What Is Simbotics?
Founded in 2003, Team 1114 - Simbotics (A.K.A Garden City Robotics Youth Organization Inc), is a high school robotics team based out of Governor Simcoe Secondary School in St. Catharines, Ontario. As one of 30 teams in the FIRST Hall of Fame and the only one representing Canada, Simbotics is one of the most consistently competitive in the world. Simbotics displays prominence in the FRC community, both by being competitively successful and by making an impact in communities. Simbotics is known for our innovative and effective, yet simple robot designs, as well as our commitment to promoting STEM, education, and spreading an interest in robotics and technology to young people.
What Is First Robotics?
FIRST Robotics (or FRC for short) is a robotics competition that sees high school students from roughly 3600 teams around the world work alongside industry professional mentors to design, build, and compete with a purpose-built robot. The FRC season starts on the first weekend of January, where teams learn what challenge they will face in the coming 12 weeks. Teams then have a 6-week period (known as the build season) to contemplate the challenge and what can be obtained, prototype, design, build, and program a robot. Teams will then spend the next 6 weeks competing in 2 events, with an additional trip to the provincial championship and a potential trip to the World Championship hosted in Houston Texas where they will compete against 700 other teams.
This year, Simbotics is guaranteed to be competing at the following events:
Newmarket Complex Event - Newmarket - March 8th → 10th
McMaster University Event - Hamilton - March 28th → March 30th
FRC World Championships - Houston, Texas' - April 17th → April 20th
While Simbotics automatically qualifies to compete at the FRC World Championships due to our inclusion in the FIRST Hall of Fame, we will have to earn our way to the Provincial Championship with strong performances at the Newmarket and McMaster events. Should we qualify the Provincial Championship can be found at:
FRC Ontario District Provincial Championships
Mississauga - April 3rd → April 6th
Since the teams inception in 2003, Team 1114, Simbotics stands as a beacon of hard-work, dedication and success. Over the years we have won 56 blue banners signifying a major award or event win, over 200 trophies, had 6 students win the prestigious Dean’s List Award, and 10 mentors win the prestigious Woodie Flower Award. Our 56 blue banners see us claim second in the world for most major accolades awarded to a single team.
Simbotics was 17-1 on our way to captaining the winning alliance of the 2008 World Champions and was inducted into the FIRST Robotics Hall of Fame in 2012 for our outstanding impact on the community, our ability to inspire both students and adults in the field of STEM, and for our consistent excellence on the field.
Simbotics has helped start 12 FRC teams, 47 FLL (FIRST Lego League) teams, and over 46 other robotics teams around the world. In this last year, Simbotics has donated robot equipment to Africa as part of a partnership with Just Cause Education, donated 5 Robotic fields & other equipment to schools in the DSBN, hosted Lego Robotics seminars at 7 elementary schools across the DSBN seeing us donate 180 total person-hours while teaching more than 360 youth and 20 teachers, and are hosting a Lego Robotics tournament at Governor Simcoe where 12 elementary schools will see their students learn, compete, and have fun!
Simbotics is also extremely active within the FRC community, where we have made the CAD for 11 of our robots public, made the code for 7 of our robots public, maintain a Help Desk for teams across Canada where we answer all FRC-related questions, Provide programming and CAD tutorials on our Youtube channel, and offer a “Fix-It” team at events where we help other teams to ensure they are running their best for all their matches.
How Does The Team Use funds?
Simbotics is a not-for-profit organisation, and 100% of the funds donated to the organization go towards the program. On average, it costs us around $85,000 Canadian Dollars every to continue to function as a Robotics team. A quick breakdown of this cost is:
Team Registration → $15,000. This is a mandatory cost yearly that assumes we compete at 2 district events, the Provincial championship, and the World Championship
Robot Materials → $15,000. This varies depending on the complexity of the years game and our robot, but we have set a firm maximum budget of $15,000 for Robot Materials in any given year
Travel Costs → $30,000. This cost differs, depending on team size, event selection (and hotel cost relative to the area), shipping costs when the robot goes to Houston, Gas for local robot shipping within the province, etc.
Practice Field → $3,000. Simbotics maintains a full practice field replica at Jeanne Sauve that can be used by other FRC teams. The cost of this differs depending on the complexity of the any given year, the elements required, and the cost of lumber at the time
Shipping & Duty → $1,500. Many of the materials that we use on the robot originate in the United States of America, and as such, we pay a hefty shipping fee and Duty to come across the border. $1,500 represents an approximation of the fees that were paid in 2023
Team Insurance → $1,300. As Simbotics is a community team associated with Governor Simcoe and not an official DSBN school organization, we are responsible for our own insurance. This differs year over year, but $1,300 represents a close approximation
Team Apparel → $1,000. Simbotics provides each student with 1 sponsor shirt to be worn throughout the season to ensure that everybody has team swag (mentor or student), regardless of any potential financial situation. Additional team ware can be purchased at the individual persons expense.
None of the costs listed above take into consideration any tools that break throughout the year, maintenance on any of our CNC machines, or any room for investments into computers for the team to use, materials for our outreach efforts, etc.
What Is a Mentor?
A mentor is a volunteer, generally involved in the STEM field in one way or another. While anybody can mentor, we require a background check and the FIRST YPP (youth Protection Plan) certification.
How Many Members are a Part of Simbotics?
We are forecasting that we will have 35 students and 22 mentors for the 2024 season
Where will My Logo be placed on the Robot?
Each year our robot has dedicated, intentionally designed areas where we can clearly place our sponsor logos. The sponsor logos are high-quality, printed stickers made using a Cricut machine that are then placed on Lexan. Sponsor logos are maintained and replaced throughout the season when appropriate to ensure that they are always crisp, clear, and easy to see from anywhere in the stadium.
What is “Verbal Recognition at live-streamed events”?
Sponsors who qualify for this perk will have their names read out whenever our team is introduced at events. As an example, in 2023 our team was introduced as “Team 1114 Simbotics sponsored by General Motors, Ontario Power Generation, Vykan, and the District School Board of Niagara”
Does My Donation Need to Be Monetary?
Absolutely not! There are many items that can be purchased or replaced as part of a sponsorship. A sponsorship could even be as simple as a provided lunch for the team on a Saturday throughout the season. Please reach out for more details about alternative sponsorship methods.
Can I dictate where my money is used in the program?
Generally speaking, no. Once the money has been donated to the program we use it wherever we best see fit or where it is required. Special cases can be made, however, and we would love to speak with you if you are passionate on the funds being used in a certain fashion.
What is Garden City Robotics Youth Organization Inc?
Team 1114, Simbotics was a DSBN school that operated as part of Governor Simcoe until the 2017 season. The biggest limitation that we had as a DSBN team was that we had to have a staff member of Governor Simcoe present 100% of the time at all times when Robotics was taking place. This put an extreme amount of pressure on the staff member from Governor Simcoe who was involved in the team. To rectify this, we migrated to a Community-based team known as Garden City Robotics Youth Organization Inc. We still operate from Governor Simcoe and abide by all the rules and regulations put out by the DSBN, with the exception that non-DSBN employees are allowed to be the sole representation required to run team events.
Let's Work Together
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