In 2014, a group of York students founded Deus Ex Machina, the school’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team. Our team went on to win the Rookie All-Star Award and advanced to the international championship in St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, we have continued to learn and challenge ourselves to reach new goals. In 2017, we received the GM Industrial Design Award at the Silicon Valley Regional, one of only two design awards given at arguably the most competitive regional event in the country. The 2018 season was the first time we got to experience what it means to be a strong player on the field, often carrying our alliance partners and taking on the most complicated tasks in the game. At the end of the 2018 season, we elected a head captain and created an organizational structure with various subgroups. This new structure offered experienced students the chance to become teachers as they facilitated the training of new members through peer-to-peer sharing of knowledge.
We entered the 2019 FRC season with 12 experienced, returning students, 20 new students, and two faculty mentors. The team, consisting of numerous student-led divisions—programming, computer-aided design, electrical, mechanical and build, game strategy, media and outreach, scouting, and more—not only constructed two working robots but also gained invaluable real-world skills comparable to running a startup business. We competed at the inaugural FRC Monterey Bay Regional in March and ranked high enough to be an alliance captain, earning the right to choose our alliance partners and compete in the quarterfinal matches, setting a new precedent for team accomplishments!
Our alumni have gone on to obtain science and engineering degrees from top universities, including MIT, Caltech, Brown, Colorado School of Mines, Cornell, USC, Berkeley, West Point, and Embry-Riddle.