Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
We are FIRST Robotics Team Rapid Acceleration 4593, based in Rapid City, SD. Our robotics team consists of high school students from around the area. Our program was established in 2013, with the help of our long-standing sponsor Caterpillar. We started with the purpose of giving students the opportunity to participate in a fun Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) oriented project. Each year, the team is tasked with designing, building, programming and testing a 120lb robot to complete a series of tasks. We have around 6-weeks to build the robot from scratch before we take it competition. The challenge is designed to help prepare students for the real world by teaching problem solving skills used to complete a challenging objective in a tight time frame.
Each year the team takes the robot to two different regional competitions with goal of qualifying for the World Championship. Our team is an official participant in the international FIRST Robotics program. Currently there are more than 4800 teams, 95,000 students and 24,000 mentors from around the world that participate in FIRST Robotics Competitions. In South Dakota, we are the only organization that has met the challenge to offer this program, which is something that we are working hard to change.
We strive to encourage students to participate in activities that relate to careers in STEM, such as engineering, computer science, CAD and graphic design, with the hope of growing great future employees. Our approach is to teach life-skills of teamwork, responsibility, personal development and problem solving, instilling values among the young adults in the program. We also encourage students to give back to the community through volunteering and outreach programs such as teaching robotics to elementary students, feeding the hungry, and community clean-up. We believe that if you can reach youth at an early age, that you can instill life-long values that benefit everyone.