History of TALON 540
FIRST robotics team TALON 540 started seventeen years ago as a research project for two students in the Science, Math, and Technology specialty center at Mills E. Godwin High School. Physics teacher Mr. Jim Lehman, a Woodie Flowers Finalist Award winner in 2008, agreed to sponsor the program, under the condition that the students ran the organization.
Today, TALON 540 consists of over 60 members; however, the same principle of student management still governs the team, and not just for building the robots. Spreading the message of FIRST and giving back to the community is just as important to TALON 540 as robots construction. Students have reached out through demonstrations and presentations, ranging from the Greater Richmond Technology Council TechSummit and Legislative Reception, to Engineering Explorers, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Duck Race.
TALON 540 is essentially a student-run corporation; every aspect from public relations to recruitment and rookie training programs is designed and implemented by team members, with the encouragement and guidance of adult mentors and parents. The goal of these dedicated students is not simply to be successful in competition, but also to spread the FIRST ideals to those within and outside the team. Between seasons, students challenge themselves by prototyping various drive trains, as well as other projects, which include building a t-shirt launching robot for school football games and pep rallies and educating Henrico County Public Schools teachers on how to implement LEGO NXTs in their curriculum. In addition, TALON 540 commits to various activities through community service with middle schools, community activities, and school activities.