View Full Version : Success rate of college-founded teams?

Jessica Boucher
08-04-2004, 11:06 AM
Just out of curiosity (aka, this is what happens when Jess' mind wanders at work)......do we have stats on what the success rate (retention, average life span, etc) of college student-founded teams is? I'm looking for numbers, not stories.

Thanks, guys. I'm sure someone has some type of data on this out there :)

08-04-2004, 11:26 AM
I'm continually suprised by how few university teams there are out there... :(

08-04-2004, 11:34 AM
I'm continually suprised by how few university teams there are out there... :(
Then you've obviously never been a part of one.

Jessica Boucher
08-04-2004, 11:38 AM
Woah. Okay, talking about the why of college teams was not the point of this thread.

Again, I'm just looking for stats, people. Even a "our team was founded by a college student and our team is ___ years old" or "I knew a guy who started a team at ___ and they lasted for ___ years" are good enough stats for me. I'm not looking for the story behind it, this is more of an imformal survey.

Stephen Kowski
08-04-2004, 11:43 AM
well i don't know about college rentention, but I found that in florida the overall retention rate is much worse than what it seemed....I would check with FIRST about those #s because when I research Florida retention (not including 2004) we have created 51 teams and kept only 28.....not very good, and the net gain of teams over the next several years in trending downward (i anticipate florida loses approximately 3 more of the 2004 rookies before the start of next season.....)

but neways sry i couldn't be of more help other than to highlight the retention rate problem I see, and would assume something similar is happening elsewhere....I would contact FIRST about it

08-04-2004, 01:05 PM
461 was started for the 2000 season at Purdue and is still going as strong as ever after five years. I would say we have been fairly successful.

08-04-2004, 03:09 PM
The Clarkson team's (team 229) rookie season was 1999. The team was started by a freshman and has now grown into a successful and well respected team.

-Kristin (former team 229 member)

08-04-2004, 03:20 PM
The Northeastern University team was started in 1998 by a NU student and bolstered with support when Textron Systems joined prior to the kickoff date. We'll be back next year and for many more from what I can see.

Jeremy Roberts
08-04-2004, 05:02 PM
Georgia Tech directly started 3 teams.

Team 608 - Started/First competed in the 2001 game (No longer exists)
Team 832 - Started/First competed in the 2002 game (Now no longer directly mentored by GATech but still participating)
Team 1002 - Started/First competed in the 2003 game (Currently funded and mentored by the GTFIRST team at Georgia Tech. See my sig. for recent accomplishments :D...and yes I'm proud of them)

08-04-2004, 05:10 PM
The University of Washington helped start team 360. We broke away after 2 years. They are now mentoring another team.

The major issue was that the grad students did everything and they did not want any help from the HS students.

08-04-2004, 05:22 PM
Team 70, Auto City Bandits out of Flint, was started by GMI (Now Kettering University) in 1998. In 2003, however, Kettering was forced to cut all funding to Team 70. I'm sorry to say that their future is unclear, unfortunately, unless they can get another large college or company to sponsor them or Kettering regenerates funding. :(

Edit: Disclaimer: The future of the team thing is hearsay from sources involved with the team. I'm not on the team, nor do I know what their situation is there.

Edit: How rare is it to see 3 "u" words consecutively in a sentence?

08-04-2004, 05:39 PM
...I'm sorry to say that their future is unclear, unfortunately, unless they can get another large college or company to sponsor them or Kettering regenerates funding. :(

<off topic>
Yes, I know this isn't a thread on funding... But why doesn't the team go after smaller companies... my team did that and it was easier than finding one major corp. sponsor.

08-04-2004, 05:51 PM
Team 128 was started by the Grandview Heights High School and The Ohio State University in 1996. It is still going strong, but is no longer affiliated with OSU.
Team 677 was started by the Columbus School for Girls and Ohio State in 2000.
Team 1014 was started by Dublin City Schools and Ohio State in 2002.
Team 1317 was started by a community of homeschooled students and Ohio State in 2003.
Ohio State currently mentors teams 677, 1014 and 1317.

08-04-2004, 11:20 PM
Then you've obviously never been a part of one.

What does being PART of a team have to do with my suprise when confronted with a perceived deficiency in college sponsored teams? I'm not saying these teams aren't successful, I'm just saying that it's unusual that there aren't more university sponsored teams. You'd think any non-rookie team would have a person at university to garner support for them. I'm not implying that the universties aren't doing there part, simply that it seems the university-FIRST link leaves something to be desired. Always improving, that's the real goal.

08-04-2004, 11:24 PM
What does being PART of a team have to do with my suprise when confronted with a perceived deficiency in college sponsored teams?

The difficulty is your perception. Since you haven't yet been a part of a university sponsored team, you don't understand how difficult it can be to juggle class assignments, FIRST responsibilities, life, and work with a university administration.

It's not fun and it's a good part of why there aren't many university sponsored teams.

08-05-2004, 01:27 AM
Very, very short story...sorry
Team 1064 of South Milwaukee High School was founded by Lauren Halatek of 111 and Kevin Kolodziej of 71 who both started at Milwaukee School of Engineering two years ago. with the intention to create the Milwaukee FIRST Support Organization (MFSO), but there were no teams in the Milwaukee area in 2002.

Note that this team was not a MSOE team and received almost no support from the college. We, the college students, are moving on to WisconsinFirst related stuff...this and the HS is getting a new building and lots of budget cuts has led to Team 1064 being on hiatus for at least this season.

The Numbers
Were we a success: Absolutely, we all learned a great deal, got hands-on experience and inspired a number of HS students...even enough for a small group of now college freshman to start their own team at another High School. We were fairly successful on the field until certain decisions were made.
Lifespan: ~2 years
Retention: Started with about 20 HS kids...after 2 years...5. Maybe this isn't what you meant by retention rate.

Other WI College based Teams:
-171 University of Wisconsin Platteville
-93 Fox Valley Technical College(kind of)

Matt Leese
08-05-2004, 10:09 AM
Team 73 originally began with RIT involvement in 1996. The team has competed in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, and 2004. That may give you an overall idea of the success rate of college teams. However, we expect the current team to be around for quite awhile.


Beth Sweet
02-12-2005, 06:51 PM
I know I know, resurrecting an old thread, but at least I searched!

Our team is a first year team out of Michigan State University. First off, I started the team with the help of a sophomore named Phil. This year was my freshman year and wow, quite the effort it was. Keeping up with classes, plus juggling this group and others made my life very interesting. This team is in its first year, however I forsee it going on. The question in my mind is how long the university will stay involved. At a university with 50,000 people, it is very hard to get much attention. I am going into journalism so I've managed to access the media outlets at the school, however we still have no funding from them. It's quite an adventure, is the best way I know how to describe it. Quite an adventure...

03-13-2005, 10:16 AM
As the faculty advisor for 1014, I have found Ohio State's support of FIRST to be excellent. I think it is harder for colleges to support teams because there generally is not a lot of funding available. This is a disadvantage compared to a corporate sponsored team. But our mentors have established good relationships with the high school students. This has served our team well. Our Engineering Inspiration Award in 2004 was directly attributable to quality of the mentoring OSU provides our team.

As I see it, one of the strengths a college can draw upon is new blood. The make-up of the squad of mentors changes from year to year as new students come into the OSUFIRST program and older students graduate. This means we can generally draw upon a group which has a mix of experience and skills.

Colleges can also provide a good number of mentors. OSU sponsors three teams. I am not sure how many mentors are on the other two teams (677 and 1317) but we have had about a dozen for the past three years. This helps me, because I try to get as many kids involved in FIRST as possible. More mentors makes this easier.

So I don't know about other universities, but OSU has helpd to start four teams (and still mentors three) which are still running and have a combined total of 19 years of FIRST experience.

03-13-2005, 10:51 AM
Following up on Leese's post... getting some money from the college
really wasn't very hard. Getting enough for a team to travel is just about impossible... but then again RIT just put up a lot of funny $ (ie donations in kind) for a regional.

I find programs that bring RIT more fame in the college community have greater support. IE: Darpa Grand Challenge, Formula One, Baja.
Try getting machine shop time at RIT... Formula pretty much owns the place.

Now in support of RIT... when proper backing exists (Read major corporations
and a lot of $) they are all about going ahead full tilt. Which is basically how the
regional happened. (Thanks Xerox, B&L, D&C, Kodak, Gleason, we love you!)

Yan Wang
03-13-2005, 11:35 AM
639 was founded in 2000 by Patrick Dingle, then a Cornell freshmen who had been on 190. The team has been getting stronger ever since.

History of our team can be found at www.team639.org