots compete on a 27′ by 52′ field, working in alliances of 3 to score as many points as possible in 2.5 minute matches packed with action. Students work alongside community professionals and Queen’s University engineering students who guide and teach as mentors. Students also work with the business and non-technical aspects of the team by developing the team brand, recruiting fundraising, creating award submissions and presentations, team media, website design, and more.
FRC teams encompass many different skills and areas of interest–there is a place for everyone!
- Designing, machining and assembling robot parts
- Wiring electrical components of the robot
- Coding autonomous and driver-operated programs
- Robot and design strategy
- Fundraising and sponsor relations
- Marketing and recruitment
- Written awards submissions and presentations
- Team branding
- Website design, graphic design, and social media
- Team photography and videography
- Sewing bumpers for the robot
- Creating props for awards presentations
- Hands-on experience with tools
- Create a robot from scratch and compete in exciting, sports-like events
- Work with sophisticated hardware and software such as SolidWorks (3D-modelling) and Java (programming language)
- Work alongside mentors (professionals and FRC alumni)
- Gain real-world, applicable experience with engineering and business
- Make lasting friends with team members and those on other teams
- Strengthen soft skills such as time-management, communication, teamwork, self-confidence, and so much more
- Have access to $80 million in scholarships available exclusively to alumni of the program
Joining Our Team
In the off-season, our team usually meets once a week on Friday nights at our 115 Barrack Street location. During the build season, we have meetings almost every day (but no one is expected to attend every meeting–we have loose shifts). We recommend that members (both students and mentors) attend 2-6 meetings a week to get the most out of the program, as things progress quickly during the build season.
All of our programs communicate using a platform called Slack, which is commonly used in workplaces. Students, parents, and mentors will receive an invitation to join Slack upon registration so that we can effectively send announcements and communicate about team meetings and events.
There is no fee to join the team, but if you are interested in attending competitions (which we strongly encourage you to!), then there is a fee that must be fundraised or paid. Feel free to talk to us about accommodations and how you can fundraise.
Parental involvement is encouraged for this program. Parents often help by making meals for the team, helping to organize accommodations for competitions, or stepping into a mentor role. Ask us if you aren’t sure how to help!
We are always looking to expand our team of mentors. If you’re interested in mentoring for any one of the areas listed on this page, then send us an email and let us know!
Above is a recap from our 2019 season, which gives you a bit more of a look at competitions and our team at events! Check our our channel for more videos.