Red Storm is a FIRST Robotics Competition team from East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, Michigan. Our season began late in December of 2010, and with our amazing sponsors -JCPenney and General Electric-, wise teachers, and motivated students, Team 3875 began making progress.
At our first competition at Grand Valley State University (2011), we won an award for “Highest Rookie Seed”: 11th out of 40th place! We also earned 13th seed (place) out of 34 in our competition at Niles. We ended up qualifying for state with 58th place out of 64, but decided not to go due to financial reasons. The captains then were Kalee Stutzman and Ajene Burris.
Our second year was similarly hectic, but we were generally better prepared because of the additional experience. We attended two competitions, once again, at GVSU and Niles. However, technical issues as well as the unexpected level of competition meant that Red Storm did not make it into the finals or win any awards at either competition. Nonetheless, the year was a good learning experience, and represented significant improvements in the team’s organization, finances, and knowledge. The captain then was Ajene Burris.
The team started its third season in January 2013. After weeks of hard work, the team developed a high-quality robot that met and surpassed its plans for the season. Red Storm made it to the elimination rounds of the Gull Lake District Competition but did not make it to the final rounds. The team also performed well at the GVSU West Michigan Districts but was not selected for the elimination rounds. The captains then were Dominic Carattini, Lauren Macklin and Julian Cisneros.
In the fall of 2013, Red Storm started preparing for its fourth season. Many old members returned, along with several new faces, including a new coach. The first major event for the pre-season was the West Michigan Robotics Invitational at Zeeland High School, where the team made it to the elimination rounds and was ultimately in the second-place alliance. During our fourth season, we went to District Competition at Grand Valley State University and Saint Joseph. The best thing that happened during this season was gaining the Creativity Award at Saint Joseph District competition. The captains then were Julian Cisneros and Jordyn Moore.
Our fifth season had a great start! Various new members have joined the team and many members from last year have remained. We learned from our mistakes last year, we started to work more earlier in our short six weeks build season instead of procrastination. We were able to bring our robot to the Code Red Scrimmage this season unlike last season. After the build season, we had a short discussion on the name and motto for our robot. Our final decision was the name “Johnny 5” and the motto “#5 is alive”. After this decision, we watched the movie, Short Circuit, which was the reference for our name and motto. This season is also the first season that we hosted a district competition at our home, East Kentwood High School. During our first competition at East Kentwood, our performance was not so well. We learned from the East Kentwood competition and improved on our next competition at Gull Lake, where we were able to make it to the 4th place and became apart of the 3rd place alliance. After the second competition, we thought that we could do better, so we accepted the invitation from Saint Joseph High School and attended the Saint Joseph District competition. Our ranking at the third competition was 26th, but fortunately the 4th alliance invited our team and we graciously accepted. Even though we were unable to move on to the semi-finals at Saint Joe, we were able to get a 120 point high score due to the good cooperation within our fourth alliance. We won three awards in total, two Entrepreneurship Awards, one at Kentwood and another at Gull Lake, and Innovation and Control Award at Saint Joseph. The captains then were Jordyn Moore and Jeremiah Lipscomb.
Last year was our team’s sixth season The year’s challenge was called “FIRST Stronghold,” and it involved two three-team temporary alliances facing off, each working to reach and capture their opponents’ towers by breaching a variety of medieval-themed obstacles.
It is currently year seven of Red Storm Robotics, and we have come a long way from our inception. Our challenge this season is “FIRST STEAMWORKS,” and it involves collecting fuel and gears to launch each alliance’s airship. We will be attending district competitions at Lakeview High School and Shepherd High School, and we are very excited to host a competition at our own East Kentwood High School for the third year in a row!