Introduction

What do you see when you look at Shockwave? Do you see a team building robots, or a team building the world? Taking the FIRST vision a step further, we build a different type of robot. Shockwave R.O.B.O.T.S.

are built on Respect, Opportunity, Belonging, Outreach, and Teamwork, the foundation of Shockwave. 4488 Shockwave Robotics inspires the hearts of kids, teens, and adults globally through these values.

Respect is at the core of Shockwave’s culture and ideology. Members respect mentors, who provide and dedicate time, valuable insight, and knowledge to guide our journey. Mentors respect students by supporting our ideas, operating in a partnership, and fostering innovation. Shockwave encourages this individual creativity and expression, and spreads it to the community and our generous sponsors. We model gracious professionalism in and outside of competitions, during community outreach, and while interacting with other teams. Respect in collaboration and partnerships is a basis of Shockwave which we instill in all members.

Opportunity

is plentiful for Shockwave members to grow and change the world through hands-on learning including leadership, specialized machinery skills, and business projects. Shockwave provides opportunity to elementary students through FLL team mentorship, supplying them with the ability to progress through the FIRST program. Travel to China with Go Baby Go allowed Shockwave to give independence to children with limited mobility. Recently, our community partner, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, donated a large robot to our team for the intent of expanding our team’s view on real-world applications of robots.

Belonging to Shockwave is more than “just something to do.” We are an affinity group where people are accepted and included. During our build season we eat together, work together, and connect outside of team meetings. We enjoy communicating on Google Hangouts, where we update each other and joke around. We have become a large family. Through every challenge, every loss and every win, Shockwave members grow as humans, together. Our team has much diversity which we use to our advantage as we share our unique differences.

Shockwave members even spread belonging globally with Go Baby GO China. Shockwave traveled to China for Go Baby Go. When one of the children in Beijing was given his Go Baby Go Car he said, “Now we’re all a family!” This genuinely moved the Shockwave members, showing that we can share our belonging with not only the team, but with kids in other countries. Even with the diversity of language, they shared an amazing experience to remember that took place through their bonding. Shockwave also bonded with Green Arms from Hanoi High School in Vietnam during their visit to China. After a trip to the Green Arms workstation and a night out for dinner, Shockwave and Green Arms members shared a sense of belonging with one another. This is a sense that ensures each individual has the potential for greatness, a sense Shockwave continues to spread.

Outreach is an important aspect to Shockwave, as we always look for ways to reach beyond our team, spreading the experience of FIRST, providing opportunities for others, and finding ways to improve the world. Shockwave reaches out on a local and global scale, from sharing FIRST with others, to helping those in need.

In 2017, Shockwave members taught a class on wiring techniques at FIRST Faire. Shockwave also designed an “Engineering through Time” escape room for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in hopes to attract teenagers winning first place on the LEAP competition. We also connect with people through demos at sponsor events. We have come into contact with over a thousand employees & their families through our demos, spreading FIRST.

Our team started an annual Mentor Roundtable in both Washington and Oregon where mentors share ideas of what is necessary to work with their teams. This ensures a quality education and experience for both members and mentors. Other mentors of local FRC teams swap information and ideas to solve problems and learn more about FIRST values. Additionally, Shockwave hosts the original Business Roundtable in which we collaborate with veteran and rookie teams discussing questions and concerns with sponsorship, finances, and business concepts. Both of these events ensure quality education and experience for over 50 mentors and team members.

Shockwave members encourage creativity through STEAM among people of all ages. We were able to help others as we presented 3D printing at Camp Yakety Yak, a social skills day camp supporting friendship development for children with disabilities. Shockwave volunteered at a TAG event where we demonstrated FLL robots to K-6 graders. It was an experience for Shockwave members to connect with younger students and spark interest in the FIRST program. We started the McKinney Elementary Robotics team, and one of our lead Shockwave members has been the coach of this team to this day. Shockwave members also walk over to our local middle school and mentor FTC students after school. We volunteer at these teams’ tournaments, and continue to make their FIRST experience the best it can be.

Shockwave hosts a Robo Expo each year to debut our new robot to families, community members, sponsors, city and state government leaders, and community partners. Robo Expo enables our partners to network alongside us and debut their products. The Washington County Sheriff Office demos their reconnaissance robots used in practical law enforcement. Intel demos innovations such as their adrenaline dress, which are always impressive.

The pinnacle of outreach for Shockwave this year was Go Baby Go. During the 2016 club season, many students from Shockwave partnered with Go Baby Go and Pacific University to build ride-on cars for children who struggle with mobility. Research shows that the mobility which Go Baby Go cars provides to these children benefits them cognitively and socially. Locally, Shockwave worked towards modifying child-sized cars, so that kids with limited mobility could control them using an adapted switch. Shockwave created a pink car with a special seat belt for a little girl to take home with her.

This summer Shockwave was honored to be U.S. representatives in expanding the “Go Baby Go” program globally. Shockwave members journeyed to China with Go Baby Go, teaching therapists in universities and hospitals how to build the cars for children in orphanages. We purchased a child-size car from China as a model to test our plans on. After the ideas were laid out, Shockwave went to China to build the car for the kids and realized the car had been discontinued. This gave the members an opportunity to buy another car and brainstorm ideas quickly. The kids drove their cars around a practice course, and when one of them was taken out of his car for a little bit, he started crying because he didn’t want to leave it. This brought tears to the Shockwave student’s eyes, seeing the impact they had on these children. Shockwave also got to meet the only FRC team in Vietnam. Through this outreach, we have created a long-lasting bond with our fellow team, the healthcare officials we collaborated with, and the children of Asia, sharing our values with all of them and spreading the FIRST message.

Teamwork creates synergy within Shockwave making us better together. From the robot drawings, CAD design, and the production of our robot on the technical side, to strategy, business, and marketing on the non-technical side, our unity enables our success. We link with the community promoting STEM curriculum. We assist teams when they need help. At Chezy Champs, when a team from our opposing alliance was experiencing technical difficulty, we used our time-out to give them time to repair their robot. We partnered with Hotwire to teach them wiring and electrical debug techniques. We combine efforts with teams to support and provide them helpful strategies. This collaboration endures relationships and contributes to the teamwork we share as FIRST members. Shockwave’s teamwork teaches students to join efforts with one another because when we link, we prevail.

Shockwave “creates energy that matters” through respect, opportunity, belonging, outreach, and teamwork. Our defining values promote hard work and diligence, sportsmanship, gracious professionalism, and STEAM. We are inspired to learn from our mistakes and find solutions. We share aspirations and problems, motivating one another to cross over barriers that are fixed in today’s society, providing a happy and safe place for the members of our family. Our values drive students to be leaders and innovators. Shockwave cultivates the best memorable experience for FIRST Robotics and our community as we passionately follow our values.

FIRST is more than robots. It is about Respect, Opportunity, Belonging, Outreach, and Teamwork. Shockwave provides an open atmosphere to diverse groups of students to reach out and create a meaningful FIRST experience. Shockwave is a family, uplifting the world and striving each day to improve ourselves and others. Every day, we ask ourselves the same questions, how can we inspire others to be innovators, leaders, and show their passion in the world? These questions drive our team to cultivate the most impactful experience possible for one another.

The Team

The team is conposed by 36 students that spent more than 140 hours a year working during team meetings. It is run with the help of seventeen full mentors (more than 200 hours volunteering each year) who guide students in programming, electrical, marketing, and a wide array of mechanical skills, our 4488 mentors recorded more than 9000 hours volunteering in 2018. We consider full mentors volunteers who help for at least 100 hours in a season. In addition to its mentors, the team has several volunteers and parents who help with field construction, meals, etc.

We have mentors from many different demographics (female, people of color, and FIRST alumni) and occupations who bring diversity and knowledge to the team. We train our mentors on how to effectively work with students, deal with difficult situations, listen to ideas, work with other mentors, and encourage students to give their best. We also train them on using tools to increase safety when they are supervising students.

The Head Coach works actively recruiting and while our mentors spend many hours training volunteers. During the past two summers, our mentors, Alex and Jean Tenca, provided training to four new programming volunteers.

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