Team 223 was founded in 1999 by Wayne, Cliff, and Don to allow students from New Brunswick High School to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition. 250 hours, and a lot of hard work later, Team 223 created our first robot. Although it was fabricated primarily offsite, the students were completely involved in the design process. In our first competition, the New Jersey Regional (which was then held at Rutgers University), we were awarded “Rookie Team of the Year,” and we went on to compete in the National Competition at Epcot in Disney World.
During the following year, FIRST grew and so did we. We recruited a second school, the Piscataway branch of Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. At this time the team was known as the “Zaiders,” which was a combination of the MCVTS-Piscataway and New Brunswick HS mascots.
Over the next years Team 223 continued to expand and grow, reaching a greater number of students and bringing in new sponsors. We made many appearances at Nationals. In 2002, we changed our name to Xtreme Heat, which would lead to the purchase of “Flame Pants” and the fiery image we present today.
Unfortunately, in 2005 New Brunswick High School was unable to continue with the program; however, Team 223 survived, and was still able to have a successful year. We won a non-FIRST competition and made it to semi-finals at the New Jersey Regional, the Virginia Regional, and at Nationals.
In 2007, we expanded once again. Lakeland Regional High School in Wanaque, NJ, joined the team, and took over the design responsibilities. It was an extremely successful year; we came in second place overall at the New Jersey Regional and made it to the semi-finals at Nationals in Atlanta.
Since then, we have continued to grow as a team. Our 2008 and 2009 seasons were a blast, and you can read about them and our successes by checking out the year-specific pages.
Unfortunately, this past year, 2010, we have lost our MCTVS-Piscataway partners, who are unable to continue with the FIRST program. However, Lakeland Regional HS will keep the team alive and thriving, and will pass the message of FIRST, and “The Pants,” on to future generations of members.