About us

FRC Team #5980

History of team 5980


Season 1 2015-2016

Team 5980 was 39-23-0 in official play and 43-28-0 overall in 2016. As a member of the FIRST In Michigan district, Team 5980 ranked 13 having earned 225 points.

Team 5980 was established in the late summer of 2015. Oliver Vandenberg and other seniors set their minds on creating a FIRST robotics team. That autumn, the team began meeting biweekly in the school library with the support of Dr. Betsy Neubig, Oliver’s mother.

Team members had no knowledge of what was to be expected; they got started by working on miniature robotic arms and other erector sets. Shortly after, the team began receiving assistance from nearby robotics team FRC 5473, Team Spitfire, from the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Team 5980 quickly learned the importance of organized and structured subteams and caught a glimpse of the standard FIRST robot parts. Mentor David Austin from FRC 4003, The Trisonics, helped immensely by preparing the programming team for the build season.

Despite a slow and tenuous start, Team 5980 was on its way to a meaningful, important, and successful season. The team performed well in district competitions and was a trusty Alliance pick, finishing 10th and 6th before qualifying for the Michigan state competition. There, Team 5980 finished in 5th place and qualified for the World Championships in St. Louis -- in just its first year.


Season 2 2016-2017

Team 5980 was 31-26-1 in official play and 42-34-1 overall in 2017. As a member of the FIRST In Michigan district, Team 5980 ranked 84 having earned 145 points

Over the 2016-2017 season, the team grew in size with many new student members as well as mentors. The pre-season was off to a great start with many people interested in joining, which helped grow our numbers as well as popularity. The team began meeting in the band room of the high school during the late summer and early fall but then moved to the Learning Commons for meetings in late fall and winter before the season officially started.

In late August and through September, David Austin from Team 4003 TriSonics assisted the team by offering coding workshops for anyone who had an interest in pursuing that for their job on the team. With the help of our main business mentor, David Price, the team began to discuss business plans before the game reveal. This was important for everyone to know - but especially the new members - so they would know what to expect for the upcoming season. In addition, mentor James Strodtbeck offered tribal technology workshops for the team to learn specific skills such as using power tools, welding, learning to tap and dye, measuring with calipers, and many more skills.

By the first competition at Lakeview High School, the team made it to the Semi Finals and placed 9th overall and also won the District Engineering Inspiration Award. At the next competition at Grand Valley State University, the team placed first and won with alliance partners Team 5675 WiredCats and Team 141 WOBOT as well as winning the Creativity Award by Xerox.

At this point the team qualified for states hosted at Saginaw Valley State University and would go on to place 31st and win the Quality Award by Motorola. While we did not believe that we would qualify for Worlds, after all the points were calculated the team qualified to make the trip to St. Louis and compete in the Curie Division, and placed 56th.


Season 3 2017-2018

Team 5980 was 26-36-0 in official play and 34-41-0 overall in 2018. As a member of the FIRST In Michigan district, Team 5980 ranked 76 having earned 155 points.

After the initial the explosion in growth of the team in our second year, the team scaled down. Our mentors and students were more experience lending towards a better season. Unfortunatly our lead design and build coach had to step down due to his prior business commitments. This left the team without a true sense of leadership in that Area. The Teams coach James Strodtbeck and Mentor Dr. Luce stepped up to fill the role. The game objective of the 2018 season was to pick up and place milk crates place milk crates at various heights around the field. Having seen success in the previous season, the goal of the team was to create a robot that could do all tasks of the game. Unfortunately the team was unable to complete this goal and ended up creating a bot that could perform 2 of 4 of the major tasks.

The team went heavily unprepared into our first event at St. Joeseph High School. With the help of other teams at the event we were able to field a robot. On the second day Team 5980 was selected to be on the 7th alliance with teams 470 and 4409. The team would play in the quarterfinals and lose in the tie breaker. We also won the Entrepreneurship Award awarding us district ranking points.

Team 5980 went into their home event a few weeks later knowing that a better performance was required for qualification to the Distric Championship. We were able to add an end game mechanism with the help of our returning Design and Build Coach. After adapting our robot to the game and devloping our autonomous programs the team was able to find ourselves in the captain position of the 6th alliance. We selected teams 74 and 6548. We were able to again make it to the finals in playoffs where we lost to teams 4003, 85, and 5927. We ended the event as a finalist with a win loss record of 10-10 and won the Quality Award.

The success of our home event qualified the team for the State championship. There we would be ranked 36 and compete in the semifinals with 1918 and 1023. With the help of wining the Judges Award, the team qualified for the FIRST© Championship in Detroit, Michigan. The team ranked 37 on the Tesla Field and would join the 4th Alliance with 340, 319, and 238 where we would lose in the Quaterfinals.