We, SAKURA Tempesta, are a robotics team based in Chiba Institute of Technology Tsudanuma Campus that participates in FIRST Robotics Competition (a.k.a. FRC). Having more than 94,000 students aged from 15 to 18 as participants, FRC is known as one of the biggest robotics competition in the world.
Our members come from more than 10 different junior and senior high schools in Kanto region which consists of 7 prefectures including Chiba, and Tokyo. Most students go to typical Japanese schools without any specialized program such as engineering/computer science program. In addition, our team is student-driven, which means our members design, build, and program our robot, communicate and cooperate with our corporate partners, and so on. Most students join our team without any experience in these fields, but they foster their skills as they work as a part of our team.
We have been working very hard under our team missions below since our formation in June, 2017 by Kanon Nakajima who was a member of FRC Team 2500 Herobotics in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and we will continue our work with endless passion.
- We will provide people with the opportunities to learn engineering regardless of their socioeconomic status, gender, or cultural backgrounds.
- We will encourage people, especially young women, secondary school students, and children, to be more interested in STEAM by participating in FRC, and create the future where anyone can foster their skills in STEAM.
- We will increase the number of Japanese FRC Teams in order to begin a FRC regional in JAPAN.
Our main activities
The building season takes place from the first Saturday of January to the beginning of March, during which we create a robot that’s about 50~60kg and 1m+ tall. Every year, next season’s theme is introduced at the FIRST Championships in April. The content of game is created along with the theme each season, which makes each game very unique and different every year. We always start with translating the game manual, complete designing, programming, and building a robot, and driving practice in about two months, and then ship our robot by mid-March.
In order to run our team, we have to have a minimum annual budget of ￥2,500,000 (approx. $22,500.) At SAKURA Tempesta, with advise from our mentors, members engage in fundraising, for example, by reaching out to possible corporate partners and running crowdfunding campaign. Moreover, members manage our social media accounts and website, design team merchandise, and run information sessions as well.
Since the beginning of our team, we have been engaging in various outreach activities in order to promote STEAM education. However, our outreach activities include other activities such as community service and typical volunteering activities. For example, we’ve held many tech workshops with our corporate partners for wide range of participants (from kindergarteners to adults) for free, and have exhibited and given presentations at events like Maker Faire Tokyo and local school festivals.
For this past few years, we have been very enthusiastic about improving the gender gap in STEM. Our efforts have been recognized not only nation-wide, but internationally. In 2019, with the invitation from Malala Fund, we had the honor of presenting our outreach efforts to and discussing female education with Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, and Dr.Chiaki Mukai, the first Japanese female astronaut. Moreover, we were able to publish an article and an YouTube episode on Malala Fund’s social media.
*STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Art was added to STEM since it is critical to foster students skills not only in STEM, but in the fields that would help them become more creative innovators.
More information about FRC can be found here.
Currently, SAKURA Tempesta consists of team captains, members, and mentors.
Team captains are selected from juniors or seniors who have been on the team for more than a year at the time of election.
The number of team captain is usually one or two.
People from grade 7 to 12 can be members of SAKURA Tempesta. However, as for FRC, we have only 9th-12th grade students as member and 7th and 8th grade students as youth mentor.
Mentors give professional advise and provide other perspectives to members. People with any backgrounds are welcome to be mentors.