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Go to Post p.s. note that 5-1/2 hours in the car with your daughter on the way to IRI is NOT the same as 10 hours in the van with seven members of Team 116 on the way to IRI. One is a wonderful familial experience, the other is an opportunity to go insane. - dlavery [more]
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  #46   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 11-17-2002, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by amandabean
I, myself, am a photojournalism major. Many people ask me why I am involved in a science and technology program when I can't do any of the technical work. There is indeed a lot to a FIRST team, as I am discovering by being a mentor/advisor- fundraising, marketing, planning, designing... I could keep going on and on. FIRST has spread to parents, teachers, and engineers nationwide, and as everyone knows, once you catch the FIRST bug, you're affected for life.

Kids who join just to go to Florida should not be kicked out of the team, in my opinion.

I think not allowing a child to enter a team is the worst that can be done. I realize that all teams have monetary restrictions,
I became involved this year to discover I had an unknown to me flair for publicity and fundraising. There isn't a mechanical bone in my body. Team building, inspiration - yes, I can do that. I've got the FIRST bug.

My ss joined 2001 at our insistence, and did nothing the entire year except attend meetings. The VP made an unpopular decision paying for his trip to nationals where they won. First time I saw enthusiasm in my ss. It didn't stick, but it did get all the rest of his family in the program. I try to remember him when I feel periodic frustration with those who haven't got the bug and just want the trip.

We have rival schools united on one robotics' team. One of the schools tried to make a restriction - you have to have a 3.0 to participate.

The other school sought funding and said, "The Beach Cities Robotics team is composed of students from Mira Costa and Redondo Union High School. The Robotics program is open to all high school students, and has no grade point prerequisite. This allows us to recruit underachieving students as well as honors students. Students, who would not have otherwise pursued science or math, are drawn to this program by its unique, interesting, and enjoyable approach. Through participation in this program, the members receive experience in a variety of aspects of teamwork and robot building, resulting in the development of important and valuable life skills. "

So much for restricting membership.
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Unread 11-17-2002, 09:33 AM
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Plain and simple...

I truly think that FIRST's message in it's entirety for its various members is non-existing! I think that FIRST is merely a tool used by each and every one of us to develope our own understanding of the message that this technological/reality relationship means to the futur. To actually specify a message for the program to portray is actually restricting FIRST's potential! "For Inspiration" (i believe) not only means to inspire new technologies from the minds of it's participants but to spark a plethera of positive outcomes of exposing technology to all who are involved.
In other words... You figure it out
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Unread 11-17-2002, 11:19 PM
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Success, to me, is achieving not only your goal, but the goal of the whole as well, and I think that's what FIRST stands for. You can't be single minded and just look at the advantages for yourself; rather, for an effort to be successfull, it has to be broader and satisfy the conditions put forth while doing so in as graceful manner as possible. That can only be done through teamwork, with concerted efforts moving forward in unicen. Henceforth, success takes the cooperation, determination, and vitalities of many to be achieved fully in the realm of FIRST.

Last edited by Dan 550 : 11-17-2002 at 11:29 PM.
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Unread 11-18-2002, 06:19 AM
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Post a thread I I did a while ago

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...&threadid=4149

Take a look at what people answered a long time ago.
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Unread 11-18-2002, 10:46 AM
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Au contraire.

I think that the former thread was answered in the form of, "How does FIRST make me successful?"

This thread, which I am very fond of, is more in the sense of, "How has FIRST been successful in inspiring me, and is that truly where FIRST can base their success?"

We've had many discussions about the spirit of FIRST, no doubt. But honestly, there are so many people out there that are skeptical of FIRST and the whole idea of it, that it's necessary to show everyone what FIRST is and how it inspires.

FIRST is kind of like charity work... you are, even if only in some small way, helping our future just a little bit, and you get a great feeling from it. Even if you are just ringing a bell (or clapping MOE sticks together), you're helping. All that enthusiasm and inspiration at FIRST events isn't something that you can pass on to others- you have to bring them along, show them what truly is the success of FIRST, and let them get inspired too.
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Unread 11-20-2002, 11:39 AM
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Success is not who won the most awards.

Success is who got the most out of the experience. A team can win every single award, every single match, but if the team members didn't learn any lessons from being involved, then what does it matters.

Success is what you make of it. So I know it's a cliche, but cliches usually have a lot of truth behind them. What are you going to do with the things you've learned?

Personally, I think FIRST is about more than just building a robot, or promoting science and technology. FIRST is about people. When I went to my very first competition, I knew nothing about robotics. My mom worked for the school district, and her boss was in charge of the program. I really wasn't happy about getting dragged out of bed on a Saturday morning to go watch a bunch of machines do whatever it was that they had to do. I've never been very technically inclined. But when I got to the Motorola Midwest Regional in 2000, the first thing I noticed was the people. There were a lot of them! But they were having fun!! This wasn't just a big geek-fest (okay, well maybe it is, but hey, i'm one of em!). And everyone was friends. They were competing on the field, but off the field, they were friends. They were talking and laughing and joking. There were thousands of kids there, and everyone seemed to know everyone else. That intrigued me. And then there was my team. I went there expecting to be treated as an outsider. These kids had been working together for months, they knew each other, they were friends. I didn't expect to fit in -- but I did. They never treated me like I didn't belong. I just kind of got absorbed into the group. That was the beginning of my obsession with FIRST. I am a senior now, and this is my third year on Team Hammond. I will miss it when I leave, but since I'm going to Purdue, I know I will find a new home, with a new team -- and people I already know.

My name is Amanda, and I am a FIRST-aholic.
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Unread 11-20-2002, 06:10 PM
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what is success?

success is tightening that last bolt or conecting that last wire on your robot

success is when that robot does what it was designed to do

success is when the at least 1 person on the team has FUN and LEARNS

success is when the at least one person realizes that there is more to FIRST than just building a robot

For Tantrum 2002:
success was finishing the modifictaions to our 2001 robot

success was seeing that 2001 robot play the 2002 game and move a 180 lb goal that it wasnt at all designed to move*

FIRST's purpose (to me):
to inspire kids to become involved in robotics and technology

to help kids establish a better feeling of team work

to allow them to meet new people from other teams they would have never met if it wasnt for FIRST


*= we werent an official team last year. We modified our 2001 robot and competed at River Rage so that we could recruit new members and get people some building experience
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Last edited by Ryan Foley : 11-20-2002 at 06:22 PM.
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Unread 11-20-2002, 06:34 PM
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Success in FIRST cannot be measured by any one standard, but did it make a difference in YOUR life, did it somehow affect how you saw the world.

Success in FIRST is bringing tears to a machinists eyes when you recognize him for inspiring so many highschoolers when he was able to work with our team.

Success is learning to work in a group of people and compromise when needed.

Success is the sparkle in my little sisters eye when she sees what she can do when she gets to high school because her 3 older siblings already made it.

Success is inspiring high schoolers to get real world experiance through internships with their sponsors.

Success is a shy 17 year old girl being able to talk in front of a Steering Commitee at a big company to ask for sponsorship.

Success is the fun and excitement people have at competition, whether they are driving, in the pits, or cheering their team on from the sidelines.

Success is the massive amount of scholarship money colleges are willing to offer to students such as me who wouldn't be here if I hadn't recieved that money.

Success in FIRST can be measured in so many shapes and forms, I could go on all day and list off how FIRST has changed my life and many others around me, the point is that FIRST is successful, in so many different ways, even those kids who just join for a free trip, so what, they make a couple friends and feel accepted someplace, maybe thats what they wanted out of FIRST.
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Unread 11-21-2002, 02:57 PM
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if.

If it grows big you only wnat it to grow bigger.
The goal of FIRST is no longer to make peolpe happy, its $.
Once the $ are made then they try making people happy.
Personally i believe the FIRST is an amazing experience, i'll do it as long as i can. But It is also a very fine example of our world.
$ + $ = $$....YAY!
what i mean is that it has become corporate...it is now a large scale project and as such it loses that "warm", "welcoming" feeling. I know many disagree with my view, But take this example: You play in the big leagues be it baseball...hockey....whichever. As a pro, you will always recall those days where you used an old broom stick for a bat....or the days spent in the street wacking a hockey ball around...

I might have lost myself in this whole argument
i simply tried to say that First is a business...it is still enjoyable, but i have a feeling that the purpose is not to make that 16 yearold learn some fun technology, but instead it is to take that 16 year old, and use him as a number...saying that you tought him great things.
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Unread 11-21-2002, 05:12 PM
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Re: if.

Quote:
Originally posted by Martin
The goal of FIRST is no longer to make peolpe happy, its $.

i have a feeling that the purpose is not to make that 16 yearold learn some fun technology, but instead it is to take that 16 year old, and use him as a number...saying that you tought him great things.
The goal of FIRST is not money and if you think that you should really consider why your in FIRST. FIRST's goal is, and always has been, to give kids a chance at something they may never experience otherwise. It's to teach them that you can do something with your knowledge and be considered awesome rather than being considered a nerd(in a derogatory manner). FIRST and its participants don't look at how much money you have or what your wearing but put everyone on an equal, rectangular, playing field. That is why FIRST is moving NATS. Disney, no matter how much I love them, were making it hard for teams to come, and creating an unfair advantage for teams with a lot of money. And when there are unfair advantages nobody is happy.

FIRST is not about numbers either because no matter how many people are in FIRST they all aren't there for the right reason. But if there is one person, just one, who was able to say to themselves "Hey I'm not stupid! I can do this, I helped build this amazing machine!", even if the robot doesn't make it to finals but moves. Then that is the best number. Trust me in my first year when I looked at our robot and said "Oh my gosh i did it, I helped create this awesome machine!" my mentors and engineers weren't pulling out pieces of paper and marking a number but smiling and celebrating with me. And last year when I was able to finish the animation, with the help of everyone I could talk to(speacial thanx Brad, Frank, and Sunny), nobody was putting me down as a number or even thinking my animation would do as well as it did. But they treated me like the other animators who received an honorable mention.

FIRST is about learning, and equality. Yes there is money involved but everything has money, even your sports. We are in the days of the broomstick bat because after this are much more complicated machines, that we create. More team building, and games that aren't for points but to reach another planet. I hope you can see this because the success of the students, teachers, mentors, and engineers are the real successes of FIRST. The success of saying "I did it!"

I did it! Thanks FIRST

~SHANA~
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Unread 11-21-2002, 06:09 PM
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FIRST is a non-profit organization. Enough said =)
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Unread 11-21-2002, 08:30 PM
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like Foley350 said success is seeing your robot from the past year able to accomplish a task from the current game. we used our previous years robot at one of our design meetings to pulla goal containing two 150 lbs kids.(boy is it fun to be dragged by a robot. try it sometime.)

success is not winning hardware (maybe the motorola quality award which we won in VCU last year) but having fun accomplishing what you set out to do. look at the most prestigous award FIRST has to offer. it isnt to the national champions, its to the chairmans award winners. the chairmans award winners could have come in last place but they put together a good video showing how FIRST has affected their lives as well as their community's lives as well.
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Unread 11-21-2002, 10:14 PM
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Naaaa

Quote:
Originally posted by Martin
$ + $ = $$....YAY!
what i mean is that it has become corporate...it is now a large scale project and as such it loses that "warm", "welcoming" feeling. I know many disagree with my view, But take this example: You play in the big leagues be it baseball...hockey....whichever. As a pro, you will always recall those days where you used an old broom stick for a bat....or the days spent in the street wacking a hockey ball around...
The initial FIRST competition took place in 1992, where each team had a corporate sponsor. Most of those teams were conjured up by the corporate sponsor being challenged to take part in FIRST, and then going out to get a high school to mentor.

I would assume that there are actually a higher percentage of FIRST teams these days who don't have corporate sponsors... so I suggest that FIRST is becoming less corporate.

Corporate sponsors have always been involved in FIRST. Keep in mind that this is about inspiration. A big key in the success of FIRST is the fact that students get to work side by side with professionals.

On this note... one of the goals of our team this year is to go through all of our old videos and digitize them so that other teams can see the on-field history of FIRST. History... it's is a good thing to know.

Andy B.
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Unread 11-21-2002, 10:21 PM
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Shana wrote,
“The goal of FIRST is not money and if you think that you should really consider why your in FIRST.”

Excuse me? I will kindly ask that you go back and reread every single post in this thread before you even consider posting again. It is exactly that attitude that was the impetus for this thread. In fact, the entire point was that I don’t think it’s fair that we tell anyone they’re in FIRST for the wrong reasons because, quite simply, you can’t possibly know what they get from it.

Now, with that said, I’ll address Martin’s post. I don’t think it’s fair to write it off immediately. While I don’t know that I entirely agree with him, I do think he has some valid points that people may not want to acknowledge. It’s understandable that we’d turn a blind eye to it, but everything has a seedy underbelly.

Martin wrote,
“what i mean is that it has become corporate...it is now a large scale project and as such it loses that ‘warm’, ‘welcoming’ feeling.”

There is merit to this, I think. As FIRST grows, if solely for organizational purposes, it becomes harder for teams to developed relationships, and it becomes harder for teams to feel familiar with FIRST’s staff. In the past, knowing a bit about 300 teams was possible. Now, I don’t think there’s anyone who knows all about the 800-odd teams that we’ve got popping up all over the place. There is a certain sense of alienation and it’s growing each year.

Does this really impact the ability of the program to do good?
Sure, money is certainly a factor. Companies want to see a return of investment on everything they do – and, while that may come in many forms, it’s still very important. This may mean that they see more people going into engineering, allowing them a more diverse pool of potential employees to choose from, or it may mean that their name is plastered all over a regional, or it may mean that they make contact with other businesses via their involvement in FIRST, and arrange business partnerships that have nothing to do with FIRST. I’ve seen all of these things happen.

But then, isn’t that all part of the plan? FIRST gives students myriad opportunities to enrich their high school experiences (and beyond), teaches them to see the world in all sorts of new ways, and does so while maintaining the interest of corporations, businesses, and CEO’s. Without them, FIRST wouldn’t work, so it only makes sense to cater to some of their needs.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that FIRST is entirely driven based off of financial concerns. Not yet. There are still good people out there doing this for some amazing reasons. Admittedly, though, I’ve also run into more than my share of people who’re involved for reasons that aren’t quite so altruistic. Still, in the end, all of these people work together, and so far, it seems like it’s been a positive experience for everyone.

Martin continued,

“i simply tried to say that First is a business...it is still enjoyable, but i have a feeling that the purpose is not to make that 16 yearold learn some fun technology, but instead it is to take that 16 year old, and use him as a number...saying that you tought him great things.”

I’d argue that FIRST is quite the opposite. It removes students from a situation where they’re nothing more than a statistic – an ID number, a Social Security number, a part of a high school’s percentage that go on to four year colleges – and it gives them an opportunity to shine as individuals. I’d imagine that, somewhere between the team meetings and ChiefDelphi, some of those individual achievements are lost, but I think they’re adequately recognized amongst team members. People become individuals with unique ideas, skills and personalities. Teams, too, take on some of these characteristics.

When you open a students eyes to the world outside the mainstream, you can’t stop them from being an individual. At least, to my line of thinking. There are too many great things out there in the world for people to get lost as a statistic. But, it’s our job to save them from that fate, I suppose.

Shana wrote, in response to Martin,

“FIRST and its participants don't look at how much money you have or what your wearing but put everyone on an equal, rectangular, playing field. That is why FIRST is moving NATS. Disney, no matter how much I love them, were making it hard for teams to come, and creating an unfair advantage for teams with a lot of money. And when there are unfair advantages nobody is happy.”

Again, I’d disagree. This is outside the scope of this thread, and I know it’s a topic nobody really wants to get into, but there is socio-economic stratification within FIRST. It shows up everywhere, from robot appearance to materials selection to regional attendance. It’s unavoidable, unless FIRST can someday supply everything to every single team.

The reality is that success attracts money and support, and those things encourages success. It’s not a law of nature, exactly, but it certainly seems true a lot of the time.

Shana continued,

“FIRST is not about numbers either because no matter how many people are in FIRST they all aren't there for the right reason.”

::M shakes fist angrily::

“But if there is one person, just one, who was able to say to themselves "Hey I'm not stupid! I can do this, I helped build this amazing machine!", even if the robot doesn't make it to finals but moves. Then that is the best number. Trust me in my first year when I looked at our robot and said "Oh my gosh i did it, I helped create this awesome machine!" my mentors and engineers weren't pulling out pieces of paper and marking a number but smiling and celebrating with me. And last year when I was able to finish the animation, with the help of everyone I could talk to(speacial thanx Brad, Frank, and Sunny), nobody was putting me down as a number or even thinking my animation would do as well as it did. But they treated me like the other animators who received an honorable mention.”

Agreed. And, to take it further, there are so many other amazing definitions of success that to try to quantify them at all – or, even explain them – seems futile.

Last edited by Madison : 11-21-2002 at 10:48 PM.
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Unread 11-21-2002, 11:30 PM
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Very well said! I believe that M. Krass has a great outlook on FIRST and what it stands for.


It is indeed unfortunate that you feel FIRST is a money-driven corporate organization. I hope that maybe, your mentor or a member of your team can spark your imagination, have your eyes light up with inspiration, and have your heart set on inspiring others as they inspire you.
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