Attn: all WA state FRC teams

FRC team 1318 is excited to let you all know about a new development for FIRST in Washington. We also need your help (this is related to the previous thread I started here, but I feel like this deserves its own discussion).

The hot educational topic for the the past couple of years in Olympia has been how to get kids excited about math and science and to understand applications for it in the real world. In conjunction with this, a parent from our team initiated a discussion with one of our representatives about the benefits of FIRST, and he came out to look at our team and see what the program is all about. To our amazement, we soon had more legislators visiting. Everyone who came was completely sold on the idea. For their convenience, we compiled a list to show how other states are promoting FIRST and providing financial assistance. Not only were they enthused about the program, they invited us to come to Olympia to present the concept as well as a funding ask to the Educational Appropriations Committee the first week of their 2008 session (meaning that it will definitely be discussed this coming year).

They also requested that we put together some sort of DVD on the program and how it is effecting kids across the state. It is supposed to be about 10 minutes long. Our representatives want this to generate enthusiasm among other legislators that may not be in attendance at the hearing - it’s pretty cool to have lobbyists within the legislative body!

Here’s where we need your help:

  1. There are 25 teams in Washington, and we would like a picture of each if possible to include with the movie. Video is awesome as well - short highlight clips of matches, the build season or personal “interviews” with students about how FIRST has helped/inspired them are all much appreciated. Let us know what legislative district(s) your school is in as well - we want to show all the areas that have active FIRST teams. And if it’s not too much to ask, we’d like to get these submissions ASAP. As we all know, once build season starts there won’t be time for much besides building a robot, so we’re trying to get this video done as much as possible over the holiday break. We’d like to have everything by December 26th. Of course, if you aren’t able to have them ready by that point we’d love to get whatever you can get us at any timebefore kickoff.

  2. Please email the legislators from your district and tell them to come to the meeting on January 18th. Our experience is that if kids themselves are telling the legislators this motivates them - they’ll listen. Go to http://www.leg.wa.gov/legislature. Click on “Find your district” and enter your school’s address. Or, as your boundaries might cross district boundaries (ours does) you might want to enter a couple of different home addresses some distance apart in your school’s boundaries to see what you come up with. The more we can get the word out about this, the better.

  3. If you can manage it, join us in Olympia to show support and demonstrate that there are many kids from around Washington State that benefit from this. (If you decide to come, please let us know. We’re trying to keep a head count.) Our presentation will be January 18, 2008
    from 1:30-2:00 in Hearing Room B at the capitol building.Thanks for your support! Together we may be able to help this wonderful program grow in our area. FIRST has taught me so much about science and technology, and I want to give as many kids as possible the opportunity to learn and be inspired as I have.

PS
Unfortunately, I will be out of town from tomorrow afternoon until the 24th and will likely not be able to access a computer to answer questions. Submissions can be directed to kylecorbitt(AT)gmail(DOT)com, president(AT)issaquahrobotics(DOT)org, or of course linked to in this thread.

EDIT: fixed an email address typo

I’m not with a team in Washington, but just wanted to say good job! Making progress toward getting this kind of support is incredible and is ultimately what’s really going to make FIRST grow to everyone.

You may find The Blue Alliance’s 2007 Pacific Northwest Regional video archive useful. It’s video of (most of) the matches last year:

http://www.thebluealliance.net/tbatv/event.php?eventid=7

Good luck!

Thank you everyone for your contributions. We are looking for anything and everything to help represent all WA state FRC Team when we present in Olympia. This includes pictures and videos of not only the competitions, but build season as well. Additionally, any other materials you may have are welcome. Kyle (who started this discussion) will be out of town for a couple days. In the meantime if anyone has anything from a WA state FRC Team, feel free to post it here or email it to Kyle or myself.

Again, we’re looking to show the strong impact of FIRST on the students – I know there’s plently of passion out there for this program, now it’s just about getting it all onto one DVD!

Another new update… to upload your materials, please visit http://www.issaquahrobotics.org/upload.shtml – the username is first and word is washington.