The History of Our Team
Our high school age FRC team, the Daedalus Project, is the flagship of the American Heritage Charter Robotics Program. The FLL, grades 4-6, and FTC teams, grades 7-8 from Heritage K-8 Charter School were developed to get younger students excited about robotics early and keep them excited into high school. All of our programs work together to create a seamless opportunity for the advancement of students.
The Daedalus Project is the official name of our team, inspired by the Greek creative Engineer who designed the maze to contain the Minotaur monster. Our FTC team is Kronos, after the Greek god who lead the Titans and fathered the Olympians. Our FLL teams also follow the Greek mythology, Poseidon, Spartans, Cyclops, Telemachus, Illiad, and Odyssey.
Over the last eight years, we have developed a robotics culture that includes over 80 students in grades 4-12. We have involved parents every step of the way, and they have become our biggest advocates as they see the response of their students and the growth of their interest in science and technology. We have recruited several of our parents to become coaches and mentors, and they have reached deep into their networks to help provide us with contacts, resources in the industry, and within the community.
Our teams has matured over the years and expanded into new areas as opportunities present themselves. We started with two FTC teams, but decided to combine them into one team when we realized the amount of resources that were needed to make a team successful. FTC and FRC used to share a shop, used on alternate days, but with the FTC expanding we decided each group needed separate space. It was a difficult thing to do, but we managed to find additional space for our FTC team, and our FRC team built a new shop for them over the summer of 2014.
We started the robotics program with a Jr. FLL team for grades 2-3, but now start the program with our FLL teams, which have also been with us from the very beginning. Over the years, the organization has grown and now we are able to provide two coaches for each team, as well as two lead mentors, who train and assist the coaches. This year we grew from four to six teams, assisting one of the new teams to make buttons they designed, to wear and give out at their qualifying tournament, emulating the FRC program. The coaches and mentors are all parent volunteers, providing the opportunity for all interested students to participate. In the fall of 2015 we established a new location for the FLL team, also building them extra practice tables.
Such a large FLL program has led to the exciting decision to return to two FTC teams next year. In addition to hosting and running qualifying tournaments for our younger teams, our FRC team provides mentoring and fabrication help to the younger students, allowing the older students to learn how to share their knowledge and skill and help others, and inspire the younger students with a picture of how skilled they could be if they continue in the robotics program.