Dynadot is a Proud Sponsor of the Colombia High School FIRST Robotics Team 3556

May 10, 2013

Dynadot is proud to be a sponsor of the Colombia High School FIRST Robotics Team 3556, a dedicated group of robot-building students that compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST aims to inspire the love of science, technology, engineering, and math into students around the world. Team 3556, nicknamed GET SMART, which stands for Gateway Engineering Team of Students Mastering Animation, Robotics, and Technology, builds a new robot each year to compete in the FIRST Robotics competition.

This year, FIRST gave the teams the challenge of building a robot that can climb a ten-foot tall pyramid and shoot frisbees into goals of various heights (scroll down to see pictures of their robot, Agent 99). The FIRST Robotics competition was held March 7-9 at the University of Central Florida arena in Orlando. We were so happy to see that Team 3556 made it all the way to the semi-finals where they placed 4th overall!

Newspaper clipping announcing Team 3556 taking 4th in Orlando

As a sponsor of FIRST Robotics Team 3556 (as well as fellow lovers of science, technology, engineering, and math), we wanted to know more about the competition and the team. Luckily the team was happy to answer some questions for us:

Can you tell me more about the competition and the results?

There were 65 other teams from all over the world at the FIRST Robotics Competition. At the end of a day and a half of qualifying rounds, we were ranked 8th overall. This was an amazing success for us as the top 8 seeded teams get to pick their alliance partners to play in the finals (elimination rounds). The finals in FIRST are similar to a basketball bracket but are double elimination. We were successful in the quarterfinals but our robot, Agent 99, fell off the tower in the semifinals. We tried a between matches fix that didn’t end up holding and we were eliminated. We had an amazing run for a third year team with very limited resources and look forward to competing again next year.
~Celena Crews, team coach

We held a high seed all throughout the competition. We even held the number one seed for a good part of the first day of competition.
~Hayley Lewis, 2013 team captain

Why did you join the team?

I joined the robotics team because I wanted an opportunity to be involved in a team that utilized my love of math and science.
~Dugan Dotson, incoming team captain

I joined the team originally because they advertised how many scholarships you could get. I had also been looking for a way to expand on my love for math and when this organization came to our school, I knew this was for me.
~Hayley Lewis, 2013 team captain

What is your favorite part of being on the team?

My favorite part of being a part of this team is watching my students learn and grow as student engineers. It is amazing what high school students can accomplish when challenged. We spend so much time together during build season that we’ve become more like a family. I look forward to keeping in touch with everyone and seeing what they do with their lives.
~Celena Crews, team coach

My favorite part of being on the robotics team is the learning and growing that all the members do together. Whenever one of us needs help, everyone else is more than ready to lend a helping hand or some additional insight on how to fix the problem.
~Dugan Dotson, incoming team captain

My favorite part of being on the team is the bonds I have built with my mentors and teammates. I have learned so much from my time with the team and have grown to be a better leader. We spend six weeks together, eating dinner, staying up all night working towards a common goal. My team is my family.
~Hayley Lewis, 2013 team captain

Why do you think this team is so important?

I don’t even know where to start with this one. We live in a small rural town and the opportunities and knowledge this experience has brought us are numerous and life changing. We were able to start an Engineering Technology program and bring technology and the possibility of earning industry certifications in programs such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and LabVIEW to the students of Columbia High School. We have students graduating and heading off to study engineering. These students didn’t even know what engineering was three years ago. The best part is that I believe we are only beginning to see the positive impact FIRST is having in our town.
~Celena Crews, team coach

The robotics team is so important because it’s changing the lives of the students at CHS. The robotics team gives the students so many extra opportunities that wouldn't otherwise be offered, such as hands on experience with power tools, learning programs like SolidWorks and AutoCAD. The robotics team is made up of kids from very different backgrounds, whether it be ethnic or social, and allows them to come together and show their talents in the math and engineering fields.
~Dugan Dotson, incoming team captain

Our team is so important not only for the students that get to participate but also for our school and our community. Our team existing brings exposure to science, technology, engineering and math. We have improved the classes at the high school and expanded the opportunities available to students. We have also increased the technological workforce for businesses in the community.
~Hayley Lewis, 2013 team captain

Why is having a website important to the team?

Our website is a great way for our sponsors and members of our community to see what we are all about. It gives us an opportunity to showcase who we are and what we do. It also gives us a way to thank our sponsors. Without sponsors this program wouldn’t be possible. We are very thankful to Dynadot for becoming a new sponsor this year.
~Celena Crews, team coach

A robotic vehicle on a work table Staff from Dynadot posting in sunglasses

FIRST Robotics Team 3556's Robot Agent 99 & some team members in our awesome Dynadot sunglasses.

A group of people from Team 3556 celebrating

Want to learn more? Visit the FIRST Robotics Team 3556 website.

Are you a graduating high school student or current college student (or do you know one)? Dynadot wants to sponsor you! Check out our $2,500 scholarship available to students majoring or planning on majoring in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Graphic Design, Web Design, Digital Marketing/Communications, or a related degree.

Author Robyn Norgan
This post was written by Robyn Norgan, who speaks for the entire Dynadot team when she says a big congratulations to FIRST Robotics Team 3556 on getting 4th place in the FIRST Robotics Competition!