How to Join

Grade Levels: 9 - 12
Purpose:

We compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), a worldwide organization of 4000+ active high school robotics teams. Every January we get a brand new challenge and have 2 months to design, build, and program a 120 lbs robot to play a game in 3 v. 3 matches on a big field.

Dubbed “a varsity sport for the mind” FRC combines difficult technical challenges with the excitement of competition to inspire students in STEM pursuits.

Thanks to dedicated adult mentors with extensive professional career experience, team members learn and develop skills spanning multiple skill sets and sub teams. Our sub teams include:

  • Mechanical: hands-on manufacturing and robot assembly, including CAD and 3D printing
  • Controls: electrical engineering, programming for operator robot controls and autonomous routines
  • Scouting & Strategy: "competitive intelligence” and liaison between CHCA robot drive team and competition alliance members
  • Business & Branding (B2): communications, public relations and community outreach, documentation and content creation, fundraising and accounting, project management, etc.  New in 2022-2023!  Beak Squad is partnering with CHCA’s Entrepreneurship Certification Program!  Contact the Beak Squad Head Coach to learn how joining the Beak Squad Business & Branding sub team can function as your Internship requirement!
Months:

Pre-Season: September - December
Thursday 4:30 - 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

  • Onboarding & training, off-season challenges
  • We may compete in fall off-season competitions
  • Community involvement activities including mentoring CHCA Gr 3-8 Robotics Teams

Build/Competition Season: January - April
Monday 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. - Team Meeting and Dinner
Tuesday - Thursday: 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

  • Mechanical and Controls sub teams: Minimum 12 hrs/week
  • Strategy and B2 sub teams: Minimum 6 hrs/week

Field Set Build: January – February
Saturdays and other as-scheduled starting 2nd Saturday in January through completion.


January - February: Intensive six-to-eight-week robot design and build period
March - Early April: Regional and Championship events for qualifying teams
04/19/23-04/22/23: World Championship in Houston, TX for qualifying teams


Summer Off-Season: May - August
TBD Thursdays 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. and TBD Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

  • (May) On-board interested rising CHCA 9th graders
  • We may compete in off-season summer competitions
  • Strongly encourage our 9-12 students to help with robotics summer camp
Practice Location:

Robotics HQ within 1 mile of campus
11563 Grooms Road, Blue Ash, OH  45242  (map)

CHCA provides bus transportation from the MSL Campus to HQ after school.
Meet / Competition Info:

2 regional tournaments involve overnight travel and missing a few days of school.

Usually mid/late March; Thursday through Saturday - UltraCamp Registration and payment required by deadlines.
Cost:
  • $275 includes 2 team Tshirts. Additional team merchandise is available for purchase.
  • Provide 1 team dinner (~ 25 people/meal) during Pre-Season
  • Provide 2 team dinners (~ 25 people/meal) during Build/Competition Season
  • Tournament travel requires additional fees to cover transportation, lodging, and some meals. These are communicated well in advance with registration deadlines
  • Each Team Member is involved with fundraising efforts by reaching out to potential Community Supporters and Sponsors
  • Scholarship opportunities available; email Sarah.Hendrix@chca-oh.org for details.
Anticipated # of Students: 30
Expected Parent Involvement:

Parent Info Meeting - 08/30/22 - 6:30-7:30 p.m. - Beak Squad Headquarters

We welcome family members to attend competitions. Every family is expected to:

  • Volunteer at Beak Squad hosted events
  • Provide 3 team meals (~ 25 people/meal)
  • Transport to/from Robotics HQ when not provided by CHCA

Adults with professional & educational experience that support various sub teams are welcome to volunteer as a dedicated sub team mentor OR Saturday Skills Workshop leader. We seek a wide variety of skills including CNC routing, project management, fundraising, strategic planning/corporate intelligence, marketing/communications, manufacturing/CAD, etc. Email Sarah.Hendrix@chca-oh.org and explore how you can make a difference.

All adults must be fingerprinted by CHCA prior to working with students

Notes:
  • Check out the Beak Squad microsite (www.chca-oh.org/beaksquad) for more information and regular updates.
  • Each year the team must raise about $40,000 to cover basic costs so additional fundraising is essential. Funds are raised through Corporate Sponsorships and Community Supporter donations. Want to help? Visit our sponsorship webpage or email Sarah.Hendrix@chca-oh.org.
Head Coach: Sarah.Hendrix@chca-oh.org
How To Register Students:

Every year you must:

  1. Register with CHCA PRIOR to attending your first practice.  Deadline is by 12/01/22 at 11:59 p.m. You will be given a link in your confirmation email to use for Step 2
     
  2. Register with FIRST as a confirmed member of the CHCA Beak Squad by 12/10/22 at 11:59 p.m.  A link and instructions are in your UltraCamp Confirmation email.
     
  3. Download TeamSnap to receive team communications. Students are automatically invited when registered and will add parent emails to give parent access.
     
  4. Students are required to register attendance (yes/no) in TeamSnap for ALL meetings so that meals and work planning can be sized for attendance.
How To Register
Dedicated Mentors:
  1. Complete CHCA Fingerprinting (valid for 5 years)
     
  2. Register with FIRST as a confirmed member of the CHCA Beak Squad by 12/10/22 at 11:59 p.m. (No need to register in UltraCamp.)
     
  3. Download TeamSnap to receive team communications. Mentors are automatically invited when registered.
     
  4. Mentors are required to register attendance (yes/no) in TeamSnap for ALL meetings so that meals and work planning can be sized for attendance.
Beak Squad Robotics team 2018

 

The Beak Squad wins the 2018 World Championship Autonomous Award, Sponsored by Ford, and are Championship Division Finalists.

 

 

 

Gr 9-12 Beak Squad team - 2016

CHCA Beak Squad wins 2016 Ohio State FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championship as the Alliance Captain and 1st Place Alliance, remaining undefeated for the entire tournament!

 

Gr 9-12 Beak Squad team - 2015

CHCA Beak Squad takes 1st Place in the 2015 FedEx Innovation Challenge!

 

 

 

CHCA Volunteer Fingerprinting Policy: To maintain the safest environment for our students, CHCA requires ALL volunteers to be fingerprinted PRIOR to the first time volunteering. This includes classroom helpers, event and front desk volunteers, party helpers, coaching and theatre volunteers, field trip drivers (grades K-3), trip chaperones, and regular visitors to our buildings.  It also includes Gr 9-12 students who will have contact with minor children while they volunteer in a CHCA sponsored camp or activity. The check is valid for 5 years.

To make your 5 minute appointment at the Welcome Center, email Judi.Davis@chca-oh.org.  Please bring:

  • Your driver's license or a form of identification if you don't have a driver's license
  • A 2nd form of identification (passport, SS card, or birth certificate)
  • Gr 9-12 minor volunteers should bring this completed Parental Permission form

Thank you in advance to everyone for volunteering, and for helping to ensure the safety of our students. We appreciate you!