The Juggernauts represent Oakland Schools and our corporate sponsors The Chrylser Foundation, BAE Systems and Hirotec America. The Juggernauts have been around since 1997. Through a storied history as the Team with the #1, we continue to give opportunities to all interested in technology. Our campus provides practical career and technical education to high school students from Oakland County’s 28 public school districts, private learning institutions and home schools. Students spend part of their day studying at their “home” school and the other part actively involved in one of several career clusters. Students can choose from Culinary, Cosmetology, Business, Health, Transportation, Construction, and Engineering. Oakland Schools Technical Campuses offer a free Engineering/Emerging Technologies (EET) college-and-career readiness program to all high school juniors and seniors in Oakland County. The EET program prepares students for a highly paid technical, design or engineering career in areas that are critical for the success our country.
OSTC-NE helps prepare students for careers in science and technology. OSTC-NE houses many career programs, but most Juggernauts come from the Engineering and Emerging Technologies program. (In fact, some of the Engineering students are members of other FRC teams as well). The Engineering program teaches students all aspects of engineering and manufacturing. Being a part of FIRST is great for our students. It gives them a practical application in which they can utilize their design and fabrication skills. The work for FRC counts as part of their technical curriculum. Juggernauts also participate in an after-school Competitive Engineerng enrichment course which is open to anyone, whether they attend the day school or not. It allows students to further pursue and understand engineering.
Another learning opportunity is a summer course where students synthesize the basics of physics with the engineering design and build process. By the end, students are able to build a fully functional robot, based on old FIRST games. After the class, they donate the working chassis to other FRC teams. This class is offered to any student in Oakland County. Everyone, even students from other FRC teams, should have an opportunity to learn about robotics. It helps create more exciting competition. All together, these opportunities allow year-round exposure to science and technology. Our teams’ focus is Education, and it is what we want to be known for. We are proof that FIRST works, because we have taken our inspiration and are doing something with it. When we leave school and FIRST, we will already be on our way to a future of science and technology.
This year, the Juggernauts focused on new and innovative ways to spread the word of FIRST. This year we put on a Junior Robotics tournament. The Tournament was held at the Main Campus of Oakland Schools in January. It was a direct result of a $20,000 grant, written by our team, to raise money to get Junior High School students more involved in Technology. We purchased kits of materials and control systems for 12 middle schools to build competition robots. We also gave these 12 schools curriculum materials so they could use robotics to explore other subjects, such as
Also, the Juggernauts put on seven “Family Engineering Nights” as part of a county-wide initiative to help parents get their children interested in emerging technologies via an exciting evening of hands-on activities at the Oakland Schools Technical Campuses. Upper-elementary and middle school students explored STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with Mom or Dad in a fun introductory evening complete with snacks and door prizes. “Our Family Engineering Nights offer kids and parents an opportunity to go station-to-station, interact with a series of activities and actually engage in engineering tasks”, says Mike McIntyre, Career Focused Education STEM Coordinator at Oakland Schools (and Team 1 mentor). We also geive the children a chance to drive our FIRST robot. We want them to see that THEY can be the next generation of problem solvers.
Lastly, the Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association (OCCRA) is still alive and well. Since 2000, this model has given many teams a fall sport that prepares them for FIRST. A dozen FIRST teams got their start through OCCRA. It has also given FIRST and others a model for successfully running a competitive robotics league. Many of the mentors from FIRST in Michigan are part of OCCRA. They understand how robotics can work, not only as an educational piece, but also as an engineering sport in their local high schools. This year OCCRA grew to 24 teams as high schools realized the importance of robotics all year round. The juggernauts help the Oakland Schools Foundation raise money for the league, by bringing our “robotics road shows” to events like the Dream Cruise. We also continue to provide resources for all robotics teams by way of an 84 page instructional guide, a team building CD and workshops for building robots. We also support teams via phone calls, emails and team visits. We even open our shop to teams who need to fabricate components.
Our mentors are a big source of inspiration for us. This year the students were able to work alongside former Juggernauts and other engineers. Alex Meier was a Juggernaut as a youth, but is now a mentor because, “They gave me the opportunity to learn engineering principles along with helping in my decision to go into engineering. It would only be right to give back...GO Team 1!” Bob Showler also has joined the Juggernauts this year as a mentor. He is a Lead Design Engineer and has helped in teaching the students as he would say, “the right way to do it”. Our mentors show what is possible and teach our students how to achieve their goals. The students have the ability to design, fabricate, program, and build the robot. They also have the ability to set goals and realize them. The mentors allow us to get the most of the FRC experience by letting the students be an active part in the entire robot design and building process.
The 2013 Juggernauts will continue to grow as an unique team in FIRST. We do things the Juggernaut way. We find innovative ways to spread the Inspriation of Science and Technology of FIRST the best way we possibly can. Our school district gives us the opportunity to put on a robotics tournament down the hallway from the board room, which shows us how important Inspiration, Science, and Technology is to them. Team 1 is a model for anyone to see that no matter what resources you have, what ideas you may come up with, TRY! You never know what you might learn or the impact you may have on someone else. We are a team that is driven by education and delights in applying that knowledge. We strive to make our visions become