About

Our team: Lightning Lancers FRC Team #1444, the Lightning Lancers, was founded in 2004 by the Beta Sigma Psi alumni of the Missouri School of Mines, now called the Missouri […]

Our team: Lightning Lancers

FRC Team #1444, the Lightning Lancers, was founded in 2004 by the Beta Sigma Psi alumni of the Missouri School of Mines, now called the Missouri School of Science and Technology, or Missouri S&T.

We’re a fairly small team, and we’ve had to change locations several times. Despite this, the connections made between mentors and students have remained, and many of our alumni have pursued engineering degrees in college.

Our team strives to provide youth with the opportunity to become involved with professional mechanical, electrical and software engineers in order to expose them to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.

Our team has won many awards and received much recognition for the outstanding work done by our students throughout the numerous FRC competitions we have attended. We have been finalists in four different regional competitions and have gone on to win two of them. We have won the GM Industrial design award twice in recognition of our robots’ robust design and innovative mechanisms. Additionally, one of our students has received the Dean’s List Finalist award, the most prestigious individual award in FRC. You can find a complete list of our robots, achievements, and awards at our history page.

What is FIRST?

FIRST is a robotics program that was founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire kids between the ages of 6 and 18 to pursue careers in science and technology.  FIRST is an acronym for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”

The FIRST family of programs is built around one very important thing: Gracious Professionalism. Unlike some other sports, where teams compete with each other mercilessly, FIRST promotes cooperation between teams.  In FIRST, if your opponent is disabled, you don’t just sit idly by while they panic. Instead,  you try your best to get them working so that everyone can compete at their highest level while still having fun and learning.

The FIRST program has four distinct levels: The Jr. FIRST Lego League (Jr. FLL), FIRST Lego League (FLL), the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). This collection of programs is known as the “FIRST progression of programs.”

The FIRST Robotics Competition

FRC is one of the two higher levels in the FIRST progression of programs.  At this level, high-school students are tasked with designing, building, and programming a complex robot that must complete series of tasks that changes every year. Some years, the challenge involves shooting frisbees into goals. Other times, it involves playing tic-tac-toe with pool tubes.  FRC teams only have six weeks to complete their robots, starting on the first Saturday in January.