FIRST/ Build Season for Dummies

What would you put in a book for people looking to start rookie teams? Share wisdom from you experiences in FIRST, the mistakes you’ve made during build seson, what your own team’s rookie season was like, funny robot mishaps, stuff like that. I think we could fill a book just with the Do’s and Don’ts of FIRST.

I’m working on a condensed version right now. It’s also meant to help veterans. I’m kind of leaving out some of the funny stuff, as it is a learning process when that stuff happens. (And, CD is referenced. They can come here to hear about that stuff.)

  1. A team can never have too many 1/4-20 nuts, bolts, and washers.
  2. Make sure you use the correct gauge wire.
  3. In week 4/5 when frustrations and tempers are at their highest, give your mentor a pat on the back. (S)he probably needs it more than anyone.
  4. Start a parent group early.
  5. Advertise your successes, whatever they may be. Chances are the community has seen nothing like what you’re doing, so even a wobbly box-bot will blow them away.
  6. Network with other FIRST teams. Even if you don’t plan to collaborate with them on robot designs/strategies, the relationships you foster will provide you with opportunities you’d never imagine.
  7. Never pass up the opportunity for sleep, food. or a clean restroom.
  8. Act in a professional manner at all times.
  9. Politeness and courtesy go a long way.

Nail on the head with a pile driver. The best thing you can do is get parents involved.