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”.
We aim to view our time with FIRST as a learning experience, as a way to meet new people, as a way to meet with professionals, and as something much bigger than just ourselves. With Valor as our name, we represent Lieutenant Matthew Ryan Vandegrift and we recognize that we, as students, also represent the future.
Our goal as Valor is to not only to be courageous as our name says, but to embody the values that FIRST has taught us. We have learned to always be kind and supportive to others, to engage with our community and world by promoting STEM and FIRST, to give the competition everything we’ve got, and to support a greater cause by volunteering and showing the importance of robotics to others.