College Team Help!

Again, I’m asking people for help with the college team I’m attempting to create. This team is going to be used to go to other schools and organizations in southeastern Massachusetts to start FIRST robotics, FIRST Lego Leauge, and for a place to compile FIRST information. I’m hoping to compile everyone’s thoughts, papers, pictures, etc. for anyone that would need them so that you could go to our webpage and pull them up at your convience. I’m looking for anyone that is thinking about going to Bridgewater State College in the fall and would like to help continue the FIRST experience. Please email me here, at, and PLEASE post any thoughts, suggestions, comments, to this message. Thanks everyone.

a friend of mine whos a rambot is considering bridgewater state, only hes a junior this year so hes got another year ahead of him
but his father is a teacher at bridgewater state, if thats any help

Though I know I’ve said this over IM, I figured I’d post my support to you here as well. :slight_smile: Even though I’m off to Rochester, NY next year, I’ll lend a hand anyway I can.

Especially to all the Massachusetts teams, please check with your seniors to see if any will be attending BSC next year!

~ lora

I was going to suggest that you go to and register there, if you hadn’t already, but the site seems to be down.

The site is designed so that incoming students, current students, and alumni of a college register and and provide their e-mail address as a way to facilitate communication between people who are interested in starting teams.

When the site comes back up, I suggest you check it out!

edit: it seems to be back up, I had to tell it to refresh a few times but it eventually came up.

Can anyone give some advice about starting a college team?

I am sure a lot of people have a lot to say about this, so…

How about, what’s the few best advice you can give to people who are aiming to start a college team?

What are the most important things people should look for?

*Originally posted by Ken Leung *
**Can anyone give some advice about starting a college team?

I am sure a lot of people have a lot to say about this, so…

How about, what’s the few best advice you can give to people who are aiming to start a college team?

What are the most important things people should look for? **

Best advice for starting a college team? Wish I knew. :wink: That would’ve been helpful this year.

Seriously though, there are a number of things that are needed to start a college team. The number one thing needed is a team leader. Now that may seem like it’s obvious but it’s very important. The team leader has to be someone that’s not going to give up on the project and will get it done by sheer force of will if need be (sheer force of will generally becomes necessary at some point). The team leader also has to be willing to do the jobs that no one else has any interest in doing (contacting sponsors, contacting high schools, contacting faculty, writing a budget, getting people involved, running meetings, setting of travel arrangements, or whatever someone else can’t be found to do). I guess that in my opinion the most important part of a college team are the people involved. They’re the ones that are going to make the project fly or not.

Other important things to consider: Be persistent. If you bother someone enough they’ll finally give in and actually listen to you. Find a faculty member who’s willing to put in the time to help you out. They’re going to be infinitely more connected at the campus than you are and will be able to help you talk to the right people. Contact the admissions department. FIRST is a great place to recruit students because FIRSTers tend to be the type of people colleges want to recruit.

That’s about all I can think of. I’m sure others can add more to that advice.

Matt who’s glad he’s not starting a team this year…only running one…

I am the Director of the Westside Boiler Invasion (#461) which I, with the help of many people at Purdue University, started 2 years ago. Our team is completely run by the college students and 2 integral high school teachers, with occasional help from 1 ME prof. and some parents. It is definitely not an easy task and it requires people who love the program enough that they will make sure it will work…especially when those exams come rolling around. We have been pretty successful in the last couple of years and it is all due to the people involved.
The best advice I can give is to be persistent in making sure the professors, deans, companies, and communities are involved. Talk to the Dean’s…they will be one of your best resources. You probably won’t be able to get all of the money from the university due to the large budget (and if you can…let me know how you did it). We have had luck getting support from the individual schools within the Schools of Engineering, and the Dean supports us, just not financially. Overall, we only get about $5000 from Purdue which means major fundraising from the community. We send out proposals every year (which I can share if anyone is interested), but the thing that works best is getting into a company and giving presentations to the top management. In order to get money, especially from people who’ve never heard of the program, takes extreme persistence or you’ll never get through the red tape. It helps a lot if you know someone at the company such as a friend or parent of one of the high school kids. Also, the Dean’s office has a huge list of companies that normally donate to the university and are looking for certain organizations to donate to, this is a great list to get a hold of.
As far as a high school goes, talk to the technology, science, and math teachers. It helps if you have letters from teachers who are in FIRST (from your old team perhaps) so they can understand how this can impact thier students. Also make it clear how much time this will take, you don’t want someone to make a commitment and not be able to go through with it. As far as getting the students involved, give an all school presentation to get them interested. If you have a robot from one of your schools use it, that will grab thier attention (we were able to use the TechnoKats’…thanks Andy!) And the best way to get them is to share your own personal experience with them. (FIRST has a great company recruiting video that shows FIRST at it’s finest)
The best way to get people from companies, the university, and students excited and involved? Take them to a competition!!! Even if it’s one of the small ones being held this summer and fall!!! They will get hooked!
Overall, you just need to make sure you have committed people. It’s hard to balance college and FIRST, which you will learn all too soon, and to tell you the truth most of the main people involve are taking more than 4 years because of it…but it’s all worth it. Make sure you can move to the other side of the fence, in order to get respect from the high school students you have to act like you’re a college student. It’s a really awesome experience and a wonderful way to give back. And when the students thank you, all your effort and time is well worth it. And Matt is definitely right, you need a leader who will do everything that’s needed to make the team successful. Remember, you’re going to make mistakes, but you just need to learn from them and move on. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something but I think I’ve taken up enough space. I have a lot of info about starting a team so if anyone wants some more info you can email at Good luck!!!:slight_smile:

Shannon Schnepp
Purdue University
Westside Boiler Invasion, Director