Q&A with FTC Team  – The TigerBots
Several members of the The TigerBots team participated in this interview so we’ve included the full list of members at the end of this post.

Q: What are some of the skills you’ve gained participating in the FIRST program?
TB: Being on a FIRST team teaches you all kinds of different skills including:
  • Leadership
  • How to work tools like a drill press, hand drill, saws, table saw, heat gun
  • Programming languages
  • Electronics
  • Business skills such as finding sponsors, raising funds, documenting everything we do in an engineering notebook required for the competition. This notebook highlights our challenges and issues throughout the process and judges want to see how we solve those.

Q: What are some of the challenges you faced as a team this season?
TB: This year’s build included an entirely new electronics system that no one used before. We had to read through electronics manuals, worked with an excellent programming mentor and spent time researching what other teams were saying on the FTC forums.

Q: What is one of your favorite aspects of the FIRST program?
TB: One of the unique aspects of FIRST is the focus on Gracious Professionalism® and that each team has respect for each other. There is mentoring that happens across teams and we all try to help each other. We’ve learned from other groups and we’ve also had teams ask us for mentoring and programming help. There’s no hiding of strategies and it’s unlike any other kind of competition.

Q: What are a few of the hardest aspects of the FIRST competition?
  • We can’t control everything. Something won’t work and we have to figure out how to fix it right then.
  • The mental aspect of the competition can be stressful, but it’s also real world because you have to figure out how to solve something quickly.

Q: What advice would you give to other students considering joining a FIRST team?
TB: You don’t have to be on a science track to enjoy this program. Many of our team members had no experience with robotics, but learned. Others help us with marketing, fundraising, recruiting, grant writing, graphics design and other business areas. One of our team members is an awesome baker so she brings robot cupcakes, cookies, and tiger striped cupcakes to our meetings. We also have team members that are dancers and artists. Each TigerBot has unique skills and plays an important part of the team’s success.

Q: What are some of your best memories of being on the FIRST team?
TB: We are an all girls team and it’s satisfying to prove ourselves in competitions and have others realize we should be taken seriously. When we placed first at a qualifier, it was awesome! Also, when we won the Inspire Award, which is given to teams who show FIRST spirit and innovative design. Winning this is better than actually winning the competition.

The TigerBots have had an amazing season and received great coverage! Take time to read or view some of the following:

This video describes the competition and what the team had to build for this season. Look for TigerBot founder, Serena Grown-Haeberli, in the opening.

All-girl TigerBots team wins robotics competition at Menlo School, Published in The Almanac

All-Girls Robotics Team: NDB TigerBots, Published in Belmont Patch (Belmont Patch)

2015-2016 TigerBots Team
  • Kate Moley, Founder, Senior
  • Serena Grown-Haeberli, Senior
  • Juleanne Antunez, Senior
  • Luisa Brown, Senior
  • Maggie Claude, Senior
  • Margaret (Meg) Tillman, Senior
  • Caitlin Yuen, Senior
  • Kiana Afshar, Junior
  • Lorena Bravo, Junior
  • Eden Grown-Haeberli, Junior
  • Lucy Sun, Sophomore
  • Emma Williams, Sophomore
  • Rhea Dias, Freshman
  • Emilia Dougherty, Freshman
  • Kendall Scarborough, Freshman
  • Dominique (Domi) Sullivan, Freshman