Cobra MOTO Mentors Jonesville HS Robot Team – More than just the Robot

team 3

By day, Phil McDowell is chief engineer at Cobra Motorcycles.  Cobra MOTO produces premium race-ready mini motocross bikes for youth riders that are serious about competing, starting at age 4! Cobras claim more than 300 national titles since the company was founded in 1993.

By night and long weekends, Phil is also a coach of the FIRST Robotics Jonesville HS Robot Team – FRC #5502.

shirts in action low res

Alivia Rebeck, a freshman at JHS designed the team shirts which were printed by a leading Cheer outfit supplier Defiance Sportswear. The team not only used SOLIDWORKS to design their robot but really put a lot of effort into their robot transportation cart.

kids with trailer heading to St Joe low res

With Phil’s mentorship, the robot received a fresh paint job prior to the regional event from Collins Auto Body in Jonesville. Georgia McDowell made a custom license plate for it, along with some mag wheel polish made it stand out from across the arena.  Nice wheels!

robot on cart low res

It takes a lot of support to get a FRC team able to reach the Lansing, Michigan, FIRST Regional competition.  Supporters also included HCCF, Mr. Rooter, RC Pro Shop, Comet, & SOLIDWORKS.

The robot worked great, in fact it was adaptable enough in the hands of the students to physically pick up another robot during competition after it had accidentally fallen over!  This action caused a loss of valuable scoring time to help the fallen robot but the gracious act of professionalism did not go unnoticed as those in attendance broke into thunderous applause once they up righted the fallen mechanism.

trophy low res

The FRC #5502 performed well and learned a lot.  They were rewarded with the prestigious Imagery Award in memory of Jack Kamen which celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance.

in the pits

“The team is bummed we didn’t score better but are proud that their efforts in making a professional looking team where noticed” says Coach McDowell.

Dean Kamen and FIRST mentors always talk about how FIRST is more than just the robot.  Gracious professionalism, teamwork, community support and students seeing how exciting engineering can be for our future        makes the SOLIDWORKS team honored to highlight Phil McDowell and Cobra Motorcycles.

team photo at Lansing low res

Pictured are Alivia Rebeck, Brody Longman, Michael Pope, Randal McDowell, Dominik Balser and Coach Phil McDowell.  Thank you Phil for sharing with the SOLIDWORKS community and mentoring a team that has learned so much.  Marie



Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard