About

Team 5924: The Cat Machine is a high school robotics team from St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco that competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The team started in 2015 and now includes over 30 students from grades 9-12. Team members learn not only STEM skills such as programming, designing, and manufacturing but also business skills such as marketing, management, and finance. As a team in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), we have a build season of only six weeks to design and build a robot to complete that year's game. We then attend regional events to play alongside other teams from around the Bay Area as well as around the world. Our team is about more than just robots, and we have a community outreach program that brings STEM to elementary and middle schoolers around the city.

History

Team 5924 began in a garage... a Jesuit bus garage to be precise. In 2015 SI students Alex Jarnutowski '16 and Adeeb Shihadeh '18 alongside AP Computer Science teacher Dr. Don Gamble created St. Ignatius' first robotics team. After researching different competitions, they decided to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition, "the varsity sport for the mind" with over 3000 active teams worldwide. Together they assembled a group of around 15 students passionate about the project who cleaned out an old storage garage on campus into our lab for build season. In January 2016, our inaugural season kicked off. We spent the next six weeks building our robot for the Stronghold competition, Kendrick LowBAR. Our robot was able to intake boulders, shoot low goals, and breach defenses thanks to the assistance from adult mentors and fellow FRC teams.

In March we headed off to UC Davis to compete in the Sacramento regional. Despite our poor rank, we were asked to join Alliance 5 for the playoffs. We won our quarterfinal matches but lost in the semifinals to the eventual regional champions. However, our team was awarded the Rookie All Star Award at the awards ceremony which secured our spot at the championships. We next competed at the Silicon Valley Regional. At SVR we ranked 7th overall after qualification matches and were the captains of Alliance 5. Thanks to the work of our scouting team we selected our partners for the playoffs and made it to the semifinals. We walked away with the Rookie High Seed Award and prepared for our upcoming trip to St. Louis.

At the end of April we flew to Missouri for the World Championships. We met amazing teams from around the world and had dinner with the other Jesuit teams who were attending. We competed in the Carver division and advanced to our division's playoffs, but we were eliminated in the quarterfinals. We stayed to watch the Carver division champions win the entire competition. We celebrated how far we had come during our rookie year and we look forward to our second season.