Our team was founded in 2006 at McKinley by our lead mentor, Mr. Kenneth Lesley, who had previously
worked with his son's FRC team at another Washington D.C. high school. In its initial year, the Firebirds
was supported by a NASA Rookie Grant, which was renewed for a second year. Since then, the team has relied largely on DCPS funding as well as funding from a few other sponsors - but in late 2014, we added four new sponsors, including NASA. We are now an official NASA House Team that is associated with NASA Headquarters where our five new NASA mentors work.
During our first few years, our team worked in a small, cold attic space at McKinley Tech High School - space that could barely hold 10 people. Our first competition was difficult because the students had to go it alone since our technical mentor was hospitalized due to a bicycle accident. But we made it through the competition, and since then, we have shown tremendous growth. Every year we field a robot, and in 2012, we won the IROC competition.