Where do you meet?
We meet at The Armory Youth Center in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Currently, Titanium Titans is the only FRC team serving Washington County.
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 SEVEN HOURS A WEEK (2 meeting days). The average for technical subteams 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?
There is a nominal fee to participate on the team (this amount may vary yearly) which covers the cost of team competition t-shirts and other necessary apparel. The yearly fee to participate on the team is $100. In the case of any non-local competitions, families are responsible for travel and hotel fees. We do not want cost to be a limiting factor for team participation – those in need can apply for a participation fee waiver.
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.
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 3G software to create the 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 mockup 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! Please fill out the mentor application found at the end of the Titanium Titans Team Handbook..
In addition, we are always happy to have PARENT HELPERS who coordinate meals during build season, coordinate carpools and hotel rooms for competitions, work with the marketing 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. The fall sub-team selection and training sessions begin happening in early September, so team members joining in the late Sept/Oct timeframe may be limited in the sub-teams they can join depending on space availability. There may also be a need to catch up on material covered in those first few weeks.
HOW do I join the team?
First, students and parents must read the Titanium Titans Team Handbook completely. Then fill out the New Team Member Application found at the end of the Handbook. Once accepted, team members will be required to sign a Build & Practice Site Waiver before their membership is finalized.
If you are interested in joining the team, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.