Frequently Asked Questions
What Does FIRST stand for?
- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
- It is an international organization co-founded by Dean Kamen
- They create the game, the rules for the game, and rules for constructing a robot to play the game.
- They organize the robotics events where we compete with our robot.
- FIRST website: https://firstinspires.org
What does FRC stand for?
FRC = FIRST Robotics Competition (the high school level of FIRST)
What is Code Red’s History?
- Code Red started in 2009 in Wyoming area as a community-based team competing in the FIRST Robotics Competition.
- In 2015 Code Red moved it’s Build Space to a facility close to the GRR Airport.
- In 2023 Code Red moved to Byron Center High School and is a registered club at the school in addition to being community-based team open to non-BSPS students.
When does Code Red meet?
- Fall (September-December): Twice a week
- Tuesday and Thursday, 7:00-9:00 pm
- Competition season (January-April): Daily
- Monday-Thursday, 6:30-9:00 pm (attend at least 3 times per week; more if possible)
- Some Saturdays 10:00 am-3:00 pm (voluntary; depends on mentor availability)
What does the competition schedule look like?
- Competitions take place late February-April
- Code Red will play in two Michigan district competitions and, if there is interest, attempt to get into a third out of district competition (Indiana, Ontario)
- One of our district competitions will be at East Kentwood HS
- If we do an out of district competition, we will do that first as a practice competition. It is an opportunity to test the robot and learn the game before the Michigan competitions that count toward the state championship. It is an also an opportunity to have the fun of participating in another competition
- If we qualify, we will go to the Michigan State Championship in Saginaw (mid-April)
- If we qualify, we will go to the World Championship in Houston, Texas (end of April)
What is the Competition Schedule for 2024?
(NOTE: if there is interest and availability, we may add an out-of-district event; it would be before the Muskegon event)
- March 14-16: Muskegon
- Orchard View High School, 16 N. Quarterline Rd., Muskegon, MI
- March 28-30: Kentwood
- East Kentwood High School
- April 4-6: Michigan State Championship (if we qualify)
- Saginaw Valley State University, Ryder Center
- April 17-20: World Championship in Houston, Texas (if we qualify)
- George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX
Do we stay in hotels?
- We typically compete in events within a reasonable driving distance for our two Michigan qualifying events. Meals/Food are not included.
- If we go to an out-of-district event, we will stay in a hotel together as a team. While we will try to get enough sponsors to cover some hotel costs, there may be costs that have to be covered by team members.
- Michigan Championship: since it is in Saginaw, we will stay in a local hotel as a team.
- World Championship: Houston, TX: we will stay in a hotel as a team. This cost is not included in the team fee and would be collected separately.
- Parents and families are encouraged and welcome to attend competitions with us. We can reserve extra rooms for families at a discounted rate for reimbursement by the family.
What happens at a competition?
- Competitions take place Thursday evening through Saturday (Events in Indiana are Friday-Sunday)
- Thursday evening: Set up our team pit; practice matches
- Friday (7:00 am-6:00 pm): Qualification matches (we will play approx. 8 matches throughout the day)
- Saturday morning: Qualification matches finish (we will play approx. 4 more matches for a total of 12 matches played. This is followed by alliance selection for the playoffs
- Saturday afternoon: playoffs and award ceremony
- For lunches at the events, we typically do a potluck lunch as a team
- 12 different awards are given to teams at the end of the event in addition to medals and blue banners for the event winners and Impact Award winners. Medals are also given to the event finalists and Engineering Inspiration Award winners
- Kentwood District Event: This is our home event and we are one of the sponsoring teams. All team members are required to help disassemble the field after the event concludes Saturday afternoon. Many hands make for light work and this usually takes less than two hours.
What else does Code Red do besides compete with robots?
- We are involved in our community and ask that our students volunteer their time when they can. This is not a requirement to be on the team, but it is appreciated and very rewarding.
- These take place mostly in the summer and fall; not during competition season
- Mobile food pantry: We volunteer the first Thursday of every month at the Harbor Light Ministries food pantry (at Calvary Christian Reformed Church) 4:30-6:00 pm
- Community events: we set up a display and do robot demonstrations at community events
- We typically do 3-4 of these per year
- Next one: Byron Days Festival, July 2024.
- Helping out with our elementary and middle school programs: helping kids get their robots hooked up to the field, helping middle school student practice their presentations.
- Running a NRG summer camp the week after school is done in June.
What is the fee and when is it due?
- Our fee this year is $350.00 (covers event registration and three team shirts)
- Due at Kickoff in January
- Scholarships and financial aid are available (see Mrs. Baas). We do not want finances to prevent any student from participating who would like to participate.
Where do we meet?
- The Code Red’s Build Space is located at Byron Center High School, room 517.
- Grand Valley State University Innovation Design Center–Practice field
- 227 Winter Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
- GVSU builds a full, to specifications competition field every season for teams to use any time during the season. Several teams will go to practice there on a regular basis (including Code Red).
- 227 Winter Ave NW
How does the team communicate?
- The Band.us app is our primary means of team communications (if you are not signed up yet, please see Mr. Baas; check Band daily).
- Email–please check regularly
- Provide us with a secondary email if you check one more frequently than school’s
- For email list adds, moves, and changes, please visit https://coderedrobotics.com/lists
What other items should we add to this FAQ??
If there is information you believe would be helpful to include on our FAQ page, please visit https://coderedrobotics.com/vsb (Virtual Suggestion Box) and tell us your idea!