This week I am attending a program at MSU in (East) Lansing called Girls State in which girls participate in creating their own mock government, up to the state level. I chose my place as an interest group and wrote a bill, of course, on FIRST. It’s been great sharing FIRST here with all these girls - my roomate is sick of hearing about it!
I was hoping you all wouldn’t mind giving me some feedback, even if I probably won’t be able to edit it before it is proposed. I have been nominated for an award because of it, and perhaps you all will enjoy!
Also, please forgive any errors and the length.
(Sorry Brandon if this is in the wrong spot, but I am in a hurry… )
A Bill to Be Entitled
An Act Relating to the F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition
This bill will be enacted by the Girls State Congress.
Girls State is facing a downward spiral as educational funding has dropped and forty-five percent of the schools have received failing grades. In addition, post-secondary education rates have decreased dramatically due to rising costs. Juveniles are causing a stir, committing crimes with racial undertones. To this end, Girls State is fearful of falling behind technologically. To make matters worse, the economic situation of Girls State is unhealthy and funding for various programs must be cut.
According to the* FIRST Robotics Competition Evaluation: Executive Summary April 2005 (More than Robots: *An Evaluation of the FIRST Robotics Competition Participant and Institutional Impacts):
[font=Verdana]The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a high school robotics program designed to build not only science and technology skills and interests, but also self-confidence, leadership, and life skills among high school-aged youth. The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of students and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in a series of competitions that involve not only the operation of the robots, but also presentation of a variety of other associated team activities, including computer animations, activities to increase the appreciation of science and technology throughout the school and community, and involvement in community service activities. The goals of the program include an increased awareness and interest in science and technology, increased college going and potentially a focus on science and engineering careers, and the development of a set of attitudes and skills described by the program as “gracious professionalism” – the ability to work together within a team and to work cooperatively with those on other teams, including potential competitors. [/font]
Section 1: Establish one FRC team in each county
A. Each county is required to help in the establishment and organization of at least one FRC team per county in which high school students, company mentors, and teachers coexist.
B. Each county is to ensure the longevity of the FRC program and facilitate growth of the FLL (F.I.R.S.T. Lego League), JFLL (Junior F.I.R.S.T. Lego League), and/or FVC (F.I.R.S.T. Vex Competition) programs as desired by the population of the county.
Section 2: Funding for FRC teams
A. Each member of a FRC team is required to pay a fee, not to exceed two hundred dollars, to the team’s general fund. If a student is unable to meet this cost s/he may fundraise individually or petition the school board.
B. The county government is to provide one thousand dollars to the county’s FRC team upon the team’s inception. The county government is expected to continue in this practice with each new team.
C. Each FRC team is to acquire the remaining funding needed through team or individual fundraising and/or private sponsorship.
Section 3: Benefits of FRC teams, as supported by the findings of the *FIRST Robotics Competition Evaluation: Executive Summary April 2005 (More than Robots: **An Evaluation of the FIRST Robotics Competition Participant and Institutional Impacts*)
A. FRC encourages education, as nearly three-quarters of the participants feel an increased motivation to do well in school. In addition, participants will become dedicated to learning more once they see the hands-on effects of science and technology.
B. FRC encourages the majority (sixty-five percent) of its participants to help educate and enthuse younger students in the areas of science and technology through various F.I.R.S.T. programs, seminars, and tutoring.
C. FRC encourages its participants to continue onto post-secondary educational facilities. F.I.R.S.T. alumni have higher college rates (eight-nine percent attended college) than non-alumni. Alumni are also encouraged to attend post-secondary educational facilities because of F.I.R.S.T. related and/or based scholarships.
D. FRC, a program that appeals to various ethnicities and countries (fifty-five percent of participants are non-white and seven countries – Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Israel, Mexico, the U.K., and U.S. – are involved), encourages teamwork and inter-team gracious professionalism. In addition, this bill addresses the issue of racism, as participants are required to work with people of different racial heritages to become a team. Participants will be working within a set of rules and will be exposed to other people. Ninety-two percent of participants learned how to interact with various peoples involved with and on a FRC team, ninety percent learned how to work within the confines of team organization, eight-eight percent learned from other team members, and seventy-three percent learned methods to decrease and/or terminate conflicts. Juvenile delinquency would also be affected because participants would be active in positive activities and have a goal in life.
E. FRC encourages participants and alumni to positively affect their community. Focused on problem solving, FRC teams can aid in the solving of their community’s problems, as Chantilly Robotics – Team 612 – did by creating a robotics baby walker for a deformed nineteen-month old child. Fifty-two percent of participants become more active in their community and the alumni are more than twice as likely to participate in community service.
F. FRC encourages union between potential future workers, companies, and the people that companies affect. Company mentors experience positive impacts upon their careers, places of work, and life because of FRC participation. FRC alumni are also more likely to work for their sponsor(s).
Section 4: All laws or parts of laws in conflict with this are hereby repealed.
Section 5: This act shall take effect by June 24, 2006, the public welfare requiring it.