The Bionic Zebras 313
Welcome to the official website of FIRST Robotics Competition Team 313: The Bionic Zebras!
What is FIRST?
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization
founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and
technology. Not only do they learn about how robots function, they also learn important
skills that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication,
There are four programs in FIRST:
1. Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) involving children from ages 6 to 9.
2. FIRST LEGO League (FLL) involving children from ages 9 to 14.
3. FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) involving high-schoolers.
4. FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) involving high-schoolers.
The Bionic Zebras, Team 313 is an FTC team.
Currently, we are celebrating our 20th anniversary. Older than most other FIRST teams. Also older than
the students on the team. Our team was founded in late 1998, and we first competed in 1999 which was
also the debut of team 313, the Bionic Zebras. In 2006, as a result of merging with another school in
our district, we became the “Bionic Union.” In 2013 we reverted to “Bionic Zebras” and it’s stayed that
way since. In spite of tremendous odds, our team keeps competing year after year. Most of our mentors
are alumni of the team, continuing to forge the Spirit of FIRST.
Founded by Mr. John Vuchovich and Mr. Scott Simons in 1998 (and now mentored by Joshua Barnett and
Karl Heinrich), The Bionic Zebras have been helping students explore the wonders of STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), and encourages them to pursue their further studies and
career within a technological field.
To put it in the words of Dean Kamen (a co-founder of FIRST Robotics), "To transform our culture by
creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of
becoming science and technology leaders."
This team consists of six individual sub-teams, each having their own role in making every season a
List of Subteams:
Build Team spends their time in the workshop learning about and using tools, putting together
electrical components and other technology specific to FIRST, and building automated systems based
on the design. All in all, this sub-team is responsible for every mechanical aspect of the
Design Team consists of a group of students who theorize and prototype their ideas for the robot.
This sub-team is responsible for presenting a final design (or multiple) to the team. CADD
(Computer-Aided-Drafting-and-Design) is a tool used extensively throughout the design and planning
Information Technology not only programs and automates the entire robot, but works to maintain a
website as well. Students who reside with IT learn in-depth electronics, how to program in HTML and
CSS as well as C++, and how to use FIRST-Specific Programming Libraries. This sub-team works
closely with Design Team to ensure that the ideal control systems are constructed inside of the
While we try to keep injuries to a minimum, accidents do happen. Safety Team is here to treat
injuries when they occur, and enforce safety procedures to prevent future accidents. Students on
this team learn how to treat wounds, and how to care for an injured person.
Business Team manages the entire team's bank account, and is in charge of contacting other
businesses about acquiring sponsorship. Any time there is a need or want to spend team funds, it
goes through Business Team, who can in turn allow or deny it.
Public Relations is in charge of making an image for our team and a positive relationship with our
community. This sub-team creates media content for the website, makes posters, and organizes
team-wide volunteering events in an effort to give back to the community.