Our most asked questions, answered for you.

Got a question? Check out our FAQ. Still have a question? Contact Us!

What does your robot development process look like?

Prototype, prototype, prototype!  Before diving into the design, we build prototypes of potential key mechanisms.  They are nothing fancy, but they get the job done and yet they provide valuable information on the concept's feasibility.

Decisions... not by committee!  We find that "designing by committee" often leads to design compromises.  As a result, we empower team members to lead and own decisions in the area they are subject matter experts in.

Don't get behind!  The six-week build season goes quickly, so when something needs to be done, do it.  You only compete a few times in the season, so make the most of the build season.

How do you design your robot?

We use OnShape, a 3D modeling software.  We essentially complete our entire robot design on the computer before actually fabricating any parts (well, we often start fabricating assemblies prior to design phase completion, provided that they have a low risk of their design changing later).  The reasons why are nearly endless, but here are a few:

How do you fabricate your robot?

We fabricate essentially all of our parts on metal machining equipment, including:

Additionally, we use the following machines:

We also frequently use the following:

To program the CNC equipment, we use SprutCAM, a great CAM software package that integrates into OnShape.  Doing so enables the equipment to be programmed directly from the 3D computer model of the part being machined.  Benefits include:

What language do you program your robot in?

Our robots have been programmed in a few different languages over the years:

Besides the above languages, we also teach Processing during the off-season.

How do I join?

Simple! Contact us. Though our team is primarily known as high-school robotics club, team membership is NOT limited to 9th-12th grade students. We offer FIRST Lego League to 4th - 8th graders and FIRST Tech Challenge as an introduction to FIRST Robotics Challenge for 8th-10th graders. 

Students interested in FLL can join in May, though the season starts at the beginning of the school year. FTC and FRC starts in August.

If you are unable to join this season, keep up with us on social media!

When do you meet?

We meet essentially year-round.  Check out our calendar for an actual schedule, but here is a our general schedule:

The intensity of the above schedule (especially January through April) can make people hesitant to join.  No need to worry!  We put academic performance first, and understand that team members have lives outside of Robotics (though some students/mentors would argue the latter).  Thus, while we do expect some level of commitment, we do not expect all team members to be at every meeting.

What was your first year in FIRST?

Our team was formed in the fall of 2004, and we competed in our initial FIRST Robotics Competition in 2005 (Triple Play).  More information can be found on our About Us page.

How many students and mentors are typically on your team each year?

It varies a bit by year, but we typically have between 60 to 80 students and 15 mentors.

Should I join if I am not "mechanically inclined"?

Quite likely!  We have a few paths for the "unsure" crowd:

Is your team fun?

Yes!  Besides having fun learning about all of the "engineering stuff" and important life skills, we like to hang out and have fun "off the clock".  Game nights, movie nights, holiday parties, and banquets are just a few of the fun things we do.

Where does your team name come from?

Great question!  Our original meeting place was Silver Creek High School.  Our rookie year, we found ourselves "up a creek" a few times during the build season.  Thus, the name Up-A-Creek Robotics was born.  On a side note, we believe that being up a creek without a paddle is actually a better scenario than being down a creek without a paddle, so yay for our name again!

Who are your sponsors?

First, thanks to our sponsors for their support.  We would not exist without them.  Our main sponsors are Fifth West Investments, Toro, St. Vrain Valley School District, Seagate Technology, Amgen, and Dynamic Design & Manufacturing.  Additionally, we have a range of other great sponsors located on our sponsors page.

Where are you located?

Our home base is 950 S Sherman Street, Unit 300, Longmont, CO.

What do you do during the off-season?

We meet essentially year-round, so we really do not have an off-season, per se.  Having said that, we generally focus on the following outside of the robot build/competition season:

Who should I contact for more information?

Us!  Simply fill out the Contact Us form to get more details.

What summer activities do you do?

Our team hosts educational and fun summer camps in June and July. These camps are very affordable and students love them! We host camps like Cooperative Minecraft Camp, 3D Printing, Intro to Java, and manual lathe and mill machining camps. 

Students on the team also have the opportunity to learn skills across all subteams during the summer and fall. From coding to photography, there will always be something to keep their interest!

I'm a parent of a child on the team. How can I get involved?

Great question! Parents help from fundraising to meal prep, all of which benefit our team. Contact Us to see how you can help!