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Join the CHARGE!


Dave Woods

Lead Advisor


Hamilton High School


Milwaukee School of Engineering

B.S. Mechanical Engineering



Lead Advisor

FRC #Charger Robotics


Director, Secretary

FIRST Wisconsin



Regal Rexnord


Mentor/Part Time

FRC #537 Charger Robotics


Head Coach

FRC #5096 The Teutonic Force



FRC #2506 Saber Robotics



FRC #537 Charger Robotics


Morgan Swartzendruber



Hamilton High School


University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Social Work




FRC #Charger Robotics


Youth Justice Social Worker

Waukesha County Health & Human Services


Family Case Manager

Children's Wisconsin


Intensive Tracking - Juveniles

Wisconsin Community Services



FRC #537 Charger Robotics

Charger Robotics offers both FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

Programs offered 2023-2024


FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST Tech Challenge


We first introduced FTC in the 2019-2020 season to:

  • create a more structured FRC pre-season.

  • better bridge the gap between FLL and FRC.

  • have a competition season in the Autumn for students unavailable in the spring.

For the 2023-2024 season, we will approach FTC with a stronger emphasis on "miniature FRC" mindset.  Our primary aim is to better prepare our team and organization for the FRC season.  While there are some skills, tools, and hardware that are specific to FRC, we challenge students and mentors to think more creatively and gain practice designing mechanisms that are smaller, faster, and lighter.

Individuals who participate in our FTC program may be selected to participate in our FRC program.  By default, all students start by participating in FTC.

Charger Robotics plans to operate in-person and attend in-person events whenever possible.

We plan to attend the following competition events

  • FTC Scrimmages:  1-2

  • FTC Qualifiers:  2

  • FRC Scrimmages:  1-2

  • FRC Regionals:  2

  • World Championship

  • Off-season Competitions:  1-2

Students and mentors are expected to cover their own food & souvenir purchases while attending competition events, with exception to pre-planned team social activities and meals.

Competitions & Events

  • NEW FOR 2023-2024!!!

  • We host this event (small-scale this year)

  • Event:  Saturday 2023-10-21, 08:00 to 12:00

  • No student fee!

FTC - Sussex Scramble


  • Typically within ~2 hour drive

  • No student fee!

  • 2023-11-11 thru 2023-11-12 Lakeshore FLL Tournament (LTC - Cleveland, WI)

  • 2023-12-09 Hazmat (Brookfield, WI)

FTC - Scrimmages


  • Single-day competition event (Saturday)

  • Within ~2 hour driving distance

  • Transportation via School Bus

  • $75.00/student fee

It will likely be TWO of these:

  • 2023-11-18 Tentative (Madison, WI)

  • 2023-12-02 Knack Attack (Hartland, WI)

  • 2023-12-09 Red Raiders Qualifier (Sheboygan, WI)

  • 2023-12-16 Lakeshore Qualifier (Valders, WI)

There are other events in January and February.  We will NOT be exploring these options for the 2023-2024 season.

FTC - Qualifier Events


  • 2023-02-18:  Sunday of build season week 6, starts Engineer's Week.

  • We host this event - expectation for everyone to volunteer/participate!

  • Parent and mentor volunteering is strongly encouraged/requested!!!

  • Setup:  2024-02-17, 12:00 to 20:00

  • Event:  2024-02-18, 08:00 to 16:00

  • Teardown:  2024-02-18, 16:00 to 20:00

  • Hamilton High School

  • No student fee!

FRC - Sussex Scrimmage


  • Only if we qualify by winning certain awards at the Qualifiers

  • Held at MSOE University

  • $75.00/student fee

  • 2024-03-02 (Saturday)

FTC - State Championship


  • Thursday night load-in

  • --> Friday through Sunday <--

  • 2024-03-15 thru 2024-03-17

  • Students will be absent from class 1 day

  • Transportation via School Bus

  • Team meal & social event provided on Friday

  • ~$200.00*/student fee

FRC WI Regional


  • Tuesday/Wednesday through Sunday (including travel)

  • Students will be absent from class 3 or 4 days

  • Transportation via Coach Bus

  • Hotel (typically 4 students to a room)

  • Team meal & social event provided on Friday

  • ~$300.00*/student fee

There are no guarantees on which events we are assigned.  We aim to attend an event that the current students have not experienced before, without breaking the bank, and while avoiding back-to-back weeks and spring break.

Planned: 2024-04-03 thru 2024-04-06

  • Seven Rivers Regional - La Crosse, WI, USA

FRC Travel Regional


  • Tuesday through Sunday (including travel)

  • 2024-04-16 thru 2024-04-21

  • Students will be absent from class 4 or 5 days

  • Transportation via Coach Bus or Airplane

  • Hotel (typically 4 students to a room)

  • Team meal & social event provided on Friday

  • +$500.00*/student fee

This is only if our teams qualify for the event by winning certain awards at our official competition events.

World Championship


Requirements for Lettering

Yes!  Students are able to earn Freshmen, Junior Varsity, and Varsity Letters through Charger Robotics!

Charger Robotics is a Category A, Competitive, Non-Athletic Extra-Curricular Activity.  Participation in either FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and/or FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) apply.

Throughout the year, Charger Robotics Advisors will collect data and make observations regarding student participation, performance, contributions, and attitude to determine how Letters will be awarded.  Assessments will be based on a combination of factors, including:

  • alignment, adherence, and promotion of our Core Values and Codes of Conduct

  • individual contribution and impact to the team and their peers

  • STEM and Entrepreneurial talents demonstrated

  • rate of improvement (including soft-skills)

  • commitment and dedication to the program

  • attendance and engagement in Charger Robotics fundraisers, events, and activities

Awards Ceremony

Charger Robotics provides an End-of-Year Awards Ceremony to celebrate team and individual accomplishments and formally wrap up the season.

Advisors distribute the Letters at this event*, as well as several awards for individual students and mentors that exemplify team and FIRST core values or otherwise merit recognition. 

Students are encouraged to dress nicely for this event.

The Advisors maintain a Google Calendar of upcoming events, meetings, demonstrations, and important milestones and deadlines.

Add the calendar to stay up-to-date!

Our Calendar

Never miss an event!

FRC Selection

We plan to limit the FRC team size to approximately 30 students (~60% of FTC).

FRC team selection will be based on:

  • alignment, adherence, and promotion of our Core Values and Codes of Conduct

  • individual contribution and impact to the team

  • STEM and Entrepreneurial talents demonstrated

  • attendance and engagement in our fundraisers, events, and activities

  • commitment and dedication to the program

We want a good balance of experience, grade levels, skills, and technical backgrounds on the team.  We want seniors as well as rookie freshman to be part of this journey.  FRC team selection will be made immediately following the December FTC Qualifier(s).

Students not selected for FRC will still have several opportunities for continued involvement, assisting with:

  • sponsorship demos and business activities

  • FRC playing field construction

  • award submissions

  • volunteering at events and scrimmages


Our FTC & FRC programs combined cost $80,000 to $120,000 per year (~$2k/student).

We receive funding from:

  • team & booster fundraising events and activities

  • hosted events & registration fees

  • grant requests

  • charitable donations

  • corporate & business sponsorships

  • student competition fees

Team & Booster Fundraising Events and Activities

Students and/or guardians are expected to participate in 2 or more fundraising activities, and help promote the rest.

  • Recycle drives

  • Restaurant fundraisers

  • Scrimmage concessions & raffle ticket sales

  • Hockey night ticket sales

  • Rummage sale

  • Brat fry

  • Car wash

  • Pointsetta/wreath/spring bulb sales

  • Spirit wear sales

Keep reduce everyone's competition fees by actively participating in our fundraisers!

Our aim is to improve the Year-over-Year participation of 54.7% (29/53) average of $165.94/student ($8,795)!

Corporate & Business Sponsorships

Charger Robotics would not be able to inspire students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Entrepreneurship without the generous support of our corporate sponsors, industry partners, and local community.

Students are expected to contact 5 or more businesses using the tools, documents, and training provided by the business team.  (current record: 27/student!)

Our aim is to improve the Year-over-Year success rate of 7.4% (27/364), and $389.15/student ($20,625)!


Practice Locations & Times

Students who are unable to make a meeting must inform Advisors and the team through the "Attendance" channel on Discord (ideally before the prior meeting ends), or the absence will be considered unexcused.  Students can contact Advisors via email, Discord, or verbally in-person.

Three unexcused absences may result in the loss of leadership position, inability to travel to competition events, and/or dismissal from Charger Robotics.

Meeting times for the 2023-2024 season are planned as follows.

October - December

  • Tuesday evenings from 18:00 - 21:00

  • Thursday evenings from 18:00 - 21:00

  • Saturday mornings from 08:30 - 12:00


The primary focus will be on FTC.

All regularly scheduled meetings will take place at Hamilton High School, starting and ending in Room #41.

January - April

  • Tuesday evenings from 18:00 - 21:00

  • Thursday evenings from 18:00 - 21:00

  • Friday evenings from 18:00 - 21:00

  • Saturday from 08:30 - 14:30


The primary focus will be on FRC.

All regularly scheduled meetings will take place at Hamilton High School, starting and ending in Room #41.

A lunch break will be provided by the Boosters on Saturdays at 11:45 to 12:45.  Boosters will coordinate with parents to volunteer food slots and opportunities to be involved.


We follow the Hamilton High School Athletic Department Parent/Athlete Coach Expectations.


Advisors expect the following from students and parents:

  • Arrival to meetings on time and ready to participate.

  • Notification of any and all schedule conflicts that may occur, well in advance (e.g. other sports/commitments, vacations, travel plans, etc.)

  • Communicate special concerns regarding coaching/mentoring expectations (e.g. Practice requirements).

  • Positive support for the HHS Co-Curricular Contract, Charger Robotics Code of Conduct, and FIRST Core Values.

  • Positive support for all team members, mentors, and advisors.

  • Exhibit Gracious Professionalism, good sportsmanship, and appropriate language.

  • A great work ethic at practice and at competitions.

  • If the student has a concerns, parents and guardians should encourage them to speak with a mentor or advisor.

Appropriate concerns you can address with Advisors:

  • The treatment of the student, mentally and physically

  • Ways to help the student improve their performance and skill

  • Concerns about the student's behavior at school/meetings/competitions

  • Ideas for future demonstration events and business partnerships

Areas that are not appropriate for parents to discuss with Advisors:

  • The make-up of the team and the decision as to who has what roles on a particular team

  • Other members of the team, other parents, other mentors

  • Program strategic direction

Problem Escalation Process

​The proper method to address a concern is to:

  1. Student speaks with Advisor(s).

  2. Parents speak with Advisors(s), or ask to schedule a discussion.

  3. If concerns are not resolved, a follow-up conference can be organized with the Athletics & Activities Director.

  4. If concerns are not resolved, a conference will be set up by the Principal.

In each of these scenarios, efforts will be taken to ensure that the conversation take place in a non-threatening environment, and that all parties are allowed to speak in an uninterrupted manner.

Click or scan the links to complete online registration process.

This should be completed each year by both veteran and rookie students, and their parents.

Team Registration

Sign up today!

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