Team 103 Story


"You have taught us that a small community can do big things. Keep going." These words from the 2002 J&J Mid-Atlantic Regional Chairman's Award Judges, along with the 2003 Chairman's Award are confirmation that the eight years Cybersonics has spent in FIRST Robotics have been productive ones. Team 103's accomplishments would be admirable in any school district, but considering that Palisades spans over 100 square miles, has just over 700 students in grades 9-12, and has absolutely no corporate presence within its boundaries, it is truly remarkable what has happened in the beautiful countryside of rural Pennsylvania.

Beginning in 1997 with two committed teachers and a small, but dedicated group of students and mentors, the Palisades High School team found a way to fund its first FIRST season. Successfully preparing a robot for competition and completing an animation entry were both a part of that first year as well as attending regional competitions. Thus, the FIRST "bug" had bitten the Upper Bucks County, PA school district and it hasn't looked back since.

In 1998, the team grew and prepared a robot, animation, and a Chairman's Award entry for the first time. Ever since, Cybersonics Technology Team 103 has competed in all areas of FIRST Robotics and has reshaped an entire school and community in the process. The success Team 103 has realized at competitions (the Chairman's Award, two regional championships, several runner-up finishes, incredble play and judges awards) is dwarfed by the success it has had in reshaping the lives of its members and impact it has had on the school district.

Team 103 continually places 100% of its graduates in fields of study directly related to their work with the team. Students have gone on to various fields of study in engineering, science, mathematics, technology, and animation. These former team members currently study at institutions such as RPI, John's Hopkins University, Penn State University, The University of Maryland, Ursinus College and Ringling School of Art and Design just to name a few. Graduates routinely credit their work with Team 103 and its dedicated mentors and participation in FIRST Robotics as a major key to their success.

Today, Palisades High School offers accredited courses in engineering, robotics, and animation as a result of Team 103's participation in FIRST Robotics. Cybersonics utilizes a business-like structure with several divisions and now has several corporate sponsors, 25 student members, ten volunteer mentors, and three full-time teachers dedicated to the FIRST experience. The team boasts student expertise in the areas of 3D modeling & design, programming, electronics, manufacturing, web design, animation, video production, desktop publishing, marketing, and public relations.

Perhaps the largest accomplishment of all is the fact that all Team 103 products are conceived, designed, and produced at Palisades High School by students. It is clear that the FIRST venture is a difficult one, especially in rural settings where resources and corporate funding are scarce. However, Team 103 feels the benefits for students and adults alike are so astounding that they have committed themselves to supporting FIRST Robotics across rural America.

Cybersonics © 2006