Frequently Asked Questions

FRC Team 1296 (aka Rockwall Robotics – Full Metal Jackets), is a FIRST Robotics Team. The team is composed of high school students and teachers from Rockwall High School as well as volunteer mentors from around the community. Our team is located in Rockwall, Texas. 

FIRST stands for For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology. 

FIRST is the organization that develops and hosts the yearly Robotics competitions through-out the US and World.

From the FIRST website:

Founded in 1989 and based in Manchester, NH, FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designed to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields.

The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

More information about FIRST can be found at their official website here.

Our team was founded in the fall of 2004 by Bruce Charbonneau, an engineering teacher at Rockwall High School. Keith Buchanan was the first team mentor and is our head mentor. Blake Buchanan was a founding student and now serves as a mentor and board member.

 For each team that signs up with FIRST, they are assigned a team number. 1296 is the number assigned to our team by FIRST.

Yes! Not only are teams awarded for winning a standard place (1st, 2nd, 3rd), they are also awarded for helping other teams, making an impact on their community, having the best design, being safe, and the list goes on. 

Check back soon for a list of the awards we’ve taken home over the years.

Yes, the team (FRC Team 1296) is a curricular activity of Rockwall High School.

Yes, the team (FRC Team 1296) is associated with Rockwall HS Robotics Booster Clubs, Inc. that is organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The booster club serves the team by raising and donating funds to the team.

Yes. FRC 1296 team members mentor 7 younger teams in Rockwall ISD. In 2016, the team donated over 1,500 community services hours in and around Rockwall County.

Donations received are used to fund the program by paying for competition fees, supplies to create the practice field for that year’s game, and part/supplies needed to build that year’s competition robot.

The team raises money through various activities such as Corporate Sponsorships, donations, Spirit Nights (where restaurants donate a % of sales to the team – follow our social media for more info), Annual Golf Tournament, Annual Car Raffle.

The team also participates in Amazon Smiles (sign into https://smile.amazon.com/ your same sign on as amazon, prime still works as well, and choose Rockwall Robotics as your charity of choice and a % of your purchase will be donated to the team without costing you anything extra).

In addition to Amazon Smiles, the team also participates in Tom Thumb Rewards and Kroger Rewards.

To join you must be a student of Rockwall High School and meet UIL requirements such as being eligible to participate by maintaining at least a 70 in each class.

For more information about joining as a student, mentor, or becoming a sponsor, head over to Join Our Team.