Steel Dragons Robotics was founded in 1998 as the first robotics team at Allderdice High School. The team offers all students access to STEM fields, regardless of background or economic status. Each year, the team designs, constructs, and programs a robot from scratch and enters it into the largest high school robotics competition in the world.
The team kicks off each year in September, recruiting new members and beginning periodic meetings. During the winter season, the team meets every day after school in a lab, typically for 4 to 5 hours, where they split into sub-teams and work to design, build, and program a robot and other assorted projects.
During the months of January, February, and March, the team often spends close to 40 hours per week together preparing for the competitions. During the spring and summer, the team enters into various competitions, including the FIRST Robotics’ Pittsburgh regional competition held at the California University of Pennsylvania with about 45 other teams.
Allderdice’s enrollment is 1,500 students, of which over 50% are minorities and 41% are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch programs. The team’s goal is to provide access to excellent STEM education to all these students.