Our team began in 2015 under the guise of Lynn Vonder Haar, a sophomore at Hackettstown High School at the time who had attended multiple FIRST Robotics competitions previous seasons, enticing her to start her own team. She had interest meetings with students, school administration, and potential sponsors.
From the beginning, we have had some very generous sponsors such as Picatinny Arsenal, Vigon International, and Hackettstown High School. Our Vigon International sponsorship was actually found at a Christmas tree lighting. Our small team of sixteen students were able to purchase a practice chassis in November and put it together. We were able to build a robot that used its tank treads and "tiger tail" (arm) to breech any defense, as well as having a working autonomous program.
In our rookie year district competitions, we received the Rookie Highest Seed Award at Mount Olive for placing fifteenth out of thirty-nine teams, as well as the Rookie All-Star Award at Mount Olive. We also received the Rookie Inspiration Award at our Bridgewater-Raritan District event, as well as making it to the semi-final round there.
During our rookie year, we finished fifteenth in our first district competition, during which we also won the Rookie all Star Award, and the Highest Seed Rookie Award. We had a semi-final finish in our second district competition where we battled it out during the tie-breaker. We also won the Rookie Inspiration Award during our second district competition. We earned a spot in the Mid-Atlantic Regional competition where we also won the Regional Rookie All Star Award, qualifying us for the world championships in St. Louis, Missouri.
Our rookie success would not end there, however, as we continued to grow as a team both in our numbers, our sophistication, and our outreach programs. During the 2018-2019 competition season, our team made it a priority to increase our outreach programs and increase our involvement in the local community, creating a team, which we dubbed our "Chairman's" team, in the efforts of competing for the Chairman’s Award, which is handed out at district, regional, and world competitions and is seen as FIRST's most prestigious award. In spite of our young age, our outreach efforts managed to win us the Engineering Inspiration Awards both at the Mount Olive District Competition and the Mid-Atlantic Regional competition, qualifying us for competition at the Detroit Championship.