Mission Statement

Leading the Herd

The Holy Cows consider it their mission to embody and support the spirit and goals of FIRST and equip members with real-world skills and working knowledge. Furthermore, The Holy Cows work year-round to grow an appreciation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and give back to the community.

About The Team

To our community, we’re a group of students who build robots. To our neighboring schools, we’re the kids with the crazy cow mascot. To our teachers, we’re the ones that work late into the night. When asked why we put so much time and effort into robotics, our answer is simple: FIRST is more than robots and competitions. It’s about learning valuable life skills and connecting with others and groups. It’s about discovering a newfound passion for STEM and preaching its importance. And more than building a robot, it’s about building a team of leaders who want to make a difference.

Team Founded

Team 1538 / The Holy Cows is the robotics team for High Tech High San Diego, located in San Diego, CA. The team was established in the Fall of 2004 by David Berggren, a former Engineering Instructor at High Tech High. Each year, The Holy Cows participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

Chairman's Award

Now known as the Impact Award, The Chairman's Award is the most prestigious award at FIRST. It honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and embodies FIRST's purpose and goals. Those who win the FIRST Championship award are inducted into the FIRST Hall of Fame. Our team was inducted into the FIRST Hall of Fame on April 27, 2013.

Media & Technology Innovation Award sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal

Comcast, NBCUniversal, and FIRST have announced San Diego, CA-based The Holy Cows (FRC Team 1538) as the recipient of the 2014 Media & Technology Innovation Award, sponsored by Comcast and NBCUniversal.

2023 Awards

Championship Newton Division Finalist, Championship Quality Award winner, San Diego Regional winners, Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors, and Excellenge in Engineering Award in Orange County.

Hall of Fame

The Impact Award

The FIRST Impact Award (formerly Chairman’s Award) is the most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the mission of FIRST. It was created to keep the central focus of FIRST Robotics Competition on the ultimate goal of transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encouraging more of today’s youth to become science and technology leaders.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
— Harriet Tubman

At FIRST we honor the Chairman's Award winner above all because they are the role models and change agents reaching out and transforming whole communities to show through their actions the lessons of team work and hard work.
— Walt Havenstein, Former FIRST Chairman

Discover the Exciting World of FIRST Robotics Competition - From Building Robots to Building Leaders

Founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a global nonprofit (501(c)(3)) organization that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12).

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2015 Brand Standards

Brand Standards

Our comprehensive guide on our brand standards.

Hall of Fame Chairman's Submission

2013 Chairman's Submission

Our 2013 award winning essay.

2013 Chairman's Magazine

2013 Chairman's Magazine

A magazine detailing our work during our award winning 2013 season.