Ignite Membership FAQs

Who can join?

Ignite Robotics is open to any students ranging from 8th thru 12th grade. We are proud to be a diverse team and accept members without discriminating based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or learning differences.

If you need help finding a team that fits within your age range, FIRST Robotics has a website to help you search for one. It can be found here

Where do you meet?

 Ignite is based at the home of two of our mentors in Suwanee.  The shop has two spaces.  There is a tool and manufacturing space in the garage where we make custom parts and do some assembly.  This space houses large tools like the CNC, drill press, metal brake, etc.  We custom make the majority of our parts here.  There is also a classroom and assembly space in the basement where we hold meetings, have working sessions, and do robot assembly.  Throughout the year, we also utilize practice fields that are hosted around the metro Atlanta area.  Finally, as much as is permitted, we live-stream all meetings so that students, parents, and mentors can participate remotely when needed.

What can I learn and do as an Ignite student?

It takes knowledge and skill to build a robot, and Ignite is here to help you learn what you need to know. Whether it’s programming, electronics, mechanical engineering, business planning, video editing, or something completely new and amazing, we can help you find a role that fits your passion. This will be the hardest fun you’ll ever have.

I play soccer/swim/dance/do musical theater.  What happens if I need to miss Ignite meetings?

We encourage students to have other outside interests and activities!  Because the FRC ‘season’ is in the spring (see below), summer and fall extracurriculars are easier to balance, but it is possible to have other activities in the spring as well.   Just know that the more sessions a student attends the more they typically gain from Ignite.

How much does it cost to join Ignite?

The cost for the year is $500 ($450 for 2nd student) and the fee can be paid in full by the end of September or in monthly installments.  The membership fee does not include travel expenses, but does include 2 custom-designed competition t-shirts.  Student fees for each of the 4 competition weekends during the 2021-2022 season were $50 and included hotel and most meals.  This is a decrease from prior year’s comp. fees due to the generosity of a sponsor.  Hopefully, this will continue.

What can be expected as far as basic scheduling for the year? 

Sep – Dec: Offseason training and prep; one offseason comp usually in late October.

• Tuesday night general meetings plus meetings and training sessions as scheduled. Expect 2-3 meetings per week that can be attended as your schedule permits. This year we also have a booth at Suwanee Fest in mid-September and a demo scheduled at Dragon Con Labor Day weekend.

Jan – Feb: Build

• Game reveal is the first weekend in January; a long weekend of strategy, analysis, and beginning design.  Students can expect to spend all day Saturday and all of Sunday afternoon on Kick-Off activities

• 3-5 evening/weekend sessions per week of design, manufacture, build, and test.  We encourage students to have other outside interests and activities, but the more sessions they attend the more they typically gain from Ignite.

Mar – Apr: Competitions and iterations on the robot between competitions.

• Georgia FIRST has seven 2-day comps (“districts”), one or two per weekend starting late Feb. Most are in Georgia; some are in South Carolina.
• Ignite attends 2 of these district comps— competition weekends are either all day Friday and Saturday or all day Saturday and Sunday.  These choices are usually selected in October and November.

• Hopefully we will qualify for the District Championship (first week in April in Georgia)

• Hopefully we will qualify for the World Championship (Houston, TX, 3rd week of April)

May – Aug: Training and summer projects

• Various Fun and Educational projects to keep our problem-solving minds keen. These can differ from year to year and are always open to team suggestions.

Can parents attend competitions?

We absolutely welcome families to travel with the team at their own expense.  Many families do, and we have a great time at competitions!

Can parents volunteer with the team? 

YES!  There are lots of opportunities to pitch in from driving carpools and sending snacks, to teaching technical and business skills to our students.

Who are the “adults in charge?”

Our mentors are adults who are background checked and youth protection trained.  Most of our technical mentors are professionals in the fields of engineering, computer science, and manufacturing, and many have had children on FIRST Robotics competition teams (and have stayed around even after their students graduated).  Our mentors work collaboratively with our students through the entire design, build, programming, and competition process.

Can I visit an Ignite meeting?

Of course!  Parents and students are welcome to join us for a meeting, either in person or virtually.  Just contact us!

I’m ready!  How can I join Ignite?

Create an account with TeamSnap by following this registration link and following the instructions.  We can’t wait for you to join the Ignite family!  https://go.teamsnap.com/forms/391069