..................................................The Rich History of Team 3739
FRC Team 3739: Oakbotics is the oldest FIRST team in London, Ontario. Initiated in November of 2010, Team 3739 started as a high school-based team at Oakridge Secondary School. Due to our unique, tight-knit approach to FIRST, we received the Rookie All-Star Award at our first competition in Toronto. This led to 3739 qualifying for the World Championships for the first time. We traveled to the world stage to compete, and learned so much more than we ever could have imagined.
In our second year of operation, we competed at the prestigious Waterloo Regional in 2012 alongside our sister team, 3756. We learned fantastic drive strategies and safety principles at this event, and have employed them at every event since 2012.
Linking London Together:
In 2013, there were two major factors in our community that lead to the creation of a new FRC team: a high school teacher’s strike (which halted the operation of extracurricular events), and another school’s inability to form a team. Western University offered Team 3739 space and mentors for the season if we could join forces with London Central Secondary School to form a brand new team. This resulted in the creation of FRC Team 4814: Incubator. During 2013, we taught Central Secondary students about FIRST and worked as a cohesive group to achieve the objectives of the 2013 FIRST game, Ultimate Ascent. We received the Rookie All-Star award and were selected by FRC 1114 and FRC 2056 to join their alliance at the West Toronto Regional, a decision that led to us qualifying for the World Championships in St. Louis. While at worlds in 2013, Team 4814 became the only rookie team to captain an alliance into the finals of their division, proving that our little team can achieve anything if we work together.
In 2014, we stayed with FRC Team 4814 to solidify Central’s involvement, and to introduce several other high schools to FIRST. That year, 4814 founded 4 new FRC teams in London. We also received the Gracious Professionalism Award for our actions on and off the field at the inaugural Windsor Essex Great Lakes Regional.
Going Back to our RoboRoots:
In 2015, FRC Team 3739 was reborn at Oakridge Secondary School with 12 returning members and 1 returning mentor. That year, Oakbotics hosted a preseason event called “Make It Loud London” which aimed to get teams excited about the 2015 kickoff. More than 200 people attended, with representatives from most local teams driving their robots during the demo portion of the night. We increased our signup of both mentors and students, leading to a 23 person team with multiple mentors. 2015 continued to be a good season until the day after the Windsor Regional, when our lead teacher mentor abruptly left our team under negative circumstances. Due to no other teacher being able to volunteer their time, Team 3739 decided to become a community team. It is because of the negative experience that Team 3739 rebranded, and shifted our message to be one of positivity and kindness.
Uprooted and Rebooted:
Thanks to the caring nature of the Steele family, we had a home for the 2016 season. Team 3739 held meetings, build sessions, and tool training in the Steele’s basement. During the 2016 season Team 3739 completed even more outreach, held more inter-team events than ever before, and taught our students that they are positive agents of change in our community. At the Waterloo Regional in 2016, we received the Team Spirit Award, which recognizes optimism and perseverance through hardships. We couldn’t have been prouder to receive that award in that particular year. Team 3739 strives to impart this upon each and every one of our members.
An Optimistic Prime:
For the 2017 season, Team 3739 had the opportunity to work out of a brand new makerspace in London called “UnLab by UnLondon”. The UnLab was situated in a low-income neighbourhood approximately 35 minutes away by bus. Team 3739 moved from the Steele’s basement into the space in September 2016.
The space within UnLab was a shared workroom with no hot running water, no functioning lavatories, and 4 unpopulated outlets. Team 3739 persevered, happily working out of our little corner and proving we could achieve great things from what little we had.
During 2017, Team 3739 paired up with FRC 6162 to teach their international students about camaraderie and teamwork, and they taught us several programming techniques that proved very useful. Team 3739 worked hard to reach out to our community in 52 different events, from planning “Robots Attack” to “Bridge The Gap 2017” to “FRC Programmers Group”. We started several International Digital Outreach initiatives that have reached thousands of people from our home of London, Canada to Sydney, Australia and many cities in between.
2017 was the first year we had the opportunity to attend more than one competition. We competed at the inaugural Western University District Event in London, and competed in the Nipissing University District Event in North Bay. While at Western, we earned the “Imagery Award in Honour of Jack Kamen” because of our cohesive team image and our friendly, professional team unit. Our captain Ahmad Zyoud earned the Dean’s List Semi-Finalist Award for his personal commitment to FIRST. At Nipissing we competed in the quarterfinals as the 8th alliance.
Our team Captain, Ahmad Zyoud, earned the Dean’s List Semi-Finalist Award at the Western University District Event. After 3 years of dedication, hard work, and perseverance, he was finally able to visit the Ontario District Championship Event for the Dean’s List Finalist Award. To cheer Ahmad on, we sent 2 mentors and another student with him to Toronto. Ahmad’s efforts paid off when he met Don Bossi, the President of FIRST. While Ahmad did not win the finalist award, he and the rest of our team back home cheered on teams we are friends with: 4814, 4525, and 5024 during the elimination rounds.
About a week after our incredible experience at the Ontario District Championship, the UnLab maker space was closed, forcing Team 3739 back out in search of a home. We had one week to clear out our things and find a new space. The Steele family once again welcomed us back into the basement for the postseason of our 2017 year. We did not let negativity get the better of us, we held ourselves to the same standard as years before. Team 3739 pushed on and remained optimistic, continuing outreaches and robot demonstrations in our community.
Team 3739 founded Iron Falcon Robotics, a Fanshawe College FIRST Mentorship Team. Iron Falcon Robotics, in turn, founded FRC Team 6856, Fanshawe College’s FRC team named “Fanshawe RoboRaptors”. This rookie incubator-style team is estimated to create up to 5 new FRC teams by the year 2020.
For the 2018 season, our grade 12 team members carry the experience of the negative 2015 season, the rebirth of our team twice, the positivity of our 2016 season and success of our 2017 season. Team 3739 honours their dedication, positivity, optimism, and perseverance by teaching the next high-school generations that anything is possible if you work hard and never give up, just like our seniors never gave up on Team 3739.