About Us


About Garnet Squadron Robotics Teams

We were formed in the Summer of 2013 to better service the Columbia and Lexington areas that did not have access to FIRST programs. We consist of FLL and FRC program teams. In our team’s first year of existence we captured several major awards in both programs and we will continue to strive for even greater success in the future. We are housed at the University of South Carolina and we operate as a South Carolina 4H program thus allowing us to be open to all students regardless of educational district boundaries. Primarily our mentors also come from the University of South Carolina in the form of faculty, students, and student FIRST alumni. Our team strives for education among diversity and we make sure an equal learning and competing environment is shared by all of our student team members. You won’t find another experience like FIRST, it’s the sports team for the mind and every second you spend with us will be a moment dedicated towards a better future for our world.


FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, 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.

FIRST’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

Team Meetings

Garnet Squadron meets at USC’s College of Engineering and Computing in their classrooms and shop spaces.  Outside of the six-week FRC build season in January and February, we generally meet Thursday or Friday nights to work on new projects and training.  During the FRC build season, we meet several nights per week to ensure we finish our robot in time! We travel to two regional competitions that run Thursday-Saturday; team members will need to make arrangements to attend.

If you’re interested in more information about joining Garnet Squadron shoot an email to garnetsquadron@gmail.com and we’d be happy to talk to you about it.

Team Budget

Participating in FLL & FRC is by no means a cheap endeavor.  Our annual budget is in the tens of thousands of dollars:

  • FLL Kit & Event(s) $2000
  • Initial Event and Kit of Parts: $6,000
  • Second Event Registration: $4,000
  • FIRST Championship, if we qualify: $5,000
  • Robot Build Costs (parts, prototyping, etc.): $3,000
  • Travel Expenses: $5,000, more if we attend Championship
  • Team shirts/spirit items/etc: $750

If you or your business is interested in supporting our effort, please contact us via one of the links in the header or our email address (garnetsquadron@gmail.com).