Truck Town Thunder is a member of FIRST; the acronym stands For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST is a worldwide organization that benefits students as young as elementary age to the most senior individuals who are willing to volunteer for the program. T3’s structure is built around opportunities to learn and experience FIRST principles. The team is managed by student project and team leaders with mentor support. Through with its partners are a critical part to the team’s success. T3 created a Partnership Plan to help team members recruit partners as well as to ensure a secure financial network. T3 connects with its partners to promote continued relationships as well as engage the community. T3 strives to make sure student led design and build of the robot, team members learn to collaborate and communicate with their peers in a professional environment.
FIRST Team 68, Truck Town Thunder’s overall goal is to build a passionate team that encourages students to absorb new knowledge from dedicated team members while relentlessly having fun.
OUR MISSION IS CLEAR
“To inspire peers to be more excited about science, engineering, and technology by engaging them in a hands-on mentor guided life-changing journey that prepares everyone for the future.”
Truck Town Thunder lives by the values of FIRST. Gracious Professionalism® and Cooperation both provide a foundation for all team members to be leaders that learn and work together to make the world a better place for everyone.
The team members of Truck Town Thunder have a reputation for being helpful, knowledgeable and respectful. Gracious Professionalism® is an important value to Truck Town Thunder and the team has been recognized for displaying this value at past competitions.
The team strives for a better society where teams, companies, and countries are all willing to work together for the betterment of the world. The two brains are better than one theory is felt by team members as they relate the fact that our team is a marriage of two schools which has increased the brain power when problem solving on the team, but also the collaboration of ideas to make life a little bit easier for both communities.
The partnership goals for the years to come include retaining current partnerships and encouraging returning partners to increase their investments. T3 strives to make sure the partnership program builds relationships between students and partners. Within the next three years, the team plans to double the current partners investing in the team and inspiring large investors to partner with
T3 continues to expand its student leadership experiences and opportunities. Student are leading the design process, work in the shop, and the team.
T3 experienced substantial growth this year and looks forward to introducing new members to the Thunder Youth Program during the 2018-19 school year. In the coming years, T3 plans to gain one FLL team every year and create a total of four FTC teams very soon.
In 1998, Tom Stephens, former Global Chief Technology Officer of General Motors inspired a group of employees to start a FIRST robotics team. FIRST Team 68, Truck Town Terror, was established at General Motors Truck Product Center (TPC) in Pontiac, Michigan. The team’s first year began with twenty members from schools across Oakland County as a magnet team. The dream team was known as Truck Town Terror and had a successful beginning. The team was faced with many changes in the early years. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 led the team to change its name to Truck Town Thunder (T3). The team experienced growth and success, but T3 faced several unforeseen obstacles. T3 had to pack all of the team’s belongings up several times to relocate to new locations. In 2009, membership was down and due to GM’s financial problems T3 again was faced with finding a new home. Recruiting new students in the Pontiac area had become difficult. Many of the high schools in the area now had FIRST robotics teams because of T3’s introduction of FIRST to the community. A new relationship between T3 and the Brandon High School STEM program resulted in a new home for the team which increased T3’s membership. This relationship has allowed Truck to be a highly competitive team on the field and in front of the judges.
T3 now resides in Brandon High School’s Metal Shop.