The period between September and January is known as the preseason. During this time students are taught the various skills that will be required to compete in the FIRST competition. The most important skill that all students are required to learn is standardized industrial safety. All team members will receive certification from the Job Safety Skills Society. From there, team members can choose to learn about what interests them the most, fabrication, electrical, pneumatics, strategy, driving, video production, social media management, business management and most importantly leadership. The team will dismantle previous robots and organize itself to be able to tackle the challenge that is revealed in January.
On January 6th the game for the 2018 FIRST Robotics competition will be revealed. From that point teams are given six weeks to design, build and test their robots. After six weeks the robot is sealed in a bag and not touched until the first competition of the season. The build season is the busiest time of the year for the team, the team will stay after school until eight at night every weeknight to get as much work done on the robot as possible.
After the build season ends the competition season begins. For the next eight weeks, teams from all across the world will compete at regional and district competitions in the hopes of making it to the world championships. While not at competitions team members will be practicing driving, researching opposing teams, and prototyping new additions for the robot. The team will be competing in at least two competitions. One where select members of the team will travel away, and one in Calgary where all team members will be able to participate. The competition in Calgary is from the fourth to the seventh of April. If the team were to win at one of these competitions they would then go on to compete at the world championships in Houston Texas.
At the end of the competition season, the team moves into its final phase for the year, the post season. During the post season the team preforms most of its outreach programs, volunteering to teach younger students at elementary schools the basics of robotics and STEM. Team members will also help dismantle extra robot assemblies and tidy up the school workshops.