FRC Blog - FIRST Core Values

In prior years, when asked what FIRST Robotics Competition’s core values were, we would talk about Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition®. Other FIRST programs, though, expanded on these two concepts by having a distinct list of values they could reference.

Today, we are announcing a common set of Core Values for all FIRST Programs. These common values will help reinforce the idea that even though the programs have their differences, we still have the same DNA. This will also improve consistency as students work their way up through the programs.

Our Core Values are:

  • Discovery:
    We explore new skills and ideas.> - Innovation:
    We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.> - Impact:
    We apply what we learn to improve our world.> - Inclusion:
    We respect each other and embrace our differences.> - Teamwork:
    We are stronger when we work together.> - Fun:
    We enjoy and celebrate what we do!>

You will start to see these common values referenced on www.firstinspires.org and FIRST Robotics Competition-specific documentation, such as the upcoming game manual for the 2019 season*.

I hope everyone is enjoying the start of summer (Northern Hemisphere) or winter (Southern Hemisphere)! And for community members in the USA, I hope you have a safe and pleasant Memorial Day weekend!

Frank

Which is already done*
** No, it’s not

I think these are an okay start, but leave much to be desired. Personally, I find vague core values a little superficial, and I don’t find myself gaining any perspective into the direction which FIRST wants to shape itself for the next few years. I was hoping for something much more substantial, especially when it comes to defining relationships between students and mentors and industry.

I am most disappointed with the details for the following:

Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.

I really wish impact and inclusion mentioned program accessibility and diversity. When I think of impact and inclusion, I don’t think of just applying what we learn, I think of making sure we impact the kids and communities who need it the most. I’m surprised this isn’t mentioned anywhere despite FIRST having hired a diversity and inclusion director, Shelley Henderson. Because let us be REALLY real for a bit - FRC, and for many communities even FTC, are not truly accessible programs due to the cost of participation.

Frank, decent start, but I think the community of FIRST would benefit more from defining these a little better.

I think it’s silly not keep Gracious Professionalism and Coopertion as 2 of FIRST’s core values. It’s always been what FIRST is about… but now we’ve got a mealy mouthed version of corporate speak. Yeah yeah, nitpicking I know.

Edit: It’s funny Akash, I had this internal feeling the same way, but I kept rethinking it and saying “am I being to picky here?”

Hot take: The list of platitudes in an organization’s self-proclaimed list of values doesn’t divine insight into their long term plans in any meaningful way.

:slight_smile:

What!?!?!? Vague platitudes and strategic synonyms for growth aren’t enough for you?

I’m excited to see the absolute magnitudes of change this will bring about

Edit: I should say, I’m glad FIRST thinks that we need common core values. That’s not sarcasm. I just wish they were less corporate buzzwordy hand-holdy marketing values.

And what happens when you combine the two conjoined triangles of success? A power cube. You can’t make this up, kiddos.

You will start to see these common values referenced on www.firstinspires.org and FIRST Robotics Competition-specific documentation, such as the upcoming game manual for the 2019 season*.

I hope everyone is enjoying the start of summer (Northern Hemisphere) or winter (Southern Hemisphere)! And for community members in the USA, I hope you have a safe and pleasant Memorial Day weekend!

Frank

Which is already done
** No, it’s not
*

IT FREAKING SHOULD BE DONE! This is the reason we end up with crap shows like the springs of 2017.

This blog post is talking about the core values that FIRST (the organization) imagines that FIRST *participants *should have, and nothing more. It does not address the core values that FIRST (the organization) should itself have.

This blog post doesn’t do much for me because when I try to recruit people to this awesome program, I find that they already know what their personal values are. They want to know if the FIRST organization matches their values.

Some of these values sound familiar :slight_smile: https://youtu.be/b1JHME3BzuI?t=42s

I left my comment on the blog post as well…but I guess it was never approved for posting?

Cool.

I’m triggered, we shouldn’t be including mentors, they’ll ruin the program by touching the robots

#WhiteGloveFRC2019

Am I the only person that’s kind of okay with this? If it has to play from FLL Jr. through to FRC, then of course it has to be pretty broad and vague. Not a lot of first graders I’ve worked with can pronounce “coopertition”, and it really doesn’t apply to them–FLL Jr. is non-competitive.

That said, I sincerely hope that Gracious Professionalism (in particular) and Coopertition don’t get relegated to a storage locker at FIRST HQ next to the floppies and tetras. The kids (and the adults too sometimes) participating in head-to-head competition in FTC and FRC need both as part of the experience, and I don’t see the Core Values covering it in quite the same way.

I’m also content with them, they aren’t supposed to be super specific in any way.

This isn’t a mission statement or their long term goals, those are places where they could let you know how they plan to shape the program, and you could include things about increasing diversity, accessibility, etc. These are simply the core values that the company holds

Given that WAFFLES Community Robotics is both an FRC (4476) and FLL (105) team, I’m a fan of the idea to include the FLL values that we teach our kids as they progress through FIRST.

Unsurprisingly, execution will be key in this change. However, I know FLL was already having some elements of coopertition (given the challenge this year to dump the ‘big water’ on your opponents table), so I’m optimistic that it can be executed thoughfully with core values entering FRC/FTC.

Like Billfred, I don’t think these core values really replace coopertition or GP in their nature despite that they are vital values and morals to have. The prevalence of GP in FRC is obvious, from the ‘GP cube’ in the game reveal video, to the award itself. But, having a constant set of core values which are now visible in each FIRST level can definitely help consistency. They may also help ease of student transition, but I haven’t fully formed my opinion on that yet.

Ah yes, DIIITF. Always a fan of a snappy acronym.

An easy way to remember is the nice little phrase: “Dean Is Insisting I Team-Form”, which helps you remember both the acronym for the pillars and the constant push to grow the program. :slight_smile:

Why playtest your games when you can just claim it was part of the challenge all along?

To get on topic: I won’t let Frank posting 6 buzzwords ruin my day, but I do agree that the omission of GP and Coopertition is a bit odd. However, if FIRST does for whatever reason decide to make those concepts less of a priority, we as a community can still keep it going by continuing to just do what we’ve been doing. Keep being helpful and keep spreading the message.