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Unread 04-15-2003, 11:01 PM
anish anish is offline
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Starting a team in college?

How's that work?

Ill be attending UIUC next fall and i want to get a team going...
Does the college count as a sponsor, or is the college a participant, against other high schools?

Some sort of partnership between a college and a high school?
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Unread 04-15-2003, 11:46 PM
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The team will need to be high school based for the most part.

I think you could get away with recruiting high school students from different high schools and having them be the core team, but you will have to enter the competitions under the high school students schools.

It is a requirement for the students to drive the robot as well. (Human players must be HS students too)

As far as the sponsorship from the college is concerened, that would typically mean the college gave the team money or some help or assistance. If you are simply a student attending the college and the college itself did nothing to help you in your effort to start a team, then I would say no, they are not a sponsor. It is smart though to ask the college for assistance as many colleges have funds that they are just waiting to give away to a good cause (such as a high school robotics team that one of their own students created)

Good luck!! Itís a lot of work, but Iím sure you will find the help you need if you get some help. Starting a team requires alot of time and effort, but remember itís a lot of fun once it gets going.

FIRST is all about helping students get into the fields of science, technology, engineering etc. I myself would not have gone into mechanical engineering if it wasnt for FIRST. So i felt somewhat obligated after my 4 years on a team in high school and decided to start a team as a college mentor (with the help of ALOT of people and a fellow FIRST veteran.)

SOO, by all means go for it!!
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Unread 04-16-2003, 08:45 AM
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Josh Hambright Josh Hambright is offline
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Okay on the issue of sponsorship i have heard that if your helping the team and your a student somehow the college is sponsoring your team...atleast thats what i heard happened with one team this year. If they give you money or materials or anything like that then they are sponsoring you.

Its still a high school team however, the college students are just mentors, not the actual students...then again the best way to learn is to teach!
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Unread 04-16-2003, 10:24 AM
WakeZero WakeZero is offline
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This is how we did it with U of A

First we filled out all the paperwork to become a U of A sponsored club on campus. To do this, we also had to get a faculty advisor (Prof) to sign with us.

Once this was done, as a club we started looking around at all the local high schools in the area. When we met the teacher and students from Sonoran Science Academy, they had already heard of FIRST and were very excited about trying to form a team.

Once they signed on, we asked U of A for money and they ended up giving us 1000. All the rest came from fund-raising, and local businesses in the area.

It can be done, but you need a little bit of luck too. We have a great parent group involved, and some of the brightest students I could have ever dreamed of working with

If you need any of the letters and stuff we used to get it all done, give me a pm. I would be happy to help
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Unread 04-16-2003, 10:40 AM
Jnadke Jnadke is offline
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Re: Starting a team in college?

Quote:
Originally posted by anish
How's that work?

Ill be attending UIUC next fall and i want to get a team going...
Does the college count as a sponsor, or is the college a participant, against other high schools?

Some sort of partnership between a college and a high school?

Technically, you can do it however you want. However, remember that only high school students can drive the robot. There are no rules saying that they must be part of the design/build process. However, it's a good thing if they are, because then the drivers understand the limitations/capabilities of the robot.

You could build the entire robot yourself and pick 2 high school students off the street and have them drive it. FIRST wouldn't care. It might not look right, but it's certainly not against the rules.

To answer your question, the college is a sponsor. They can't compete. The high school(s) that the students belong to are the competing teams.
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Unread 04-16-2003, 10:46 AM
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Team started at VaTech

I am from a team that was started by college studetns at Virginia Tech four years ago. What they did was to approach the nearest high school and ask for some help recruiting kids. They wrote a letter that was supposed to be sent out to all the science and technology teachers so their students could be told about it. I was one of those students who found out about it that way.

One of the ways they tried to organize it on the college level was to try and associate it with ASME, but that flopped. Even though Virginia Tech gives us very little money (if any anymore with budget cuts) and they give us no space, we still call them one of our sponsors for the fact that us students donate our time and energy to the project. Having a college for a "sponsor" is quite helpful, especially if you have no major corporate sponsor. It's an identifier like Delphi or GM or Ford. You can say *as for us* we are the Virginia Tech team.

One thing you may need to do on the high school level is try and find a high school teacher who would be willing to sponsor the team as a "club." I don't know about other school districts, but getting excused absenses for competition without having the team as a class or club is nearly impossible here.

The key is to get started NOW. Research the local schools and their policies, go up there and make contacts, try and find corparate sponsorship, etc. You really can't start too soon and to get an effective team going you need to start now. On top of that, you will have more time this summer then you will when classes start in the fall.

Your other option is to get involved with an existing team as a volunteer/mentor. I'm sure they'll understand you're not pro, but usually you can still get in there to help out. The closest teams to UIUC are in Indianapolis or Chicago....

Good luck
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Unread 04-16-2003, 11:52 AM
Shana Shana is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Travis Covington
As far as the sponsorship from the college is concerened, that would typically mean the college gave the team money or some help or assistance. If you are simply a student attending the college and the college itself did nothing to help you in your effort to start a team, then I would say no, they are not a sponsor.
No matter what you do you always have to give your school credit even if they don't give you money. Because w/ all the budget cuts its hard to find money anywhere. Even if all they give you is a Dean's Excuse so you can skip school for the competitions they are still a mentor and deserve to have there name as one of your sponsors. Also it will help if they ever do get money so you can tell them they officially sponsor you and you need cash.

I do agree with the others though get started NOW!!! The only reason team 1011 was able to get off the ground this year was because of some major scrambling from everyone to get money. If you can get a HS dedicated before summer they then can go out and look for sponsorship this summer. Also when picking a HS be sure to pick one close to ur campus if u dont have a car cause otherwise it'll get difficult.
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Unread 04-16-2003, 12:17 PM
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Unread 04-16-2003, 12:38 PM
Anne Shade Anne Shade is offline
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Starting a college run team is not an easy thing to do, but it can be done. One of the big things is to become an organization or club on campus or ally with one that already exists. That way you can submit bills to your student government for funds and get some space on campus.

The Georgia Tech FIRST group has helped start all the teams in the Atlanta area. I would be more than happy to give more advice if you need it. Feel free to email or PM me.
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Unread 04-16-2003, 12:40 PM
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Travis Covington Travis Covington is offline
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Quote:
No matter what you do you always have to give your school credit even if they don't give you money. Because w/ all the budget cuts its hard to find money anywhere. Even if all they give you is a Dean's Excuse so you can skip school for the competitions they are still a mentor and deserve to have there name as one of your sponsors. Also it will help if they ever do get money so you can tell them they officially sponsor you and you need cash.
Thats the thing, they dont give us a deans excuse to go to competition etc. We have to ask each prof. individually for permission to miss class, sometimes we dont get it.

As far as sponsoring is concerned, we only have our colleges name on the robot. We mention that we are from Cal Poly, but do not say they sponsored the team, as that would not be entirely true. We give them credit for having us as students attending their college, as weird as that may seem.

We are trying to attain funding from the school, but it is not as easy here as it was previously in high schools. I had an easier time asking AMD for $5000 than i did asking my college for $500.

As far as the high school students building the robot, i think that is very important. If you simply hand the students a robot and teach them to drive it, they learn very little. You have to at least have them witness the building and design process...at least!! I would even suggest trying to have them organize the team themselves, design the robot themselves, and fabricate the parts as best they can, seeking help from you each step along the way. That way they are alot more proud of their final creation.
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Unread 04-16-2003, 04:20 PM
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I suppose I'll throw a bit in about my experience in starting and running a college team. My first set of advice would be to not do it. But more seriously, it is a lot of work and you should be prepared for a lot of work, a lot of stress, a lot of getting blamed, and a lot of sleepless nights. However, it can also be a very rewarding experience (personally, seeing excited high school students make it worthwhile to me).

As far as starting a team goes, the best bit of advice I can offer is to talk to anyone and everyone that will listen. If you talk about it as much as possible, it's that much more likely for it to happen. And there's the possibility that the person you're talking to may be able to help you out in someway.

At RIT, we've yet to become an officially recognized club on campus as it doesn't really provide us any benefits. We are recognized by the College of Engineering (official recognizition is by Student Government). Most of the team's funding comes from Bausch & Lomb but a significant portion comes from RIT (the College of Engineering and Admissions specifically).

The real key in getting a team is to get someone significantly high in the power structure who not only believes that having a FIRST team is a good idea but also that you can pull it off. In our case, it was the Associate Dean of Engineering and he's gone to bat for us numerous times when we've needed it (unasked normally). That's the key to actually making sure it happens.

As the team is still going strong even while those who were originally involved were on co-op, it seems to me that we've at least gotten to a point where a team will continue to exist so perhaps there's some actual use in what I said above. Best of luck with it.

Matt
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Unread 04-17-2003, 09:28 AM
futtrich futtrich is offline
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Quote:
However, remember that only high school students can drive the robot.
Not true. Our drivers and HPs are in 7th and 8th grade. Pre-college - yes. But the two oldest kids on our team are only in 9th grade.

I think if you don't have a major corporate sponsor you'll need serious parental/school support. Also, nearly all the companies we talked to wanted to know a) What's in it for them? and b) What's our track record in this sort of competition? A bit frustrating since it was our first year and we didn't have a track record. Mathcounts, Biology Olympiad, and Science Fairs didn't impress them.
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Unread 04-17-2003, 09:46 AM
Ken Stafford Ken Stafford is offline
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Starting a College-sponsored Team

For those of you interested in getting your colleges involved, I offer my help. Having sponsored a team for 12 years, WPI's commitment is pretty secure. It remains that way because the university sees that the connection makes good business sense (certainly a compelling argument for any private school). For continuing, enthusiastic support, I believe you need to go beyond a student activities type of organization. You need to convince the faculty, Provost, University Relations, Alumni Activities, and especially Admissions that this is a good deal for the school. And it really is!

The WPI/Team 190 model may not fit every team, but I would be happy to talk to anyone interested in the data that compels our administration to continue sole funding of the team, running our annual BattleCry@WPI, providing annual $100K+ scholarships, and conducting the rest of our 12-month program schedule.

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Unread 04-17-2003, 10:52 PM
Etbitmydog Etbitmydog is offline
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I'll post this here too

I'm going to post this here too just because people seem to come to this one and it's about starting a robotics team.

Robotics at UCF
I'm not interested in starting a FIRST team (maybe assisting them with their projects though). I'm more interested in getting a college robotics club going and promoting involvement in robotics projects.

And for your question, the point is all about getting high schoolers involved. Try mentoring a local high school and you can help them build their robot, maybe even build it for them just it should be considered their team and it should be based at their high school. There are many teams who get engineering companies to build their robot, same can happen with a college.

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Unread 04-19-2003, 12:44 PM
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College Stuff

Aloha,

I too am having a problem with graduation. I'm moving out of state to Norfolk, VA to go to college there. I need a team to adopt, or to adopt me. Spirit stuff is my forte. If anyone knows a team out there that is in need of a volunteer, please let me know?

Mahalo,
Mellie
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