FIRST Team 5430 - Pirate Robolution - Met the Challenge in 2021

It’s time to be inspired! Don’t miss this chance to learn about this FIRST Robotics Challenge high school team and how these students - our future leaders! - not only competed in a STEM challenge, but did so while dealing with the multiple challenges of COVID.


Bishop-Wisecarver has been a proud sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Challenge program for 14 years donating supplies, money, mentoring and encouragement at a national and regional level. In 2021, we sponsored five local teams and Pittsburg High School is our final one in the spotlight for this year. Take a few minutes to read and cheer on these students, not just for FIRST, but for all that is ahead of them.


Team: FRC Team 5430, Pirate Robolution

School: Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg, Calif.

Advisor: Beth Traub

16 Team Members Interviewed: See compiled comments below


Q: What games or challenges did your team participate in this year?

A: Game Design Challenge and Innovation Challenge


Q: What additional activities did your team participate in outside of the specific FIRST competition?

A: This year, in addition to the FIRST challenges,  our team worked on a pipe robot project, and Vex coding.

Our team worked on a  pipe robot that is intended to travel within the pipes underground and scope out possible blockage. This would cut down on cost  since humans wouldn’t be needed to fit in the pipe.


Q:What are some of the ways your team has incorporated the Core Values of the FIRST program in this unusual COVID season?

A: Our team focused on inclusion and teamwork! We made sure everyone was tasked to do something, not leaving anyone behind.


Out of all of the FIRST Core Values, I think our team has represented discovery, teamwork, and innovation. I say this because our team had to: discover new ways to profit as a team, use teamwork even more than usual being on ZOOM, and innovate and create new projects for the challenges.

I believe our team had extra practice discovering new skills and being innovative all while still keeping the material fun. With the additional challenges this year, we had to do more research and acquire new skills in order to better draft and promote our projects.

We used teamwork and innovation to get through a lot of the problems we faced.

While all of us were working on our specific projects, we always found time to have some fun with it too.


Q:What is your favorite memory from being on the FIRST team this year?

A:  My favorite part of this season was being able to use my imagination and to put it to work.


My favorite memory is my first CAL games - meeting different teams and ethnicities and how we all focused on teamwork.


My favorite memory from robotics this year was when I got to help by making a video for the Innovation Challenge. Many people said they enjoyed it and when we got to present it to the judges, they liked it as well.


Robotics through the COVID year has been tough but my favorite memory from the year is when our alumni came back to visit our zoom class.

You can follow Pirate Robolution on Instagram at @frc5430 and Facebook at


Read more about the FIRST Robotics Challenge in our press release that includes this quote from Bishop-Wisecarver President, Pamela Kan:

“One of the core values of the FIRST program is innovation and these students have shown this in incredible ways during this most challenging year. Their creativity and persistence in solving problems, even when they couldn’t meet in person, didn’t have normal access to their tools or classrooms, and had to meet virtually, is inspiring for all of us. FIRST has always been about far more than the actual competition and we continue to be proud of our sponsorship of this organization and the students who show us all what perseverance and teamwork look like every day.”