View Full Version : My thoughts of FIRST

03-30-2003, 09:56 AM
This is our first year competing. I would have to say that this was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my teaching career. The students we had on our team loved the project. I never figured it would be so intense. We put about 3oo hours into our robot. I've never seen my students so involved with one project. Everything they talked about in class would involve some aspect of the robot. I plan to use the robot in my curriculum for next year. Does any other teacher on this board do this? If so, could you possibly email me to give an idea of what you do? jestoker723@yahoo.com

Once we got to our regional (Peachtree Regional) the meaning of gracious professionalism finally sunk in with my students. Everyone there were willing to help in any way they could. For example, we kept blowing the drill motors. We asked around for spare motors. The first team we asked graciously gave us one. Keep in mind we only asked one team. The next thing we knew, six different teams came over to our pits offering spare drill motors. I guess the word got around that we needed a motor. Also, we kept having problems with our robot not working. A FIRST volunteer that was working the playing field table came over and spent an hour with our team helping us fix the problem. We finally fixed the problem and our robot ran great. I never got the gentlemens name, but if read this thanks for helping team #1177 MECHA JAGS.

I have to say that there were some amazing robots at the Peachtree Regionals. I would like to give a special thank you to team 343. You helped more than you know. You were willing to help us with any problem we had. I couldn't believe the set-up you had. I've learned alot from this years competition and plan on competing again next year.

Oh Yeah, can you believe we made it into the quater finals. I was just hoping not to finish last. I believe we were were ranked in the top ten (42 teams total). Once again, thanks for everyones help and I hope to see you next year.

03-30-2003, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by MechaJagEric
Once again, thanks for everyones help and I hope to see you next year.

No, Thank YOU for sharing.

It seems lately how many people are complaining Gracrious Prof is dead. It's stories like yours that show us it is alive and well.
FIRST may be having some "Growing Pains" but all in all, this is still a highly positive experience.

We should all be thrilled to be a part of it!

03-30-2003, 11:28 AM
Well said MechaJagEric.

I had the honor of getting to inspect, then referee at SVR. The quality of the staff, crew, students and mentors alike there was refreshing. They were prefessional, polite, and I had a great time working for and with with each of them. In one example, I was inspecting robots on Thursday, and a team was far from compliant with their pneumatics. None of their members knew how do do the things that are needed to make it compliant. Within 5 minutes after i requested help to get them compliant, there were 4 people from 3 different times, working as hard as they could to get them compliant. Things like that make FIRST great!

Vincent Chan
03-30-2003, 11:52 AM

Good to see the Mecha Jags at Peacthree! I remember hearing that you needed a drill motor, and our team captain went off to search for a spare. Great job, thanks for the pins, and I hope to see you again next year!

John, I can't say that GP is dead, however, there was a lack of enthusiasm in over half the crowd on Saturday afternoon. Perhaps it was the fact that Peachtree is a new regional. Perhaps it was that more than half the teams were rookie.

Either way, GP was something that I'm proud of FIRST for. Perhaps with the showing of GP during the day, I'd expected something more from the crowd during awards.

I'm sure that many of us try as much as we can to keep GP alive and well. I know that my team helped out 1139 when we could, and they kindly lent us any tools that we didn't have with us. Saturday afternoon, teams let us look at every part of their robot, and all the teams were helpful in suggesting ways to make a better robot. 1002 had a roving tool man to lend tools and compiled scouting reports of all the bots for any teams that wanted them. 832 gave us $5000 to register. (Yes, that was us.) And I can't forget 1183 for helping the two of us that could attend a practice competition with wiring, nor 1081 for giving us a spike that day.

Unfortunately, my team wasn't able to help more, due to drivetrain problems that were worked on for two days.

For all that, awards was disappointing. I was ready to see every team cheering, but not everyone was present. There was a feeling of desperation and loss of hope in some teams. I don't feel that those emotions belong with FIRST. Yes, GP is still existent in FIRST, but I feel we need to have more of it. I'm under the impression that years before, GP was much more alive than it is now.

I must admit that I'm impressed with all participants and volunteers, so far as gracious professionalism goes. I've never experienced as much kindness at a competition as this. However, I can only hope for more.

03-30-2003, 10:41 PM
In response to your comment about a lack of enthusiasm at the Peachtree Regional, I would have to agree. Sadly, my team was probably one of the biggest culprits. You'll probably agree. Obnoxious guys (and one talkative blonde girl) with a video camera and a robot that was quite moody? We had on blue shirts. Anyway, I'd like to apologize for my team's behavior. I realize that the way they/we acted (completely unenthusiastic and almost with an attitude that... perhaps they didn't want to be there.) I tried.. but it's slightly difficult to cheer when your teammate's look at you like you're from another planet when you do. We're fun kids, and we're not brats, and we love FIRST... but I don't know what was going on with us at the competition. Anyway, I'm sorry that our lack of spirit may have caused other people to have less themselves.

I will say though, being a member of a team in the *cough* coveted 42nd position... everyone was extremely helpful towards us, offering advice and whatnot because we lack an engineer and most tools. It was greatly appreciated, even though we may not have shown that well enough. Maybe next year we'll find ourselves some more resources, and more importantly, we'll demonstrate the spirit of FIRST a little better.