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 twice a week, and our meetings last from 3:30 - 5:30pm. 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! This year, we have implemented a two-team system, with an FRC team and a JV team. Only members of the FRC team will be working on our competition robot. For more information on the split, visit the Rookie Training page.

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 Directors, who manage individual departments led by up to two leads each. Leads 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. Starting this year, we are splitting the team into an FRC team and a JV team. The FRC team is the team that builds robots for the FIRST Robotics Competition, primarily made up of upper-class veterans and leads. The JV team builds small robots for competition within the team and is mostly comprised of incoming members and last year's new members. The purpose of the JV team is to prepare newer members for the FRC team.

What resources will each department require?

All members require ANSI approved (Z87.1+) safety glasses, a mask/facial covering for COVID safety reasons, 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?

To adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, we have shifted to a training program that splits time between remote and in-person learning. The club meets between 3:30 and 5:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Some members will work with their departments via Zoom in breakout rooms and collaborate with each other on larger projects, while others will be in the lab room getting some hands-on experience. Members will shift between in-person meetings and online attendance.