Smallest public school to have a team

That’s about how we started - similar size, no machine shop or practice area. We ended up working out of a parent’s garage and basement that year.

Since your school doesn’t have what you feel you need to help grow your team to the next level, I suggest you look out in your community. We managed to form a partnership with a local engineering co-op that had a full machine shop for our second and third years. The owner of the building rented us space for the build season (and a big closet to store all our stuff during the off season) real cheap, and we had full run of the machine shop in the evenings/weekends.

That was such a productive relationship, the school decided to get a 3 year lease on a space in the building for us, and completely redid it to meet our specs for what the team needed. We’ve managed over the years to accumulate a fairly impressive set of machines and tools, mostly by looking out for great deals in the area, local auctions, and craislist.

I know it can look bleak when you see what 10+ year old teams have available and compare it to what you have just starting out. But keep your eyes on the end goal, set up a list of things you want, and be aggressive about getting what the team needs!

We may not be the smallest, but Skunkworks Robotics does pull from a relatively small school. With a student population of 400 (100 students per grade level), Aviation High School is a very small public High School. That being said, we are fortunate enough to maintain a team of around 40 students a year, with around 10-15 solid mentors and a dedicated parent core.

I was a teacher on team 1310, the Ravens, from Runnymede Collegiate Institute in 2010. The school is a small school in the Toronto District School Board located at Jane and Dundas.

It has often garnered a checkered reputation as it is located on Jane St, which is home to one of Toronto’s most notorious neighbourhoods, Jane and Finch. However, most people don’t realize that Jane St is rather long, and the school itself is a 20 minute car ride away from Jane and Finch. Furthermore, the school is actually beside Bloor West Village, which ironically, is one of the nicest areas in Toronto.

The school has under 500 students, but had over 70 paying student members on the robotics team. An unbelievable participation rate.

They consistently bring out one of the largest and loudest student contingents at our Canadian Regionals.

On top of that they build pretty good robots too! They are perennial alliance captain/1st pick regional finalists, which in a region with 1114, 2056, 188, 1503, etc… is a pretty braggable accomplishment.

I’ve had a chance to see a lot of teams in FIRST, and hands-down 1310 produces some of the most intense and dedicated students (and teachers/mentors!) in FIRST I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. They do so much, with relatively little, never complain, and simply squeeze the most from everything they produce with little more than a healthy dose of willpower and determination.

Robotics is a complete culture there, it defines who people are beyond simply building robots. There is no doubt the fact that it is a small school had lots to do with this. It amplified how much of an effect a small group of students and teachers back in 2004 were able to exert on the entire school community. I think the students there feel more empowered there than a school of 1500+.

Along with team 188, they are one of FIRST Robotics Canada’s key support teams for the Toronto District School Board, with 188 supporting the East side of the city, and 1310 providing support on the West.

Unfortunately, the team doesn’t travel beyond their local regionals (yet?), but if you ever have a chance to meet them, be sure to drop by and say hello

I think my school might be on this list. We are a public charter school with 65 students grades 6-12. 50 of them are 9-12. Our rookie team this year had 9 students who saw it through to the Championship.

We started with 18 but half of them lost interest prior to our regional competition. They sure missed a great ride!