Our nickname is derived from the idea that we are at the heart of our student body and local community. Our goal is to incentivize STEM ideas and cultivate skills in engineering, programming, business, teamwork, and leadership through our participation in FIRST Robotics Competitions. We hope to serve as an inspiration for people in our community and educate them on the wonders of the scientific community while simultaneously giving back through various outreach events. Our priority is making sure that everyone even slightly interested in STEM has the chance to further explore their interests and develop skills that will allow them to succeed. We are a no-cut, no tryout, all inclusive team that strives to make it possible for all individuals to be a part of an accepting community that allows people to explore the world of robotics and prepare for their futures.
Team 694 is made up of about 150 students and participates annually in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). During our six-week build season, we work almost daily in our laboratory at Stuyvesant as our dedicated team members collaborate to design, construct, and program our competing robot with the help of gracious parents and volunteer mentors.
We strive to share our experience with teams in need. To this end we mentor teams and schools both in FRC, FIRSTTech, and FIRST Lego League, as well as performing street-level demos in our school. Our team is currently mentoring three new FLL teams, one of which we started ourselves at a nearby church. Furthermore, we also assist FRC teams during competitions with PulseCrew, which is made up of a group of experienced students dedicated to helping others with any Software or Engineering issues they may encounter. When we hosted our lab's grand opening in December 2022, we demoed our robot for various members of our school's staff as well as Councilmember Marte and Senator Brian Kavanagh. We have also reached out to Marte with intentions of testifying at an education committee to advocate for increased STEM funding for afterschool programs around the state, and have multiple planned robot demos for the Spring “inviting local politicians to the exciting competitions.”
Team 694's impact lasts not only in our local community, but also intrinsically, within our team's community. We have a 100% graduation rate, with most being accepted to some of the best universities in the world. To help perpetuate this high standard, we all help to drive one another to do better in school and help each other out when aid is needed.
Our team was founded in the fall of 2000 by a group of students and parents who were ready to take on the formidable task of building our first robot. They shared a common interest in robotics, and although few on the team had known each other prior to forming the team, they quickly learned the importance of cooperation and teamwork, and used it to accumulate the team members, sponsors, and mentors we have today. From the moment we raised funds for the daunting entrance fees to the FIRST competition, we were destined to succeed: eventually scoring highest in our division at the Champtionship Event in only our rookie year.
One of the things that Team 694 takes pride in is our overwhelming diversity. About forty percent of our team identifies as female, more than fifty percent qualifies for free and/or reduced lunch, and over eighty percent of our team are first generation Americans.
Our team maintains close-knit relationships with one another despite the sheer number of members we have. Bonding occurs naturally, yet events such as our team dinner and honorary birthday mentions help speed this up! The journey to regionals across the country is anything but boring and is kept close to our hearts.
StuyPulse at the 2022 SBPLI Long Island Regional #2
As a team, StuyPulse has gone on to be champions numerous times. In 2022, we won the third seed in the Galileo Division and captained the third alliance in the quarterfinals. Additionally, in 2016 we won both regional competititons and the Engineering Inspiration Award at the NYC Regional, and were the sub-division champions of the Curie Subdivision at World Championships. We won the Regional Chairman's Award at the South Florida Regional and the Entrepreneurship Award at the New York City Regional in 2017.
A large part of StuyPulse's mission is to help spread the message of FIRST via newspapers, television, social media, and more. The local paper The TriBeCa Tribune and the Chinese-language paper China Daily have done segments of our team during the build season. We also make regular appearances in our own school newspaper, The Spectator. At demonstrations and other events we've been interviewed by radio and television stations in Arabic, Russian, and of course English. Our 2009 robot, Michael 1, and our 2010 robot, Donovan, have made several appearances in newspapers and TV programs. Our mentor/adviser Rafael Colón was even chosen as the New Yorker of the Week by NY1, a local television station, and was shown on their channel for an entire week. We demonstrated Rafael, our 2017 robot, and DEStiny, our 2016 robot, at Fox&Friends for the past two years. StuyPulse has also made appearances in renowned magazines such as Popular Mechanics and produces high-quality videos which can be viewed on our Youtube channel.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational non-profit organization that, in the words of its founder, Dean Kamen, seeks to “transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes.” From its founding in 1989, FIRST has positively impacted the lives of young students around the world through its accessible and innovative programs. These programs are designed to inspire and encourage participants to pursue careers in science, technology and math, and develop teamwork and skills in public relations, strategy, dedication, and outreach. Through partnerships with local and global businesses, dedicated volunteers with professional backgrounds, and the tireless efforts of students, teachers, and parents, FIRST opens a whole new world for generations of young adults and equips them with the skills to achieve success.