How do you introduce FIRST?

I’m thinking of ways my team can improve our recruitment and retention rates, and one thing that I feel is a major obstacle for my team is how we first introduce people to FIRST and what we do. We have no problem getting kids and parents into our shop, but we tend to lose many people shortly after.

How do you or your team first introduce people to what you do, and FIRST?


One thing we actually have coming tomorrow is a STEM fest for the younger kids. We set up different stations like an egg drop, paper airplane distance competition, catapult build, etc. Our goal for this is to draw kids in to the field early to plant the seed young so they have time to get excited. During this we also show off our bot, of course, and have the kids talk up FIRST to the parents and slightly older kids/siblings. On top of this we do a lot of community events that gets middle and elementary school kids interested so they can kind of look forward to it and get hyped.

It sounds like you guys have a good handle on getting kids to your shop. How do you divide up new members when you are there? We usually have one big meeting with all potential new members and talk about what FIRST is and what we do. We also ask them what part of the team they are interested in and then have our new members go to coding, CAD, and shop trainings in the pre-season so that they can learn new skills and be better prepared for build season. This also helps new members feel like they have a place and role on the team so they want to keep coming. By the time build season roles around, the new members are ready to go and are interested because they have made friends and feel more confident.

Feel free to PM me with any questions!

It’s actually a pretty inspiring video tbh

In addition to what Kaitlyn said, these two chairman’s videos from this year should be shown to every parent and student that joins a team.
Team 1885:
Team 3132:

For me, one of the best parts about FRC is being around others who are passionate about what they are doing and contributing to a team. I think if you do what you can to consistently project and share that passion in a conscious way, FRC will be hard to stay away from.

Too answer your question more directly, a lot of teams work on offseason technical projects in a less time sensitive situation. Some teams group student interests together and let students find their niche. There have been effective big-little programs where rookie students are paired with a leader/veteran students. None of these concepts are exclusive, but it’s all about figuring out how your unique and individual team can best share the fun FRC has to offer.