View Full Version : QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!! [10-14-01]
10-14-2001, 05:09 AM
Hi all. Just an old fashion question this time. Many of you have seen it before, but I just have to ask this because there are so many new faces around...
QUESTION 10/14/01 : Why are you here in the competition this year?
For the new people... how did you get dragged into this "FIRST" thing before you had any clue about it?
And for the older people who are tired of answering the question above... What makes you come back again and why? (I simply don't understand why people refuse to grow up~!?!?! ;) )
P.S. I am open to suggestions of any questions you want as the "QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!"... So e-mail me at email@example.com and show me what you got... ;)
10-14-2001, 07:18 PM
It was actually funny how I got involved. Around the time of the 2000 nationals, the team at my school was wearing their t-shirts, which say FEDS on the back in large letters. Naturally, I was curious as to what FEDS meant, so I asked a friend of mine what her shirt meant. She explained to me what FEDS stood for (Falcon Engineering and Design Solutions) and said it was for the Robotics team, and that they were going to Disney World the next day for the national competition. I thought it was pretty cool, but didn't think any more of it until the next year.
The next fall, I saw posters all around the school, advertising the success and fun of the robotics team. I thought back to my conversation the previous April, and decided to drop by at the informational meeting the next day.
As it turned out, the team was just gearing up for OCCRA, the Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association, then in its first season. We took second place in the league, and I got a taste of what robotics was all about, and was all fired up for FIRST.
We built the robot, and went to two regionals (W. Mich and Great Lakes) and Nationals. Even though we didn't do spectacularly, I had such a great experience that I couldn't wait to come back. I spent the whole summer in robotics withdrawl, but now that OCCRA is in full swing for the second year, I'm off to a great start for a second year with the FEDS. I can't wait for FIRST to come around again!
10-14-2001, 07:39 PM
I got invovled with FIRST because I was forced to join! Kate(T190) and my brother Nick forced me to join as a freshman, I thought it was such a geeky thing to do but by the end of the year I was in love with the program. FIRST went from being a geeky thing that I couldn't believe I was being forced to join to being one of the most important things in my life, amazing isn't it :). Now when I talk to my jock friends and they say things about how they would never join a robotics team, I talk to them about ho much more exciting this can be then a soccer match or a football game and get them excited about the program, it's great :). I coem back year after year in order to learn, to have fun, to achieve that feelign of awe you get when you step back from a hunk a metal you've put blood, sweat and tears into for the past 6 weeks and see an amazing robotic machine before you. That is what makes me come back year after year, its such a great thing!
10-14-2001, 07:55 PM
Wow, I think I've been in FIRST so long that I no longer remember when I wasn't in FIRST. So how did I get involved? Well, I started out on team 7 back in 1998. It was the second year of the team at my high school and I had had a friend on it the previous year. Basically, I joined because I thought it sounded cool. And somehow I got addicted which explains why I did it through high school. Last year at RIT, a few of us who had been on various teams in high school (7, 175, and 191 to be exact) decided that RIT really needed a team. So we started one and somehow I ended up in charge. And we miraculously found a sponsor at the last minute (December 1 for those keeping score at home). We picked up another sponsor and RIT kicked in support just in time for us to be able to go to nationals last year (middle February). And here I am in the second year of the new Tigerbolt Robotics team.
This of course brings up to why I am in competition this year. While the fact that FIRST is cool is defiantely a part of why I'm still involved in FIRST, that isn't the whole story. I gave up doing FIRST for myself quite a while ago. Instead, I'm here for the kids. To give the students a chance. To show that they can actually accomplish something. Those are what I strive for. While encouraging engineering is also part of the job, it pales when compared with the simple message given to the students that they can really do something.
And now more than ever I'm asking myself while I'm still involved with FIRST. Frankly, I really don't have time for it and yet still do it and run the team. Part of me wants out. To loose the responsiblity and the stress and the headaches and the sleepless nights. Part of me loves the team inspite of all of the above. And I know that in the coming years I will have even less time and less energy to deal with FIRST. I know I'm suppose to be on Coop this summer and next winter (or fall, depending if I do a double Coop block). I know that I won't be able to give FIRST the amount of time it needs. So perhaps that's the main reason that I've decided that this year will be my last year of involvement in FIRST to the level that I've done it in the past.
Matt who doesn't know why he decided to put this here......
10-14-2001, 10:31 PM
Hrm,... why did I get involved with FIRST? To be really honest I had heard about the C++ class at my school having a lego comp. with the RCX kits. I t seemed cool but I forgot about it because I wasn't involved. The next year the class had a club which was approached by NASA to get involved in FIRST. I went to the info meeting because I love legos. After we started getting into more stuff I found out about the FIRST competition and Nationals, I didn't know anything about a trip to Disney until shortly before kickoff. Once we got into building I was sooooo happy. I love working with power tools and teaching other people how to use them. I realized that many people are afraid to use power tools and that scared me. So I get to help people get over a fear and learn, how great is that? I came back this year because my former team had its problems, and I wanted to prevent another team from getting sucked into the same problems as my rookie team. I also like the rush of competition and playing with power tools. I guess that covers it.
10-19-2001, 01:45 PM
I'm in the competition this year part out of spite! Our group has been in FIRST since 1997 and we have been growing yearly. As a teacher I have seen many of my students mature and move on to a degree I never see in my classes. The competition brings out the best and worst of people- I guess I can see I've seen just about everything you could imagine in this "Game". I could tell you stories....
Anyway, the game restrictions this year really threw me for a loop, as my other posts have no doubt shown! Team 25 has essentially been restricted to attending one regional and will go no further unless we are successful.
Nonetheless I have 40 eager students working their butts off fund raising on the hopes that we will still make the Nationals. That drive cannot be ignored. As a teacher, that is where the rewards are. To hell with FIRST's restrictions- if we go we go. It would be great if we won and then kicked butt again in Orlando but we can live with a full bank account for next year if it comes down to it.
This past Wednesday my guys began hand stamping our button supply with a new season's designs. Some of the kids cut down last season's goals into ball storage bins which actually fit through the door frames. Others disassembled our ramp to salvage hardware. Last weekend we washed 100 cars for the money. Our electronics mentor has issued a programming challenge to the crew and some are developing novel new ways to make RoboKong dance. Animation lives. Two hundred Hawaiian shirts are on order (wait til' you see this year's colors- OY). Our little guys are chasing polar bears with a LegoBot. We as a team go on and on, Florida or not.
This season will be what WE make of it. I look forward to a great run! And wouldn't it be great if an ODD number 25 showed up in the winner's circle just to spite the rules makers?!
10-20-2001, 06:44 AM
10-20-2001, 06:29 PM
I joined the FLL during its testing year because I really liked robots. Then there was the RI state competition that spring (not FIRST). And of course, the next year, I joined the real competition.
This will be my fourth year involved in FIRST. I've kept with it, well, because I'd have no life without it (literally). Sure, it's not perfect. But it could be worse.
10-20-2001, 09:21 PM
I got started in FIRST b/c my dad dragged me into it SPAM's first year (1998..I was in 7th grade). Then I stayed on the next year b/c a girl from my church was dragged to the meetings by her father (one of our engineers) and, hey, I liked the nuts on the team. Then in high school I really didn't want to do it. I thought I would have no time. So I didn't show up to a single fall meeting. Then in January, one of my freinds begged me to come with him to the announcing of that year's game so he would know someone there. So I did and, well, stayed with it (ok..so he had to beg and plead again for me to come to the next few meetings).
Hmm. Why am I in FIRST still? Probably because I'm sure everyone would injure me if I wasn't. I have some good friends who are on my team and, besides that one engineer and his daugher, I'm the oldest team member and someone needs to be around from SPAM:the early years. I'm also somehow in charge of the newsletter, website, and Chairman's Award. I"m sure this year and next will be the last I'm involved at all because the school I want to go to doesn't have a team (far as I know) and I certainly don't have the organizational skills needed to start one. (hint hint to anyone at or going to USF:Start a team by 2003!) Guess that answers the question. :)
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