Community College partnership?

Looking for examples of teams whose workspace is at a community college or technical school, or similar. Does anyone have experience with this kind of partnership?

–What is your workspace like?
–How do you handle access and safety?
–Has the partnership resulted in new mentors working with your team?


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You might want to look up Team 120 out of Cleveland -


The LUNATECS Team 316 have worked out of Salem Community College, where Duel on the Delaware is held, since our inception in 1999. They are our main sponsor since they help us out tremendously.

In the beginning, we had to share a room so everything had to be put away at night. In the early 2000s they gave us our own shop which was about 50’ x 20’ and has 220v power on one wall. Around 2012 or so they let us have the adjacent room that was formerly for file storage which bumps our current space to around 50’ x 50’. It’s separated by a wall with a door but it’s nice because that’s where we program, eat, and have computers. They don’t supply anything other than power, only empty the trashcans and fill the printer toner when needed. They also allow us to practice in the gym. In the past we would have to roll up our 1/4 carpet and move everything away , but this past year they have given us the upstairs mezzanine which we will be building a full half field this off season. Some other spaces they let us use are computer rooms for kick off and the entire gym building for the Duel on the Delaware off season event.

As far as access, the main mentors all have key cards so we can open our shop door but not the building doors. This means that in the off season we can only get in on school days and until 9pm. During build and competition season they allow us to meet whenever we want as long as we give a heads up. This past year there was someone in the shop almost every night except for Fridays and Sundays, including 9am-9pm on all Saturdays and 9am-9pm on Fri, Sat, Sun, and Mon of bag weekend. I think this is where they are the most gracious since they have to pay the security guards to work overtime.

We only have about 4 regular mentors, who are either alumnus or parents. A big reason that I don’t think we have mentors from the college is because the school doesn’t have trade programs other than glassblowing.


Thanks! I was aware of 120 but didn’t know much about their history.

Thank you! All of that is really helpful, and I appreciate knowing how the arrangement has changed over time. Are there pictures of your shop?

Glassblowing, really? I don’t suppose that skill transfers very well to FIRST, does it?

Glass seems like a big industry in this area. About 75% of the work at my machine shop is for the glass industry. Artistic and scientific glassblowing is also very popular.

I grabbed a few pictures but its kind of messy right now getting ready for Midknight Mayhem and our office lights aren’t working currently. There are photos of our shop, office, and practice area over in the gym.

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We used to have a partnership with a community college for space since the start of the team. Recently, they expanded the program we were using the space of and we had to leave. They did want us to stay, though, and we already have a new space lined up.

To answer your questions:

What is your workspace like?

We had a workspace with 5 tables and an area in the corner where we kept our robot and toolboxes. One table had our shear and drill press mounted to it. We also had a closet in the back where we kept various spare parts and some other tools that didn’t fit in the toolboxes.

How do you handle access and safety?

Every meeting, we would simply call security to let us in our room.

Has the partnership resulted in new mentors working with your team?

Not really, but we did present at their annual STEM festival, and I assume they’ll still have us present there, but I’m not sure yet.


3506 YETI worked out of Central Piedmont Community College for several years. @OccamzRazor, any insight for the OP?

We did gain a lot of interest and college student mentorship from being in that location. Ultimately our program grew too large and we outgrew our space there. It worked for the first 5 years but had its own set of challenges as to what we were allowed to do, what days we were allowed to work, etc. Snow days would close the school even if we wanted to work. Security down town Charlotte and parking was a challenge. One major benefit I miss was walking down into a fully developed CNC training center and getting parts done the same day.

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Thank you! Super helpful, and your shop looks very functional. We’re hoping to carve out room for FLL too, at least in the fall.

School closings are definitely an issue, but would be less of an issue at the community college that it is where we are currently, at another high school. Between weather and flu, the last 3-4 years have been pretty brutal with lost work time. Thanks for the input!