Former second lead/programming mentor and drive coach of 7108 here. I’ve started involving with FIRST and FRC last year with Team 7108. They were looking for a new mentor outside the school and somehow found me in the university (I was VP of the robotics club in our university.) and we’ve started working together after 2018 season. This year we’ve made an incredible run together by ranking 1 in Istanbul regional, winning the event alongside with a quality award. We’ve ranked 9 in Carver Division and became the 6th alliance captain. We’ve got eliminated to 1678, 7179, 3132 and 1939 in the quarterfinals tiebreaker where we’ve lost 91-90. The whole worlds was an incredible experience for all of our team and we’ve definitely achieved more than we could ever imagine. Meeting with all the wholesome teams and listening to their stories was very enlightening. However as our school is a public school (I am not related to school except the FRC team by the way), we had lots of struggle especially in the administrative works as I am an outsider to school. Also they don’t even want the team to attend FRC as they see local robotics competitions are better. Moreover I remember getting knocked out of the school with the kids together multiple times during build season, because simply they didn’t want us to work after school hours ( How can the kids supposed the build the robot in 6 weeks if they can’t work outside the school hours?) Despite everything, I won’t be giving up that easy after seeing the worlds and meeting all the great people in FRC. I believe we have lots of things to learn and lots of things to give to the community and all the bright high schoolers out there. As a master student in computer science (I specialize in cognitive robotics), I still learn and see incredible things in FRC speaking of technical terms.
As a result, me and my friend who was our mechanical mentor from my university (we worked together with him a lot, god bless him), left the team to form a new independent rookie community team in Istanbul, Turkey with some of the core members of the team. But before this, we want to build a strong infrastructure for our team so that it can be sustainable and keeps growing every year. I would like to hear about other community team’s stories and advices from them especially on how they are formed, where do they work, how do they recruit new members, how do they handle their financial businesses etc. I know there are great community teams out there such as 3476 Code Orange and 4481 Team Rembrandts and I am sure there are way more than them.
I would really appreciate any help. Thanks a lot!