FRC Team 303: The TEST Team
Testing… Please stand by
Who are We?
FIRST Robotics Competition Team 303: The TEST Team is the robotics team of the Bridgewater-Raritan High School. The team participates in two robotics competitions each year:
FIRST Robotics Competition(FRC) in the winter/early spring and
FIRST Tech Challenge(FTC) in the fall. Teams involved in the competition find out about the game at the same time worldwide. They have six weeks to design, build, and test their robots before traveling to a variety of venues, competing with other teams from all over the world.
Team 303 is supported by many corporate and local sponsors. These sponsors support the team financially, supply mentors and services, such as sheet metal fabrication, enabling the team members to have the best possible experience, and learn many skills that are applicable to many future professions.
What is FIRST?
FIRST, or For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is an organization founded "to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders”. FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor, Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers. It started with only twenty eight teams in a New Hampshire high school gymnasium, and now it reaches 250,000 young people every year. Students can compete in four different levels of competition ranging from first grade through high school.
- FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
- The largest scale competition featuring robots that can weigh up to 120 pounds. This is what Team 303 focuses most of its resources on. It starts in January, and runs through April.
- FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
- A smaller scale competition with a smaller price tag. The team has three FTC teams and uses them to train rookie members in the fall.
- FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
- A competition focused on building a LEGO Mindstorms robot to solve a series of challenges quickly and efficiently. Team 303 mentors several FLL teams.
- FIRST LEGO League Jr. (FLL Jr.)
- A simpler LEGO competition aimed at younger children to show them the importance of engineering.
Whether you're a student, parent, teacher, or professional, getting involved in FIRST is a life-changing decision. Students have the opportunity to be part of an unconventional school team, learn a massive amount, have opportunities to get a piece of the twenty million dollars of scholarship money that FIRST gives annually, and just have an amazing high school experience. Parents have the opportunity to work with their kids and others. Many team mentors used to help for the sake of their children, but once their kids graduated, they remained with the team. Professionals have the chance to practice their skills in a unique setting and pass them along to the next generation.
Gold Level Sponsors
Silver Level Sponsors
Bronze Level Sponsors
The Prudential Foundation
The Stark Family
The Steele Family
The Trivedi Family
Beginnings (1999 - 2006)
FRC Team 303: Vulgen's Heroes was created in 1999 as a partnership between Bihler of America, the Midland school and Pingry Academy. After the first season, Pingry decided to not participate further, and the Bridgewater-Raritan High School took their place. Throughout the next several years, the Midland-BRHS-Bihler partnership was incredibly successful. The BRHS and Midland students had the opportunity to work alongside real engineers to solve the fun challenge that FIRST created every year. Then Bihler engineers enjoyed the challenge of building the robot within very tight deadlines. After the second season, the team also changed its name from Vulgen's Heroes to Panther Robotics (a reference to the mascot of BRHS). Throughout this time period, Team 303 took home numerous robot awards and event victories.
After a couple of successful seasons for the team, Bihler could no longer allow their facilities to be used by the team. This was massively problematic to the team since their workspace, mentors, and funding all originated from Bihler. The team went searching for a new sponsor, but because of these unfortunate events Midland also decided to leave the team. Team 303 was now exclusively part of the Bridgewater-Raritan High School. As the 2007 season approached, things began to look up: while the team did not have one big sponsor to replace Bihler, many smaller donations started to fill the gap, but the team was still in desperate need of a build site. After looking at classrooms, students' garages, and other solutions, Pressure Tube Manufacturing (PTM), stepped in, and allowed Panther Robotics the use of its facilities.
303 Renaissance (2008 - 2010)
With their newfound stability, Team 303 went through an era of massive growth and development. Like they had done with Midland, the team continued to give back to the community by raking leaves and shoveling snow for the elderly. In addition, they created an engineering program for fourth/fifth graders to attend after school. The team also started an off-season event called the Bridgewater-Raritan Battle Royale (BR2) that occurred every year in late May and was attended by around thirty teams. Along the way we started several green initiatives such as recycling metal scraps and cans, collecting old cell phones and electronics, and cleaning up its high school. These activities benefited both the team and the community. The growth of the team culminated with its successful 2010 season, in which it made waves in both the New Jersey and Connecticut Regionals by making it into semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively, and running a strategy booth to help every team maximize their scouting information.
A New Era (2011)
At the end of 2011, Team 303 became homeless once more when PTM decided that they could no longer provide a workspace for the team. Fortunately, Team 303 quickly found a temporary workspace at STS Tire & Auto Center that would give them a place to work during the build season. That temporary workspace turned into a strong partnership and a permanent home for the team that is still near and dear to the hearts of Team 303 members. 2011 was a huge year for the team; it won both the New Jersey and Philadelphia Regionals, and made it into eliminations at the World Championship. In the summer that followed, the team formed the Student Leadership Council (SLC). The creation of the SLC was a huge milestone that marked a large transition of power from the mentors/advisors to the students.
Testing... (2012 - Present)
The team’s transformation was complete in 2012 when they decided that neither the red/black color scheme nor the panther mascot were very unique. After a big image change, Panther Robotics became the TEST Team with a unique teal color and festive test pattern logo. TEST stands for Technologists, Engineers, Students, and Teachers, the major groups that make up the team. The change was a massive success that led to the team winning an Imagery Award at their second competition of the season. 2013 was an even better season for the team, especially after a lackluster robot performance in 2012. This was the first year of the team’s MAR district event at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, which is still thriving to this day. As one of the top teams in the region, the team qualified for the 2013 World Championship. The team was alliance captain and went on to win the Newton Division, advancing to Einstein and finishing third. Team 303 had another monumental year in 2014, not only winning the Chairman's award for the first time at a district event, but again at the MAR Championship, beating teams who had been winning it consistently for years. The future only looks bright for TEST Team 303: they recently acquired a major new sponsor that will bring their robots to the next level by adding metal fabrication to the team's tool kit. The team’s district event has grown exponentially, and is expecting 3,000 guests this year. But, no matter what happens in the future, the team has shown its ability to conquer any challenge and be a source of inspiration in its school, community, and world.
Students on Team 303 are split into two categories: build and team development (TD). The build team focuses on everything related to the robot, and team development focuses on the general operations of the team such as imagery, fundraising, awards, and outreach. The build team and TD team support each other in many ways. The build team always comes to support outreach events, such as the 4H fair and team development always cheering for the robot at competitions. Within the two halves, there are eight sub-teams so students can focus on more specialized tasks.
- Builds the physical structure of the robot.
- Implements all of the robot’s electrical components.
- Designs the code that runs the robot.
- Precisely designs the robot and modeling parts for 3D printing or metal fabrication.
- Leads the robot design process, drive team selection, and competition scouting/pick lists.
- Runs fundraisers and works with sponsors to make sure the team is financially stable.
- Makes sure the team is always giving back to the community in new and creative ways.
- Works with the media to give the team exposure as well as photographing and videotaping events.
The team’s parents and mentors are part of an organization called Team 303 RAMP, or, the Robotics Alliance of Mentors and Parents. Team 303 RAMP is a 501(c)3 organization. It works to support the students by mentoring them, providing additional funding, and organizing things such as concession stands at events and travel arrangements.
Visit the Team 303 RAMP Website
|Tyler Stark||2015||Build Captain|
|Christine Cai||2016||Team Development Captain|
|Remo Colarusso III||2015||Mechanical Lead|
|Peter Colarusso||2015||Electrical Lead|
|Matt Schueler||2015||Programming Lead|
|Tanay Trivedi||2015||Strategy Lead|
|Colleen Clancey||2015||Fundraising Lead|
|Lakshna Mageshkumar||2016||Awards Lead|
|Sonia Gupta||2017||Media Lead|
|Jack Steele||2016||CAD Lead|
|Name||Field||Role on Team|
|Lauren Dahl||Team Advisor||Team organization, travel arrangements, school contact.|
|Mike Scott||Mechanical Engineering||Primary build and pit mentor|
|Jodi Stark||Design and Production Management||Primary team development and photography mentor|
|Jeff Steele||Electrical/Computer Engineering||Electrical and programming mentor and 4H organizer|
|Ed Schueler||Software Engineering||Programming mentor|
|Christine Schueler||Web Development||Website mentor|
|George Ackley||Communications||Awards mentor|
|Jeff Steele||Vice President|
|Diane Botsford||Concessions Manager|
|Nelson Botsford||Member at Large|
|Francine Heitmueler||Member at Large|
|Edward Schueler||Member at Large|
FIRST Robotics Competition Team 303
Bridgewater-Raritan High School
600 Garretson Road
Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807
STS Tire & Auto Center
1 STS Drive
Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807