FRC Team 1923: The MidKnight Inventors, was founded in the fall of 2005 at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North.
As a rookie team, 1923 received new team grant funding from NASA for the first two years. Parents as well as volunteer mentors from The College of New Jersey and Princeton Plasma Physics Lab helped sustain the team through these critical early years. The team built the robot in a garage due to little funding or interest from the community. The team had no sponsors until 2009, when we won our first FRC regional and made our way to the front-page news.
In the 2009 season, the team was able to expand to accept students from our other district high school, WW-P South. Students from these rival schools now had to leave their differences by the door and unify in order to successfully build a robot and compete year after year. Passionate mentors and parents continue to donate countless hours to the team, chaperoning, providing food and transportation, and always encouraging the students.
1923 has gained sponsors, setting up a sponsorship level system and assigning stacking rewards to each category to serve as incentives for prospective supporters. Our team now operates at a budget of around $130,000 each year, fundraised entirely via our dedicated Finance and Outreach subteams. The MidKnight Inventors have used their accumulated resources to launch community outreach programs and FIRST teams at every level within the school district. By creating this ‘feeder program’ of bright young minds experiencing the FIRST program, our FRC team has grown to over 115 students for the 2017-18 season. We also reach out to support and collaborate with other teams both in New Jersey and outside of our region, sharing resources and best practices & creating new alliances. Our outreach plan even spans across the world; traveling to teach about FIRST to schools in South Africa, Switzerland, and even starting FIRST teams in India.
The West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District has supported our team wholeheartedly. WW-P has named our team as a co-curricular activity – meaning that our activities fall in line with the school’s mission and vision. Our school district also provides us with four paid staff members to advise & oversee our program, in addition to our volunteer mentors. In early 2017, we were able to ‘cut the ribbon’ on our brand-new Engineering Lab at WW-P North. This facility allows for even greater engineering education opportunities and further growth for The MidKnight Inventors.
In our 13-year history, The MidKnight Inventors have established a strong, sustainable program with a strong network of support in the community. We hope you’ll join us in tracking our successes, our progress, and our impact on the community as we look towards even greater expansion for WW-P Robotics.