PDA

View Full Version : Starting a college team


mtrawls
04-20-2004, 03:13 PM
A lot has been discussed about this in the past, but here goes again ...

Next year I'll be off at UVA living the college life, and I am interested in starting a FIRST team. However, I'd be very interested to get some comments from those that have done this, especially as it relates to colleges.

First off, some random collections of my thoughts: What kind of involvment does the University have? Does it provide facilities, organization/administration and engineers? What roles do the various local high schools have in all of this? For those of you on college-sponsered teams, what are your thoughts on how all of this works? Is a high-school teacher needed too? In general, how willing are the colleges to do this, and what do you say to them?

Now, I'm going to be somewhat busy, I imagine (planning a triple major right now), so I'm also interested in the amount of time all this takes. It seems to me it might be reasonable to only get the college interested in it my first year, maybe talk some of the big shots into going to the nearby VCU regional, and start a team my second year there, after getting to know the professors/students and making contacts with local high schools. My concern is that I'll need a good group of kids interested in all of this before anyone wants to give the okay to it (especially sponsor support), and waiting to get everything together might mean the season starts a bit late for the team ... but I guess that could be okay.

Also, is anyone here heading off to UVA with me? I figure it should be easy to get support from my fellow Engineering students -- afterall, we can't let the no good Hokies take all the glory (err... let's just say UVA and VT have a bit of a rivalry, and my brother being at VT will just make it worse!).

Oh, and if anyone else is thinking about the same thing too at some other college, please chime in and we can collaborate about it all. I'm not sure if I can do all this, so these plans are, obviously, just preliminary ... thanks for any information.

Beth Sweet
04-20-2004, 03:17 PM
I am in the same boat. I have emailed the Dean of the college of Engineering at Michigan State University regarding starting up a team. I am in a slightly different situation though. I don't do engineering. I was on the Chairman's group for the last 2 years. I am interested in getting involved in a new team, but any suggestions for how I, in my position particularly, could get a team together, would be greatly appreciated. :D

D.J. Fluck
04-20-2004, 03:24 PM
Shannon Schnepp of The Purdue University Team #461 put together this very good white paper about starting a college FIRST team....check it out.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/papers.php?s=&action=downloadpaper&paperid=210

I also reccomend contacting people from 461, Eric O of 229, Anne Bergeron of 1002, Amanda Morrison of 1020, or Erin Rapacki of 125. These people helped start up teams or helped get a team back in line (and they also spoke at the success in college with FIRST confrence at the championships).

sburro
04-20-2004, 03:25 PM
I am in the same boat. I have emailed the Dean of the college of Engineering at Michigan State University regarding starting up a team. I am in a slightly different situation though. I don't do engineering. I was on the Chairman's group for the last 2 years. I am interested in getting involved in a new team, but any suggestions for how I, in my position particularly, could get a team together, would be greatly appreciated. :D
I am in college (2 years) and am on a team. We design and build the robot with the high schools help. Starting a team is difficult, especially being a freshman. My suggestion, talk to the mechanical Engineering students. Some times, the college requires a capstone, or big senior project. This is where I would start. I have to get to class myself, but will give more info later.

Gabriel
04-20-2004, 03:30 PM
I put together a team this year as a freshman. My recommendation to you is that unless you have great relationships with a lot of people who are willing to help out with management stuff than you should probably hold off for a year. College is a LOT of work and it can be a difficult adjustment. Running a team at a very small school is hard enough, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to do at a large school your first year.

However, it is a very worthwhile experience.

Matt Leese
04-20-2004, 03:31 PM
To put it simply, starting a college team is hard (starting any team is hard). It's probably harder than you imagine right now. It takes a lot of time. It probably takes more time than you can imagine now.

That said, I would still recommend doing it if you feel you can put the time and energy into it. It is a very rewarding experience and you can learn a lot by doing it.

As for the specific questions listed, how involved the school is really depends on the school. There really are three things that can be provided: money, people, and space. I know that WPI tends to do all three. RIT (my school) is really only able to provide people and some money (although this may be changing in the near future). So the level of involvement is very different from school to school.

As for how to go about it, my number one suggestion is to talk to people about it. Tell everyone that you know or meet about it. Tell your professors. Tell your friends. Try and talk to the Dean of Engineering about it (actually, you may want to talk to the Associate or Assistant Deans; often they can be a better help than going straight to the Dean). Talk to the various student organizations about it. Beyond all things, actually plan to do it. Commit to what year you want to compete on because if you don't, you never will.

I'm somewhat in the process (I started it on my airplane flight to Atlanta) of writing a case study based on RIT's experience with FIRST. I'm not sure when it'll be done but I hope to post it on Chief Delphi then.

Matt

ngreen
04-20-2004, 03:51 PM
Shannon Schnepp of The Purdue University Team #461 put together this very good white paper about starting a college FIRST team....check it out.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/papers.php?s=&action=downloadpaper&paperid=210

I also reccomend contacting people from 461, Eric O of 229, Anne Bergeron of 1002, Amanda Morrison of 1020, or Erin Rapacki of 125. These people helped start up teams or helped get a team back in line (and they also spoke at the success in college with FIRST confrence at the championships).

What I think is probably one of the better routes, or at least what I am trying now to do, is to get a high school teacher interested in the project. It wouldn't be bad to get like purdue calls them champions. I see myself as needing at least one champion but my goal would be like at least one from 4 areas. It would be good to get a high school teacher, a college professor or dean, and a high school administrator behind the program. The last for me would be important for me because of the distance and out of state travel. Other champion regions would be a parent or group of parents. My original teams parents have done so much for the team and I see them as important to get on board to build a successful program.

But I would start with the high school and then work with the college. But then again all you need is three high school students and 5000 dollars. So it can work a lot of different ways. Definitely take some time to talk with some of the college FIRST conference people. I got a lot of good comments from Amanda, Erin, Anne, Eric, and the rest.

Last of all, don't start a team if you don't have time. You change a lot, learn a lot, grow up a lot, and are busy doing all this a lot your first year. What I did this year was go home to mentor on the weekends. You can find a nearby team and go help whenever your schedule allow. Especially with a triple major starting a team might not be great for you unless you've got the organization and time management skills to keep yourself somewhat sane. You have to sleep occasionally. At least that is what they tell me.

Allison K
04-20-2004, 05:21 PM
I started a team this year as a college freshman. I had originaly planned on us competeing this season, but due to lack of funds we had to wait a year. I was kind of disaponed at first, but using this year for practice has turned out great. In answer to your questions

What kind of involvment does the University have?
My experience is likely diferent than what yours would be becuase I go to a relatively small private college. The college has very willing given us stuff (computers and materials), space (We're hosting a competition here this summer), services (they machine parts for us), and people, but they can't give us any money. If fact, that's rather been my experience across the board. We've gotten so much stuff donated that if we had gotten a registration fee we could have built the robot for about $200. In fact we got so much stuff donated we are building a robot. But back on topic, I've also gotten a lot of support from the college president (he personally wrote a letter so that we can use the recreation center for our competition at no cost to us), college newspaper (They've run numerous stories on us), and the physics/engineering department.

Does it provide facilities, organization/administration and engineers?
What roles do the various local high schools have in all of this?
For those of you on college-sponsered teams, what are your thoughts on how all of this works?
Is a high-school teacher needed too?
In general, how willing are the colleges to do this, and what do you say to them?

Arg, out of time..I have to go to the room lottery and find a room for next year..I'll be back to finish typing soon.

Anne Shade
04-20-2004, 05:34 PM
Ok,

This question pops up about this time each year. Each one of us college teams runs things differently since each of our situations is just a little bit different. The first thing I would recommend is to not do this on your own. Look to established student organizations on campus for student support and possible working space. The best would probably be to spend the first year helping out a local already established team while you work on getting things established on the college level.

Getting the college involved and supportive is not easy. It should be a little easier for you since you can play on the fact that VT has a team and UVA does not. At GT we have support from the Mechanical Engineering department and the development office which helps us raise money. It takes a lot of talking to a lot of people to find at least one established faculty member who will support the program. Getting working space is often the hardest part since a lot of people want very limited space on all college campuses. Start with a club or organization that already has some working space and see if you can have access. Sometimes it's more convenient to work at the high school.

The next part is getting the high school. Believe it or not, finding an interested high school who will work well with you to start a team is not easy. Look to schools that are close (makes it easier to deal with transportation back and forth) and find a teacher who is really excited about the program. That makes all the difference. Start looking for a team when you get there, get the kids and teachers organized and have them go to a competition this year. Let them experience it and see it before they go in. It'll make it much easier for you in the end.

This is becoming a really long post. There is just so much information that I can give you and suggestions for this since I have helped start and run 3 teams as well as the 27 other GA teams. Feel free to IM me or PM me if you have any questions. As mentioned above Eric, Amanda, Erin, and many others have also done this and have other suggestions for you. Just don't do it alone. Good Luck!!!

suneel112
04-20-2004, 05:42 PM
I am a current member (high school student) of 461 and will (unfortunately) graduate in one year. I am not a college student, but I give you my word that it has been extremely difficult for them to manage studies and FIRST. It is no joke. If you are in FIRST and School at the same time, you are prone to either time management or loss of sleep. Especially if you are a college advisor (at least this is the way 461 works), you will have to go to extra meetings about the organziation of the team, as well as do some machining (since much of our external machining comes from Purdue) outside of meetings. College students also mentor the high school students in design and manufacturing skills (although most of this is done pre-season)

I'M NOT SAYING "DON'T DO IT"

I'm just saying that it will not be a walk in the park

STILL, I SUPPORT YOU ALL THE WAY!!! START A TEAM, AND GOOD LUCK!

Stephen Kowski
04-20-2004, 06:08 PM
A lot has been discussed about this in the past, but here goes again ...

Next year I'll be off at UVA living the college life, and I am interested in starting a FIRST team. However, I'd be very interested to get some comments from those that have done this, especially as it relates to colleges.

First off, some random collections of my thoughts: What kind of involvment does the University have? Does it provide facilities, organization/administration and engineers? What roles do the various local high schools have in all of this? For those of you on college-sponsered teams, what are your thoughts on how all of this works? Is a high-school teacher needed too? In general, how willing are the colleges to do this, and what do you say to them?

Now, I'm going to be somewhat busy, I imagine (planning a triple major right now), so I'm also interested in the amount of time all this takes. It seems to me it might be reasonable to only get the college interested in it my first year, maybe talk some of the big shots into going to the nearby VCU regional, and start a team my second year there, after getting to know the professors/students and making contacts with local high schools. My concern is that I'll need a good group of kids interested in all of this before anyone wants to give the okay to it (especially sponsor support), and waiting to get everything together might mean the season starts a bit late for the team ... but I guess that could be okay.

Also, is anyone here heading off to UVA with me? I figure it should be easy to get support from my fellow Engineering students -- afterall, we can't let the no good Hokies take all the glory (err... let's just say UVA and VT have a bit of a rivalry, and my brother being at VT will just make it worse!).

Oh, and if anyone else is thinking about the same thing too at some other college, please chime in and we can collaborate about it all. I'm not sure if I can do all this, so these plans are, obviously, just preliminary ... thanks for any information.


From my experience with USF they gave us little more than $$, we had some small machining done for us by them. Since finishing our rookie year their heads have begun to turn for the better. They are looking to help us more, figure out how to start new teams, and more. Heck they are even gonna employ myself and RogerR to help develop a robotics curriculum for Tampa Schools.

Anyways back to the topic....triple major? FIRST Team? haha no offense, but good luck you will be dead by the years end if you do it yourself. It is an awesome experience, but I think you are expecting more time you will have (I had problems with the 14 credits I had). Big things you need to nail down FAST (in no particular order, all are important) are
#1 a high school (duh)
#2 money and ability to move that money quickly when you need materials
#3 a location to build
#4 technical expertise (engineering support) to build the physical robot
#5 a good amount of time
#6 a system to facilitate great communication between ALL members of team (knock this out fast it is a pain otherwise)
#7 motivated teachers to help (without this, the link with the high school will be hampered)
#8 team leaders/mentors to share the workload with

There are probably more things, but these are the most important things in my mind. Good Luck feel free to PM me we can talk more if ya need any more ideas. I love mentoring and highly recommend it good luck again =)

Paradox1350
04-20-2004, 06:41 PM
I'm heading off to Tufts next year, and plan on starting a team there. I already know how hard it is to start and run a FIRST team. I founded, and ran, mine. We had barely any adult support. I honestly DO know what I'm getting into.

Honestly, the thing I'm most worried about is finding a high school that is interested. Intersted, motivated, and dtermined high school students make al lthe difference. Trust me when I say adults, machining tools, and money beyond $8000 is completely irrelevant. I can say this because we (#1350) only used $8000, had no mentor for a few weeks, had nothing more than hack saws and hand drills, and barely any engineer input.

Really, you need determined high school students. That's the hardest thing to find. Companies throw their wallets at you once they know what you're doing, and just like 1396 demenstrated AT the Championship: there's always a way to get a robot built.

ngreen
04-20-2004, 06:59 PM
I'm heading off to Tufts next year, and plan on starting a team there. I already know how hard it is to start and run a FIRST team. I founded, and ran, mine. We had barely any adult support. I honestly DO know what I'm getting into.

Honestly, the thing I'm most worried about is finding a high school that is interested. Intersted, motivated, and dtermined high school students make al lthe difference. Trust me when I say adults, machining tools, and money beyond $8000 is completely irrelevant. I can say this because we (#1350) only used $8000, had no mentor for a few weeks, had nothing more than hack saws and hand drills, and barely any engineer input.

Really, you need determined high school students. That's the hardest thing to find. Companies throw their wallets at you once they know what you're doing, and just like 1396 demenstrated AT the Championship: there's always a way to get a robot built.

True. But you can't be that dedicated high school student. I need teachers because I'm in a different town and not well aquainted with the high school students here. I want that high schooler but I need the teacher first unless a high schooler who is in FIRST want to transfer to a school in Manhattan, Kansas (e-mail me if you do) I need a dedicated teacher to get students. They may not be inspired off the bat. I don't think I was completely inspire until really after my first regional. Yeah I did a lot and spent a lot of hours researching it but thats because I'm an engineering type and like to know everything. I think starting a team as a college student is a lot harder than starting one as a high school student because you can't be that dedicated student and without students there is no team. But I applaud everyone who is that dedicated mentor because that takes so much and they don't even let you drive the robot (except at night after all the kids have gone home).

R2K2D2
04-27-2004, 02:13 PM
I am in the same boat. I have emailed the Dean of the college of Engineering at Michigan State University regarding starting up a team. I am in a slightly different situation though. I don't do engineering. I was on the Chairman's group for the last 2 years. I am interested in getting involved in a new team, but any suggestions for how I, in my position particularly, could get a team together, would be greatly appreciated.

Hey Beth, in the past there has been a considerable amount of interest in starting a team at Michigan State. I'm a sophomore at Purdue right now, but I went to the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills, MI, and was on 469 in high school. There are people from that area and from other teams that have wanted to start a team at Mich. State, but it just has not happened yet. Send me an IM or somehting, and I can try and hook you up with some people who are still interested in a MI State team.

Also, check out Shannon, one of the founders of the college run and organized Team 461: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/p...per&paperid=210

I think this is the best way to go about starting up a team. First contact other college students interested in doing this. Second, find an established organization on campus who is willing to make this program a part of theirs. In 461s case, we were originally a part of the Purdue Student Engineering Foundation (PSEF) and just recently earlier this academic year we parted from them as Purdue University FIRST Programs was getting to large and needed to be its own student organization. Third, find a high school(s) and teachers who are extremely interested and excited about making the team come to life. Mind you, these are all daunting tasks, and being an advisor is no walk in the park. There is a ton of stuff we deal with as college mentors, from school to robots to administrative type stuff; the entire spectrum. Just be aware. Good luck

indieFan
04-27-2004, 03:18 PM
Not to get too far off topic, but I do have one major concern related to this.

For the past several years now, I have read the threads about starting up a new college team. My one question to those of you that want to is the following:

Why do you want to start a new team?

Is it because you love teaching others? Is it because you want to help change the future of society? Or is it because you're going to miss building and designing a robot?

If you answered the last question with a yes, I would highly suggest that you find another way of channeling your energy. Chances are that if you're doing it simply for the love of building and designing, you will end up sacrificing more than you can imagine at this time. Not to mention, you are not being involved in the program (after your HS graduation) for the basic purpose that it was started.

If, on the other hand, you answered yes to either of the first two questions, please respond with the reasons behind your answer(s). I'd be interested to hear them.

indieFan

Matt Leese
04-27-2004, 03:27 PM
Not to get too far off topic, but I do have one major concern related to this.

For the past several years now, I have read the threads about starting up a new college team. My one question to those of you that want to is the following:

Why do you want to start a new team?

Is it because you love teaching others? Is it because you want to help change the future of society? Or is it because you're going to miss building and designing a robot?

If you answered the last question with a yes, I would highly suggest that you find another way of channeling your energy. Chances are that if you're doing it simply for the love of building and designing, you will end up sacrificing more than you can imagine at this time. Not to mention, you are not being involved in the program (after your HS graduation) for the basic purpose that it was started.

If, on the other hand, you answered yes to either of the first two questions, please respond with the reasons behind your answer(s). I'd be interested to hear them.

indieFan
It was actually a fairly simple decision (in hindsight, it probably should've been more complex). I felt that I had gained a lot from FIRST in high school and I thought that I wanted to both give back to the community and to provide others with the same experience I had. So far it's seemed to work fairly well.

Matt

Beth Sweet
04-27-2004, 03:28 PM
The reason that I'm doing it is very obvious to me. When I heard Dean Kamen speak for the first time, I wasn't involved in FIRST, it didn't really do much for me. Then I got involved. It was the best opportunity of my life. FIRST isn't just about building robots. It's about giving kids a chance. It's about giving kids an opportunity to not only meet friends that they never would have met, but for those who are not jocks and actually do have a tough time fitting in, FIRST is an opportunity to belong. Maybe I won't start the best robotics team in the competition, but if I can help even just one kid to decide what they want to do with their life or even to just give them the chance to fit in, then starting a team will have been worth it. FIRST is not about building a robot, it's about the experience of it all, and I think that every high school student ought to be given that opportunity. I want to help them to get what's made such a difference to me...

Andy Grady
04-27-2004, 04:43 PM
I will give my usual quick blurb about being on a college team.

Freshman year is the hardest year of college.

FIRST is an extremely time consuming effort.

If you take the time to do FIRST during school, be careful...you dont want your 4 year Bachelors degree program to all of the sudden turn into a 7 or 8 year program.

Take it from me...you can get alot of value out of becomming a mentor for a college team, and it is worth all the effort. But nothing is worth the loss of lots of money and time because you were burnt out.

Be careful to all the graduating seniors out there, the changeover experience is a great one, but if you have troubles...remember, there is always time for FIRST later.

-Andy Grady

JVN
04-27-2004, 05:28 PM
Freshman year is the hardest year of college.

Yep,

To be painfully blunt:
If you participate actively on a team during your Freshman year of college you are probably making a tremendous mistake that could potentially haunt you for the rest of your life (ever hear of a thing called GPA... yeah.)

Be warned.

John

mtrawls
04-27-2004, 05:55 PM
Thanks for all the input in this thread! I don't plan to start a team my Freshman year, only start talking about it and get people (university, high school, etc.) interested in the idea and get some people to go to the VCU regional hopefully ... and then I'll think about starting the team during my second year. Obviously it all depends on how things go, and if I've gotten myself in over my head with just the triple major itself ...


Why do you want to start a new team?

Is it because you love teaching others? Is it because you want to help change the future of society? Or is it because you're going to miss building and designing a robot?


This is my third year on my team and I've gotten to know quite a bit, I'm proud to say. As such, this year for me I acted mainly as a "mentor," directing other students to do the work and showing them how (though I did end up doing the programming, but that was due to lack of student interest). It was hard not to pick up something and do it myself, especially when I knew I could have done it quicker/better ... but I reminded myself that I had to learn all these things when I started, and teaching the others how to do it really was a different experience. From what I hear about being a college mentor, I imagine I will like the new role even more. No, it's not because I'm going to miss building and designing a robot (there're other engineering challenges my university offers that I'll explore), but it's because of what FIRST is all about -- because instead of building a robot, I want to learn to build a team, to help other people bulid a robot. I don't know that I can really articulate the reason, but FIRST has affected my life so deeply that I want to give that chance to others. It is such a great program that I want to see it spread. I don't know, maybe I'm crazy ... Well, there's no maybe about it ... but that's another story. ;)

ngreen
04-27-2004, 07:39 PM
My goals right now are to do well in college so I can get a good job in a large corporation and then convince them to sponsor FIRST team. But hey...I somehow I start and mentor a FIRST team in the process it will just be gravy.

If you can jump into a new FIRST team without hurting your future chances of inspiring companies to give money to FIRST. I say do it. But if not. At least wait one year and then look at the question again.

TD78
04-27-2004, 07:40 PM
Starting a college team is something that is not only tough, but may take longer than expected.

This is my second year at URI (mechanical engineering). Our freshman year, a few other alumni of 121 and myself mentored our high school team (my GPA did not suffer, but it was definitely a challenge keeping it up :) ). When three more 121 alumni decided to attend to URI after graduating last year and another came back from Germany (he was there on an internship) for his senior year, we wanted to do something more. So we decided to start a university recognized club.

Our club is a little different in that we officially do not have a FIRST team, but our goals and mission are all FIRST related. Since our inception, we have done several things. We mentored teams 121 and 1350 this year and are currently focused on designing and building a drivetrain built using FIRST parameters. A local high school came to visit URI's engineering department and we showed them 121's robot from two years ago and helped them with a LEGO Mindstorms kit. This week we have a booth at the university's annual block party, and we will have this years robot plus a few segway demonstrations.

The main problems are the obivous: money and resources. We would love to start a team with a local high school. Trouble is we are still a small group and are still educating ourselves on the materials we have acquired on starting a team (the FIRST website is really helpful). Our goal is hopefully within the next few years is to have the foundation set for our own team.

With all that I have been through just to start my club, I can imagine how much work it would be to start a team. My suggestion is to not try your freshman year. I am a sophomore now and I am just starting to learn how my university works. I don't know about other schools, but Student Senate can be your friend. Support from students with connections can be wonderous (especially those on the Finance committee). My school isn't private so it;s very hard to get university funds. I suggest to take your first year and go out of your way to meet people. Talk to professors in the engineering department. See if they will support you (most I have met have already heard about FIRST). I think that by building relations with the university and your peers, and perhaps beginning a FIRST related club with interested people, is a strong place to start.

I congratulate anyone who has started their own teams and I wish good luck to those who start ones in the future.

-Tom

Kevin Kolodziej
04-28-2004, 08:36 AM
There are just too many factors to consider when you talk about the difficulty of starting a team your freshman year. Lauren Halatek from Wildstang and I met up at Nationals in 2002 (I saw her sign that said "Help me start a team at MSOE!" She had already done a lot of work during her senior year of contacting people in the Milwaukee area to find support for a future team. Once school started in September, we contacted a whole bunch of high schools (I don't exactly recall if we contacted principles, teachers, or both). We went to those that were interested in the concept of FIRST and gave presentations. Same with the sponsors. Finally we found a fellow student at MSOE who had graduated from South Milwaukee HS, loved the concept of FIRST and did some really persuasive talking over there.

1064 was born that way - two people working together for quite a while, then some luck with a third person. That first year was expected to be rather diorganized because it was about November by the time we finally had a high school on board. With the school being 20 minutes away and only one of the people in the Milwaukee FIRST Support Organization (campus organization that was started by Lauren and myself in September), it was VERY difficult for us to get to the high school to actually meet with everyone before the build season.

There was a lot of miscommunication and misuderstandings between MSOE students, High School teachers, and sponsors, and so it was like starting over for this year. We had more students on the MSOE side, experience on the high school side, a few less sponsors, and a few more dedicated sponsors. We lost our main sponsor and had no more NASA Grant, however, and so the budget for the team was extremely restricted. The beginning of the year started out wonderfully - the high school side of things acted very independantly from MSOE (which is what the MFSO wanted - to set up new teams, show them how things work, and then cut them loose, so to speak, after a year or two, but still be around to help when need be). But the initial rush wore off rather quickly and much reorganization began. Then the student participation dropped to 4 kids and the season became very difficult.

Fortunatley, during this season, we had another high school join in on the build season a couple nights a week. They formed an engineering club at their school on their own, found out about FIRST and found us as their most local team. They helped when they could, attended the Midwest Regional, and are now pumped about a new team next year. THIS is how starting a team become much easier. The student interest is already firmly in place and well organized - all that is left to do is to work with the students to contact sponsors. Exposing people to FIRST for a year first is a much better way of doing it. They know exactly how much time is needed; how much committment, effort, money, and people are needed.

At the college level, its going to be very hard to find interest the first couple of years. of the 2000 students here at MSOE, we have 10 involved in FIRST. Only 3 of them are FIRST veterens. As the group becomes more established and more teams in the area start popping up, more and more FIRST participants are looking at MSOE as a viable college choice. We had an open house this past weekend and I talked to 2 current participants that will be here in a couple years and know of 2 more that will be here next year. DJ was supposed to come this year :ahh:

From a school perspective - I am the current president of the organization on campus, am involved in several other activities, and still maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA. It did get rough during the build season, but if I cut out all the lazy time I had, there was plenty of time to get everything and still have time to relax. Freshman year wasn't nearly as bad as this year because there was less homework for me Freshman year. I am an architectural engineer, however, and cannot speak for the MEs or the CEs and SEs. Next year I am going to have to reduce my participation quite a bit because of the work load that begins with Junior year...and then Senior year and Masters year will be even worse - but by then, the MFSO will be well established, as will other support groups and teams, which will be able to help form new teams as well to take some load off of the MFSO.

Whew! Got questions? PM, e-mail, IM, call...whatever you like!

Kevin Kolodziej
Milwaukee FIRST Support Organization President (MSOE)

Waynep
04-28-2004, 09:58 AM
I'd be more than happy to share some information with any of you interested in starting a college team. Currently at Columbia University, we've started 4 lego league teams, we'll have at least 7 for the 2004 season. We currently support 4 high school teams, including the 2 that we started. Everything is run by the students as the University offers us little if any support. Feel free to e-mail me at wrp2003@columbia.edu and I'll tell you more.

-Wayne