What is FIRST and ViperBots?
FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, who remains the President of FIRST today. His goal in creating this now massive program, was to inspire children of all ages to engage and find interest within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Dean Kamen has accomplished this goal for years by establishing Jr. FLL, FLL, FTC, FRC, and recently FIRST Global programs. As ViperBots Valor, we appreciate the values of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition that FIRST has taught us throughout our combined 96 years of FIRST experience.
Vandegrift High School’s Robotics Program was established in 2010 in the North Austin area and has been highly successful over the past 7 years. By the end of 2016, the program had established seven FTC teams. However, at the end of the 2017 school year, the ViperBots sponsors and ViperBots Friends and Family announced that they were finally introducing their first FRC team to the program. This was revolutionary considering that the program had been primarily focused on the FIRST Tech Challenge. We are so excited to be a part of the FIRST Robotics Competition for our 2017 Rookie Year and hope to use our experience to lay a strong foundation for future ViperBot Valor generations.
The Story Behind "Valor"
The home of Team Valor is at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas. The school was built in 2009, with a name that strives to embody Lieutenant Matthew Ryan Vandegrift. Lt. Vandegrift was a Marine stationed in Iraq for eight brutal months between 2007 and 2008. He worked to set up a sovereign system for the Iraqi people by providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to keep such a country afloat. Matthew’s story plays a large factor in how the members of the Vandegrift ViperBots conduct themselves. Therefore, the fifteen original members of this team found it fitting to name themselves after Matthew’s valor; his courage in the face of danger. The team met on May 8th, 2017 for the first time and immediately after named themselves “ViperBots Valor”.
Our team’s mission is to encourage young students to engage in STEM, thus demanding more STEM opportunities in their highschool and post high school careers ultimately leading our culture to value STEM.
We achieve this by developing critical thinkers and problems solvers, guaranteeing team sustainability through community engagement and expanding STEM to under-served and underrepresented population.