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View Poll Results: Will Dean's homework this year will have an effect on FIRST's public awareness?
Yes 35 56.45%
Maybe 23 37.10%
No 4 6.45%
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Unread 03-11-2006, 08:18 PM
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Dean's Homework

Every year, Dean gives the FIRST teams some little piece of homework to do. At the BAE regional in New Hampshire, and today at the UTC regional in Connecticut, he has requested that every member of every team e-mail their congressmen and elected officials (with a cc to dkamen@dekaresearch.com) to try and raise the visibility of FIRST in government. I was wondering how you feel about this.

Personally, I agree with this. FIRST is beginning to reach a 'critical mass' (Similar thread ). Corporations, which have thus far provided that large majority of teams with money to participate in the competitions, are now finding themselves at the point where more sponsorship is starting to have an effect on their profits. Government, as Dean mentioned this morning at UTC, has enough money to sponsor all of the FIRST teams that it needs. At $5,000 per team times ten thousand high schools (just a guestimate), that is $50,000,000, about the amount that the government spends 2,472 BILLION dollars per year. To me, government seems to have nothing to lose by spending this money on FIRST instead of on a useless study on something.

Just my 2 cents.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 12:52 AM
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Re: Dean's Homework

and some trillion-odd amount on a war in Iraq.
if our government focused on what really mattered, they would be able to sponsor every team with $10,000. they would also be able to fix a sufficient education crisis that is going on in the country right now.
but either way, an extra 5,000 would be nice

so yes, i support what dean said fully. he is right, and people will finally be able to see us after our event is nationally broad casted. hopefully, though, the broadcast will be on an easily accessible channel
I dont only see the FIRST program at a critical mass, but at a point where popularity is about to arise.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 01:00 AM
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Re: Dean's Homework

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uberbots
and some trillion-odd amount on a war in Iraq.
if our government focused on what really mattered, they would be able to sponsor every team with $10,000. they would also be able to fix a sufficient education crisis that is going on in the country right now.
but either way, an extra 5,000 would be nice

so yes, i support what dean said fully. he is right, and people will finally be able to see us after our event is nationally broad casted. hopefully, though, the broadcast will be on an easily accessible channel
I dont only see the FIRST program at a critical mass, but at a point where popularity is about to arise.
Just to give a little evidence for the cost of war and give a little eye opener to people, go here to see the cost of war and where the money could have been spent.

Cost of War

Just using 1% of the money spent on the war, you could easily fund every single team, give them everything and the kitchen sink in a KOP, plus support many more teams. While I am not using this as a political discussion, it is quite amazing where money should be spent and where it actually is spent.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 05:14 AM
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Re: Dean's Homework

At the Great Lakes Regional on Friday, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) made an appearance. For almost two hours she visited with teams and talked to students from both FRC and FLL. She spoke to everyone during a break in the action. At that time she stated that she had placed a $2,000,000 line item in the budget to match funds for new Michigan teams. She wants to have fifty new Michigan teams next year. Her stated goal is every high school in Michigan has access to FIRST.

On Saturday, State Senator Nancy Cassis (R) spoke to the teams. In conversations after her speech she told me that this would not be a political ball. Both side of the isle are in favor of this happening.

So it can happen. Don't be negative about getting money from government. Jobs are an issue for people trying to be re-elected, and education in science and technology is one of the answers to getting jobs...so they are willing to support this if they know about FIRST. Go talk to them. Write to them. Invite them to events. You must make it happen.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 10:58 AM
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Re: Dean's Homework

Lets not look at what money is being misspent. What matters is that if we send E-mails to our congressmen, they can't ignore us and they will have to give us funding, then the money will be spent for a good purpose.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 11:10 AM
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Re: Dean's Homework

Political? Yes. but...

This is a great unified front to reach out. If one team reaches one senator, change could happen.

If a few teams reach a few senators, change is very possible.

If every team tries to reach their senator, then change of some sort will happen, because I believe the people we elect usually do care about what we think. The reason they don't always act on what you might have in your mind is that you don't share it with them.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 01:07 PM
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Re: Dean's Homework

I agree. I think that the more letters get sent, the better FIRST will do. The elected congressmen and others can't risk going against their constituants wishes. They need to be re-elected.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 06:47 PM
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Re: Dean's Homework

MO's Congressman, Russ Carnahan's son is on our team

He was at the St. Louis Regional and hes a big fan of FIRST.

I think we've done our homework....
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Unread 03-12-2006, 06:55 PM
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Re: Dean's Homework

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwilczynski
I agree. I think that the more letters get sent, the better FIRST will do. The elected congressmen and others can't risk going against their constituants wishes. They need to be re-elected.
Well just speaking from a minor political science background, the letters need something to back it up. It's great to say we want this to happen but it also takes a group of people make it happen.

Don't just target the common list of political bodies (governor, senators, etc). Also look at the people who make the decisions in education (state superintendent, education lobbyists, teacher's unions, PTA, etc), target them and tell them how important it would be for FIRST to be in high schools and elementary/middle schools. FIRST has many programs available.

Have meetings with school officials or bring up the topics at council meetings. Lay out a formal presentation with cost-benefit analysis and polls from the community. Once people know how much it is going to cost and where the rest of the community stands, then they will start thinking about it. If no one but the governor knows about this, the rest of the constituency is not going to be supportive of it.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 08:48 PM
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Re: Dean's Homework

On the off season I will most likely email or write a personal letter to one of my congressmen in the PA. I love this idea!
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Unread 03-13-2006, 06:48 AM
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Re: Dean's Homework

What exactly am I supposed to write about ?
Thanks
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Unread 03-13-2006, 07:28 AM
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Re: Dean's Homework

Quote:
Originally Posted by codeoftherobot
Well just speaking from a minor political science background, the letters need something to back it up. It's great to say we want this to happen but it also takes a group of people make it happen.

Don't just target the common list of political bodies (governor, senators, etc). Also look at the people who make the decisions in education (state superintendent, education lobbyists, teacher's unions, PTA, etc), target them and tell them how important it would be for FIRST to be in high schools and elementary/middle schools. FIRST has many programs available.

Have meetings with school officials or bring up the topics at council meetings. Lay out a formal presentation with cost-benefit analysis and polls from the community. Once people know how much it is going to cost and where the rest of the community stands, then they will start thinking about it. If no one but the governor knows about this, the rest of the constituency is not going to be supportive of it.

agreeably, you have to remember what is in these people's job descriptions. granted yes, going to senators and congressman is a great way to get widespread notice across entire states but you have to be aware how things really work. FIRST does have a lot of name value but think about the dollar figures being discussed here, this is a decent investment here, one which won't go without background research and some considerable thought. while FIRST is a great organization for the people in it, you have to remember that there are still students that are not on a FIRST team. this might make any large quantity of money look like your state is spending money on the elite or on a select group. key to making this work is to influence both the people in your areas who have yet to know about FIRST and to influence the people who help your senators decide what he should support. mass mailings are the hardest to blatantly ignore but think of the image of FIRST we're trying to convey. we're not an (only) an annoying group who won't be silence til we're appeased, we're a group of smart young people who think problems through and come up with the most logical course of action. going through your school's administration is an excellent way to get the same end to different means. if you have the direct backing of your school or are lead by someone of power like a superintendent, think how much more effective any argument you present will be
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Unread 03-13-2006, 10:24 AM
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Re: Dean's Homework

It will definately raise public awareness of it. If our leaders know and support something, the people will know about it. What I'm a little shacky is the talk of tax dollors going to support all these teams. Its a complicated issue so I won't go into it though. What would be interesting is having military high school teams become a part of FIRST. Right now every base in the country has a Boy Scout Troop. Wouldn't it be awsome if the same were true for us? Department of Defense Schools have a very large budget, and I know they would want to get involved in this from personal experience.

Every AFE DoDS with a team..... Wow, what a concept.
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Unread 03-13-2006, 11:50 PM
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Re: Dean's Homework

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martinez
It will definately raise public awareness of it. If our leaders know and support something, the people will know about it. What I'm a little shacky is the talk of tax dollors going to support all these teams. Its a complicated issue so I won't go into it though. What would be interesting is having military high school teams become a part of FIRST. Right now every base in the country has a Boy Scout Troop. Wouldn't it be awsome if the same were true for us? Department of Defense Schools have a very large budget, and I know they would want to get involved in this from personal experience.

Every AFE DoDS with a team..... Wow, what a concept.
Well a lot of the tax dollars out there that are set aside for science/mathematics based education actually aren't being utilized effectively. Depending on the state, there typically is a portion of the budget devoted to science and mathematics based education. The determination of where this money goes depends on who gets to it first (my guess). I know in California that we have a rather large budget for mathematics and science based education so if FIRST was able to make itself known, there would be a good chance that FIRST would be a recommended part of elementary and high school education in California.

For the military bases, doesn't the money used to support Boy Scout troops come out of the military budget for that base or is it a state/national policy? Pretty much it would just take someone with connections inside to ask if FIRST can be established. If you know people at those bases, I would say go ahead and arrange meetings to get the process going.
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Unread 03-14-2006, 08:50 PM
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Re: Dean's Homework

I dont like it at all. Goverment does not belong in suck matters. We are not fashist, we are capitalists living under a constitutional republic. No goverment entity (ESPECIALLY federal) should may any mind to FIRST. If the goverment wishes to help FIRST it would lower taxes so more companies can afford to sponsor.

In case you havent noticed, i'm a libritarian. FIRST and politics are dynamically opposed organizations. Do not succum to the flowery language or the mushy feely talk of politicians. They do not do it out of love for FIRST (unless they are engineers or have been in FIRST) but out of selfish political gain. Any money given to FIRST is not theirs to give.

*gets off soapbox*
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Last edited by Validius : 03-14-2006 at 08:54 PM.
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