About us

FRC Team #5980


Our job as a team and as individuals is to work as a whole in creating the most advanced and complex robot possible, while striving for excellence and thinking intuitively, and solving problems in the STEM fields. The 2016 year was our rookie year and we tried our hardest to make our mark. Now with the 2017 season FIRST® STEAMWORKSSM on the way we are attempting to live up to last years greatness. With help from many mentors and other teams we think that we have what it takes to be the STEAMWORKSSM champions.

Who we are

The mission of the East Grand Rapids Robotics Team 5980 is to inspire students in STEM fields and to cultivate community outreach, leadership development, and business skills. We seek to teach valuable skills to students needed for the work force in a global community. Encouraging diversity and the participation of young women in STEM fields is also very important to East Grand Rapids Robotics. In order to accomplish these goals, we plan on holding school assemblies, robot demonstrations, and parades. We will attempt to make partnerships with diabetes education, the Blandford Nature Center, and the Devos Children's Hospital. We are constantly re-evaluating our goals, and adapting to change as it comes. Above all, our goal is to provide rewarding and memorable experiences to everyone involved in our program.

This season the East Grand Rapids Robotics team was very successful in terms of growing as a program and learning as a team. Back in August of 2016, the robotics team started to hold smaller meetings to talk about what robotics actually is and drive the previous year's robot. In the beginning of the summer, more people joined the team, and actively participated in the meetings, which helped us to build the team and become who we are today.

With the help of our two main mentors, Mr. James Strodtbeck and Mr. James Ludwig, the team grew and the students became more aware and knowledgeable about what it meant to be an integral part of Team 5980. The mentors and students got to know and understand each other better by having more organized and focused meetings, and by engaging in team bonding activities outside of robotics.

When the official preseason started in November 2016, the meetings lasted longer and many more hands were needed to complete the individual projects in preparation for building the robot. Mentor James Strodtbeck organized tribal meetings for students who wanted to learn how to work with tools such as blow torches and drill presses as well as learn how to build things that could be used on a robot like braising aluminum together. In addition to hands-on projects, Mentor David S. Price taught the team how to use specific business tools that included how to write a business plan, create presentations, and how to have good business relationships with sponsors to ask for their support. These are just some of the examples that helped bring the team together and increased the team’s knowledge about what robotics really is about the mentors and students.