FIRST Team - TigerBots - 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. Take a few minutes to read and cheer on these students, not just for FIRST, but for all that is ahead of them.


Team: TigerBots, Team 7593

School: Notre Dame High School, Belmont, Calif.

Team Member Interviewed: Ashley Lau, 11th grade, 3 years on the team and Business Lead


Q: What games or challenges did your team participate in for the 2021 season?

A: We created the blueprints for our robot to compete in the FTC Game Changers Season 2020-2021, and were scheduled to be able to come back into our in person workshop mid spring. Unfortunately, due to school policies and restrictions we were unable to return to our shop on schedule, meaning we had to drop out of competition. School policies concerning extracurriculars were loosened, and we were able to get back into our shop! We are very excited to hold summer in person meetings in the near future, and to do training for the upcoming season!


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

A: We continued helping Girl Scouts get their badges in robotics! Usually we give them a tour around our shop, but due to the pandemic we couldn’t do that, so instead we adapted our usual Girl Scouts curriculum to fit in a Zoom setting. The girls designed robots, and it was a lot of fun for everyone on the team. Besides teaching Girl Scouts, we’ve attended robotics related guest speaker presentations, trained our members, donated masks for the pandemic and wrote letters to frontline workers thanking them for all their hard work.


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

A: We really focused on innovation as a Core FIRST Value. The majority of our activities rely on being in person, and so when we were unable to meet in person we had to get very creative with how we operate as a team.


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

A: My favorite memory from being on the TigerBots this year was being able to go back into our workshop again. It was a great feeling to finally be in person together and show our new members what the workshop was like, especially since they joined during the pandemic and had never been inside before. All of us are really looking forward to meeting in person, and being able to safely gather together!


You can learn more about the TigerBots here and follow them on Instagram @NDBTigerbots and Twitter @ndbtigerbots.


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.”