Team 226 Hammerheads

In 1999, a group of high school students and mentors with a passion for engineering, learning, and leadership formed Team 226: The Hammerheads. Crosstown rivals on any other field, Troy and Athens High School started working together towards a common purpose. With little experience and limited resources, they set out to explore the ocean of FIRST. Over the years, we have evolved from young inexperienced pups to wise old Hammerheads, sending waves of influence around the world. The team continues to grow as our seasoned veterans inspire future generations of Hammerheads. As we reflect upon our past and present contributions, we are proud of the way Team 226 has shaped the future of FIRST, our community, and our members.

A couple years after being established, our team was looking for new ways to get involved in the FIRST program, so we began hosting Sharkfest, a FLL and Jr FLL tournament. Our team members take on various responsibilities that encompass everything from building LEGO kits to judging the competition. Additionally we hold a Jr FLL exhibition and demo our various robots for the students learning and enjoyment. The attendees have the unique opportunity to witness three of the four stages of FIRST: Jr FLL, FLL, and FRC in one place.

After the success of Sharkfest, we decided to undertake a new challenge: hosting a fully-fledged FRC qualifying tournament, the Troy District Competition. During this event our team members, students, parents, and the community come together to make the tournament the best it can be. This year, we will be hosting our seventh annual Troy District Competition. FIRST competitions are a great way to get students excited about STEM, and we are happy to be a part of this process.

After reaching out to FIRST students, we next turned our attention to the general population. We worked with several FRC teams to create a robot to throw the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park. This event, called "Robots in the D", featured the first ever student-built robot to throw a first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. The media buzz around this event, including TV, social media, and radio interviews led to our robot sharing FIRST’s mission with over 11 million people. Our efforts inspired similar FIRST events across the country.

Today our team is more active than ever, rostering over one hundred members. To manage all of our members, we utilize an organizational structure that consists of 3 major groups: Engineering, Information and Business. The Engineering group is a driving force on the team, as they directly fulfill the FIRST challenge. Throughout the season, they devise various strategies and designs to eventually fabricate a multi-functional robot with guidance from GM engineers. Our build group incorporates the additional challenges of Robofest and Shell Eco-Marathon. FIRST is more than just robots, and our team covers a variety of topics beyond the Engineering challenge. The Information group is the glue that holds our team together. They build and maintain our website and employ the professional task-management software Smartsheet to manage events, meetings, and team information. Additionally, they use platforms such as Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to spread information. The Business group acts as the face of the team, representing it for both the local and FIRST community. They plan fundraising events, outreach programs, and sponsor presentations in order to connect with those around us. Additionally, the Business group works to start, mentor, and collaborate with other FIRST teams and present award submissions and team information to FIRST judges.

In addition to providing opportunities for our own members, we also work tirelessly to reach out to our surrounding community. We volunteer at local charities and food banks. We have dozens of other outreach events including fundraisers, presentations, and volunteer opportunities.

Throughout our team's history, we have displayed an unbridled passion for STEM and the founding principles of FIRST. We are proud to have spread these core values in our community, and we look forward to enhancing the welfare of our members and our society through science, technology, engineering, and math. (From 2016 Chairman)