The Smithtown Mechanical Bulls are a high school FIRST Robotics team, that, under the guidance of teachers, parents, and other adult mentors, works together to solve a task given by FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The team is located in the Smithtown Central School District and brings together students, unlike any other club or team, from competing high schools Smithtown East and Smithtown West. The team is also highly inclusive, as it brings in students of all ages to participate, starting students in the 7th grade as intern members. While the main focus of the team is to inspire students in STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math, by providing them a "Sport for the Mind™", the team has departments for students with interests such as music, art, business, and journalism, making it truly all inclusive. The FIRST Robotics Competition will often remain a passion in the team's students past their high school careers, continuing from the day they graduate through to their adult lives.
FIRST was founded in 1989, and the non-profit continues to work to inspire students in STEM. Its mission has spread to over 65 countries; this number grows every year. In the FIRST Robotics Competition, teams are given six weeks to design, build, and test their robot. Students are devoted, in this time period, to completing their team's bot, all while maintaining excellence in outside commitments such as their school work. At the end of the six week period, the teams compete in regional competitions, learning the value of a professional attitude and respect in competition, FIRST's theory of "Gracious Professionalism®." Those teams who are very successful in regionals earn the privilege of attending a Championship that brings together over 400 exemplary FIRST Robotics teams of the over 5000 worldwide.
Through the years, the Mechanical Bulls have entered many competitions and taken home several highly-valued awards. Students have grown, learned about the world, and found purpose on our team. The FIRST Scholarship Program offers over $18 million in potential scholarship opportunity, and students from the Smithtown Mechanical Bulls have benefitted greatly in affording higher education through their involvement. This team turns out the future in STEM innovation.