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Event: Pittsburgh Regional

Submitted: 02/22/2007

Your Team Number: 1743 Images:

Team Name, Corporate / NASA / Bally Design / Singularity Clark LP & City Charter High
University Sponsors: School

Briefly describe the impact of Exposure to trade-skills; Team Coordination; Discover personal
the FIRST program on team leadership ability; Perfecting leadership methods in any situation;
participants with special Coordinate team dynamics to ensure efficient time-management;
emphasis on the 2006/2007 Plan complex tasks in strict timeframes; Compensate for
year and the preceding two unexpected challenges mid-project; Handle high pressure
years. situations; Respect other's work ethics and ideas; Broaden
personal skill repertoire; Learn to use innovation in the face of
restrictions; Bridge classroom education with hands-on application

Examples of role model Student run, planned, and organized team from marketing to
characteristics for other teams design; Alternative forms of fundraising besides corporate
to emulate. sponsors; Building proficient robots despite monetary
constrictions; Assign apprentices to prepare for future teams;
Establishing long lasting relationships with other FIRST teams;
Using integrated diversity to force intra-team relations; Working
within the school environment to spread the FIRST message;
Setting up special presentations to inspire team before season;

Describe the impact of the Demonstrated the importance of a marketing planning period for
FIRST program on your team sponsors before start of build season; Importance of concept
and community with special design feasibility prior to fabrication; Setting up long partnerships
emphasis on the 2006/2007 with industry leaders and tradesmen; Black and Pink day at City
year and the preceding two Charter High School; Presentations with celebrities open to
years. student body; Volunteering opportunities in FIRST now open to
student body

Teams innovative methods to Team 1743 uses FIRST advertisements during lunch period bake
spread the FIRST message. sales as well as the Valentine’s Day rose sale. The team uses the
school as a venue for recruitment presentations to the students.
We network through school administration events, and team
members use connections at student internships to network with
business owners. 1743 inspires innovation in science and
technology with a team that embraces environmental and
monetary constrictions as a engineering challenge rather than a

Describe the strength of your Bally design staff offers a great deal to the team by providing
partnership with special words of wisdom during the building process in general rather
emphasis on the 2006/2007 than through helping design robots. They have train the students
year and the preceding two from using a drill press to using high end prototyping techniques
years. and equipment. Singularity Clark provides both space and money
to aide the team. Their goal is to transform Pittsburgh into AI hub
for the country and by sponsoring a robotics team they hope to
open their doors to the technology community

Teams communication methods The most obvious method of communication is the team website.
and results. It uses forums and messages to communicate to the opposite
sides of the team. An e-mail system is also used for messages to
the whole team. Both of these methods are passive compared to
the effective integrated diversity system that organizes the team
so that no one sub-team can survive on its own. This makes it so
that the teams have to communicate to be able to get anything
accomplished and are reliant on each other to succeed.

Other matters of interest to the Appeared on channel 4 KDKA to demonstrate robot Mentoring
FIRST judges, if any. LEGO league showing the fundamentals of engineering Team
entirely student run, maintained, and believes that engineering
innovation comes from working around constrictions rather than
having limitless resources Presentation with Franco Harris to raise
robotics awareness Student body appears at competition to show
support Preparing for future with apprenticeship programs to train
younger team members for leadership positions

Team 1743, The Short Circuits, is based out of City Charter High School as a two hour afternoon elective open to the
upperclassmen in downtown Pittsburgh. The student body is 58% minorities and 60% of the students receive free or reduced
lunches. Having a FIRST robotics team not only inspires engineering innovation amongst the team members but exposes the
whole student body to the culture of science and engineering. The Short Circuits’ core belief is, “Run by Students, For Students”.
While some teams have a team of engineers and adults to aide the team, the Short Circuits has one CMU mentor and one

This core value of the Short Circuits is shown in its history and how it operates today. Logan Lockhart and Bence Feher, two
students from ninth grade had worked to make it so that this robotics team could be founded. This mission included presenting
multiple times to the administration, finding interested sponsors, and doing recruiting presentations to the student body.
Currently the Short Circuits have organized a team structure, which includes sub-teams of: Building, Marketing, Finance, and
Design and a Lead Project Coordinator who facilitates communication and direction between each of the sub-teams. All of these
teams are entirely run and maintained by the students with a teacher whose job is to act as adult supervision.

The Short Circuits believe that to have true innovations and appreciation for technology and engineering one must understand
and appreciate all that goes into team. This ranges from the marketing to corporate sponsors to the accounting and allocating of
resources to designing and fabricating a robot working within the means of the team. What this comes down to is how the team
communicates. Like most teams 1743 uses the team website to act as a form for public relations as well as intra-team relations.

The Short Circuits website has an Internet Journal that informs the public about all of the different projects that the team is
taking part in with personalized editorials from the team members involved describing their experiences. Included is also a “how
to” section that details all the specifics to building a robot like: “chain braking and using master links”, setting up an electrical
board, and more involved with building a robot. The site also includes information about each of the events the team will be
competing in with directions and all the details required. As an addition to that the team sends out packets to all of the team
sponsors containing invitations and information in regards to the events we are competing in and for regional competitions
which are remote possible hotel and lodging information as well. Because of the lack of resources the team has to be split up
between Bally Design an off site fabrication shop, and the school. It is a quarter of mile walk between the school and Bally
Design causing an intra-team communication dilemma. A partial remedy for this there is a forum on the team website that
facilitates contact between the sub-teams. This solution is one that is followed by many teams to ensure that every part of the
team understands that the other half is doing, but the Short Circuits felt between the first and second year of existence that a
more aggressive form of team organization that would force communication known as integrated diversity.

Integrated diversity is an organization style originated by GE when they realized that they required more communication
amongst the fourteen (14) sub-divisions. It works by designing all of a business’s divisions to be dependant on each other so
that to survive it is required that they work as a group. The Short Circuits is broken up into Marketing, Design, Finance, and
Building. An example of how integrated diversity works is that building needs to understand how marketing is working because
the building cannot build without the funds that the marketing team raises. Marketing team needs to collaborate with design
team to make the promotions for the fundraisers. What makes this system even more effective is that all of the coordinators are
student team members who are learning on high level about leadership as well as communication and teamwork.

After the rookie year of competition the Short Circuits lost their primary sponsor, Nova Chemical due to bankruptcy. The team
began their 2007 year with no money, no potential sponsors and an accrued debt from last season’s team. This forced the
Marketing team to work day an night finding sponsors and following various opportunities while the team sank into more debt
due to building expenses. Because most potential sponsors require much more time to review the team for sponsorship the
team focus of fund raising ventures other than corporate sponsors. This presented the team with an opportunity to extend the
robotics team and the culture of FIRST to the rest of the City Charter High School student body.

The team made recruitment presentations that were held during each of the classes to spread the message as well as get more
team members. The Marketing team had to view the environment they were in and find business opportunities. It started with a
simple emergency bake sale held during the three lunch periods for the freshmen, sophomores, and upperclassmen. All of the
team members brought in bake good and they were sold during the lunches. This money was allocated by the finance team to
the building expenses as well as to the marketing team for fundraising project overhead. The next week the bake sale was held
again except instead of donating food the robotics team was able to buy supplies and sell for a profit. At this point the team
realized that the team could be run as a sustainable business. Besides the weekly bake sales which were brandished with
robotic propaganda the marketing team also managed a successful valentine’s day rose sale all entirely conceived and managed
by the marketing team members as well as selling robotics team merchandise to the students to raise awareness.

Using this success as business inspiration the marketing team realized that the school culture as a venue to expose the FIRST
message. During City Charter High School’s mentor appreciation ceremony which involves many powerful industry leaders
around the Pittsburgh area. The Short Circuits set up an information desk where there were promotional pamphlets and a
presentation to promote the FIRST experience. As well as that the team posts links on the highly trafficked City Charter High
School web site to attracted more viewers of the team website. Besides the PR through the school culture during their rookie
year the Short Circuits were featured during a special on KDKA explain how our robot functioned and was operated. The building
team sponsors a LEGO league team after the robot is shipped where they explain how they went about designing and building
the season’s robot and have a small build project for the LEGO students.

These events hold very little validation if there was no proof that the student body was absorbing the message of FIRST and the
importance of their school robotics team. This was originally shown during the rookie year when during the competition the
team sold team shirts to the students and the school issued a pink and black day. During the rookie year the school had sent
classes out during the competition to see the team play. This was enjoyed by the students and the administration that another
is planned for 2007 Pittsburgh regional competition. Even more importantly, the sophomore student government held a bake
sale themselves during the parent teacher conference night and donated all of the proceeds to the robotics team. To be able to
win with a team, you must also be able to struggle and lose with the team. The short Circuits have a team whose monetary
constrains rather than hold them back forces them to see the true lessons to be learned in the situation. Having the testing area
in a room 1 foot too short for the field element and so much dust that the electrical equipment needs to be blown with
pressurized air shows each member of the team what it means to have it. Being faced with the task to design a ramp
deployment system without a welder on staff as well as five dollars to spend on it inspires an entirely different and unique form
of engineering inspiration that can never be learned except through the experience.

The team not only does a lot for the community through spreading the message of FIRST but the FIRST robotics competition
has also invaluably helped the past and present members of the Short Circuit’s team. The team organization style teaches the
student not only how to work proficiently in their field but how to work as a diverse team spanning multiple disciplines. Branden
Plesh the 2007 lead project coordinator was planning on a career in business administration and was on the finance team during
the 2006 season. After being heavily included in the build process during that season he was inspired to apply for the Lehigh
University integrated business and engineering program (IBE). Eric Williams, a senior during the 2006 season went on to a
major in electrical engineering at Penn State Erie.

Many of the team recruits join, not because they have talent in the fields of marketing or engineering, but because they have
the passion to learn of it. To inspire the team about the competition they have begun at the beginning of the 2007 season the
team organized a presentation from Steelers legend Franco Harris. Many of these students, like TR McAlexander say that they
have learned a plethora of trade skills like working a drill press and setting up a pneumatics system owing it all to the FIRST
robotics competition. The Short Circuits believe that the FIRST competition can be used to teach teamwork, marketing, and
business for much more than the inspiration of science and technology; but for inspiration of success.

Team Captain / Student Representative : Branden Plesh

Team Mentor : Michael Klanica