Team Thunderbolts #2630 is a high - school robotics team that was founded in 2008, as a re-group of team #1950. The new team brought together, for the first time, students from three different Regional high-schools, all around Emek-hefer. The team consists of 30+ students each year practicing different aspects of robotics.
Our team, 2630, is the core of a robotics club that is about more than just building a robot or winning a competition. We are about a common goal shared by people to inspire the community, especially the youth, to the love of science and technology - in the hopes of creating a world "where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes" (Dean Kamen).
Over the years we have extended our focus from the game, to include activities touching thousands of people of all ages, whom we inspire to discover their love for science and technology.
In 2007, Team 1950 from Ramot Hefer was cloesed, and team members and supporters worked hard to found a new team - Team 2630, that was created by and for the Emek Hefer community.The inheritance of Team 1950 was implemented in Team 2630's first foundation stone - superb technology skills, competitiveness, and gracious professionalism. We won the 2008 Rookie All-Star Award, Won the 2010 Israeli Regional and traveled both years to the World Championship. In 2013 we won the Israeli Regional, we were a semifinalist at the Washington DC Regional and were the Captain of the 4th alliance at the Galileo division. Having absorbed the FIRST values, the team began to engage in community activities. We hosted the 2008 pre-season and the 2009 Off-Season. In 2010 we established a "FIRST Aid" crew to help other teams before and during the competition.The enthusiasm following the 2010 season triggered our conversion into a ROBOTICS CLUB, we established our second foundation stone - strong, long-term involvement in the community, with a clear goal to inspire people, especially the youth, to the love of science and technology.
By leveraging the unique structure of a community club that represents all three high schools in Emek Hefer, the involvement and support of our Municipality, College, businesses and individuals, we established a symbiotic eco-system where our two foundation stones, technology and community, are mutually benefiting each other. Our technical skills are creating awareness and attracting many people to us, while our community efforts are multiplying the effect.
For the past years we have been operating as a Robotics Club with two symbiotic drives - to excel as a competitive team and to extend our reach into different communities and circles.We have established priorities for our community activities and adopted parameters to measure our effectiveness. The ongoing plan is to diversify the efforts and target different circles.We target not only youth but also influential adults who have the power to push the youth towards technology. Some of our activities are aimed at our own team, some at our community while some are serving others.
As part of our efforts to inspire more to practice STEAM proffesions we are now working on our latest initiative called "Yarok". Yarok, green in Hebrew (our team’s color), is an acronym that stands for Entrepreneurship, Robotics and Community; it is a House of Knowledge - a Technology Center that provides facilities, essential equipment and fabrication services, granting the community – locally and nationally – an environment to practice STEAM professionally.
In addition to our team we also run two FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Teams ("Rolling Thunder" 11226 and "Black Thunder" 11229) who work with us in our workshop.
In November 2017 we moved to a new workshop in YAROK’s building, located in Ruppin Academic Center. Our new workshop is larger than our old workshop. We have two rooms for our FTC team, every division has enough room to work efficiently and at their maximum potential. Thanks to our new workshop we have connections to the High-Tech Industry which allows us to create a symbiotic relationship in which we both win. Most importantly we can keep ourselves safe with our new high-tech alarm system.