About Us


FIRST, or “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway). The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is an international high school robotics competition. Each year, teams of high school students, coaches, and mentors work during a six-week period to build robots capable of competing in that year's game that weigh up to 125 pounds (57 kg).[3] Robots complete tasks such as scoring balls into goals, placing inner tubes onto racks, hanging on bars, and balancing robots on balance beams. The game, along with the required set of tasks, changes annually. While teams are given a standard set of parts, they are also allowed a budget and are encouraged to buy or make specialized parts. The FIRST Robotics Competition is one of four robotics competition programs organized by FIRST, the other three being FIRST Lego League Explore, FIRST Lego League Challenge, and the FIRST Tech Challenge.

About The Gorillas

Team 1225 gives students the opportunity to become fully immersed in an environment of dedicated, like-minded students interested in engineering while acquiring the necessary skills to achieve their future goals. Not only do members acquire technical skill sets, but they also learn the fundamentals of other corporate tasks, such as project management, leadership, team building, marketing, etc. More important than any competitive success or awards, the students of Team 1225 grow academically, intellectually, and socially. Team 1225 members gain a better understanding, greater respect, and a more profound appreciation of the benefits of a good education. In line with the missions of our parent organization Henderson County Public Schools, Team 1225 inspires and motivates our students to avidly pursue their academic, career, and personal goals both during their time on the team and in their futures.

Our Story

Team 1225 started as many teams do, with a forward-thinking teacher who learned about the FIRST organization and wanted to enhance the academic experience by teaching students in a way that is hard to teach inside a classroom. To prepare them for the new century that continues to grow with unimaginable applications of technology.

The challenge, rigor, teamwork, and fun associated with FIRST robotics encourages us and our mentors to apply science, technology, and engineering in any given situation. It gives life to the concepts and equations that are being worked out in the classroom, allowing us to have hands-on experiences that help us both academically and as we go through life.

FIRST Team 1225 was founded in 2003, by Dr. Helen Owen and Tom Patten, a physics professor at East Henderson High School. In the beginning, our team only had five members. The team used the North Henderson automotive shop as our first meeting place. In 2009, Mike Murphy from BorgWarner Turbo Systems became the coach. The team increased from a mere seven students to about 30 and continues to grow year after year. We have members from all five high schools in Henderson County. Our team builds robots to compete in regional and world championships. We have students who want to work with prosthetics, aerospace engineering, and computer science.
In addition to building robots, our team is active in the community. In 2013 we started a FIRST Lego League [FLL] in Henderson County. We hosted the Western North Carolina FLL Tournament at Blue Ridge Community College with team members acting as referees. We also do demonstrations at the Henderson County Public Library and around the region. We have participated in Career Day at Bruce Drysdale Elementary and STEM Night at Hendersonville Elementary for the past several years.

In 2017 The Gorillas moved to the Boys and Girls Club of Hendersonville; located at 1304 Ashe St, Hendersonville, NC 28792, where we continue educating students to this day.