THUNDEBOLTS 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, from all of Emek Hefer. The team now consists of +30 students each year practicing in different aspects of robotics.
Our team, 2630, is the core of a community robotics club that’s about more than just building a robot or winning a championship. Our goal to inspire the community, especially the youth, to love science & technology - in the hopes of creating a world "where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes" (Dean Kamen - Founder of FIRST).
Over the years we have extended our focus from the game, to include activities reaching thousands of people of all ages. We inspire them to discover their love for science & technology.
In 2007, Team 1950 from Ramot Hefer was cloesed. Team members & Supporters worked hard to found a new team - Team 2630, THUNDERBOLTS. 2630 was created by the Emek Hefer community, for the Emek Hefer community.
The inheritance from Team 1950 was implemented in 2630's First Foundation Stone - superb technology skills, competitiveness, and gracious professionalism.
This led to the winning of the 2008 Rookie All-Star Award, the 2010 Israel Championship. We traveled both years to the World Championship.
Having absorbed FIRST’s 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.
2013 was a historic year for the team. With our robot “Spitfire” we were once again Israel’s Champions, aswell as Semifinalists at the Washington DC Regional. At the World Championship we were Captain of the 4th Seed Alliance of Galileo Division, However we fell in the Quaterfinals.
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, mutually benefit each other. Our technical skills create awareness and attract many people to us, while our community efforts multiply 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’ve 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 an FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Team ("Black Thunder" 11226 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.