FAQs

Who are the Titanium Titans?

Titanium Titans is the only independent, community-based First Robotics Competition (FRC) team serving Washington County, Pennsylvania.  Currently, our students represent more than 10 school districts in both Washington and Allegheny counties and includes public, private, and home educated students.

Where do you meet?

We meet at The Armory Youth Center in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

When do you meet?

Titanium Titans Robotics has evolved into a year-round, technology education program, which primarily focuses on training during the pre-season, building and programming during the robot build and competition seasons, and outreach during the off-season.

What is the time commitment?

The time commitment varies depending on the time of year:

Fall (PRE-SEASON) – September to December / weekly meetings

During Pre-Season the team accepts new membership applications and trains all team members on needed skills for the build season. Students may decide which sub-team(s) they would like to be on and need to attend weekly meetings. Special training sessions, which may be required depending on the sub-team your student is interested in being a part of, are held during the pre-season.

Winter (BUILD SEASON) – January to February / 3-5 days a week

This is the most important part of the year, when the team only has 6 weeks to build its competition robot. Students on ALL subteams, particularly technical teams, will be expected to work at least TWELVE HOURS A WEEK (generally, at least two evenings plus a weekend day). The average for technical sub-teams is 15 hours a week for the 6 weeks when the team is building the robot. While the Titanium Titans respects other time commitments and activities the student may have, it is expected that the necessary time be spent with the team during build season, similar to the hours put into a sports team that practices daily and has required competition dates. Teamwork is critical to our success and every team member has valuable input into the robot design, construction, testing and preparation for competitions. Please ensure that you can be flexible and available during this time period.

Spring (COMPETITION SEASON) – March to April / based on competition schedule

Having prepared for battle, the team attends Regional and World FIRST competitions both locally and within other states in the US. It is the team’s desire that all team members attend all competitions. However, we understand that circumstances may arise which prevent that from happening, particularly as competition dates can vary from year to year. Any team member who is interested in being part of the DRIVE TEAM, PIT CREW, or SCOUTING TEAM LEAD must be available to attend all days of every competition. All competitions are 3 day events encompassing a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Summer (OFF SEASON) – May/June to August / based on outreach schedule

FIRST refers to these post-competition months as Off Season; yet, team members are not really “off” as the name implies. As soon as possible, the team moves away from a competition focus to plan and engage in a wide variety of STEM outreach activities. Titanium Titans design and run technology-related workshops for children, host open house events, and give demonstrations to increase STEM exposure in the surrounding communities (Canonsburg, Washington County, South Hills of Pittsburgh and other localities in southwestern Pennsylvania). We also use this time to make appointments for student presentations to potential sponsors. Every team member is required to help with planning and execution of ONE Community Outreach Event AND ONE WORKSHOP or student Outreach event during the Off Season.

What is the cost to be on the team?

Student costs for 2019-2020 are $200 per student, plus the cost of Titan pants and a team tee-shirt (estimated cost for both is $50-60; the pants are possibly a one-time purchase dependent on garment care, student growth, etc).  The student activity fee pays for membership from October 1st to September 30th. For all students, 1/2 of the student activity fee is due with the student application with the remaining balance due by January 2nd.

While families are responsible for all transportation arrangements and personal costs to attend competition and off-season events, attendance is not mandatory for out-of-town events.  A Team Travel Coordinator for an event may arrange for the team to travel together by developing an outline of costs and lodging options to allow for students who are traveling with or without their family. However, participation in this plan is not required in order to attend an out-of-town event.

Additional expenditures may be involved if optional outside training opportunities, individual fee-based activities, or Titan gear, such as sweatshirts, hats, etc., are desired.

Will I have to sell things or participate in fundraisers?

Team members will be expected to help with any team fundraising activities such as workshops, summer camps, and raffles. Each family is asked to distribute three sponsorship request letters to businesses that they have a personal connection with to help attract financial sponsors.

Do I have to know anything about robots to join the team?

Experience with robotics is NOT required to join the team. However, to be considered, team members must be prepared to make a time commitment. All team members will be trained in tool and shop safety before using any equipment and will receive sub-team specific instruction depending on their area of interest and the needs of the team. Meeting minimum attendance and being present for the required training and attendance at competition events is expected to remain on the team.

What types of things could I do on the Titanium Titans robotics team?

There are a variety of groups and activities you can get involved with (and lead) as a Titanium Titan — both technical and business-related. As we continue to evolve and grow our sub-teams change. A brief list of focuses and sub-teams below will give you a general understanding of what you could learn to do with the team. For more detail about each sub-team, visit the Titanium Titans Team Handbook.  Students are encouraged to participate in as many aspects of the team as they are interested in before making a commitment to one specific area.

Strategy: Help the team brainstorm the season’s robotic game and develop a comprehensive strategy. These team members know all game rules inside and out, and provide input to the other technical teams.

Computer-Aided Design: Use Solidworks 3D software to create CAD drawings that are used to construct the robot. Team members will learn how to use the program through training sessions.

Programming: Develop the code that controls the robot during competition using LabView programming software. These students are also involved in the electrical wiring of the robot and the workings of various sensors and electronic components.

Prototyping: Help mock up design ideas for feasibility testing; Work closely with the CAD team.

Build: This team does the actual assembly of the robot during the build phase. Jobs will vary and include soldering, wiring, building, fabricating, testing.

Drive: The Drive Team consists of a driver, a co‐pilot, a human player, a Safety Captain and a lead programmer and represents the team members who will be on the competition floor during a game.

Pit: The Pit Crew is a small group of students who are able to troubleshoot and fix mechanical and electrical problems with the robot under time pressure. Their major responsibility is the maintenance of the robot and tools at a competition event.

Scouting: Develop analysis software and methods to assess the capabilities of other teams during competition, giving our team as much advantage as possible. Assist the drive team and pit crew during the competition by providing competitive analysis and updates.

Website Design & Video: Develop, maintain and update our team website, as well as recording and editing video to assist the team in marketing and competitive analysis.

Awards: Work on Awards submissions for the team competitions; involves writing, video production and public speaking elements.

Communications/Public Relations: Speaks directly to groups, judges and the media; submit press releases and articles to the local news; make presentations at community or sponsorship events regarding our team mission, vision and current STEM education activities; and take and archive team photos.

Marketing/Business Planning: Produce written and graphic promotional materials (signs, robot fact sheet, logos, etc); and be responsible for writing and editing the team Business plan, sponsor presentations and other materials that provide support for team spokespeople.

Fundraising/Finance: Manage the list of companies that we are reaching out to for sponsorship; submit fundraising letters, researches and develops new fundraising opportunities; manages sponsor relationships with information and appreciation materials.

Outreach: Develop and manage outreach workshops and events to promote the team within the community.

Titan Spirit: Develop signs, cheers, and encourage enthusiastic support of our team during competition; inform Titan team members of opportunities to help other teams and show gracious professionalism at the competition; help develop maintain the positive image of our team.

Is there any parent involvement needed?

Yes, we do ask that each family help out in whatever way they are able. We have and need MENTORS in every area of focus listed above. If you have knowledge or skills you wish to share, can commit to attending meetings one day a week, and are willing to obtain the necessary clearances (the same clearances you have for scouts, sports, etc), WE NEED YOU!

In addition, we need  PARENT VOLUNTEERS to assist with the numerous tasks required to keep the team running.  These include, but are not limited to coordinating meals during build season, coordinating carpools and hotel rooms for competitions, working with the business team to determine t-shirt and uniform sizing needs and ordering, etc.

WHEN can I join the team?

New member applications are accepted from May 1 to October 31 yearly.

HOW do I join the team?

First, students and parents must read the Titanium Titans Team Handbook completely. Then fill out the Team Member Application and have your parents complete the Required Parent Forms.  Most of the time we have space for any student who applies and is able to make a commitment to the team.

If you are interested in joining the team, please contact us at info@titaniumtitans.org.