So this came up in another topic I have made recently. What if a team was part of a private school dedicated to FRC? They either start earlier or have an elective class for FRC that starts during competition season so that students don’t need to worry about school, and mentors don’t have to miss work because they technically aren’t missing anything (assuming all the mentors of the team are also teachers at the school). I have heard that some teams have done something similar in the past, but has it ever been done to this level?
We kind of do this? Our mentors are almost all teachers and we have an optional engineering elective so we can work on the robot during school.
uh not sure about dropping all school work but my school has a class called Honors Robotics and Engineering (1 and 2 so you can take it for up to two years) and all you do in it is FRC. Theres a few kids who don’t do FRC and do their own projects but the VAAAST majority of the people who take the class just do FRC. Then after you complete HRE 1 and 2 you can become a student mentor/teachers assisstant in senior or junior year but its basically the same thing as taking the class cuz ur still just doing FRC. It lets you spend some class time on FRC, but the majority of the work is still done afterschool and on weekends.
Similar to @usymmij , my school will now have a Robotics class you can take. Our school also has multiple PLTW classes, but they aren’t FRC based. Our new robotics class will be taught by our coach, and will be open to all grade levels in our high school (9-12). The main focus of the class will be FTC, but for the robotics team members, it’ll basically be a 40 minute period in the day where they can work on our FRC robot.
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While not a private school, our friends on 3405 just changed their school curriculum so that all of their career and technical courses are centered on their FRC team. For instance, all of their graphic design classes will focus around the team logo and apparel. I’m really excited to see how it turns out for them.
As other posters have alluded to, varying degrees of this is not unheard of. Many teams will still employ outside mentors, but private and even public schools building FRC into their engineering curriculum is something that many teams do take advantage of. I know when I visited 1538 in 2013, their students had significant class time dedicated to FRC during build season.
We’re a private school, but have no classes or credits from Robotics whatsoever. All meetings happen after school and over weekends. Our mentors are a teacher and a professional engineer, who comes after work to help us out. Making it an elective would be awesome!
Yeah, we’re an after school club too. I know some teams do get credit for robotics, but we don’t. The only reason we are going to have a Robotics class is because our coach went to the school about it, and even then, if you’re in the “club” and not the class, it doesn’t count.
This sounds like what a number of home-school alliances are rumored to do. During build season, all of the math and science curriculum revolves around the robot, plus English can work on certain award writing.
Pretty sure 610 is kinda like that.
1515 has a class. I think they just spend time working on the bot. Having it has a class in my opinion should not change much other than extra time. Having it as a class might allow for more time but then again 1717 used to exsist.
Also there is a higher chance of getting money from the school. I know my school might make it a class if we have a good curriculum. But as a public school doesn’t always have that much money.
I think we still get money from the district’s stem thingamabob
Interesting idea, but I would not limit the school’s interest span to only FRC. I would cover everything robotics with the aim of offering a complete primary and secondary school curriculum and make it possible for teams to participate in FIRST and VEX leagues.
Ultimately, graduates would become quite yummy for Tech College, Polytechnic and University programs, including any that have teams involved in SAE, IEEE RAS and RoboMaster leagues and competitions.
Crescent school, home of 610, is an independent school, and our lead mentors are in fact staff at the school. So we would fit this description pretty closely, however not strictly a “private school”.
All of this has been really cool to hear and has given me a lot to think about. If not mentoring for my old team, I have always thought about starting up my own team at some point via the community or a “FIRST” private school.
Full disclosure - I run the program at Peddie.
There are a handful of boarding and/or private schools that build FRC into their curriculum in some way. Choate is new to FRC this year and seems to be structured similarly to our program at Peddie - students participate in FRC as their “sport” after school, and the team has some form of a co-requisite class section as well.
At Peddie, the “Engineering Design” courses are built around FRC, and it is a co-requisite class for all new engineering sub-team members. We don’t have a matching CS course (yet). Students meet their after-school activity requirement through participation on the FRC team during our winter and spring terms.
Many other boarding schools don’t necessarily have a specific FRC class, but they are mostly run by faculty members. Westtown School, St. Pauls, Kent, St. Marks, Brewster Academy, The Gunnery, Choate, and Pomfret all had active FRC teams during my last search, but I’m sure I’m missing more than a few - especially those outside the New England/Mid-Atlantic area.