SJR History and Mission

Our Vision:

Transform the culture in South Jersey and the surrounding area into one where young people dream of becoming global science and technology leaders.

Our Mission:

Inspire young people to be excited by science and technology through mentor-based programs in South Jersey that build life confidence, inspire innovation, develop leaders, and build STEAM skills.

Our History:

Our founding team, FIRST® Robotics Challenge (FRC) Team 316, the LUNATECS, began in 1999 with seven students and four mentors through a partnership with local businesses and educators. For the first ten years, the team continued to grow and often won their way to the FIRST World Championship.  In 2008, the team incorporated to a nonprofit organization – South Jersey Robotics, Inc. (SJR).

Around the same time that SJR incorporated, team leadership realized that there was a need for more robotics teams serving South Jersey.  SJR began adding teams, starting with FIRST LEGO League Challenge teams that the students on the LUNATECS helped to mentor.  Then in 2013, SJR added a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team, and we’ve continued to grow into a K-12 FIRST pipeline.

About Our Teams:

All of the SJR teams are intentionally smaller with only 10-20 students. The small size allows each team member to be an integral part of the robot design, build, strategy and programming, allowing them lots of “hands-on” experiences in every aspect of their robotics teams.

SJR serves youth in Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic, Camden, and Gloucester Counties, where many are situated in a rural, agricultural area located in the southwest corner of New Jersey. A number of youth from Pennsylvania and Delaware also connect with us seeking to participate in the pipeline of programs we offer.

The students and mentors work hard, developing not only technical skills, but also critical soft skills that they can transfer to college and that also make them workforce-ready.  Along the way off the playing field, they form strong friendships and bonds with each other, their mentors, and even some sponsor partners that continue after they leave their teams. Many of our students come back to both volunteer and mentor.

Our Goals:

South Jersey Robotics is about more than building robots.  We seek to:

  • Provide a hands-on engineering experience for local students grades K – 12
  • Excite students to enter engineering and technology careers
  • Allow students to work side-by-side with positive role models
  • Promote the ideals of FIRST®
  • Provide opportunities to learn skills which will promote success:
    leadership / teamwork / creativity / time and budget management / public speaking / and much more
  • Increase community awareness of FIRST Robotics
  • Be a mentor to other local FIRST Robotics teams
  • Continue to be competitive FIRST teams


Anti-Discrimination Policy:

South Jersey Robotics does not discriminate regardless of race, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, national origin, native language, religion, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by TITLE VII of the Civil Rights Act. In addition, SJR has zero-tolerance for sexual harassment, racial harassment, or any other form of harassment. All complaints of discrimination or harassment will be appropriately investigated.


South Jersey Robotics is a 501(c)(3) organization and is run completely on donations from generous sponsors, families, and friends as well as some grants.

Click here to view our major sponsors.

Would you like to help support South Jersey Robotics? Donations may be tax-deductible. Check with your tax preparer.


SJR History and Mission