Demolition Squad... Team 267 needs your help.

Hey everyone,

I am writing on behalf of Catherine Donoso who is a very dedicated member on Demolition Squad (267) and in FIRST, and a great friend of mine. Catherine and her team is facing a problem of losing engineers and space to work at. They are seeking for help. as of right now, they are working on getting a local machine shop to sponsor them in order to make the parts, also they will be asking one of the local University to mentor them.

Now here are the questions:

  1. what is the best way to convince engineers to help a team?

  2. what is the best way to get sponsorship from local machineshops? (has anyone done it before? if yes, how?)

  3. if you do not have place that you can think of to work at (her school doesnt have any space for them to work at) what is the best way to handle that?

Florida has lost one of the champions, Team 212, RACE… i would hate to lose another great team and a great friend. thank you so much for your cooperation.


1)If you could, show the engineer what you do and what the possibilities and things that they get back from being on a FIRST team. Ex: A competition or just show them a FIRST robot.
3) At a last resort… you can always work in a basement or a garage at someones house. Even better, a local FIRST team could share their place with them and help them out with fabricating parts and storage.

Engineers will help once they see whats in store for them. The greatest feeling for an engineer is to see the bot they built kick butt at a competition. I would say give a general presentation about what FIRST is, give them a pinch of the intensity of how the competitions can be and make them feel good somehow of what they’re gonna do.

For the machine shop, introduce the concept of FIRST and ask them if they would like to support their community…

For a place to work, even someones basement will do, but getting a nice big place to work will definitely be better.

I would contact your regional director and the FIRST Senior Mentor for your area. FIRST Senior Mentors have been appointed in order to address exactly these kind of issues. They’ll work closely with their network of partner companies and volunteers to find you what you need and keep your team.

machine shop-- don’t over load them-- s.p.a.m. did that before and yeah they have their own work to get done besides the stuff we wanted back in 03-- try to make it a simple bot then–kiss rule all the way-- way back we never had anything great-- table saw and drill press was our tools-- so yeah a bot can be made–

space–big issue-- 00 s.p.a.m. moved a few times during build season–i remember a call Sunday morning during breakfast that we were being kicked out–new home needed-- try to rent a space–we did that so we could finish the bot-- make out a deal w/ them to lower costs-- money is an issue w/ everyone-- or just ask around-- we used an empty old church back in 00

mentors–show them around the world of FIRST-- but don’t expect them to jump on board right away–everyone has families they love to be with-- give them contacts to other teams so they can understand everything

i really wish the best of luck to you guys!! first won’t be the same w/o you guys

We spent a bunch of time this summer contacting machine shops. Many were interested and said they’d be willing to help, but you really have to go after them actively. People will give, they just won’t go out of their way to give. If you find any good potentials, definitley try to visit them or have them come to you (as was stated above).

When contacting the machine shops, also ask for donations. Most have a scrap bin of materials that they may be able to donate. Surplus equipment may be available. Our team builds their robot, except the gearboxes, with a drill press and a bandsaw.

Contact your local hardware stores. Ask if they will give store credit as a donation. This can cover hand tools, materials and hardware.

As for a place to work… Our team has been on the move every year. We have had three different temporary heated (this is New England) space for the build season and unheated space the rest of the year. We are looking at a new heated space for this winter as last years is unavailable. Keep asking, someone may be willing to give you a garage bay to work out of.

The team is from Florida so not many basements here because of the water table :wink:

Yes this is a very sad thing that this team is falling apart, they were the parent team to my team back at home team 710. I have always looked up to this team and that fact that they might not be around is harsh. So hopefully we can get them back up on there feet.

The easiest way to get an engineer on board is to take them to a competition. After that they are hooked. Unfortunately, there are none in the near future.

Here are a few recommendations from the school of hard knocks.
1). See if there is a local organization of machine shop owners. For us it is called the Manufacturers Roundtable. Petition them for donations of time, material, and money.
2). I know this will sound like heresy to some, but you don’t really need an engineer to make a robot. The kit of parts usually has enough things in it for a running robot.
3). If you can’t find a place to build, try a storage unit business. South Florida’s equivalent to basements. Maybe you can talk your way in to an unused unit for the season.
4). Keep it simple. With limited resources, you have to be careful not to bite off more than you can chew.

Demolition Squad has always fielded a good team. The veteran members can look at this as an opportunity to build a robot and show the rookies how it’s done. It may not be as impressive as in previous years, but they can say that they designed and built it. As long as they all learn something, then the season is a success.

See the team lost alot of there veteran players, after 2003 they lost motorla as a main sponsor the two big team members that held the team together and were the drivers both graduated. Last year they only had one returning mentor and as of what i heard he is not returning to them.

Yeah, we no longer have Motorola as a major sponsor. The two team members graduating really had no great effect on us, as we have other dedicated veteran members (the statement that we lost most of them is untrue), but the terrible lack of sponsors and mentors is killing us.

We have been a team for six years and are trying desperately to keep together for a seventh. We have enthusiasm and dedication, but besides that we have nothing: no space, no machine shop, no funding, no mentors, no anything. Everything we once had has been taken from us, and, though we are dedicating every minute he have to saving our team, the future of Team 267 is very unclear.

Most of us have been on the team for a few years and want to have just one more season for our senior year, but we keep running into problems.
Does anybody have any ideas at all of ways we can find what we need to keep our team alive??? Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

Kristen L. - Demolition Squad Team 267

I sincerely hope you mean the bot THE STUDENTS built. After all, nothing would as sad as a professional engineer building a robot to beat kids with none of their training or experience, in the process elbowing the students their supposed to be mentoring out of the way.

We have discussed this again and again and again. it is off topic in this thread.

I’m not sure what the situation is in the the school but this year team 637 is sharing a classroom with interior dec…

We have 3 closets in the back we unfold a table get to work and when were done we pack it all back up. Anythign that needs to get machined is done in the woodshop. I’m not saying its a good setup but when it comes to losing a team or having to spend some more time cleaning and packing up i’ll do the extra work.

As for the engineers find a local shop/company that manufactures anything. Our sponsor builds high pressure valves and has no expierence in robotics but they are still a great resource. Even a local hardware store can be invaluable, there are knowledgeable people everywhere they just arent always rubberstamped as engineers.

Good luck