The TechHOUNDS strive to provide an innovative, team-based experience that fosters appreciation and love of STEM through robotics, outreach, and strong team-community relationships, all while developing the technical and communication skills vital in the modern world.
FIRST Team 868 was founded in 2001 by Carmel High School architecture teacher David Smith. With a mere twelve students and a single mentor, the team quickly established a name in the robotics community, winning the Rookie All-Star Award, becoming finalists on Einstein, and soon after garnering support within the Carmel community.
Since then, the team has steadily gained attention and participation, featuring 138 students and 38 mentors in the 2016 season. Our students represent a unique, diverse subset of Carmel's population that all have a intense passion for STEM fields. We have 42 independent sponsoring companies, and our strong, long-term relationships have allowed employees from corporations such as Rolls Royce and Delphi to serve as mentors. This effective team structure has allowed us to develop great community relationships, provide STEM experiences to the public, and compete on the highest level of FIRST robotics.
In addition, TechHOUNDS is heavily dedicated to spreading the message of FIRST in the community by promoting STEM, as well as volunteering to help improve the quality of life for all of our community members. Each year, we participate and sustain a variety of outreach events, demonstrations, and activities that make our community better. Our current emphasis lies in increasing minority representation in STEM, inspiring young students to pursue STEM education, and partnering STEM and special needs.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 and based in Manchester, New Hampshire that fosters the appreciation of science, engineering, technology, and innovation in youth all over the world. Founder Dean Kamen aspires to fulfill his vision:
"to create a world where science and technology are celebrated... where young people dream of being science and technology heroes."
Thus, this organization has embarked on a mission
"to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."
FIRST also runs by a policy of "gracious professionalism," which emphasizes quality workmanship, respect, and kindness.
The awards that TechHOUNDS has obtained reflect the success and hard work each member has put into the team. We have been fortunate enough to have won a major judged award in almost every competition, including the Woodie Flowers Award, an award which recognizes mentors who lead, inspire, and empower using excellent communication skills, for one of our mentors. Each year, we aspire to play in the finals of the International Championship.