Team 4159 CardinalBotics is a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition team from Lowell High School, located in San Francisco, California. Every year, our team competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), an international competition where high school teams build a robot in six weeks (Build Season). CardinalBotics was founded with the goal of inspiring youth, promoting creativity, encouraging teamwork, and most importantly, spreading STEM to our community. 

We begin our school year by recruiting students and training them extensively through workshops covering everything from manufacturing to programming. When Build Season starts, we have six weeks to strategize, design, build, and program a robot that will compete against other high school teams from all around the world. At the end of Build Season, we compete at the San Francisco and Silicon Valley Regionals, allowing us the opportunity to qualify for World Championships. 

We engage with our community through various outreach events such as STEM nights and Maker Faires. At these events we introduce elementary and middle school students to opportunities in the STEM field and encourage them to join the FIRST community. In addition, we have helped start and mentor several successful FRC and FLL (FIRST Lego League) robotics teams. During the summer, we lead a week long camp at Uber headquarters for employees’ children to further their interest in STEM.

Our team consists of 60 members, ranging from grades 9-12, with each person contributing an average of 130 hours during Build Season. In the strikingly male-dominated STEM field, we are proud to say that over 75% of our team’s leadership positions are held by female and non-binary members, a remarkable percentage that we hope serves as a model for other teams around the Bay Area. Our mission has remained the same since our founding in 2011: to provide young innovators everywhere with the opportunity to learn and grow within the STEM community, regardless of background.