Team 3932 is a community-based team. Working under the Boca Raton 4-H Science and Technology Club, highly motivated, local high school students make up FIRST FRC Team 3932 – “The Dirty Mechanics.” Engineers in hardware, software, and structural design, along with other adults with various backgrounds, are mentoring the students.
The Dirty Mechanics team 3932 was founded in response to the need for a FRC team in the Boca Raton area. The children of several of the team founders had previously been involved in robotics at their schools. However, when their school teams disbanded, the families searched for a new team for their children.
Not finding a team in the area, the families started their own team. Working under the Boca Raton 4-H Science and Technology Club, Team 3932 was born. The Dirty Mechanics became a true community team. Current team members come from various high schools (and home schools) in the Boca Raton area, and this diversity is one of its strengths. Not being an arm of any particular school provides an opportunity for interested and motivated local high school students who do not have a school robotics team the ability to participate in robotics endeavors.
Team 3932 has 43 students and 14 mentors. The team's students from 7 different schools: Boca Raton Community High School, Spanish River High School, West Boca High School, Olympic Heights High School, FAU High School, St. Andrew’s School, Stoneman Douglas, and 6 Home School groups. Our team of 14 adult mentors and coaches bring a variety of engineering, business, and professional backgrounds and work experience to the Dirty Mechanics. Engineers include electrical engineers, structural engineers, software engineers, machine & model engineers, and architectural engineers. Other mentors have backgrounds in accounting, information technology, graphics design, law, and business.
Team Community Impact/Outreach:
The Dirty Mechanics involves itself in our local community by supporting and promoting FIRST, and by performing community service. We sent invitations to join our community team to STEM and public high school contacts, Math and Science teachers, private schools and the home school community. We also gave FIRST and FRC overview presentations and robot demonstrations at local schools and community groups.
At our local FLL Qualifiers, our team members, mentors, and parents volunteered as judges, table referees, DJ, pit manager, scorekeeper, photographer, registration greeter, and runners.
We are working with one of our sponsors, Citrix to help start and mentor two FLL teams in Agogo, Ghana. They are now the first and only FLL teams anywhere in Ghana!
We seriously increased our community visibility when we started to march in our local Boca Raton Holiday Street Parade in 2013 and won 3rd place. With a Macy's Day Parade-style robot driving in the parade, our team followed behind and handed out candy canes with FIRST cards spreading the mission of FIRST. Many interested parents asked us questions about our robotics team along the way. We invited a local FLL team to march with us too. We have marched every year since 2013, spreading the word of FIRST.
We are also actively involved in helping the community at large. We chose Boca Helping Hands, a local soup kitchen, and food pantry, as our Team community service project. Team members and mentors served at the soup kitchen and food pantry. We also provided Thanksgiving Baskets and helped distribute turkeys and baskets. Team members and mentors have helped set up, organize, and distribute donated food items including fruits, vegetables, and meat to needy families in the area. We had a few additional Christmas wreaths left from our fundraiser, so we distributed them to families with their donated food. It was wonderful to see their smiles at an unexpected treat for the holiday season!
Each year we have almost doubled our team size since 2012. Despite the loss of so many senior team members graduating, the Dirty Mechanics attracted many new members, gaining more than 25 new students this year. Our permanent home on Saint Andrew’s School campus has enabled us to work longer more consistent hours, and, allow more students to have an opportunity to gain experience in a wider variety of skills, which has increased our overall technical ability as a team.