Unlike other school activities, our team is active even during the summer, during which our team members do a "post-mortem" of the past season, perform community service activities, and participate in strategy, planning, and recruiting.
In the fall semester, we not only engage companies to raise funds and have a pumpkin sale fundraiser, as well as go door-to-door to ask businesses for support, but we also learn concepts in business, communications, engineering, logistics, project management, and coding.
In early winter semester,the robot’s operational parameters are provided by FIRST - this is the "problem statement." These objectives can involve picking up objects, launching objects, climbing, and other functionalities.
Design of the robot begins with brainstorming and ideation sessions. CAD design of the robot must be completed 2 weeks from receiving the operational parameters from FIRST.
Mechanical and electrical teams build the robot within 2-4 weeks after CAD design.
Programming and coding of the robot takes place the entire time; project management teams keep every aspect on track.
The robot is tested and adjusted, and then the team proceeds to the competition phase, in which we compete in arena matches against other teams. This can involve travel, lodging, and other logistics related to competing out of town, and even out of state.
Thus, Wildcat 5E is a multifaceted operation, very similar to running a high tech start-up that has the goal of building, testing, and fielding a prototype.