View Full Version : How to get a team involved in their community that doenst know about the team?
11-28-2006, 08:45 PM
Many team are really involved in their community but some teams don't know how to get involved in their community or are not known in their community. Like my team 1501 has a bit of involvement but would like to get more involved. So my big QUESTION is how do you big teams get involved?
The Goober!!! :D :D :D
11-28-2006, 09:12 PM
Try to become friendly with a reporter from the local newspaper, chances are if you compile the connections of all of the kids on your team you can find some good ones. We did this through a member who knew a reporter at the Riverdale Press, through whom we have been the subject of multiple articles which have helped tremendously in gaining the support of the community.
The support of your school is also fairly easy to gain. Showing off the robot by creating a small obstacle course and allowing students not on the team to attempt it you are able to get nonmembers not only excited about robots but also allows them to further grasp the concepts of what you are doing and why you dedicate so much time to it.
Also remember that the easiest part of the community to gain the support of is that of your family and friends. Parents love nothing more than a reason to brag about their kids and robotics fits quite well in the discussions of our tech savy youth. By just getting these people more aware of what you are doing you are getting your name onto the streets through finding a place in their discussions with others, which helps immensely.
11-28-2006, 09:17 PM
Do demos. Wherever you can, at school, at festivals, etc. Even just showing up to an event with the team in uniform can generate a lot of questions about the team and the program.
11-28-2006, 10:17 PM
Visit elementary schools and YMCAs nearby and tell the faculty/staff about FIRST and what your team does. See if you can do a quick demonstration or something and not only would you be spreading your team name out, but you would be encouraging others to join first.
encouraging the kids to join FIRST is one of my favorite feelings in the world. :D
11-29-2006, 02:34 PM
I rather think of community involvement as areas that can work independently and together such as community service and recruitment or outreach and promotion. Fundraising can also be a part of this as well.
It would be helpful if you have an outreach lead/sub-team and a parent/mentor to help with establishing contacts and scheduling.
Think about -
what are your goals?
what do you want to accomplish?
what are the benefits for everyone?
Then look around:
there are a lot of after school programs
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
the public libraries
Chamber of Commerce
Just sit down and make a list and see where that takes you. If you open the door, someone will walk through it. The same confidence that is gained through build, can be attained in community service, outreach, promotion, and recruitment. People, young and old, get excited when the team shows up - they know they are in for a treat.
And, community involvement is like a pebble in the pond, it ripples out and keeps rippling. Good luck with helping your team grow.
11-29-2006, 10:17 PM
We set community outreach as a goal after the build last year. From monthly beach clean-ups, to fixing computers with a church group, to various demos, opportunities were found when individual members learned of them from friends, the local newspaper or from other social involvements. (If interested in more specifics, our team has a page on our website devoted to our community service projects at http://www.marsbot.org/outreach ). Response from our sponsors and school has been overwhelmingly positive when told of the team's service efforts.
11-30-2006, 10:23 AM
Our town has a festival-type thing every year called Heritage Day. Many of the clubs from our school set up booths there and sell things. This year, the team decided to participate, but not to sell anything. We just brought the 04 robot and set it all up to do a demo in a section of the parking lot. We had a laptop set up with videos of the 06 season for people to watch as they passed by. Many people stopped at our booth to ask us for more information about the team. We even picked up some sponsors.
If your town has something like this (or maybe even your county-do a join effort with other local teams), it is a great way to get some community support. You can sell stuff if you want, but I think some people might just want to see something and not feel pressured to buy anything.
Write letters to your town council or your mayor to tell them more about the team. Try and see if you can set up booths at different events (the team did a demo a few years ago at the Invent America competition, which is how I found out about it). If you can organize yourselves well enough, a Lego camp is also a great way to let the community know what you do. It gets kids involved at a younger age which helps with team membership.
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