ausTIN CANs, FIRST Robotics Team 2158 from Anderson High School in Austin, TX, formed in 2006-2007 to help students to become the next generation of innovators, engineers, and scientists. We work to excite our school, district, community, and beyond about STEM and robotics. The following year, ausTIN CANs, VEX Team 2158 was formed.
The team has established itself to maintain a business structure and focus in order to promote core values of Collaboration, Accountability, Motivation, Professionalism, and Safety. Due to the nature of robotics, a wide variety of students with different skill sets are needed. Not only do we have people knowledgeable in designing and building robots, but also those with programming, marketing, animation, writing, video and photography, fundraising, and website designing skills and interests. As such, members are encouraged to pursue their specific interests and to develop their skills to benefit the team as a whole.
The team has seven interconnected divisions: electrical, programming, computer-aided design (CAD), manufacturing, mechanisms/design, strategy, and marketing/business. All of the divisions collaborate to complete a variety of projects. By working alongside engineers and professionals and being exposed to engineering processes, students are able to gain valuable real-world experiences before ever setting foot in college or an industry internship.
Apart from developing a wide array of skills, robotics also provides a safe, fun, close-knit group of peers that can help students find their place in school. Members learn teamwork and communication skills, as well as how to manage time effectively. Students are also expected to engage the community in robotics and demonstrate excitement for science, technology, and engineering.