We are approaching our school committee next week for funding/support and would like to know what kind of help other teams get from their school and/or town. Do you get money? If so…how much? Teachers? If so…how many? Build space? Other? What is your principal source/s of revenue for “kit of parts”? Additional competitions? Travel?
Our school system superintendant has promised us coverage over fees to go to championships if we can make it that far. Our team is by far the one with the most sponsors in our county. NASA-GSFC happens to be our principal sponsor for obtaining the kit of parts.
The team sponsors are NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Anteon Corporation, OXKO Corporation, ARINC-ATES, Staggerwing Museum, Chaney Enterprises, Chesapeake Protection Services, Anne Arundel Tech Council and The Windemere Group. The number of sponsors and people the team has available to it is increasing as the team improves relations with newspapers such as The Capital-Gazette of Annapolis, locally run businesses, and local engineering corporations.
I cannot release the monetary amounts involved in the support we get. Teachers from the science department devote a great deal of time organizing the activities for FIRST students. Our community is quite appreciative of our teamwork and engineering efforts and often are willing to take drastic measures to support the team.
Cybersonics receives massive support from our school board. The Palisades School District has provided the team with financial support for the registration fees for all the competitions we attend, three specifically this year, and has done so for probably the past 5 years. Money is also provided for our busing fees; we travel by charter bus to both our regional competitions as well as the championship competition. In the year to come, the school district will be constructing a 40’ x 70’ x 16’ building, valued at $170,000, specifically for Cybersonics to use as a full-sized practice arena and storage space. All this has come from 9 years of endeavoring to convince the district on the value of the team and FIRST and can largely be attributed to the endless efforts of our parent organization, advisors, and mentors, and the enthusiasm of our team members.
Team 103’s two main advisors are teachers, specifically a technology teacher and an art teacher, at our high school. The husband and wife pair founded the team together prior to the 1997 season. The team uses the school’s machine shop and adjoining computer lab for the manufacturing of the robot and creation of our inventor entry, as well as an art room, equipped with a large computer station and a small room with more computers, video editing supplies, and storage, where both our pr/marketing and animation departments work.
Our community is rather lacking of corporate presence, though we do get small contributions from local businesses and individuals. We typically have to go outside our rural community to find corporate sponsorship. Our community, though, is extremely supportive and participates in our many fundraising events.
As far as travel goes, team members and their families are asked to contribute money for hotel fees, food, and any other money needed for busing that is not covered by our school board.
Though I would say it may be difficult to get an extremely significant amount of financial support from your school in your first year of requesting money, keep working at it and eventually they may come around and realize the benefits of your program in the district. It has taken our team many years to gain the support we have today, but all the time and effort that was put in over the years was definitely worth it.
Best of luck to your team!
We are supported pretty well at our school. Most of the school contributes to our fundraisers. We brought our robots to our international festival and we took 1 to our football peprally, which we used to carry out the tradition to soak the freshmen section down with water, after we attached a water tank to our last years arm. We have a lot of interest from our students here and our mentors are crazy with the amount of time they spend with us to get our robots done.
to add on to santosh’s post
our school suports us ALOT. There will be a pep rally this wed. to recognize the robotics team.
Our principal loves robotics, so he pretty much helps us out alot, and gives out icecream. Our team trailer, tow vehical, some of our food ect. are donated by him
community wise, the newspapers and news do all the work.
There are so many variables involved in this. How big is your school district? What kind of school do you go to? Is it a traditional school or is it a technology school that requires a super-high budget?
Also, how many contacts do you have that would make it easier to gain support from the school district? (You know, friends in “high places”)
Personally, my school does nothing for my team. Because we are a small school with a big budget, my school just does not have the time, money or space to do anything for us. I think they gave us $1,000 a few years back, but that’s all.
Good luck to you! I hope you’re more successful in your efforts than we were! =P :]
1071 was given just about enough to register for UTC New England Regional and the Championship event. The town school board also set aside about 2,500 bucks for tools, materials, parts, etc… that might be used in the build season. Students must pay for their own airline tickets and hotel room in Atlanta and as well as many of the invitationals we go to over the off season (this year may not be too many)
Our former main sponsor, Webster Bank, backed down significantly this year, and most of our supporters only offer our team services and materials. Timken we cannot disclose the amount they gave us, but it was only in the three digit area, which was just about enough for us to put a sticker on our robot the first day of compeition.
A suggestion if you school board dosen’t support your team to the extent you guys hope, maybe contact organizations such as the chamber of commerce, a lot of times they will be able to help find sponsors or grants that you maynot otherwise get.
There is already a thread about this:
always remember to search!