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FIRST Robotics Team #5871 – The Chickadees

First Robotics Logo

Interested in getting involved?

Students interested in joining the Chickadees should fill out our Student Interest Form to be contacted with information about how to join the team.  If you are interested in being an adult mentor, please fill out our Mentor Interest Form (robotics experience is not required!).

Please contact our lead mentor, Ann Delaney, with any questions at or (208) 426-5982.

Team Updates

Watch the 2022 Idaho Regional!

The Chickadees–along with 27 other teams–are competing at the 2022 Idaho Regional competition (April 1 -2). Live stream with chat, match scores, and rankings are on their Blue Alliance team page. Match schedules and webcast links may be found on the official Idaho 2022 FRC event page.

The Chickadees Win Concept Award; Watts Announced as Dean’s List Finalist

May 2021

The Rocky Mountain “Super Regional” Awards Show was held online May 13, 2021. The region includes Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and western Canada. In lieu of in-person game play, the 2020-2021 season was comprised of “at home” challenges.

The Chickadees won the Concept Award for the design of their game, “High-Seas Showdown.” The game is a pirate theme, calling for all hands on deck as teams defend their ship from enemy cannonballs, hoist and steer sails, unlock a treasure chest, and balance on a plank before boarding the enemy ship. The Concept Award “celebrates a team that creates an interesting, realistic game concept.”

Reganne Watts, team finance lead, programming lead, and incoming co-captain for the 2021-22 season, earned a spot as a Dean’s List Finalist. The Dean’s List award recognizes the “leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding secondary school students.”

Bayer Fund awards $3,000 Grant to The Chickadees

April 2021

“Bayer Fund recently awarded a $3,000 grant to FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 5871 – The Chickadees to support the team’s participation in the FRC competition and educational programs.”

Read the full Boise State article about the award.

Chickadees Win Judges Award at 2020 Utah Regional!

Team photo
Members of the Chickadees FIRST Robotics team after winning the Judges Award at the 2020 Utah FRC Regional

The Chickadees won the “Small but Mighty” Judges Award at the 2020 Utah FRC Regional competition!

Our team was recognized for our attitude, leadership, and community outreach, as well as for one of our core principles – the idea of “failing forward” and learning from our mistakes and struggles to improve and grow in the future.  Thank you, Utah Regional Judges for this award!

Watch the Chickadees’ Games at the Utah Regional!

The Chickadees recently competed at the 2020 Utah Regional competition (March 5 – 7). You can find their match times, scores, and rankings on their Blue Alliance team page or the official Utah 2020 FRC event page.

Season Information

The Chickadees’ seventh competition season kicked off on January 8, 2022. Several area teams, including The Chickadees, attended the kickoff event at Boise State University for the launch of this year’s game, RAPID REACT.

Teams earn points by launching cargo into lower and upper hubs and having their robots climb and traverse rungs on a hangar. An animated explanation of the 2022 game is available on YouTube.

Chickadees Team photo

About Us

Who We Are

The Chickadees, FRC Team 5871, are a girl-founded FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) team sponsored by the Boise State University College of Engineering.  The Chickadees are an inclusive team that is open to all genders, races, ethnicities, and abilities.  We aim to inspire future generations in STEM by ensuring that all members take an active role in team leadership and all aspects of building the robot and running the team. This team was founded, in part, to inspire girls to enter STEM fields where they have historically been underrepresented.

Our team is open to students from all over the Treasure Valley. The university provides many of our adult mentors who teach us all the aspects of building a robot. More importantly, though, the team is student-led and mentors are there to guide the students, but students build all aspects of the robot without direct assistance from mentors.

We believe that what some might consider failures are just learning experiences and that it is important to consider everyone’s ideas. We also believe that our team is more than robots. We impact our community by volunteering at STEM days, helping Girl Scouts earn their robotics badges, and helping referee at local FIRST Lego League tournaments.

Our Story

Our team was founded in 2015 by FIRST alumna Christine Chang as a response to the under-representation of girls and women in STEM fields, especially at the high school level. In its first year, the team consisted of seven active members who had little or no experience building robots, but they were passionate about STEM.

Since then, the team has impacted over 30 students, encouraging them to develop important skills that enable them to become future leaders. Despite some setbacks (such as a fire that destroyed our workspace right before our second competition season), we have grown and flourished since, never-ending a competition season empty-handed. In the past four years, we have brought home a Safety Award, three Judges’ Awards, and a Team Spirit Award for our outstanding practices and perseverance.

Our Mission

The mission of The Chickadees, FIRST® Robotics Team 5871, is to provide opportunities through STEM for young people of all genders to nurture and unveil their potential, achieving success in every aspect of life.

Student Leadership

Team Co-Captains: Addie S. and Corrina B.

Technical Leads

  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Lead: Maia R.
  • Documentation Lead: Abby P.
  • Electrical Subteam Lead: Kate S.
  • Mechanical Subteam Lead: Olivia G.
  • Programming Subteam Lead: Reganne W.
  • Safety Captain: Natasha N.
  • Scrum Master: Abby W.

Community Relations Leads

  • Finance Lead: Reganne W.
  • Marketing Lead: Camille S.
  • Outreach Co-Leads: Vani F. and Claire K.


Ann Delaney Professional Portrait

Ann Delaney
Lead Mentor

Ann is the director of the SAGE Scholars program in the College of Engineering at Boise State. She is also the Academic Advisor for the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department. SAGE Scholars is a scholarship program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which provides a combination of academic advising, professional development, social support, and scholarship funding to low-income first-year students in Engineering and Computer Science. Ann also teaches introductory engineering courses for first-year engineering students (including those in SAGE Scholars). Ann earned her BS and MS in Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) from Boise State (in 2014 and 2016, respectively) and has been involved with the MakerLab, Society of Women Engineers club (she is currently the advisor), and the University Innovation Fellows program. She decided to pursue engineering because she liked math and science in high school and saw some cool Materials Science demos at outreach events like the Engineering and Science Festival. Ann enjoys knitting, playing with her two puppies, reading, and being outside. Ann loves teaching and mentoring students, so feel free to ask her questions!

Griff Allen

Griff Allen
Mechanical Mentor

Griff started participating as a leader for the Chickadees in 2015 and officially started mentoring in 2016. He received an Associate’s degree in Marketing/Management in 2009. In 2017, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Engineering. Griff is currently managing the BSU College of Engineering Student Machine Shop. Griff brings his tinkering and mechanical skill as well as enthusiasm to the team, and he is excited for the 2017/18 build season.

Jeff Buttars

Jeff Buttars
Programming Mentor

Jeff Buttars is an active entrepreneur and software developer since 2002 and earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Boise State University in 2007. Experienced in a varying set of development platforms from router firmware to web services Jeff has a birds eye view of the technology landscape. Outside of tech, Jeff enjoys riding bicycles, running and travel. Occasionally making terrible furniture in his garage is a hobby.

Jocelyn Cullers

Jocelyn B. S. Cullers
Data Mentor

Jocelyn is a Data Analyst at Boise State’s Institute for Inclusive & Transformative Scholarship. She spends her days writing SQL queries and “scrapbooking with numbers” in Excel and pivot tables. She mentors the Chickadees on collection and analysis of their scouting data so they can strategize ahead of their upcoming matches on game day and be ready to choose teams for their alliance when they advance to the finals round of competition. She earned a Bachelor’s in Rhetoric from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s in Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University.

Sarah Haight

Sarah Haight
Mechanical/Systems Mentor

Sarah is currently a Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at Boise State University. She joined Boise State following her role at Versabuilt Robotics as Operations Manager and Senior Engineer. Other past roles include Operations and Engineering Manager at Rekluse Motor Sports where she oversaw the development, manufacturing, and testing of aftermarket motorcycle clutches. Formally as the Operations Manager, Sarah oversaw production, assembly and shipping. She has also designed and built locomotives with Motive Power and automobiles with Daimler Chrysler prior to teaching senior design at Boise State University. She earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Boise State University and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is a professionally licensed engineer in the state of Idaho. Sarah decided to pursue engineering after positive mentoring from brilliant technical women in technology and hopes to bring her passion for math and science to the team.

Ainsley Iwersen photograph

Ainsley Iwersen
Mechanical Mentor

Ainsley Iwersen is a Mechanical Engineering student at Boise State, and Co-Lead of the Microgravity Undergraduate Research Team. She is an Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars alum, and has also served as the Social Media Mentor and Assistant Mentor for the academy. She was a panelist for SheTech’s College Discovery Panel in 2020, and took part in the initial year of Women Innovator’s College Mentorship Program. Ainsley enjoys riding her horse, reading, and hiking.

Steve Swanson

Steve Swanson
Programming Systems Mentor

Steve is a Distinguished Educator in Residence for Boise State University and believes promoting STEM to students of all ages is very important. Before coming to Boise State, Steve was an NASA astronaut and engineer. He has completed three space missions, two Shuttle and one Soyuz. He also commanded the International Space Station during increment 40 and has a total of over 195 days in space and 5 spacewalks. As an engineer for NASA Steve worked on the Shuttle Training Aircraft, specifically on its guidance, navigation, and control systems, and as a flight engineer. He has a B.S. in Engineering Physics, plus an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science. Steve is looking forward to FIRST Robotics and mentoring Team #5871.


We work to keep our team affordable and keep the benefits of FIRST open to all by making it free to participate in the Chickadees and covering most or all travel costs for participants who travel to competitions on behalf of the team.  This is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors!

2019-2020 Sponsors

Corporate Sponsors
PLATINUM: $5,000 +GOLD: $2,500 - $4,999SILVER: $1,000 - $2,499BRONZE: $500 - $999
Micron FoundationBayer FundAckerman-EstvoldKount
-On Semiconductor FoundationFundriverStevens-Henager College
Other sponsors
  • Idaho Central Credit Union
  • Versabuilt
Individual Sponsors
PLATINUM: $1,000 +GOLD: $500 - $999SILVER: $250 - $499BRONZE: $100 - $249
-Wiskirchen FamilyRuss and Linda Messier-
In-kind Sponsors
2019-2020 sponsor logos
Bayer Fund Logo

Sponsorship Levels

Corporate Sponsorship Levels
LevelAmountWhat you getWhat we can get
Platinum$5,000 and upYour company's name goes on our website, T-shirt, and large logo on our robotPays registration for a competition
Gold$2,500Your company's name goes on our website, T-shirt, and small logo on our robotPays half of the registration fee for a competition
Silver$1,000Your company's name goes on our website and T-shirtPays travel costs for two students to an out-of-town regional competition
Bronze$500Your company's name goes on our websiteBuys one RoboRIO, our robot's brain
Individual Sponsorship Levels
LevelAmountWhat you getWhat we can get
Platinum$1,000 and upYour name goes on our website and T-shirtsPays travel costs for two students to an out-of-town regional competition
Gold$500Your name goes on our website and T-shirtsPays for team T-shirts, our uniform at outreach events and regionals
Silver$250Your name goes on our website and T-shirtsBuys all motors for our robot
Bronze$100Your name goes on our website and T-shirtsPays for lunch on two long work days during the build season
Becoming a Sponsor

We would be honored to have you or your organization as a sponsor for our team!  We have several options available to donate to the team:

You can donate directly to our team account through the Boise State Foundation online.  Please be sure to select Fund NR128 “FIRST Robotics Fund” (the previous link should take you to a page where you can donate directly to this fund, which supports our team).

Checks can be made out to Boise State University Foundation (Memo: Chickadees FIRST Robotics).

Mail to:

Attn: Ann Delaney
Boise State University
College of Engineering
1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83725-2065

If you have questions about sponsoring the Chickadees or if your organization needs a Purchase Order to make a donation to the team, please contact our Lead Mentor, Ann Delaney, at or (208) 426-5982.

Volunteer Opportunities

Become a Mentor!

Another way that you or your organization can support our team is through becoming a mentor!

We are always open to new mentors at any time of year! If you are an undergraduate, graduate student, or working professional who is interested in working with the team, please contact our Lead Mentor, Ann Delaney.
(208) 426-5982

Don’t have any experience with robotics?  That’s not a problem!  We have mentors for all aspects of the team, from technical aspects of the robot to community relations and business-related topics such as outreach and sponsor relations.

All volunteers must complete Youth Protection Program (YPP) authorization through FIRST as well as fill out an Authorized Volunteer Services Agreement, found here, and complete a background check and training related to working with minors through Boise State (more information about this will be provided by the Lead Mentor and Boise State covers the background check).  To receive the volunteer form and get access to the required training to become a mentor, please contact our Lead Mentor, Ann Delaney.

STEM Outreach

Part of the mission of the team is to share what we learn through robotics and inspire the next generation of young people in STEM!  We do this through a variety of outreach events every year.

Are you hosting a STEM outreach event that you would like to invite the Chickadees to attend?  Please reach out to us!

You can also check out our team YouTube channel!

Scholarship and Internship Opportunities


FIRST Current Scholarship Opportunities

Being involved in FIRST Robotics opens up lots of scholarship opportunities.  For 2021, FIRST is offering $80 million in scholarship opportunities from over 200 different scholarship providers!

FIRST maintains a list of their scholarships at

The Boise State University College of Engineering also offers the Dean & Theresa Klein FIRST Gracious Professionalism Engineering Scholarship for students who were involved in FIRST Robotics programs as high school seniors and are pursuing an engineering major.  For more information about this scholarship (including eligibility requirements) and to apply, please visit to the Boise State Scholarship Application and search for “FIRST” in the list of opportunities.


NASA Internships

Ongoing; see specific opportunities for deadlines

NASA maintains a list of internships that provide students with the opportunity to participate in research or other experiential learning under the guidance of a mentor. Prior experience is not required, and some interns receive a stipend. Interns are selected and placed in projects for fall, spring and summer sessions at any NASA location. Please visit for more information and an application.

Other Opportunities

Other Opportunities

Please check back later for future opportunities.


Interested students should fill out the Interest Form to receive more information about joining The Chickadees.
Interest Form

All students participating in the team must have both of the following completed forms on file:

Chickadees Team Contract 2021-22

Chickadees Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk 2021-22

If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of either or both of the forms, please contact or call (208) 426-5982.

All students participating in the team must also join the team on  For participants under age 18, this requires a parent/guardian to create an account, then create a Youth account for the participant and apply to join the team (FRC Team 5871).  Information from FIRST on creating an account and completing the Consent and Release form for a Youth member can be found here.

All participants attending competitions must have a completed FIRST Consent and Release on file in order for the team to compete.  Participants without the FIRST Consent and Release completed through will not be allowed to attend competitions with the team or participate in any other official FIRST Robotics events.  If you need an invite to join the team on or assistance with any of the listed forms, please contact the Lead Mentor using one of the contact methods previously listed.

RoboLeague – an inspirational video

Scrum as Project Management

Chief Delphi (Fora!)

Team #1114 Simbotics Seminar Series (Lots of valuable training)
Chief Delphi Thread with YouTube Links

Idaho FRC Regional


FIRST Ladies

Girls of Steel, Team #3504 (All-girls team in Pittsburgh, PA)

Space Cookies, Team #1868 (All-girls team in Silicon Valley, CA)

Team Tators, Team #2122 (Local team in Boise, ID)

NASKcorpions, Team 2594 (Local team in Nampa, ID)

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