Our team has been invited to the Mississippi State Capitol next Wednesday the 25th to demonstrate our robot to our state leaders. We will be there all day, setup in the capitol rotunda giving demonstrations and allowing our representatives and possibly even the Governor the opportunity to drive a previous year’s robot. Supposedly there will be professional photographers and the usual news media coverage. We will, of course, do our best to spread the mission of FIRST and hopefully enlighten some of our state leaders about how wonderful FIRST is. We recognize this is a golden opportunity and desire to make the most impact we can. My question is, in a nutshell, what do we tell them?
It is no secret that Mississippi lags behind most of the nation when it comes to education. We obviously desire that to change. We know that, as cool as driving a robot around in the rotunda of the capitol may be, all our leaders are busy people and we will only have a precious few minutes with them individually. What should we tell them? If you had 2 minutes to talk one on one with your Senator or Representative or Governor about FIRST what would you say?
We know other states have various state level programs in place to support FIRST. What are those programs and how do they work? Should we even address that sort of thing with this opportunity? As in, “(Insert Governor or Senator or Representative name here) , the State of X supports FIRST teams through a program that does… How can we work together to initiate a program like that here in Mississippi?”
What have other teams done in situations like this that grabbed the attention or their state leaders? What talking points did you use? What one liners grabbed their attention such that they didn’t just think “Yeah, that’s cool” but forgot all about it the next day. We all know the statistics that Dean and FIRST spout about like FIRST students are more likely to do this or that. But that’s boring. I want to grab their attention enough that they think “hey, this FIRST thing is worth checking into” and then they take the initiative to research what FIRST is all about. How do we do that?
Please, serious responses only. We recognize this may be our one shot and want to make the most of it. We welcome any advice from teams that may have already been down this road as to what to say and not say, do and not do, etc. so as to make the best FIRST impression we can.