How to Join

Grade Levels: 9 - 12
Purpose:

Students compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) which boasts 4000+ teams worldwide. With a new challenge presented each January, the team has about 2 months to design, build, and program a 120 lb robot. Playing 3 v. 3 matches on a large field, FRC is dubbed “a varsity sport for the mind.” FRC provides students with hands-on, professional technological and business-minded experience.

Thanks to dedicated adult mentors with extensive professional career experience, Team Members learn and develop skills spanning multiple skill sets including:

  • 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.) 
Months:

Pre-Season: August - December Practices
Monday and Thursday -- 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Team dinner provided)
Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Team “brunch” provided)

Build/Competition Season: January - April Practices
January-February: Intensive 6-8 week robot design and build period
Different roles & responsibilities require more work time.
Monday-Thursday - 4:30 – 9:30 p.m. or later (Team dinner provided)
Saturday - 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or later (Team “brunch” & dinner provided)

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

Summer Off-Season: May - July Practices
Monday and Thursday - 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 

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:

Pre-Season & Off-Season Competitions: TBA

Competition Season:

  • Mid/late March; Multi-Day (Thursday - Saturday) 2 Regional Tournaments involving overnight travel and missing a few days of school
  • 04/17/24-04/20/24: World Championship held in Houston, TX for qualifying teams
Cost:

$375 for new members (includes Beak Squad Uniform Shirt); $350 for returning members

Additional financial commitments reviewed at Parent Meeting. These include:

  • Team Dinners
  • Student Competition Travel Expenses (transportation, hotel, food):
    • 2 Regional Competitions:  ≈ $500 each
    • World Championship (if qualifying) ≈ $1200
    • Off-Season Competition: ≈  $300

Scholarship opportunities available. Contact Beak Squad Head Coach

**Competition Travel Costs are off-set by successful Corporate Sponsorship & Community Supporter Donations**

Anticipated # of Students: 30
Expected Parent Involvement:
  • Volunteer at Beak Squad hosted events
  • Transport to/from Robotics HQ when not provided by CHCA
  • Help make connections/build partnerships with potential Corporate Sponsors and Community Supporters
  • Attend competitions - We love a good cheering section!
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 robot costs. 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: "Pre Steps" for new-to-Beak Squad students:
  • Email Beak Squad Head Coach to schedule 1-2 practices as a “Shadow”
  • Complete and Return a Speciality Program Parent Agreement (aka Liability Waiver to Shadow)
  • Post shadow, complete these registration steps:

  1. Register in Ultracamp PRIOR to attending your first practice.
  2. Read & Sign Beak Squad Student and Parent/Guardian Handbooks
     
  3. 2023-2024 Student Registration with FIRST (+) Parent Connected
    • Students: Complete during Pre-Season On-boarding @HQ
    • Parents/Guardians: Complete at Parent Meeting with Coach
       
  4. Download Student AND Parent Communication Tools
    • Mobile App “TeamSnap” – invitation sent after UltraCamp completion
    • Mobile or Desktop App “Slack” – invitation sent after UltraCamp completion
Important Dates

08/01/23 - Registration Opens
08/17/23 - Pre-season practices begin (Registration required to attend)
08/28/23 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. @ location TBD - Parent Information Meeting
12/01/23 at 11:59 p.m. - Registration Closes

Beak Squad in the News