About The Team

FIRST Robotics Competition Team 181, the Birds of Prey, is a partnership between students from two different Hartford Public Schools and professional mentors from several companies, including Pratt & Whitney. The team was founded in 1997 and is open to all high school students from Hartford Public Schools. The vision of Team 181 is to provide an exciting learning environment where team members are inspired by science and technology and mentored to develop their life skills. Our team currently has about 20 student team members and many more mentors, parents, and teachers who are actively involved.

Since its inception, the team has won over 40 awards at various levels. Every single team member has graduated high school and over 90% of our students go on to attend college. Several of the team’s alumni are now engineers and have returned to the team to serve as mentors.

In 2009, the Birds of Prey moved back to its original Nest in Hartford Public High School. The team is open to students from all Hartford Public Schools and currently has students from Hartford Public High School, and Pathways Academy of Technology & Design.

Former team members have gone on to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Bentley College, Central Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut, Trinity College, University of New Hampshire, University of Hartford, Union College, William and Mary College, Manchester Community College, Howard University, Sacred Heart University, Capital Community College, Columbia University, Albright College, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, Champlain College, and Kansas State University.


FIRST is a multinational non-profit organization that aspires to transform culture, making science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today. FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of high school students and mentors to design, assemble, and rehearse a robot that competes in a new game that is presented each year in January. There are over 3,000 FRC teams across more than 20 countries.

Teams are given just over six weeks to strategize, manufacture and build their robot to compete in series of district competitions, hopefully qualifying for the World Championship in Cobo Center in Detroit, MI. Each competition is like a high-tech sporting event; an exciting experience that tests weeks of focused brainstorming, dedicated mentoring, and real-world teamwork.

FIRST redefines winning. Teams are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal.