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Unread 08-02-2008, 06:18 AM
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Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

Hello fellow engineers and professionals in the workplace ( a.k.a : procurement , biz ops, marketing , managers....etc...etc) :

I was wondering what others are doing to bring awareness of FIRST at their work area, also any tips for sharing info about FIRST with others ?

Cheers,
Marcos.
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Unread 08-03-2008, 12:00 PM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

Mostly I send out invitations to local events. I am also fortunate enough to have a very relaxed dress code so I am able to wear FIRST themed shirts almost every day.
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Unread 08-03-2008, 12:10 PM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

My bro wears team shirts to work all the time (Thomson Reuters) He invites whoever he can to events and also team meetings when possible. My bro has been in FIRST since '98
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Unread 08-03-2008, 02:24 PM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

Well, I have my medals hanging on my fork truck for one plus and X-Cats and FIRST logo on there too. I also wear many team shirts from my own teams, to other team shirts I have to shirts from off seasons and occasionally my official FIRST event volunteer shirts (my warehouse is very dusty so white shirts get ruined quickly).
I used to hang flyers about local competitions up in my building but it is mostly empty plus I don't think anyone paid attention to them anyways.
I try to participate in Xerox demos on site if I can and if I'm actually needed (the mentors are pretty good at keeping the image of Xerox FIRST which are teams 191, 1126, 1450 and 2340) as visable as they can and Xerox is very good to their FIRST teams.
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Unread 08-03-2008, 05:05 PM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

I have medals, newspaper articles and pictures hanging on the wall outside my cubicle. We have an online newletter/newspaper that is updated daily and I have submitted a few articles about the team before they attend competitions, especially the local ones, to try to entice people to attend. I have found that the article is much more likely to be included if I write it and attach a few pictures than if I just tell the communications department about the event and try to get them spun up to write it. I send emails to co-workers, managers, directors, and vice-presidents prior to competitions with the webcast url if available and then follow up after the event with a report on the team's experience/accomplishments. I've been known to carry a trophy around with me at work all day from meeting to meeting. When I happen upon someone who continues to show interest I usually try to get them to volunteer at a regional - my boss is now hooked on the competition and would like to return to judge again in 2009. This year the team brought the robot to my company on Take Your Child to Work Day and it was a big hit. Sometimes I feel like a pest, but my company hires engineers and FIRST is exactly the type of program that we need to be reinforcing with our support and presence.
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Unread 08-03-2008, 09:21 PM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

Hello All,

These are all very cool ideas.

I like the t-shirt idea and also the idea of sending e-mail to co-workers...

Maybe we could have a "wear your FIRST robotics t-shirt to work" day across corporate america



Cheers,
Marcos.
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Unread 08-03-2008, 09:28 PM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

If you have a local event in your area, definitely invite people from work to be spectators and / or volunteers. You'd be amazing how much people enjoy some robot competition! I got two people from work excited.

Find out if your workplace is mentoring any teams. If so, network actively with those mentors and see what they think about bringing awareness. You will often achieve more with a team than you will on your own - more reach, unique perspectives, etc. - this is the case for many things in life. Tried and true strategy, use it!

If all else fails - bring cookies in the shape of FIRST shapes. Cookies are always good.
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Unread 08-04-2008, 09:40 AM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

We have had demos of the robot at various DuPont sponsored events, such as Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work day. This exposes not just the young students (who are really too young for FRC, although we do have FLL and FTC info there) but their employee parents and other employees who pass by. We try and have the demos in the site cafeteria to get the most audience.

This of course is at our local DuPont sites - I'm sure teams who are sponsored at other DuPont sites across the country do something similar.

We have also submitted news event to the company's Engineering Newsletter (which reaches only that department) and, when we have some special news such as winning a regional or a Championship award, we try and get it on the Company wide news.

For an example, see this (from the DuPont public website

http://www2.dupont.com/Media_Center/...20080619a.html
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Unread 08-04-2008, 05:05 PM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

Hello Carol,

I like the idea of doing demos, we have found out the issue of doing demos is coordinating with the teams to bring their robot to the company along with the students, specially in certain times when school is off.

I think the best time to do demos at the company is now until october to be able to drum up mentors for the teams.

This year myself and a group of employees got some funding from Engineering to build our own demo robot using 2008 kit, we are in third week of build. We hope to have a good modular chassi by September just in time to make a demo at the Science Center. The main goal of this project is to train employees that will become future mentors. Since this is a demo robot, we have a different set of assumptions to work with.

Cheers,
Marcos.
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Unread 08-05-2008, 07:13 AM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

Another reason for demoing at the workplace and getting employee's attention is to recruit their children for the team. Not being based in a school, and taking students from anywhere, we do have to constantly work to attract students to our team.

Unfortunately, quite often the demos are doing school, so it is only adults at the demos, with an occasional senior or recent alumni who can make it.

Another perk to having a demo at company sponsored events such as TOSADTWD is that someone from senior management usually stops by, and we can reinforce the message to them of why it's important for them to continue sponsoring us.
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Unread 08-05-2008, 09:06 AM
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Re: Bringing awareness of FIRST @ The workplace.

Our FIRST mentors at work are organized as a group and we do similar publicity within the company to attract new mentors.
-- PA announcements before local events
-- Posters before events in coffee or other public areas
-- Posters on our walls or by our doors afterwards
-- Weekly company email newsletter has articles appealing for mentors
-- Biweekly company newspaper (after the fact articles)
-- Video showcase on our internal website (no YouTube)
-- Exhibitions once a year in the Fall to attract mentors and spread recognition (see some posters for those below)
These are during school hours, but the schools justify it as an educational outing. We actually have to limit the number of schools we invite or rotate among several. We just don't have the space anymore to host 40 robots at once.




We also get publicity through community service & volunteer awards and recognitions.

ChrisH and the west coast Northrop Grumman mentors have run an engineer Vex competition on the weekend at work to encourage new mentor involvement.
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Last edited by Mark McLeod : 08-05-2008 at 09:54 AM.
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