Vae Victis


FRC Team 1418 - George Mason High School


Supporting Local Teams

For many years now, 1418 has "adopted" a rookie or younger team for a season to help them get into the swing of things, let them borrow our shop and tools, or to just lend a helping hand when it comes to robot construction. Some of these teams have included George Marshall (5549), D.C.Ps School without Walls (2900), K.I.P.P. (2964), Saint John's College High School (4456). Currentlty we are supporting Falls Church High School (6504), and Pinnecal Academy (6543).

In addition, every year Vae Victis hosts a scrimmage with local teams. This is helpful since many teams do not have our resources and cannot construct practice fields.

FRC Workshops

Every December since 2009, 1418 has hosted a workshop featuring classes that teach important skills to both team members and mentors. The available courses include Pneumatics, 3D Printing, Game strategy, and Scouting. Vae Victis was proud to successfully host the event as well as teach many of the courses this year and plans to do the same for many years to come. The members, along with mentors and parents set-up the classrooms serve food, guide visitors and teach many of the training sessions. The event attracts approximately 25 teams and 150 – 200 attendees.

FRC Practice Field and Tech Support

FRC 1418 sets-up and maintains a complete FRC Field on the GMHS Stage. Any team can request practice time on the field as well as get technical support from FRC 1418 The team has done this since 2013. One of the highlights, on the weekend before bag and tag teams are encouraged to come over and practice with other teams on the practice field. Teams are able to get last minute technical support from 1418 or other teams practicing.

IROC 2016 Setup

On October 22, 2016, team 1418 volunteered to help FRC team 1885 with the setup of ILITE Robotics Offseason Challenge (IROC). This is part of our outreach in support of other teams and events.


Thomas Jefferson Elementary School has hosted a STEAM night in both 2016 and 2017. As part of 1418’s promotion of robotics within the Falls Church community. They have brought their robots to Thomas Jefferson for young students and parents to gain an understanding of the high school program as well as potential at the elementary and middle schools. Watching the robot is one of the highlights for the students on STEAM night.

Graham Rd. Elementary

In 2015, FRC 1418 visited Graham Rd. Elementary to build and program Lego Mindstorms. The team provided sessions where the students worked with the elementary school children to build Lego Mindstorm robots and write software for them to do simple functions. This generated a lot of interest and hopefully Graham Rd. will start FLL teams in the future.

Falls Church Education Foundation

Falls church education foundation is a sponsor of FRC 1418. FRC 1418 is annually invited to the FCEF annual gala. This provides continual feedback between the team and FCEF, letting them know what their money is being spent on, and about the successes of the team. This event gives the team a chance to promote FIRST, and demonstrate the robot to attendees.

FLL Tournaments

FRC 1418 and George Mason H.S. have supported FLL Qualifiers at Mary Ellen Henderson M.S. for the past 5 seasons. They help set-up and dismantle the fields, A/V equipment and ensure classrooms, gym and cafeteria are back to class ready status. The team also provides students, siblings and parents to be judges, referees, field set-up and guides for visitors to the school.

Support to FIRST Senior Mentor

The local FIRST Senior Mentor (FSM) has 5 FTC demo robots that require significant maintenance and rework. FRC 1418 provides the maintenance for the robots which are used throughout the year at FIRST and non-FIRST events. The robots need major work after the children earn their “Robot Driver’s License” at events as well updating hardware and software for the robots. It is estimated over 1000 children earned their robot driver’s license this year. The demo robots are used at events like the VA Tech MakerFaire and DCPD “Beat the Streets” as well many FIRST and Sponsor Events. The team also maintains the FTC practice field for the FSM.

Summer Camps

Vae Victis is in the process of starting two summer camps, the first to educate younger students about LEGO robotics, and the second to teach High School students interested in joining 1418 or other teams. Stay tuned for more information.

Congressional Outreach

Daniel Nette Testimony

On January 9th, 2014, Daniel Nette (FRC Team 1418) along with 3 other FIRST students were asked to testify before a House of Representatives, Science, and Technology Sub- Committee gathering information on STEM Education and the value of FIRST in achieving significant progress towards getting students involved. Daniel discussed the impact of FIRST on his education choices.

AUVSI House of Representatives Exhibit

FRC 1418 was asked to attend the 2016 Science and Technology Fair at the U.S. House of Representative in Longworth Building. The event was sponsored by AUVSI, The team discussed FIRST with several Congressmen including Rep Byers (VA) and Rep Hultgren (IL) and demonstrated two of their FRC robots to gathered guests. Guests included congressional staff members and corporate exhibitors.

College Outreach

Virginia Tech Maker Faire

FRC 1418 provided demonstrations of their 2015 and 2016 robots at the VA Tech MakerFaire NoVA campus. They also worked to the “Robot Driver’s License” hands on activity. The team works with children as young as 2 -3 up to early teens to earn the driver’s license. Virginia provides for Maker Fairs and Science Fair throughout the state during the early fall. VA Tech has one of the largest events with well over a 1000 attendees. Attendees include students, VT staff/faculty, local employers, and the community at large. FRC 1418 has been asked to support this event the last 2 years. This is a major FIRST supported outreach outside the FIRST community and provides for an ongoing connection to a major university in the state.


2015, FRC 1418 held an exhibit of their robot at the STEMosphere-ShareFair. The event was attended by about four thousand people and 1418 demonstrated our robot as part of the exhibit. Helped build new bicycles for students in the 2nd grade that were donated, one of which was picked up our robot.

International Outreach

Ecuador Workshop

GMHS's Robotics Team 1418 members created a robotics workshop for a high school in San Miguel de los Bancos in rural Ecuador. The workshop took place from August 18th until August 22nd. The objective was to teach students about robotics and plant a seed of interest in new technologies so that these students can later create their own robotics team and get interested in STEM careers. 24 students from Bernabé de Larraúl High School participated in this workshop. The students learned about building and programing robots through a hands on experience. The students were separated into three groups of 8 students each. The first day we showed them one of the robots that they would be building and let them get familiar with the pieces. Everyday after that the groups would build different kinds of robots that had different purposes (e.g. Clawbot, Autonomous robot, etc.) and would compete against each other. After each competition, we would all regroup and discuss how the robots performed. If the groups had difficulties while building the robot or on the field during this time they would reflect on what went wrong and how they could prevent the problem in the future. On the third day, students and faculty watched the movie: Underwater Dreams about how a High School robotics team in a poor community in Arizona beat the MIT team in an underwater robotics competition. This was very inspiring for the students. At the end of the workshop the students evaluated their experience and we learned that these students left the workshop knowing so much more about all the components of robotics (building the robot as well as programming the robot). In fact, many felt that this was a life changing experience. Fe y Alegría Ecuador, the parent organization that manages the schools nationwide, is interested in expanding this program to other places.

Local Community Outreach

Local Motors

Local Motors is a corporate enterprise which brings new meaning to 3D Printing. They print shuttle buses and cars out of carbon fiber. As part of the National Manufacturer Day, they invited 1418 and two other local FRC teams to demonstrate their robots to employees and guests. The team got to see large scale 3D and started a relationship between FIRST and Local Motors in the DC Metro area.


Udvar-Hazy (air and space museum in Dallas) holds quarterly “family days”, 1418 attended one of the family days to demonstrate their robot. The team also handled the driver hand’s on activity. This event is attended by thousands and represents a large outreach to the local community.

Udvar-Hazy holds quarterly Family Days to celebrate the culture and history of aviation. We, 1418, brought our 2015 robot and demonstrated to families attending. We also hosted a driver hand’s on activity for some of the younger children that had come. Thousands attended, showing our large.


Center for Energy Workforce Development(CEWD) is a trade association who invited FIRST to demonstrate FTC and FRC robots on November 5th, 2015. We brought our FRC robot and Catherine Reinke participated in a moderated student panel. The members of 1418 were tasked with informing member companies throughout North America about FIRST’s mission.

INCOSE Meeting

The local professional INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) chapter and the George Mason University student chapter invited FRC 1418 to demonstrate their Aerial Assist robot. The team members answered questions about the robot, FIRST, and how to get involved as volunteers and mentors.


In August 2014 Vae Victis participated in the DC United S.T.E.M night at Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) stadium. We brought our soccer robot to participate in the Soccer Skills Competition that was being, with our robot specializing in accuracy and distance. Vae Victis also acted as ambassadors for FIRST, interacting with students across the world in 9 different languages. About 25,000 people showed up. All the attendees were able to visit the tailgate area, wherein they would learn about FIRST, were they also could view the game. This has been one of our largest outreach to the Hispanic community in DC area.