Big Plans for 09-10?

I am sure that I am not the only one who feels like this is the year to make things happen. Big Things. I am sure that after a few weeks, it will be toned down, but it never hurts to aim high.

Today, we printed out the Sample Team time line from usfirst.org, and we were intimidated by the huge list of activities that we sometimes take for granted or do not dwell on. It feels we get caught up and center the year around build season, that we do not do as much preparation as we should. It is not just preparations that we need to work on though.

FIRST’s goal is to have a team in 10% of schools. I am not sure of the goal date, or even the progress. What i do know, is that my team at least, has not been helping attain that goal. Last year, some of us helped run the regional FLL tournament. But other than that, we haven’t sponsored or mentored any FLL teams, we haven’t started or help start up any FTC teams besides one for us. Although we do receive a grant from our school to help with the costs of maintaining an FRC team, we have not pursued securing funding for other teams (FRC, FTC, and FLL), from local or state legislation. I found out today that our school district has even come to us to find out what it would take to start up a district-wide program or fund.

It seems that is so much more to do after the focus shifts and the realization sets in that FIRST is bigger than one person, team, or even state. While there is nothing wrong with making sure everything goes smoothly for your team, I think that all teams should make some effort to improve the system. While some of us have vision and motivation, it is nothing without help and follow-through. And even though an individual has the desire to make a difference, real change can only be accomplished through cooperation and collaboration. I think that is one of the lessons that Dean tries to teach us through his megalithic projects. No one person or team could make a database of all the FIRST alum. If everyone works together, we can accomplish anything.

But I digress. The intended purpose of this thread was to find out if any other people/teams have big plans this year. If so, what are they and how do you plan to accomplish them.

I must say, I love seeing threads like this before the start of the season =) Thank you.

I lose perspective sometimes about the big picture of what FIRST is doing, so thank you for the reminder.

My so called Big Plans:

  1. Work, learn and play along with and against my best friends in FIRST.
  2. Leave my team with at least another regional championship(but hey who doesn’t?)
  3. Collaborate to bring all teams in FIRST to the highest level of competition they can accomplish and help them meet their goals through EWCP.
  4. Leave EWCP knowing that it has made a difference in at least 1 team’s future and leave it in good and helping hands.
  5. Finally win the NJ regional. :wink:
    Its a humbling feeling to realize that you’ve barely made a dent in anyone’s life; if, even that little of an impact. I look forward to this year, my final year as a high school student, my final year to help team 11, and possibly my final year in FIRST.*

*Possible teams for college: 111, 1771, 103, 97, 2399

Just the other day I was thinking, “What would it take to get a FLL team in every elementary/middle school in area by the 2010 season.” I then became extremely motivated that I started a spreed sheet to cover all what it would take.

I’m going to break off a little bit and go back to the collaboration part.
How about teams start collaborating more. You hear about stories of teams going to competitions with non-functional robots or the such and basically every team at the regional lends a helping hand. But what about the bigger picture? We all know that we want FIRST to grow in a steady manner without losing any teams in the process, what about joining together to make this happen.

Just an idea, what if every team in each state contact one another and make one big goal to work on together. Whether it be present more to state government, or gaining larger sponsorships to start new teams. Something that just one or two teams couldn’t do alone, but with the help of 6 or more teams would be able to make a huge dent in their state, if they work together. 1 goal that when accomplished would greatly benefit FIRST in that state.

Here are just a couple of my goals this year, mostly for my team:

-Leave at the end of the year knowing that my knowledge of robotics will not be missed, because I will have effectively taught everything I know
-Secure enough funds to make it to Atlanta this year, and meet all the awesome people of FIRST
-Go beyond building a robot. Work on focusing more on all the “other stuff” teams do.
-Collaborate more with those who wish to
-Above all, get someone, who prior to the year had been marginally interested in robotics at best, to love FIRST. I did this for the first time last year, and if you haven’t, believe me, it is one of the best feelings in the world :]

Wow, its still sinking in for me that this is my last year in FIRST as a student. I hope I can pull off most of these, particularly the last one. FIRST has given me too much for me to leave without leaving a mark…

Since we started NEOFRA (Northeast Ohio FIRST Robotics Alliance) in 2007, member teams have helped start 3 new FRC teams (including one this year), 1 FTC, and 4 FLL teams. The teams have learned a lot about the best practices of other area teams, many of which they’ve been able to apply to their own programs.

Through our partnership, we have also been able to facilitate outreach to another outside our region. Since 48 does not build backup robots, we would not have had a robot to loan to an up and coming Dayton FRC team at the IRI Pre Rookie Challenge had 379 not offered theirs and one of their mentors to go with us and help out.

In the past, we’d all remain on our little team islands, scattered across the local landscape, where the horrid economy, local backwards politics, and other “real world” predators would have been more easily able to consume and destroy us. Now we stick together, work harder, and help each other out whenever possible, and we have more confidence that we can survive in the middle of these difficult times.

Collaboration works. DO IT.

Four years ago at the local kickoff, the FRC teams in the Baltimore area sat down together and realized they could all help each other while competing with each other. The Baltimore Area Alliance was born.

There are a few core teams, and others that have come and gone from the BAA, but it is usually around 10 teams. Membership criteria is evolving, but does involve geography as attendance to meetings is required to make this work. There is a facilitator and a treasurer, but otherwise no one is “in-charge.” The BAA does a joint fundraiser each year, holds modest training workshops in the fall and just put on the 3rd annual Battle O’Baltimore off-season competition.http://www.battleobaltimore.com/ Putting on an off-season event is just plain fun, and is a great way to do team-building. A local foundation is used as a 501(c)3, as some corporations would rather donate to the group, rather than individual teams. The Maryland State Dept. of Education was impressed by the BAA, and made a donation. These teams help each other during the build season, and this really played out with one of the rookie teams last year. (a great story but too long for here). Let me add that the teams are all fierce competitors with each other, but are also very willing to extend a helping hand.

As a wise man said “Collaboration works. DO IT!”

Don’t you mean NJ State Championship?:cool:

Amen to that :slight_smile:

My big plans:

-To finish my years in FIRST as a student and really put my heart into this years build season.
-Learn more(hopefully CAD)
-Inspire my two younger brothers to start in FIRST
-Start an FLL team (was going to but it would be too much on my family)
-Help our team do more outreach, demos, and get more of my friends into robotics
-Get my boss to sponsor our team (currently we don’t “fit” into their mold for donation worthiness, but he really wants to come to our regional this year!)
-I really want to study hard and get my grades up!:]
-Mentor the team(s) after I graduate
-Stay sane while managing robotics, 2 jobs, senior year, and any extra activities if I have the time.:frowning:

That’s it for now.

Shhh, quiet you. :rolleyes:

So we are helping a local school get it’s own FTC team started. They have an FRC team already, but I feel like marking it up as a win. Also, I get to bump the thread.

How do teams recruit new members the best? At a public high school, it is not seen as “cool” to be smart and on a robotics team. The name ‘Nerds of the North’ doesn’t help either. I guess building the team reputation is another big goal for this year.

We have problems with that on our team also, I always get the same response “Oh sweet that robot is awesome, I wish I could do that, but to bad I am not smart enough to be on a robotics team” People at our school think that the robotics team is more of a geek/nerd thing, and stay away from joining, and in turn we are having major membership shortages. We are trying to branch off and make the team look more cool by making the T-Shirt launcher, so Hopefully it will help!!!

Recruiting for our team is considerably difficult as well sense we are a homeschool team. Yes we will gladly accept non-homeschoolers, but those of us that don’t go to a co-op, go to a career tech. To bad that career tech already has a FIRST team(1561 “RoboDucks”)…

If anyone has any ideas as to how we could recruit please, don’t hesitate to tell me. We also have the “Not smart enough” problem… :smiley:

I’m sure a quick search on that topic would pull up a large number of threads.

As for my goals: I would like to.

  • Build a beastly VRC robot.
  • Win the local VRC tourney in a dominating style
  • Go to Dallas with minor changes.
  • Win at Dallas
  • Help out any teams with FTC
  • Design this year’s FRC robot
  • Win P’tree Regional
  • Win Palmetto Regional
  • Win World Chamionships

Achieve total World Domination.

Hey,

We have the same issues, and we send out emails to local co-ops that we are a part of and those we aren’t has worked pretty well, not to mention inviting our friends to meetings. Any questions, just PM me. Good luck!:slight_smile:

Some ideas on NEMO Resources page under “Students”
http://www.firstnemo.org/resources.htm

My personal goals for the team

09-10
-Provide for a more organized pit
-Provide for a more organized tool/parts system to make cleanup faster and finding the tools we want and need easier
-Provide a better solution to CAD (drawings of parts) so the CAD is actually used in the assembly
-Provide a more organized system to charge our batteries

10-11
-Part numbering system classifying parts to what they belong to as a whole (so bolts will have a certain system so you can find the right size easier) as well as custom parts will have a numbering system to where they belong on robot

In this, my second year, I know of a lot of areas of our build process/organization we can improve, and though I’ve got all intentions of fixing these, it sometimes seems like we’re fighting an internal battle to try to get FIRST promoted. See my other post with the strong FCAT blackout mandate from the school district.

Still, I’ve opened discussions with a handful of other schools in the area to start clubs/teams there, but other than the “sounds great” statements, interest has been less than stellar. I know the dollar figures tends to scare some of these folks, so the discussions are now along the lines of forming clubs, and jointly going to competitions. We’ll see how it goes.

As for more recruits at our own school, we’re going to do some robotics “activities” in the cafeteria etc during the day to spark interest. We’ve noticed that most don’t know we have a robotics club and even walking down a hallway with a control system sparks interest with questions like “we build robots at this school?”.

We’ve not run into the “not smart” problem. Actually we’re run into the problem where students think they know too much :eek:. We make our students smart – Last fall (and now beginning again this fall), I started doing little 10-15 min tech sessions at each meeting on topics such as fastener types, using plastics vs. metals, basic electricals, adhesives, pneumatics, etc. I know this was helpful to many students later when they knew what 6-32 meant and why they needed a machine screw rather than a sheet-metal screw, when someone said “this wire looks too thin to drive a motor”, and someone else knew that a drill bit wasn’t working because it was a masonry bit, etc, etc.

This year, I’ve got Win XP (vs. my traditional Win2K+Linux dual boot), so I can run the provided CAD software, Labview, etc.

Cheers,
-Neil.