Thank you for considering being a part of Texas Torque. If you are new to the team, welcome to a program that can hugely impact your future. For those of you that are returning members, we are glad to have you back.
If you want to be a contributing team member next season, the best time to join is at the start of the summer so you can help with our off-season projects. We meet several days per week during the summer to work on upgrades to the robot from the previous season or try out a new system such as a swerve drive. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to CAD, use the machines and tools in the lab, and try your hand at being a robot operator or driver. We collect dues in the fall for the spring build and competition season.
During the fall, we have information meetings for students and parents to acquaint everyone with the team and how this all works. We also have smaller teams of students work on fall challenges such as launching a basketball into a scoring bin. All of this can be pretty overwhelming when you first join the team. In 2008, we worked out of a storage unit we rented for three months during the build season. There were no dues, no nightly meals, only a handful of students working, and no regional wins until that season. Since then, we won an FRC World Championship and work in a facility dedicated to robotics.
Student team members must fill out the Student Registration Form, whether they are new or returning veterans. It would also benefit the student to read the appropriate section of the Youth Protection Program Guide.
With the implementation of YPP, we have additional responsibilities with regard to notifying parents. All of these are clearly identified in the Youth Protection Program Guide. FIRST has provided a document that covers many of these items in this Parent Notification Form. Please fill it out and return it at your earliest convenience to Scott Rippetoe or Matt Davies. We will also have a meeting for parents in the fall to discuss YPP and other issues regarding the team. Once your student completes their registration through the Team Information Management System, you will receive an email from FIRST asking you to accept their FIRST Consent and Release Form.
Team dues are $150 per season. Students that secure a sponsorship of $250 or more will have those dues waived. If the sponsorship reaches $1000 or more, the team will cover part of their travel expense for an event. Families that are experiencing financial hardship may have the dues waived. Just inform one of the mentors and the information will be held in confidence. During the season, January through April, we meet often and have meals brought in around 6 pm on weekdays (lunch on weekends). COVID-19 kept us from having such meals last season so we will look at this again as the season officially kicks off in January.
For Parents and Volunteers
There are many ways volunteers can help Texas Torque. One of our best resources are our parents. In the past, parents have brought us food, hosted parties, recruited sponsors, and even acted as mentors. We have fewer mentors compared to most teams our size. We ask that all parents consider contributing to the team in some fashion. To help us identify the resources you bring, please complete our Parent/Volunteer Survey. If there is more than one person in the household that can help, please complete a separate form for the second person. Thanks for your help and for trusting us to do our best for your teenager.
This page is subject to change as FIRST Robotics rolls out the Youth Protection Program (YPP) and we learn how to comply with these new requirements.
If you have any questions regarding joining the team or helping as a mentor, please contact our lead mentor Scott Rippetoe ([email protected]).