The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) is an annual high school robotics tournament–the largest in the world. Participation requires a team of students to design, build, program, test, and operate a 120 pound robot. This inherently provides practice in following the engineering design process, machining metal, and working with industry-standard software such as SolidWorks® and LabVIEW®. Members also learn to work effectively in teams, fund-raise, and formally communicate; ultimately, they gain the skills necessary to flourish in a professional environment. Many alumni agree that experience on a FIRST Robotics Competition team is the closest opportunity one may have to working as a "real engineer" while being in high school.
Currently, many educational opportunities like this are only available to those with sufficient funds. The few that are more accessible typically place little to no emphasis on the development of excellent professional skills and are catered toward a specific demographic. This results in teams that are homogeneous in culture, gender, world view, and social aptitude. Bull City Botics fully believes in and embraces the power of diversity to think creatively, solve problems, and achieve impactful results. Furthermore, a holistic view of STEM education focuses on the technical aspects required to succeed in the workplace as well as the excellent interpersonal, leadership, and ethical skills that make the application of technical knowledge so much more effective.
With that in mind, we introduce Bull City Botics: a first-year robotics team based at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina. Our mission is to provide a low-cost holistic engineering education to public and homeschool students in Durham through participation in the FIRST Robotics Competition, hosting summer programs, and organizing community enrichment events–all while creating environments in which all identities are made to feel safe and valued.
In addition to the professional and technical development opportunities offered through participation in an FRC team, Bull City Botics students benefit from a curriculum inspired by that of NC State University’s Park Scholarships. Students hear presentations from guest speakers, participate in leadership development exercises, and engage in group discussions about world view and philosophy.
To further improve our community and instill an appreciation for philanthropy, Bull City Botics hosts outreach events organized by student members. These events include family STEM nights, robot demonstrations at local elementary schools, and education sessions for younger students. In the future, our team hopes to found and manage robotics teams and summer programs at the elementary and middle school level. It is our intention to establish a “pipeline” of sorts–a continuous and rigorous holistic engineering education from kindergarten to college. We will create a Durham in which every student has the opportunity to gain the skills to create, communicate, and advocate with efficacy.
Donations can be made directly to the team by using the donate button on the right of the page. This will link to our Edco Fundraising Page which is our primary means of fundraising. If you would prefer to mail a donation or request an in person pick up, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below you can view our fundraising breakdown. We thank you for your consideration.