Team 1671 is a high-school robotics team from Buchanan High School in Clovis, California that participates in the annual FIRST® Robotics Competition and we make it our purpose to spread the appreciation of Science and Technology throughout our community.
alumni went on to college
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Of Current Members looking to Pursue majors in STEAM Fields
alumni studying or employed in STEM fields
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- African American
growth over the past fifteen years
Building the Bird Brains Legacy
In 2004, a collection of inspired high school students and teachers had an idea: build Buchanan High School a robotics team. Starting out with fourteen members, BRT 1671 has grown into an assortment of many high school students driven with the same dreams. We are located in Clovis, California at the Floyd B. Buchanan High School on 1560 N. Minnewawa. We acted on our drive to create robots in a professional atmosphere. With the help of some very dedicated professionals, we combined the experience of engineers to create something that has had an incredible impact on many young lives. Every year, the FIRST® Robotics competition puts forth into the world the engineers of the future, and gives them the tools to change the world. Each year our team flowers, from cultivating our close alliance with Pelco by Schneider Electric to mentoring local elementary teams. Our team will continue to stretch into the future, and keep the same inspiration that founded our team.
DOC I – DOC 3
2005 marks the Buchanan Robotics Team’s first official year in the FIRST program.
Fourteen students from BRT 1671 travelled to the Bay Area to watch the Kickoff video with Team 254, the Cheesy Poofs. The 2005 game was revealed as Triple Play, wherein the focus of the game was to stack tetras on goals. The Triple Play season was a successful one for our newbie robotics team; BRT 1671 was ranked 11th at the Sacramento Regional and became the 8th alliance captain. Alongside winning the Highest Rookie Seed and Rookie All-Star awards, the Buchanan Robotics Team was invited to the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.
With such success during the 2005 season, Team 1671 attended the Sacramento Regional, though this time, with not as much luck.
Due to lack of support and harsh deadlines, BRT 1671 built their 2006 robot out of random hardware store supplies. On top of build season struggles, DOC II suffered seven dead matches and caught on fire at the Sacramento Regional. Despite the hardships endured during the Aim High season, BRT 1671 pushed through and wanted to continue participating in the FIRST program.
In 2007, the FRC Game was revealed as Rack n’ Roll. During this year, BRT 1671 came into contact with Pelco. The IR (Inspiration and Recognition) sub-team presented the vice president of manufacturing with a plea for sponsorship and mentorship, to which the company agreed to. Alongside gaining Pelco mentors, Michael Adam began holding programming sessions, while other sub-teams also began training. While DOC III didn’t compete in this FRC season, the BRT 1671 robot had an autonomous mode for the very first time.
DOC IV – DOC VI
The 2008 Overdrive season marks the year that Team 1671 grew to approximately 40 students. For the first time since DOC I, FRC 1671 was chosen during the elimination rounds. Under team member Chris Erickson, BRT 1671 won the 2008 Autodesk Visualization Award for their animation Stormbreakers.
The Buchanan Robotics Team initiated assigned leadership roles in the 2009 season. Michael Adam, CEO of the team at the time, began holding workshops for FLL coaches. Meanwhile, Josh Houser – mentor and Pelco engineer – began to train students in Computer Aided Design. Using the information learned during their CAD sessions, BRT 1671 built their very first CADed robot – DOC V.
DOC V was chosen for elimination rounds at the Los Angeles Regional, but lost after a close semi-final match. At the Sacramento Regional, BRT 1671 won the 2009 Autodesk Visualization Award for Chloroblast, the Chrysler Team Spirit Award, and the Website Excellence Award.
The 2010 Breakaway season was the year BRT 1671 found their identity. Jessica Estrada joined the team and found her spot in Animation and went on to design Coney, Rollo, and Blocky for the animation “A Little Bird Told Me.” In March, the team not only won the Excellence in Design Award for “A Little Bird Told Me”, but also won the Gracious Professionalism Award at the Los Angeles Regional. At the FIRST Robotics World Championship, “A Little Bird Told Me” took first place.
Team 1671’s seniors went on to further establish the team organization and make recommendations for the new team leaders. A leadership meeting was held to create an identity for BRT 1671, and the name of the team was changed officially to the Buchanan Bird Brains.
DOC VII – DOC IX
In 2011, most of our robot parts for the Logomotion season came from our new sponsor, Harris Manufacturing. DOC VII ranked fifth at the Sacramento Regional, and it was the first time that the Bird Brains were alliance captains since DOC I.
The different technical sub-groups have off-season training in the summer, and in August, astronaut Dr. Gregory Chamitoff, a longtime friend of Mr. Lake, visited the team. Team 1671 organized assemblies at Buchanan High School, Alta Sierra Intermediate School, and Garfield Elementary School to introduce Dr. Chamitoff and DOC VII to the students.
In December, Team 1671 hosted the Battle at the Nest, an FLL qualifier tournament attended by 20 teams. The qualifier became the prototype for the FLL qualifier system in place.
The 2012 season of Rebound Rumble was the year Team 1671 was ranked 2nd and went 10-0 during the Qualification matches; however, the Bird Brains lost a very close Semifinals match at the Sacramento Regional.
About 20 team members traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to compete at the Galileo Division at FIRST Championships. Out of 100 teams, we were ranked 32nd and reached the Quarterfinals. The first New Member Orientation took place in June, and the Bird Brains continue today to mentor FLL teams.
Our 6th annual Open House during the 2013 season of Ultimate Ascent was held at Buchanan. It was set up by our own team members and had a tremendous outcome.
At the Central Valley Regional, the Bird Brains won the Engineering and Inspiration Award, that allowed Team 1671 to advance to Championships in St. Louis. Twenty-four students and seven mentors traveled to the FIRST Championships to compete in the Newton Division. The Bird Brains enjoyed their time at Championships, even though no awards were brought home. In May, Team 1671 sent five of its members to Alta Sierra Intermediate School to recruit new students. We had an incredible turnout a week later with 35 eager 8th graders wanting to join the team. Later that summer, three members of our team went to Washington, D.C. accompanied by teams 27 RUSH, 1816 The Green Machine, 4153 Project Y, and 1086 Blue Cheese to lobby congressmen and talk about providing more money for educational purposes.
The 2014 FRC Game was Aerial Assist. During the Aerial Assist season, the Bird Brains were finalists at two regionals – the Central Valley Regional and the Sacramento Regional – the latter being where we also received the Entrepreneurship Award. We also won the Chairman’s Award, the most prestigious award an FRC team can win.
One of our team members, Callie Carbajal, won the Dean’s List award at the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.
The 2015 season was an extremely successful one! The 2015 game was Recycle Rush, a game oriented around stacking totes on platforms throughout the field. The Bird Brains competed at the Central Valley Regional and the Sacramento Regional. At the Central Valley Regional the Bird Brains ranked sixth after qualifications. The Bird Brains then competed in the elimination rounds, winning the quarterfinals but eventually being eliminated in the semis. The team then traveled to the Sacramento Regional where they finished qualifications at rank 2. Team 1671 then entered the elimination rounds but once again lost in the quarterfinals. Although the team was eliminated in the semi-finals at both competitions their season was not over… the team won the Chairman’s award at the Sacramento regional. This win was largely due to their new project the CURIE initiative, which looked to create a culture in the Central Valley that allowed robotics to be treated like a varsity sport. This award allowed them to advance to the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, Missouri. Teacher advisor Mr. Paul Lake also won the Woodie Flower’s Award at the Sacramento Regional. When at champs the team struggled in qualifications, finishing with a rank of 25th. The team entered aliance selections with low expectations, not expecting to be picked the team was chosen by the #1 seed alliance made up of FRC teams 1678, 5012, and 118. The alliance slowly advanced through the Newton division playoffs, eventually making it to finals and winning. The alliance then moved onto the Einstein field where the best of the best compete. Throughout many stressful nail biting matches the alliance moved on, eventually reaching the finals and winning. This moment was a peak moment for the team, all their hard work and dedication had finally paid off.
The season of DOC XII was again successful for team 1671, the team competed at the Sacramento regional, Central Valley Regional, and was able to move on to the FIRST Championship in St. Louis. The season of DOC XII was significant for the team as it was the first year the team used vision code on the robot. The code writing process was very long and taxing but the code has been used every year since it has been created. The team competed at CVR and finished rank 14, eventually being eliminated in the quarterfinals. At the same competition the team was able to win the Engineering Inspiration award which punched their ticket to the FIRST Championship. At the Sacramento Regional the team ranked 15th, won the creativity award, and were finalists in the event. The team once again advanced to the FIRST Championship but was not as successful as last year, being eliminated in the quarter-finals of their division.
This season was another successful season for the Bird Brains, as they again advanced to the FIRST Championship but this time in Houston, Texas. At the Central Valley Regional the team ranked 21st and was eliminated in the quarter-finals, the competition was not a bust as they won the Innovation in Control Award and Sophia Brodish was chosen as a Dean’s List Finalist. The team then traveled to the Sacramento Regional where they ranked seventh and made it to the semi-finals. At the same competition the team won the Chairman’s award which allowed them to advance to the FIRST Championship. At the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas the team ranked 7th and served as an alliance captain for the first time in team history! The team’s alliance was eliminated in the quarter-finals but everyone had fun and enjoyed the experience.
The year of DOC XIV was a very eventful one. The team was able to secure a $500,000 grant to expand the Career Technical Pathway (CTE) in their school, and the team also co-hosted the first every FTC Qualifier in the central valley with team 6305. Once build season came with the game FIRST Power Up the team was hard at work. The team then competed at the Sacramento and Central Vallley Regional. Placing 13th and advancing to the semi-finals at the Sacramento Regional, then ranking 19th at CVR and eventually being eliminated in the quarter-finals. At the Central Valley Regional, team alumni and now mentor Shahe Der Haroutunian won the Woodie Flower’s Finalist award. Although the team didn’t advance to the FIRST Championship the season was still a great learning experience for the Bird Brains.
We need your help!
Team 1671 is a nonprofit organization; however, our team spends over $80,000 a year in order to properly function. The expenses include material costs, competition fees, and travel costs. With your tax deductible donation, you can help these future engineers and scientists pursue their dreams of making the Central Valley a hub of flourishing STEM programs and businesses.