Our team is composed of five departments that are each responsible for a specific subset of work that gets done on our team. This includes designing, building, programming, and wiring the robot, developing effective game strategies, managing the social media, public relations, and merchandise of our team, and writing and presenting to companies and judges to gain corporate sponsorships and win awards at our competitions. There is no prerequisite to be a part of any of our departments, so if you are interested in joining a department but have no experience in that area, don't worry! All of our departments run hands-on workshops during the fall, so we'll make sure that you know everything you need for Build and Competition Seasons (which run from January to April). Learn more about our departments here!


Mechanical is responsible for the design and construction of our robots. They work with a Computer Aided Design (CAD) software called Onshape to design our entire robot digitally, and then they use that design to machine all of those parts in our workshop. Our machining is all done in-house, so Mechanical members learn how to use the lathe, mill, CNC router, and various other power tools. Those in Mechanical then assemble those parts together to create our robot, which can weigh up to 120 pounds, each year.


Controls handles the wiring and programming of our robots. They program our robot in Java and implement sensors, encoders, and cameras to make our robot as reliable as possible. They also wire our robot, connecting all of the motors and electronics to the hardware required to make our robot run.


Business is responsible for our team's fundraising and communication with sponsors. Our business members hone their writing and speaking skills to effectively communicate what makes our team so special. Business members work closely with companies around San Diego to secure sponsorships, and are a very important component to keeping our team alive.


Marketing manages our team's public presence, which includes our merchandise, our interactions with other teams, our outreach events, and our social media (if you aren't already, go follow @3128aluminumnarwhals on Instagram!). Marketing also handles designing and ordering our team merchandise (including t-shirts, jackets, socks, and pajama pants), and engaging with other teams and passersby at competitions.


Strategy thoroughly analyzes the game manuals given by FIRST each year, making sure the team knows the most effective methods to play the game going into competitions. At competitions, they diligently watch every team, collecting qualitative and quantitative data so that we can build effective alliances in the elimination rounds. They also work closely with drive team to develop strategies for each match. The strategy department is all about using critical thinking in a collaborative environment to help the team be the best it can be.