Team History

FIRST team 6658 was founded in 2016 by engineering mentor Eric Rehder, sponsoring teacher Ernesto Martinez, and four students named Adriana Aldana, Jason Guardado, Gabriel Owens-Flores, and Elise Rehder. The idea of starting a FIRST team was pondered loosely over the summer of 2016 by Eric Rehder and dedicated MESA members, Gabriel Owens-Flores, and Elise Rehder. The idea became more serious when they found out there was another pair of students, Adriana Aldana and Jason Guardado, who were also planning to start a team. These ideas were put into reality with the help of the team’s first teacher sponsor Mr. Ernesto Martinez, a Boeing sponsorship and a GoFundMe fundraiser. Soon after, our team registered for the Los Angeles Regional Competition. The team had attracted a small but dedicated group of individuals who began cleaning out the woodshop at Eagle Rock High School where the team is based. They were extremely inexperienced and often compared to the Bad News Bears, but, with a lot of hard work and learning along the way, they made it to the Los Angeles Regional Competition with a functioning robot. They were able to incorporate both motor and pneumatic systems and a basic autonomous program in the robot’s build and code. Although their field performance landed them in 50th place, the team won the Rookie All-Star Award and had two weeks to find a way to the Houston International Championships. The team worked diligently over spring break to prepare and improve the robot. Their robot “Iron Eagle” placed 67th in the Galileo division, but this opportunity led to a bright future for the team.