Robots Are Returning to Randolph!


Front Page / Jan. 5, 2017 9:34am EST

Mentor Steve Farrington looks on as Team 885 student members work on developing a robot. (Provided) Mentor Steve Farrington looks on as Team 885 student members work on developing a robot. (Provided) High school and middle school students with an interest in robotics, computers, building/design, or just plain fun, should mark Saturday, Jan. 7 on their calendars!

On that day, “FIRST” (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) will reveal this year’s robotics game challenge in a live NASA video broadcast to nearly 3,000 teams around the globe.

Team 885—“The Green Team”— invites interested students, their parents, and adult mentors to Gifford Medical Center in Randolph for this year’s kickoff event, Saturday, Jan. 7 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Team 885 includes students and mentors from 14 Central Vermont towns, who compete in events throughout New England, designing and building a robot in just six weeks.

Following the announcement of this year’s challenge, the team will begin discussing game strategy. Refreshments and lunch will be served.

An additional meeting will be held at Gifford on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. to start designing this year’s robot.

Work sessions are held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Team 885’s shop in the Enterprise Center on Route 66.

Throughout a six-week build period, students will use their creativity to design and build a robot from scratch, learning hands-on and analytical skills as they go.

The robot will have to perform tasks that, in the past, have included launching balls or frisbees at targets, climbing pyramids, stacking totes, and balancing with other robots on a teetering bridge. After completing the robot, team members travel to competitions held throughout New England.

Collaborative Effort

The FIRST program emphasizes collaboration and professionalism while teaching about science, technology, engineering, and math in a hands-on way with all the fun and excitement of a championship sporting event.

Students apply critical thinking and develop skills in mechanical design, electronics, troubleshooting, machining, fabrication, and programming.

But that’s not all; teams require diverse non-technical skills, too.

Team 885 seeks students and adult mentors with interests in video production, photography, social media, event planning, catering, and public outreach.

More than $20 million in college scholarships is available to FIRST Robotics Challenge team members each year. In recent years, Team 885 students have been awarded scholarships totaling $50,000.

For more information, visit or contact Amanda Wheeler at wheeler.

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