Sean Casley presenting the Founders Award to Al BishopIn October of 2006, Apple Pi FIRST Robotics Team 2067 was born, providing Guilford High School students with the opportunity to enrich their education within a motivating and challenging environment. The program’s founder Al Bishop was inspired while attending his grandson’s robotics competitions in New Hampshire. Upon witnessing the competition and the exciting atmosphere it created, he was compelled to introduce Guilford to the FIRST Robotics program. He approached the metal shop teacher at Guilford High School, and over the next few days, they collaborated on creating and organizing a team. Fliers and announcements were produced and a successful first meeting followed. The group expanded dramatically over the course of the next few meetings with the addition of new members as interest grew.

Over the next several weeks several key sponsors were developed which included Bishop’s Orchards, NASA and Page Hardware and a grant was also obtained from the Guilford Fund for Education (GFFE) all which helped get the program off the ground. Additional sponsors have been added over the years ranging from multi-national Fortune 500 companies to local Guilford based businesses that care deeply about our community.

During its first year, the team received the prestigious Rookie All Star award at Connecticut’s Hartford Regional, which enabled us to attend Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia while in our first competition season. Apple Pi Robotics returned to the Atlanta championships during the 2009 and 2010 seasons and has been a constant attendee of the Hartford Regional and has also attended the Granite State Regional and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Regional. The “Where is Wolcott” and “Bash at the Beach” invitationals make up our off-season schedule.

Apple Pi alumni have gone on to study at excellent colleges and universities, including Carnegie-Melon, Yale, Brown, WPI, Virginia Tech, Syracuse University, Georgia Tech, University of Rochester and others. These graduates are majoring in subjects such biomedical and mechanical engineering, biophysics, robotics engineering and architecture. Others have applied the skills and experience they gained from FIRST and are utilizing them to succeed in other non-technical educational pursuits. All of these robotics graduates share a common drive to use teamwork, problem-solving skills, and innovative solutions to make a positive impact on their community.

According to FIRST founder Dean Kamen, the goal of the FIRST organization is:

“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”

FIRST Team 2067 is committed to making this ideal a reality in all that we do by inspiring our team members to collaborate in facing the trials posed by competition, maintaining a thriving and growing team, and using scientific and technological skills to solve real-life problems. Additionally, we always aspire to spread the spirit of FIRST to our community by introducing others to science and technology, informing the public about the FIRST program, and volunteering our time to assisting others. In our future, we plan to continue the FIRST legacy by continuing to challenge ourselves both in and out of the build season, whether it be competing in a regional or volunteering in our hometown. We will always strive to incorporate gracious professionalism and cooperation into our team by learning from one another and growing as a team. We hope that as a result of the hard work in our program, not only will our team members and mentors benefit, but we can also have a lasting positive impact on our community and encourage others to do the same.