Team 1640 Mission and Program
To inspire and educate pre-college students within the greater Downingtown Area school district in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through hands-on experiences with robotic technology. Build knowledge, an understanding of planning and project management and life skills (especially gracious professionalism, team work, effective communications, coopetition and leadership). Promote expansion of this program both within and beyond the Downingtown District. Use the core concepts in FIRST robotics as our foundation.
About Team 1640
Team 1640 is 6 years old in 2010. Starting with 3 mentors and 8 students, we now include over 35 roboteers and 14 active mentors. Our robots, once unassuming kitbot based robots, now are highly engineered robots. Students have grown from mechanical novices to building advanced drive trains, custom transmissions with tight tolerances, and welding the robot frame in house. Mentors once reviewed the basics, now teach advanced engineering. The 2004 team would not recognize today's team.
Team 1640 embraces FIRST's ideal to inspire and recognize science. Our FVC 2006 startup team grew to 9 teams with 40+ roboteers. Our FLL 2009 startup will include 4 robots and 30 students this spring. 7 of our team members serve on the core management committee for DASD's new STEM Academy. Science inspiration through competition robotics! Team 1640 can be found within the community at various events such as the Upper Uwchlan Block Party, Good Neighbor Day in Downingtown, Uwchlan Day, and others.
Our goal was to create a learning organization. There are a large number of successful teams in our area that we've scrutinized and adopted their best ideas as a beginning step. We have then tried to extend and adapt those ideas for our team. We are standing on the shoulders of giants, not reinventing the wheel. Each year we pick 3 areas to increase our core competency, this keeps us continually improving. Team 1640 is a very dedicated team with several past FIRST roboteers now mentors.
Team 1640 has 3 major partnerships. Our partnership with Downingtown Area School District has moved us from a struggling team to a robotics showcase bolstering DASD's awards and ability to obtain grants and state support. Our partnership with our students has given the students many valuable life skills that they have leveraged through college and beyond. Our partnership with our parents have increased our mentor and roboteer participation, and strengthened all of our partnerships.
Team 1640 advertises FIRST Robotics via in school announcements, brochures, community newspapers and websites, and team tshirts. We are getting the message out about FIRST robotics and its mission "to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders" There is no event that we are invited to that we won't attend. Our large public exposure generates interest in robotics and the many FIRST programs. The message is getting out, we've gone from 8 roboteers to over 100 today.
Team 1640 has worked hard at increasing brand awareness. We have expanded our communications past our website at www. team1640.com and school announcements. We are now appearing in local newspapers, on our school district website, and on several internet robotics news web sites. At community functions sponsors and families enjoy seeing robots and hearing about our challenges. We've gone from being unknown, to getting nods of recognition from other robotics groups.
Team 1640 is hugely proud of our growth in the last six years. Our founding mentor, a physics teacher, writes: "I took a big risk with no mentors and little money and applied for the NASA grant with a dream of creating a team that would grow each year and become a self-sustaining entity." Sadly, our founder became disabled and is unfortunately no longer able to participate as a mentor. His greatest joy is "watching that team grow in every way the FIRST envisioned in its beginning."
Hardcopy document of the Team's Mission and Program