A group of students meet to discuss the possibility of developing a robotics program at The Masters School. Mr. Chiodo is asked to advise and sponsor the group.
The Masters School forms Masters Engineering and Robotics as a club with four members: Alex G., Oak P., Ben C., and Dylan C. The team builds and stores parts on a mobile cart that is kept in a small closet. Building is done in the cramped Math Commons. The team joins VEX Robotics Competitions because of the low-cost entry point, and ease of building and coding. The team enters its first robotics competition as Team 9873. t entry point, and ease of building and coding. The team enters its first robotics competition as Team 9873.
Nineteen students signed up to do robotics, but nine drop out due to time conflicts. The decision was made to petition to have Masters Engineering and Robotics changed from a club to a recognized after school program to make it easier for students to participate. During the regular season, the team qualifies for the Southern New York State Championships for the first time.
The team grows to 23 students that are separated into three squads. Outreach to the school’s middle school population results in an additional 7 students who form their own squad. The team co-hosts its first tournament with Glen Cove Public Schools. The team advances for the second year to the Southern New York State Championships, and advances to the semifinals. At the end of the regular-season, the team travels to the CREATE U.S. Open Robotics Championship primarily to investigate the level of competition on the national stage while competing against 400 other VEX EDR teams. Masters Engineering and Robotics becomes the captain of the 16th alliance in the elimination tournament.
The team roster remains stable at approximately 30 students. Additional outreach and special programs attracts more young women who now make up 40% of the total team. Masters Engineering and Robotics middle school squads join VEX IQ program. Masters Engineering and Robotics advances to the Southern New York State Championship and advances to the finals. At the end of the regular-season, the team travels to the CREATE U.S. Open Robotics Championship and wins in the 40-team Open Division.
Young women now account for 50% of the total team. Masters Engineering and Robotics shortens its name to Masters Engineering to add focus to the engineering aspects of robotics. Masters Engineering makes its fourth appearance at the Southern New York State Championship, and its first appearance at VEX Worlds. With changes being made to VEX Robotics Competitions, Masters Engineering begins to evaluate other robotics programs/leagues to find a program that better aligns to The Masters School educational mission.
The team makes the switch to FIRST Tech Challenge because of its greater focus on the educational mission of robotics. The move places new demands on the team including: learning new software, adapting old equipment for new purposes, website development, new uniform design and production, and the development of sustainability and outreach programs. The team also hosts its first FTC workshop.