Bishop-Wisecarver Group is a proud sponsor of the FIRST® robotics program and, in addition to providing in-kind donations totaling between $150-250K, we also sponsor four regional student teams. In today’s blog, we are proud to feature Team Lead Katelyn Dayco of Pittsburg High School Robotics FRC Team 5430, The Robolution Crew, located in Pittsburg, California

Q: What is your role as the Team Captain?
KD: Our team doesn’t have just one captain. The team is so large that, instead, we have an executive board and Team Leads, which are in charge of one specific aspect of the building process. These team leads include media specialist, web design, animation works, corporate and community outreach, documentarian, team spirit, 3D modeling, drive train mechanics, game mechanics, electrician, machinists, programming, shop manager and scouting.

Q: As a Team Lead, you have probably been involved with FIRST for multiple years. What do you like about the program and what skills have you gained from participating?
KD: What I love about the program is how people who are essentially strangers at school, but have the joined interest of robotics, all come together and become a close knit group of future STEM majors. We work together and are placed in roles where we each discover new skills of leadership and group collaboration, on top of the various mechanical building and corporate skills gained in the development of our team.

Q: What are some of the challenges you (or your team) have faced this season?
KD: At first, we had no idea what we were doing with our language, Labview, this season. The new recruits were used to working with other languages like C++ or Java. Students had to be taught the new language from scratch.

In the past season for 2015, our team was brand new and, at the UC Davis competition, our robot had many flaws that needed to be fixed within a minimum of a 20 minute time frame in between matches. We powered through our first competition and even got awarded as a rookie team. Our second competition in San Diego was more vigorous as we had more matches and not enough energy. A couple of our members had fallen ill but powered through the sickness to go to the competition. We were able to work with other teams by exchanging information and a helping hand.

Q: What do you consider as your team’s greatest achievement last season?
KD: In last year’s season, we were awarded the Rookie Inspiration and Highest Rookie Seed awards at the FRC regional in UC Davis. It was a huge achievement for us as there were several other rookie teams competing, as well as many of us not knowing much about robotics in the first place.

Q: What are your future career plans and how do you think FIRST has prepared you?
KD: My future career plans mostly stem in the area of design. I have considered paths as a graphic designer, animator, and also project manager. FIRST has allowed me to be able to design multiple logos for our team for the past two years and because of this, I have applied myself to learning Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. This has prepared me in the basics for my journey in college to become a graphic designer.

Q: What aspects of FIRST Robotics Competition is your team most excited about and why?
KD: Our team is most excited about competing with other teams, comparing our designs with others and achieving the common goal of success with not only the members of our team, but those of our alliances during the games. Many are especially excited to see how well the team’s robot performs in official matches. A special treat this year is traveling out of state as a team for a regional competition in Boise, Idaho.