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How did we become Brainstorm Robotics?

Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy is a small Indigenous high school in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. We were STEAMTeam Robotics in our rookie year, 2018-2019.

On the way home from a competition, the name Brainstorm Robotics was chosen by team members. This name was chosen, not because brainstorming is a useful collaboration and problem-solving tool, but rather because of the academic, learning, personal or life challenges that many face every day.

We learned a lot during our rookie year and quickly realized that there was so much more to learn as we anticipated future challenges.

Then came Covid-19...

The Robotics Program at Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy

Returning after a two-year Covid-imposed absence, we were glad to be mask-to-mask initially. Now, we are back to face-to-face — hope we stay that way!

We stocked up on motors and controllers, solenoids and manifolds for pneumatic systems. We also acquired some tools and installed dedicated 3D printers (two Creality Ender-6) and a CNC router as well as some additional hand and power tools.

Members of previous teams have graduated. Skills building with new team members was a priority for 2021 and 2022. Moving forward, we will continue to learn CAD (computer-aided design using Onshape) and will be building a test bench

Our robotics program has two parts:

Teach robotics courses and build skills: Prepare young STEAM enthusiasts and robotics team members for:
  • (Robotics) Exploring Manufacturing Technology — Grade 9 — TMJ1O
  • (Robotics) Manufacturing Technology — Grade 10 — TMJ2O
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Robotics and Control Systems — Grade 11/12 — TMR3M/TMR4M (split class).
  • the STEMley Cup Championship in late October 2022
  • First Robotics competitions in 2023 and beyond, and
  • growing STEAM awareness by reaching out to our communities, Six Nations of the Grand River and Brantford.

Robotics Courses

In 2022-2023, we offered three robotics courses covering each grade from 9 to 12. Each course covers topics related to manufacturing technology fundamentals and skills, environmental and societal impacts/connections, professional practices and career opportunities.

all are
Semester 2

February 3, 2023
June 30, 2023
(Robotics) Exploring Manufacturing Technology

This is an introductory, Grade 9 course. There is no pre-requisite.


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FRC Focus #2
  • safety practices
  • gracious professionalism
  • design simple parts
  • create and use technical drawings
  • safely fabricate parts using hand and power tools
  • 3D print simple parts
Semester 2

February 3, 2023
June 30, 2023
(Robotics) Manufacturing Technology

This is a Grade 10 course. Students taking this course should take the grade 9 course first but this is not required.

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FRC Focus #3
  • safety practices
  • gracious professionalism
  • design simple mechanisms and assemblies
  • create and use technical drawings
  • create and use fabrication and assembly instructions
  • safely fabricate simple mechanisms and assemblies using hand and power tools
  • 3D print simple mechanisms and assemblies

Semester 1

September 6, 2022
February 2, 2023
Manufacturing Engineering Technology – Robotics and Control Systems
Grade 11: design and fabricate simple parts using:
  • Onshape
  • Cura
  • 3D printer
under supervision, work with control systems and:
  • update firmware
  • code the robot's drive train in Java
  • troubleshoot problems
  • design a functional mobile pit area.

Grade 12: design and fabricate assemblies or complex parts using:
  • Onshape
  • Cura
  • 3D printer
  • Onshape
  • Fusion 360
  • CNC router
independently work with control systems to:
  • update firmware
  • code the robot's systems in Java
  • troubleshoot problems
  • tune the robotic systems for better performance
  • plan measures to improve safety and productivity
  • design and make recommendations for improving the robotics lab.
FRC Focus #1
  • safety practices
  • gracious professionalism
  • design the 2023 robot
  • fabricate or supervise the fabrication of parts using:
    • power and hand tools
    • jigs
    • 3D printing
    • CNC routing
  • determine parts required
  • list off-the-shelf parts to be purchased
  • CAD the parts to be fabricated
  • create a fabrication/assembly plan
  • update components, e.g. motor controllers
  • coding the robot in Java
  • design the pit area
After the course:
  • lead/mentor the robotics team during the build and when testing

There may be an opportunity for the construction classes to assist the robotics program by building some of the field elements.

The First Robotics Program

"to create a world where science and technology are celebrated...

...where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders"

Dean Kamen


First Robotics website

This full-length video I, Wombot (2013) documents a rookie Australian
team as they got started (something we can learn from)
The full-length video, More than Robots (2021)
is available at Disney+
This full-length video RoboLeague (2015) documents
five FRC robotics teams

2018-2019 — Our Rookie Year

Gracious professionalism and a culture of mentoring enabled us to compete at Humber College, McMaster University and two STEMley Cup Championships. We brought home two STEMley Cups. Not bad for a rookie team!


At the Robodome with mentor team Makeshift Robotics - FRC 4039
Gracious Professionalism with Woodie Flowers

STEMley Cup Championships 2018, 2019

We participated in the STEMley Cup Championships (an off-season event) in the fall of 2018 and again in 2019.

Our winning final matches for these competitions are shared here. Thank you to our alliance partners.

We are team 7509.


Strategic Vision

Learn more about the vision for the First Robotics program in the article More than Robots: Bringing the Power of First [Robotics] Programs to Every School.


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Learn more about our events for 2022-2023

The 2023 First Robotics Competition



The video introduces the 2023 First Robotics Competition theme. Watching it may give some hints into the game rules for the 2023 competition season.

The theme, First Energize, asks us to reimagine the future of energy, particularly in a world challenged by climate change and other challenges.

... Ontario Region - 2023 Competition #1

This event has not yet been scheduled but we'll update this when it is.

... Ontario Region - 2023 Competition #2

This event has not yet been scheduled but we'll update this when it is.

... Ontario Region - 2023 Championship

We'll know later whether we qualify for the Ontario Region Championships.
We'll update this when we know.

The STEMley Cup Championship - October 29-30, 2022 - Hamilton

The team did not compete in 2022 but we did construct a robot based on the 2022 Everybot design.
We look forward to using it to compete at the 2022 STEMley Cup Championship.
Friday, October 28, 2022
  • 7 to 9 pm team load-in
Saturday, October 29, 2022
  •   7:00 am Doors open to teams
  •   7:00 am last-minute load-ins (to 7:45 am)
  •   8:00 am driver's meeting on the field
  •   8:20 am opening ceremonies
  •   8:30 am qualification matches begin
  • 12:00 pm break for lunch
  •   1:00 pm qualification matches
  •   2:30 pm Alliance selections
  •   3:30 pm playoff matches begin
  •   6:30 pm pits close
Sunday, October 30, 2022
  • same as Saturday

Past Competitions

A history of our team's past competition results is available at
Blue Alliance