2006 FIRST Robotics Conference

Just a reminder, if you’d like to share your knowledge with your fellow FIRSTers, please consider submitting a proposal to give a presentation at the 2006 FIRST Robotics Conference. The conference will be held in Atlanta in April during Championships, and proposals must be submitted by December 16. Details can be found in this FIRST E-mail blast.

Maybe college students should have a conference so that we can discuss items like maintaining college credits while mentoring a team.

Simple answer: college comes first. No employer is going to hire someone because they were in FIRST. They will hire you because you have a 4.0. As to a college chat, find a time when we aren’t either going to have to skip classes or give up valuable money scrambling time over the summer and you’ll get a cookie or something…

During the first Championship Conference we did have a college panel, but it was too short to cover the topics that were on everybody’s mind. Since then, the committee has focused the conference to serve more as a kind of professional development (for adults) and a way to teach robot design skills (for students).

During that college panel discussion the overall conclusion was that balancing a FIRST team and College Life is very difficult. Although it may be a noble effort, starting up a FIRST team without a lot of help, support, or reliable people to delegate to could end up being more of a distraction than a positive experience.

However, if you do have a good idea for a college-student focused session (or any other kind of session), please submit a proposal!

I am no college student but multiple people who've interviewed college graduates for jobs have told me that GPA isn't given too much more than a glance. I'm not saying sacrifice your grades for mentoring, but involving yourself in a FIRST team is far from a waste.

I’ve done prescreening (aka looking at resumes and determining who gets to talk to the actual recruiters) for Boeing a number of times at the career fair. We do look at GPA but in a very general sense. A GPA above a 3.0 is almost mandatory and above a 3.4 or 3.5 is very helpful. The key thing we look for, however, is excitement in Boeing and what it does. It’s amazing how many people won’t have a good answer for why they’d want to work for the company they’re talking to.


In case you didn’t see it, the deadline for proposals was extended to Thursday, January 5:

FIRST Robotics Conference
April 27-28, 2006
Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta

Same location and dates as the FIRST Championship

We have received a number of really great proposals for the 2006 FIRST Robotics Conference, but we would like to receive more, especially on technical topics. The deadline for submission has been extended to Thursday, January 5 (two days before the FIRST Robotics Competition Kick-Off).

One-hour workshops on topics of interest to FIRST Robotics (FRC), FIRST LEGO League (FLL), and FIRST Vex Challenge (FVC) teams, robotics educators, coaches, mentors, students and prospective leaders will be accepted. You may present alone or as a team. Please keep in mind that most attendees are already involved in FIRST in some capacity.
The primary goal of the conference is to provide personal and professional development for K-12 educators, non-engineering mentors, technical mentors and students.

We encourage presentations in all technical and non-technical areas that might interest FRC, FLL, FVC teams and coaches. We are still seeking presentations on technical topics such as Motors & Transmissions, Mechanical Appendage Design, Drive Base Design, Overall Robot Design, C Programming and Animation.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for a one-hour presentation in Atlanta, please submit the following by email to Karen Sullivan (karen@usfirst.org) by Thursday, January 5, 2006:
Your name(s)
Team number(s), if applicable - pls specify FLL, FRC, or FVC
Affiliation (school, company, agency, etc)
Are you a coach? Mentor? Professional? HS student? College student? Faculty? Teacher? Team of the above?
Email address(es), phone number(s), address(es) of presenter(s)
Have you given this presentation before?
Title of presentation proposed
Technical presentation or non-technical (gears versus team dynamics, for example)
A short abstract outlining your presentation (no more than 250 words, please)
Due to the Conference Planning Committee’s workload and the imminent FRC season, proposals significantly longer than 250 words cannot be considered. Please adhere to the above guidelines.

Selected proposals will presented at the conference in Atlanta on April 27-28, 2006. Travel and accommodations will not be provided by FIRST. Selected presenters will be notified in early February, 2006.

Questions? Send an email to Karen Sullivan, karen@usfirst.org.

Will there be a NEMO conference at Atlanta?

Last year we held an informal NEMO meet and greet in Atlanta. It was fun putting faces to the names on ChiefDelphi. I will not be in Atlanta this year but I encourage NEMs to organize something via our forum and meet one another! As far as there being a conference session on non-technical topics, the session proposals are still being reviewed at this time.

Woops. Even though I searched for this thread I missed it and posted details about the conference here. Please share with your teams and consider sending someone to the conference - the sessions look great.

We are planning some kind of a NEMO get together since both the Queens of NEMs will be there. :smiley: More details to come as it gets closer.

Beth, I’ve been out of college for about 175 dog years, and I’ve been involved in hiring hundreds of people, including dozens of students right out of school. I’d be a lot more impressed with a student who had a 3.2 and had mentored a high school FIRST team for four years (or worked in the industry, or was on Search and Rescue, or supported a family while they went to school, or was in the military) than with a 4.0 who hadn’t. It wouldn’t even be close. Grades matter a lot more to college students than employers. While, tragically, HR departments are nearly as obsessed with grades as students, hiring managers are a lot more interested in what you know, how you work with others, and if you really know how to work. Grades are not really a very good indicator of any of those things.