The Belmont Bytes are part of a larger organization called FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be leaders in science and technology by engaging them in mentor-based programs that build science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills, while also building self-esteem, life skills, and community awareness.
FIRST® teams (FTC 12354) and (FRC 7169) were founded by Samantha Harvey, in 2016 and 2017 respectively, at Belmont Secondary School in Langford, BC on Vancouver Island. The name of the team “Belmont Bytes” is based on the school mascot, the bulldog.
Currently, due to COVID, school participation is on hiatus; however, the mentor are collaborating with team 7287 Esquimalt Atom Smashers and other local Victoria teams to help them to the Canadian Pacific Regionals. Members were primarily students of Belmont Secondary School. Mentors include a school district engineer/project manager and a defence scientist/professional project manager.
Regional competitions held in the local area provided the students with opportunities to demonstrate the skills they have learned while working in a team. They work together with other teams in alliances for a chance to qualify at the FIRST® championships and university scholarships. In the 2017/2018 season, they won the Highest Ranked Rookie Team award in the POWER UP FIRST® Robotics Challenge. For the 2018/2019 season, the Belmont Bytes competed in the ROVER RUKUS FIRST® Technical Challenge and the DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE FIRST® Robotics Challenge. For their hard work, they received the FRC Industrial Design Award and the FTC Design Award. In addition, BC Premier John Horgan drove 'Juno' in a VIP match with the Minister of Education Rob Fleming, they held an interactive section with Canada’s Federal Minister of Science and Sport, The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, and they have been featured on local TV stations. For the 2019/2020 season, the Belmont Bytes competed in the ROVER RUKUS FIRST® Technical Challenge, placing third in the BC Regionals, and the INFINITE RECHARGE FIRST® Robotics Challenge. For their hard work, they received the FTC Judges Award and the FRC Imagery Award.