Robotics Lore

Note: This is a totally humorous account of the history of Team 1912. There are no intentions of seriousness or pretentiousness. For a true record, please visit the Awards Page.

In a world where science and technology do not assume their god-given place as Kings of American culture, one organization fights to reinstate the fallen lords. Against all odds these hounded, hunted heroes founded FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Over years of grueling labor their number grew to thousands of fervent high schoolers, with centers all over the world. In 2006, one group of Louisiana high school students took an oath to convert the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain to the way of FIRST. To achieve this impossible dream, they founded a team: Northshore High Robotics, Team 1912.

In the beginning, the team was called the Northshore Krewe, clothed in robes of regal purple as they constructed the first robot. It was fittingly christened Rex, King. After six weeks of toil they shipped him to Houston, the handpicked site of their domination. But, alas, they could not harvest the fruits of their labor, for Rex's body was too complex to function, and so the king of robots fell into utter ruin. But, the members of that year possessed grit and fortitude, and held their heads high in cheerfulness, and were rewarded for their good nature by the Gracious Professionalism Award. Among the list of storied 1912 alumni, a renowned set of six students from the founding year stands high above all others. So great was their devotion to FIRST's cause, so fervent their dedication to promoting science and technology among others, that their names would be forever immortalized as the Stalwarts.

The indelible mark of those legendary founders lie in the traditions they began. Every year, as the illustrious first students did, the team gathers and bestows a series of celebrated awards upon the members of their team for their astonishing achievements. Chief among these is the most renowned prize of them all, the ultimate badge of courage, strength, and sheer masculinity: the All That is Man Award. Other allocates are personalized to each individual's best traits. Even the very place where they worked would become legendary in the annals of Team 1912. The large floor space of Planning Systems Inc. (PSI) would become known across the Northshore as an altar of science and technology, a citadel of FIRST beliefs so rampantly defended by the brave students working there. Despite being abandoned for two long years, 1912 would return in 2009 to the site of so many memories to begin work anew, and that is still the spiritual home of the team.

A dark cloud fell upon the robotics fellowship. But the next year, armed with experience, knowledge, and new comrades, they begin anew, with simplicity as their creed. Clad in maroon and named "Nuts and Volts", they endeavored to build what would become 1912's greatest work. Legend tells of the simple, sturdy, yet elegant robot they built that year, the "Nutcracker." Honors and accolades like the Innovation in Control Award were showered upon it, and that year, its quest for ultimate glory ended with triumph and victory at the Bayou Regional in New Orleans. It continued on to the legendary event in Atlanta, the summit of all FIRST Robotics, the ultimate test of strength and honor: Championships. There ultimate success slipped through the fingers of the Nutcracker, but they went home a proud team. The masterful drivers, human player, and coach on the floor that year would be remembered for their skill, bravery, and hunger to achieve greatness. Among the canon of great 1912 members, their names stand out as the Championship team.

This year too, in the blazing glory of their success, the team members established yet another tradition, where the team gathers by a pool in an extravagant feast with all manners of romp and festivities to celebrate the immortal message of the organization they so fervently love, that of a scientific world. At that very same banquet their distinguished awards are bestowed upon the worthy students.Meanwhile, the team began its storied tradition of spreading the influence of science and technology among the society of the Gulf Coast, by doing demos and community service.

The next year, now Team Combustion, a team of electric blue and gold, 1912 attempted to rekindle their triumph. But fate was not on their side that year, as their unfortunate robot, Pyro, slowly succumbed to complex idea and designs cemented into the minds of the builders. Success would elude them, despite receiving the Judge's Award, and memories of triumph would become mingled with tragedy.

1912 entered 2009 determined not to repeat the mistakes of the previous year, and with defeat fresh in their minds and an insatiable hunger to win, Team Combustion knew that this was their year. Unfortunately, they did not perform as well as expected. But that year would become immortalized in 1912 lore as the lone year that their legendary mentor, Dale Bibee, received the honor of honors, an award cementing the almost god-like status he held as a teacher of difficult engineering concepts: the Woodie Flowers Award. That combined with the Gracious Professionalism Award, would keep morale high and give good reason for celebration.

As Team Combustion began 2010 it sought to expand its technology empire beyond the Slidell borders. It dispatched its army of members to spread the FIRST way of life through a myriad of demos and activities. Soon its fingerprints were felt across the Gulf Coast, from Slidell city events to company workplaces. The fervor was carried into build season, and across the board 1912 triumphed. In one four-week period 1912 doubled the number of awards, receiving seven, including the hallowed masterpiece of FIRST, the ultimate testament to backbreaking labor spent in the service of science and technology, the supreme title bestowed upon FRC teams: the Chairman's Award.

With that prestigious prize a new era dawned in the annals of Team Combustion. A new epoch began in 2011 as the light of science and technology began to burn with a renewed intensity across the Gulf Coast, illuminating the masses with the guiding light of progress. Team 1912 led the way with dozens of demos and abounding activities. The legendary Combustion Triangle was formed. First came the students, the fuel, the untapped potential waiting to be lit. Next came the oxygen, the mentors and teachers who feed the flame of technology with their skills and guidance. Finally the spark of the sponsors ignited the fire and created a beacon of FIRST flames. This backbreaking labor was recognized with the Best Website Award, the Gracious Professionalism Award, the Dean's List Award (a triumph for President Hannah Sorrell), and once again, the ultimate talisman of victory: the Chairman's Award. It was bestowed on us again; the honor of the award nearly made us burst into flames.

Team Combustion, like an incessantly growing fire, continued to add new activities and exhibitions, determined to build on their previous successes for the 2012 season. 1912 attacked on all fronts. Our newest robot lead the seventh alliance in the final rounds of our regional competition. Although not victorious, our stalwart drivers gave it their all. To end the regional, Team Combustion seized the Chairman's Award for the third time in the row, continuing the reign of the House of Team Combustion. 1912's pinnacle achievement at the International Competition proved to be having Dean's List Winner, for team member Rachel Holladay distinguished herself from the crowd for her victory.

Coming off the flames of such a fiery season, how could 1912 spread the fire even further? 2013 saw the rise of truly national outreach, with students bringing FIRST directly to the governor's office, the National AARP, the National PTA's diversity chair, and fabled Yazoo City, MS. These heroic exploits earned 1912 a 4th consecutive Chairman's Award, capping a generation of explosive success. Founding mentor Wendy Holladay captured the coveted Woodie Flowers Award, the shining apex of a glorious career. Future chassis captain Scott Kent rounded out the brilliant treble with our team's 5th Dean's List Award, a distinction unsurpassed by any in FIRST. The robot blazed brightly at the Bayou regional - uniting with the legendary FRC 233 and rising star FRC 3847, we formed the Fiery Pink Spectrum alliance, rocketing to the semifinals. At the Razorback Regional, we captained our own alliance to the quarterfinals, marking our 6th foray into the elimination bracket. 2013 ended as a resounding triumph, with 1912 victorious on every front.

However, midnight lay on the horizon for the valiant team. Leaving the sacred halls of QinetiQ, 1912 built a new outpost at Northshore High, returning to the hearthfire of education. The Exile consumed an entire summer of energy, tapping valuable momentum in other team activities. However, 1912 was determined to turn such an Exile into a shield of strength, and the embers of collaboration were reignited with Northshore. New flames were lit with Salmen High, culminating in a combined team with even stronger resources. Confident of success, the newly-christened robot, Apache, journeyed to the elite Orlando Regional. Beset by errors, Apache faltered in his quest for victory, but arose from the ashes to excel at the Bayou Regional. Agility, alacrity, accuracy: these were the traits that propelled Apache to the quarterfinals. Staunch mentor Allen Sorrell was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award for his peerless support of FIRST in our region. Continuing 1912's unmatched record of devoted leaders, controls captain Alex Lew became a Dean's List Winner, our team's 2nd student recognized at the World Championships.

1912 continues bravely on its quest to place science and technology into power in American culture. Despite hardships and difficulties, Team Combustion's devotion to the cause of FIRST is absolute and unwavering. It will continue to fight for science and technology until the end of the world - or even the universe.

~Written by Sam H, Nicholas H, and Alex L