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Bread Pandas FTC Robotics Team

Role
Business Lead
Designer
Outreach Coordinator

Duration
2 years,
(Junior - Senior yr of HS)

Skills
Workshop Coordination
Merch Design
Business Operations



During my Junior Year (just back from COVID Lockdown), I decided to try something new and join a Robotics Team (Fun Fact: I had zero engineering nor programming experience prior to this!)

As the Business Lead, I participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Competitions, compiled a 150 page business plan/Notebook, and developed our team merchandise from scratch.

After these two years, I'm happy to say that we've won multiple awards including 1st place in Design and Promotion, even being the first team at our high school to advance to States!

Heads-Up: This page combines projects from both the first season (Team 20191) and the second (Team 21980).

Review the contents below!

  1. Outreach and Event Coordination
  2. Merchandise and Uniform Design
  3. Website Development
  4. Pit Booth Design
  5. Other Graphics
  6. Reflection



Project Overview




My Roles

  • Directing Outreach Events including 6 webinars, workshops, and volunteer events collaborating with nonprofit organizations and high school + university clubs!
  • Branding Development and Design for social media posts, webisite, posters, and team merch
  • Project Management through our Discord Server (event reminders, setting key success metrics, organizing event details)

Overcoming Challenges

After my first year of Robotics, our high school's program was suddenly canceled due to a lack of funding. I led pitches to our school administrators to convince them to revive the program, but to no avail. Finally, I decided to take the lead in establishing an independent community team, which became 21980 Bread Pandas

Acheivements

Along with being the first team at our high school to advance to State Championships, we also won 1st place Deisgn (two times!), the Promote Award, 2nd Place Inspire, 2nd Place Promote, and more!


Leadership

Outreach Events


As the Head of Business, I lead all of our outreach events. I communicated with 8 HS/University Organizations and 12 speakers from top industries like like Riot Games, Roblox, and Mojang Studios to speak at 9 online webinars about their careers in product design, Machine Learning, and SWE. I also designed and led the Graphic Design Workshop!

I developed the speaking agendas, slideshow presentations, and IG posts to promote the event (featured below).









Sample Instagram Posts

I lead the branding and design for all the instagram post designs including outreach events. communicate with the co-hosts. I aimed for a simple blue and white color palette with complex graphics to balance the simplicity. I organized each composition with images in the foreground and backgrond, enhancing the visual depth.


Fashion Design

Team Merchandise

I lead the designs for the team hoodies and t-shirts for both our first and second season.



Season 1
To ensure that our team spirit and brand were communicated through this uniform, I went with a geometric, "e-sports" style design that combined the "Bread" and "Panda" with a bright, eye-catching color palette.

Fun Fact: I designed the entire gaphic using a trackpad on my school-issued chromebook!



Season 2
This season, I went with a flexible and neutral palette reminiscent of traditional Japanese Ink Art. While not as flashy as the former, the monochrome color palette and minimalist design made for a versitile design: for competitions and daily wear.

Scroll for iteratons! :D






Iterations!

Season 1: My previous iterations featured monochrome color palettes, however I quickly realized that, though attractive, it didn't have the eye-catching "pull-factor" that the vibrant, contrasting design of the original had, which is what we ultimately chose through conducting a team poll. As a first-year team, this confident and daring color scheme also fit our branding a lot better!

The Final Product Below (feat. me!)

Season 2: I had two iterations: one fully white and one greyscale. I decided to choose the latter because it was more reminiscent of traditional ink-art. I designed the logo in a loose and organic style, paralleling natural elements of nature consistent with our brand.


UI Design

Website Development


I lead the website development for both seasons. This season, I initially went with a red theme (before we had established our blue-centric branding) largely because it was a minimal yet bold and confident color palette.

I organized the Information Hierarchy based on mission and purpose, the ultimate goal being to click the "fundraiser" button, which is also the main "CTA" button featured in the nav bar and landing page. Under the philosophy of the serial positioning effect, the contact form and other target links were placed at the top and bottom of the page.

I integrated dynamic yet subtle geometric graphics in the background with micro-animations. Simple and intuitive. Versatile yet bold.

▿ Click Play to see a full run-through of the website! ▿





Management

Pit Booth Design


I headed the design and execution of our booth (similar to a trade show booth but for robots) including the coordination of materials with administrators, communication of the design vision, and the design of all promotional materials used in the booth.

With a limited budget and location confinements, I wrote around 16 bills in coordination with the Robotics Club at our High School.









Design Process


Stage 1: Ideation and Brainsorming
The initial concept design combined the natural elements of a Panda's habitat (hanging leaves, forest canopy, and "hut" canopy) with futuristic elements (LED Neon display).



Stage 2: Coordination and Conceptualization
The Digital Mockup offered a more technical and strategic overview of the design. This was also when I began communicating with our mentor about the plan to secure, collect, and divide funds.



Stage 3: Execution
After designing the banners, posters, and engineering portfolio, I set up the budget outline and collected/purchased the components.

Overcoming Challenges: On the day of the competition, we were unexpectedly met with tight restrictions on our pit booth and were unable to put up our canopy, a key component of our design. Nevertheless, we powered through and improvised our design: taping our banner to a stack of cardboard boxes and ultimately, receiving many compliments for our design!



▿ The Development Process! ▿




  △ Season 2 Ideations Sketches Above!

Poster Designs


For the second season, we decided to go with a trifold design instead of posters. I laid out rough sketches with a strategic visual hierarchy that would emphasize the robot design (in the middle) while still adding personality with the panda graphic.

Since the 3 major award categories were the robot design, design process, and outreach, I organized those categories based on highest importance (robot design ranked the highest) for an intuitive user experience.

The final design (thanks to Minh-Tu from our business team for painting the panda!) featured a vibrant pink that matched our portfolio branding and an eye-catching panda design on top.

▿ The physical assets I designed for the competitions ▿


Graphics

Other Designs


I also worked on a variety of other designs such as banners for our various social media pages, zoom backgrounds for our digital outreach events, engineering notebook + portfolio and instagram posts!

This also marked the first time I designed a website which you can check out here. Though the design is not the most clean or visually appealing, it gave me my first taste of web development!

▿ Banner designs for Season 2 (this year) ▿


Reflection

Say Yes Now, Strategize Later

On the surface, this saying seems counter-intuitive. Why would you agree to something without having a plan? Well, the reason I started Robotics was because I was suddenly introduced to it by my AP Comp Sci teacher who unexpectedly asked me if I wanted to join the High School Robotics team, though I had no experience.

Because of that spontaneous decision , I have attended my first competition in high school, learned invaluable management skills, and made lasting memories with amazingly talented people who I wouldn't have met otherwise.

Here are some other lessons:

  1. Focus on the Big Picture: I learned not to get caught up in the small details of design and instead focus on how the message and spirit of our team could be clearly communicated to the audience
  2. Communication is key: Collecting ideas from others, finding patterns, and being open[-minded] allowed me to create the highest-value events & designs.


▿ Us at Regionals '23; So proud! ▿


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