2004-2005: Building a Foundation
In 2004, three students, a board member, a high school principal, and a chemistry teacher founded the Beverly Hills High School FIRST Team 1515. The newly formed team was founded as a sub team under the current science team. Team 1515 contacted Team 207 for mentoring help. Along with experienced machining, guidance through the FIRST program, and a role model to follow, Team 207 also provided Team 1515 with their first corporate sponsor, Walt Disney Imagineering. WDI graciously paid for a regional competition, provided Imagineers to mentor the team, and donated WDI polo shirts. The Imagineers helped with programming, building, animation, and business. The sub team had 40+ members and became so large that they broke off and formed the Robotics Club. The club decided on “MorTorq” for a team name and selected which regional events the team would compete in. For weeks, the team presidents trained the members in different disciplines such as electronics, business, and 3D animation. Beverly Hills High School PTSA became an official sponsor of the team. MorTorq also held a fundraiser at a local restaurant, Spark Woodfire Grill. The 2005 game “Triple Play” was announced and the team was ready. The team built Norman I, also known as Zip Tie for its excessive use of colorful cable ties. Norman I had four wheel drive, a super structure supported by guild wires, a telescoping arm that pivoted on a Ford Aerostar window regulator, and a claw with a pneumatic solenoid. The team traveled to Denver, Colorado for its first regional event. Team 1515 came in 3rd place and won the Rookie Inspiration Award. MorTorq then came home and participated in the Southern California regional event in Los Angeles. Team 1515 came in 3rd place again and won the Rookie Allstar Award. By winning the Rookie Allstar Award, the team qualified for the international competition in Atlanta, Georgia.