Our Mission

To inspire students through mentor guidance to pursue and broaden access to STEAM and become leaders in order to guarantee the future of FIRST® and 1511 by forging global community partnerships to change the culture, increasing STEAM appreciation.

Our Vision

To transform our world to have a greater appreciation of science and technology. To produce alumni that are productive members of society and are champions of FIRST Robotics and STEAM initiatives.

About the Team

Rolling Thunder is FIRST Robotics Team 1511, of Penfield High School in Penfield, New York. It was founded in the fall of 2004 through a partnership with Harris RF Communications (now L3Harris), a local government-contracted communications company. The team includes about 20 volunteers and 40 students. Volunteers range from electrical engineers to programmers and marketing experts.

Since our inception, Rolling Thunder has focused not only our growth as a team but also as a business.

About Penfield High School

Penfield High School, located in a residential suburb of Rochester, NY, offers a comprehensive curriculum for students in grades 9-12. In addition to traditional core subjects, students can choose from a wide variety of Advanced Placement offerings for college credit, as well as numerous electives in arts, music, engineering, business and more. Vocational and alternative education experiences are also made available to students. A highly skilled staff works to create a warm and welcoming environment for all students and actively encourages the involvement of parents in their children’s education.

Penfield Central School District
Penfield High School
25 High School Drive
Penfield, New York 14526

About L3Harris

L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across space, air, land, sea and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.

1680 University Avenue
Rochester, New York 14610

Team Structure

For specialized work, the team is divided into the following subteams:

  • Leadership: This subteam is responsible for creating the team structure, determining the team calendar, setting up team activities and trainings, and managing school relations.
  • Mechanical: This subteam is responsible for designing the mechanical components of the robot, as well as putting them together. Components are designed in CAD, and sometimes a prototype is created before final assembly. This team is also responsible for designing and creating the tetra manipulator.
  • Electrical: This subteam is responsible for designing and producing all electrical systems for the robot and control panel. It is also responsible for any pneumatics that are used.
  • Programming: This subteam is responsible for creating the actual code that makes the robot work. It also creates the autonomous code(s) for the competition.
  • Strategy: This subteam is responsible for actually controlling and driving the robot. They are also the rules experts of the team, and have created strategies for the best scores.
  • Publicity: This subteam creates all presentations, press releases, newsletters and any other public relations items. They are responsible for team logos, clothing, and team spirit. They help with the blog, wiki, and Smugmug photo database. They also work to unify our team’s social media and web presence.
  • Outreach: This subteam is responsible for running/organizing our community service outreach events and activities.