FIRST Robotics Team 527, the Red Dragons, are an active FIRST Robotics Competition team that was founded in 2001 as Plainedge High School's Robotics Club. The club has seen various levels of success over its ten years of competitions. As of 2011, it had participated in 15 regional competitions and 5 national competitions, with over 50 members participating in the most recent season.
In 2001, science department teacher Mr. Robert Gandolfo established Team 527 as a way of bringing exciting, cutting-edge technology to Plainedge High School's students. In its rookie year, Team 527 participated in the SBPLI Long Island Regional for the first time, a regional the team would come to view as its home field. Despite the team's promising showing, budget cutbacks in the district rendered the team inactive for the 2002 FRC Season.
2003 marked the return of Team 527 to the FIRST Robotics scene. At the SBPLI regionals, the team and its allied Team 30 reached the semifinal bracket, marking the first in a line of consecutive elimination-round showings at the SBPLI Regional which persists for Team 527 to this day. In 2005, Team 527 reached an apex when, as alliance captain, it came out as the overall winner of the SBPLI Regionals, the only major win the team would have until 2011.
The Sleeping Dragon: 2006-2008
Despite its 2005 win and its attendance to the 2005 Nationals in Orlando, FL, and the 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010 National Competitions in Atlanta, GA , the team saw little notable success.
Return of the Dragon? 2009-Present
2009 was an important year for Team 527, which now had formally out of state regional and settled into its identity as the Red Dragons. It marked the first year the team attended the New York City Regionals at the Jacob Javits Center , and an experiment involving attending an out of state regional as a substitute for the Nationals. In 2009, the Red Dragons were awarded as finalists at the SBPLI Regionals with their Lunacy robot, losing the winning medals by only five points in the second finals match. 2010 would lead to important changes that would impact the team in 2011. The creation of the popular Derp Dragon buttons, research into redundant chain drives, and the initialization of new community awareness projects would shape the team in the coming year. In addition, Class of 2011 member Kyle Carpenter would win $1000 for the club for his writing of the 2010 theme song for the SBPLI Regional.
2011 would mark a new turning point for the club. With its largest number of members in its history, the team returned to glory at the 2011 NYC Regionals. In front of a packed crowd, including Woodie Flowers and Dean Kamen, the Red Dragons took the floor of the Logomotion field with Team 359 and alliance captain Team 395, proceeding to win the final match 100-43. This win, added with the win for Team Spirit and Community Involvement/Safety at the NYC Regionals, plus an award for Engineering Excellence at the North Carolina Regional put Team 527 back on the map.