Team Organization

Student Leadership

Team Captain

  • A mature, responsible, and positive leader who oversees, but does not micromanage, all operations. Ensures all subgroups are operating effectively. Monitors progress of all groups. Anticipates potential issues before they become a problem. Keeps up with FIRST weekly updates ( and is an expert of the season’s game, rules, and field. Frequently reads Chief Delphi ( to keep a pulse on what other teams are doing throughout the season. Communicates relevant game updates and rule changes to the team. Inclusive philosophy. Encourages, inspires, and leads by example. Savvy strategist. Resolves disputes. Willing to assist any sub-group with anything at any time. Attends all meetings. Most importantly, the team captain is easy to work with and exemplifies the most positive qualities of our team.

The team captain will also assume responsibilities of EITHER the Head of Engineering OR the Head of Marketing.

Head of Engineering

  • Oversees the design, build, and test phases of the robot throughout the build season. An expert on game rules, robot rules/requirements, and conducts research to become an expert on other team’s robots (via The Blue Alliance, Chief Delphi, YouTube, and other team’s social media postings). Ensures the mechanical and programming teams are progressing effectively. Anticipates and helps solve robot design issues. A safety expert. Helps make a bill of materials (BOM) and calculates robot cost. Attends all design sessions, programming sessions, build sessions, and other robot-specific meetings.

Head of Marketing

  • Oversees all operations related to the imagery, outreach, and brand of our team. An effective leader who will seek creative ideas from the team before offering their own. Understands that no idea is a bad idea when trying to be creative (even the crazy ones may lead to something great), but can help guide the group to create and execute a successful plan. Ensures all PR/Marketing efforts are on track and able to succeed.

More Roles

CAD Team Members

  • Think of design ideas and model them in Onshape. The CAD team may work in small groups, with each group focusing on one mechanism (ex: Intake, Launcher, etc.). By the end of the season, the CAD team will have created a full, detailed design of the robot in Onshape. The CAD team anticipates design issues throughout the season and proactively presents ideas to solve them. Their goal is to communicate a realistic vision for the design of sub-assemblies, and to show how they will integrate into a full, working robot. Always thinking about how the next step in the build process will work.

Build Team Members

  • Members of the build team know how to stay safe in the workshop. They understand the importance of safety, cleanliness, and organization. The build team prototypes as many ideas as possible to learn what works and what does not. Sometimes, things that sound easy are hard, and things that sound hard are easy. We learn by building prototypes. As the season progresses, the design of the robot narrows, and the build team works with the CAD team to build the competition robot. All members of the build team value teamwork, and they understand that the process (design/build/test/repeat) is more important than any single idea.

Programming Team Members

  • The programming team uses Java to program our robot. Programmers always save and back up all versions of code/projects properly. Programmers know that their programs never work the first time, and always require a little debugging. This is a normal and expected part of the process. Programmers work on autonomous and tele-operated modes. They work with the drive team to ensure the joystick/controller can be used in the most effective way based on the drivers' preferences.

Marketing Team Members

  • Outreach: Some members of the marketing team organize and run our outreach events. They ensure that each team member has an important job to make every outreach event a success. They are creative and passionate about providing high-impact STEM opportunities to our community, and they love to inspire others to explore the excitement of STEM.

  • Awards: The marketing team also creates a creative plan and apply for desired awards. They keep track of deadlines to ensure all materials are submitted on time. They work with the judging spokespersons and other members of the team to execute a plan to compete for desired awards. Must possess excellent writing skills.

  • Judging Spokespersons: Friendly, well-spoken, knowledgeable experts who will talk to the judges as well as other team’s spokespersons while at competitions. Remains in the pit during their designated shifts, ready to talk to anyone who stops by. Spokespersons are experts on our robot, how it was built, team organization, outreach events, and team history.

  • Web Designer: Maintains the Pirate Robotics website ( and keeps it up to date with pictures, videos, results from competition, awards, and more.

  • Videographer: Records video during outreach events, fundraisers, workshop build times, competitions, and more. Creates videos and posts them to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Creative and passionate about sharing our team’s positive energy with the world.

  • Social Media Specialists: Takes pictures throughout the season to document the entire process of designing, building, testing, and competing with our robot. Skilled at capturing the team’s excitement and sharing it through multiple promotional videos and pictures. Posts to the team’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube accounts. Interacts with other teams via social media.

Scouting Team Members

  • Scouters & Strategists: Develop a strategy for succeeding in upcoming matches while at competition. Helps the team make design decisions from a game strategy perspective. Forms a “pick list” at competitions. Highly organized and able to develop and recognize creative strategies for game play. Friendly with other teams. Familiar with the capabilities of all robots at a competition.

Safety Captain

  • Ensures the workshop and pit are always safe, clean, and organized. Recognizes and fixes situations and behaviors which are potentially unsafe. Creates and updates the safety manual. Leads the effort to compete for the safety award while at competition.

Drive Team

A drive team will be selected based on skill, merit, leadership, responsibility, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. The drive team will be an exemplary representation of our team while at competitions. They will work with other teams to form strategy and will represent the city of West Carrollton with pride. The drive team must be experts on the game rules, numerous strategies, and be knowledgeable about other teams. Most importantly, they must always exemplify Gracious Professionalism at competitions.

  • Drive Coach: The leader of our team while on the field. Works with other teams and their field coaches (who may be adults) to form a strategy for the alliance.

  • Driver: Primarily operates the robot’s drive train during a match.

  • Operator: Controls the robot’s numerous mechanisms during a match. The driver and operator must be able to anticipate one another’s actions and will work as a single unit.

  • Human Player: Responsibilities change depending on the rules of the game. Human players typically provide extra help with game pieces and communication during a match.

  • Technician: Pushes the robot cart and works with the rest of the drive team to prepare the robot for matches (ensures we have the correct bumpers before every match, checks the robot for issues before and after matches, etc.).

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