Frequently Asked Questions

What do we do at TKO?

TKO aims to teach rookies and new members how to build a full-fledged robot, learning valuable, life-long skills along the way. Members can learn how to machine and manufacture parts, program a robot, or even how to market a team successfully.

What is the commitment like?

The number of meetings we have varies, depending on whether we are currently in the off-season or build season. The off-season runs for the entirety of the first semester (September - December). During the off-season, we meet up to three times a week, and our meetings last about two and a half hours each. Specific days of the week to meet are decided at the beginning of each school year, to best work around the majority of the team's schedules. Build season lasts for six weeks (the majority of January - February). During build season, we meet everyday, excluding Sundays. On weekdays, we meet from 3 - 5:30 pm, and on Saturdays from 9 am - 5 pm. The more frequent and extended meeting times allow our team sufficient time to plan, design, and build a successful competition robot. Around mid-March, the number of meetings will decrease, likely reverting back to the off-season schedule. Members are required to be present for two-thirds of the meeting time in order to facilitate their education and participation in the team.

Tell me more about competition.

TKO participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition, an international robotics competition for high school teams. Each competition season (which starts in January), TKO plans, designs, and builds a competition robot built to play and succeed at a game of FIRST's creation. The rules and specifications for each year's game are different, and our robot for each game must reflect those rules. In March or early April, we compete with hundreds of other FIRST robotics teams with the aim of winning!

How is the team organized? How are the positions chosen?

TKO is headed by the President of the team. The team then splits into two groups, Operations and Engineering, each headed by a Vice President. The VPs oversee individual departments led by up to two leads each, who ensure that tasks are properly delegated and members are supervised well. Each year, the leadership team is chosen through a deliberate election process, where prospective candidates go up, give speeches, and answer questions from members of the team in order to gain a basis of which to decide electability.

What resources will each department require?

All members require ANSI approved (Z87.1+) safety glasses, a mindset for teamwork, and a positive attitude. For members in the Programming department, a laptop is needed as well.

How has COVID affected commitment?

Due to the pandemic, we have shifted to a remote training program and emphasized small group work. The club meets on Zoom between 3:30 and 5:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Departments work together in breakout rooms and collaborate with each other on larger projects.