Gracious Professionalism: The Westminster FIRST Robotics Team, the Cyborg Cats, have continually put an emphasis on gracious professionalism.  We are always on the lookout for ways to help other teams. For example, at the 2012 St. Louis regional competition, a few members of our team assisted team 3858 from the Science Center in reconstructing their robot after it had severe damage from falling off a bridge during a difficult match. In addition, we have partnered with Ladue High School by attending training sessions together and teaming up with them in the 2012 regional competition. As a team, we have made an active decision to provide assistance to other teams in the area. For the 2013 season, we have befriended rookie teams by sharing our experiences and knowledge we had gained from last year during our own rookie season.   

Teamwork:  Each team member of the Westminster FRC team 4256 is learning to work with others to design, create, and promote the robot and team as a whole. FIRST allows children of all ages to master the skills of working together. To bring the team together, every Wednesday the entire team meets to discuss the goals and accomplishments of each week. The skills we gain from teamwork now have provided us with a head start for working together in the future. 

Leadership:  We have sub-team leaders set up before the season begins. While the team works to design, program, and build a robot, their leadership skills are formed. The FRC program stretches many students to step out of their shells and teach others what they know, allowing upperclassmen to mentor underclassmen. Each of our sub-teams have team leads and co-leads providing opportunities for leadership positions and growth throughout the team. Our team leaders have put many hours into not only the robot itself, but preparing and helping younger robotics students, hoping to inspire them to continue the passion of First Robotics for many years to come.

Organization: To be a proper functioning team, we strive to be organized on all levels.  Students learn organization skills such as the engineering process, documenting, and budgeting. Organization allows for a safe environment where people desire to work and construct the robot. Learning these skills through an activity that they enjoy is benefiting for all members throughout high school, college, and the rest of their lives.

Perseverance:  Throughout the robot build season, things can become difficult, and it can be easy for team members to give up. In order to succeed, we need to learn to persevere and work through our difficulties with others and with the designing of the robot. Perseverance is an important skill and quality to develop, and it is useful in all aspects of life.

 Creativity:  To make our team appealing to judges and alliances we must use creative ideas to stand out among the many teams at regional. Our Public Relations team uses these skills everyday in advertising for the team and obtaining sponsors.

Respect of Ideas/Decision Making Process:  As we develop a product, we need to make many decisions.  Being a team with many people who have various opinions, this can be difficult.  We believe each person’s opinion is valuable, so we make every effort to make important decisions as an entire team by brainstorming, looking at pros and cons, and voting.  These decision making skills will be a great benefit to students in their future careers as they continue to work as a team with their colleagues.

Diversity:  Despite our home location in the suburbs of St.Louis County, we have various groups not only from many different backgrounds, but also different countries.  We have team members from China, Thailand, Canada, South Korea, and Mexico.

Expanding View of Career Possibilities:  There are many different aspects of FRC, and students often go into a certain sub-team only to discover they enjoy another part of the team as well.  Many team members have been inspired to change career paths through the life-changing experience they have had in the FIRST program.  As the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math grow, more job opportunities are opening up for students interested in these careers.  Not only will these jobs benefit our economy, but these fields also help to advance our society as a whole by making new discoveries and creating products that will make many lives easier.

 

 

The Cyborg Cats believe that true spirit of FIRST encompasses more than just science and technology, as we place high importance on impacting the community. Westminster, inspired by the enthusiasm generated by the Cyborg Cats, introduced the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM, initiative to both upper and middle schools. The upper school now offers engineering courses and scientific research courses to inspire the minds of students, enabling upper school students to major or minor in STEM. Our team has brought together many different personalities and talents with one mission: to honor God while building community that nurtures a love for science, technology, engineering, and math through excellence in workmanship, and leadership by service. At the beginning of this season, our FRC team hosted an event for around fifty fifth and sixth graders to experience some of the many fun parts of STEM. We partnered with our advancement department to reach out to kids who were not yet a part of our school community. At our school carnival, we had a booth dedicated to our FIRST team. We hung posters and handed out pamphlets about our team. We also sold FIRST’s e-watt saver light bulbs and handed out flyers about how they work. Team members wore their team shirts and were available to talk to students interested in our team and answer questions for them.