Interesting story re: FRC1432 in Portland, OR's loss of school system support.

Sorry about this. I did a search for 1432 and didn’t realize it was under the disappointment thread. Can a mod do something about this? Thanks!

Rock on, CD mods. Great title modification!

I’m glad to see the communities come together in support of this team. It serves as a great role model for what loss means and what can happen because of loss. Facebook, Twitter, and Chief Delphi are 3 resources that I am aware of that are getting this story out there. Richard Sisk listed some of the alumni of the high school in a thread in FB. I hope he or someone who read that, will post the information here. It showcases the importance of alumni/team alumni and what they have done with their lives after high school/FIRST. Paying it forward means giving back. This is a beautiful opportunity for the team and for everyone who supports FIRST and FRC. Really beautiful.

Leaders of 1432, please let us know how we can best help you.


Our team has been in similar situations before. We too have no staff on the team. To say it bluntly, it sucks. We got lucky however…

Our head advisor, “Mike” as we call him, has spent his past 7 years on the team gaining the respect of our school district.

The biggest thing I can say to that team is: Stay respectful. Know that they are still in charge, and what they say goes. HOWEVER, this is your game. You’re the FIRST masters, not them. They want to look good to the townspeople, and to the state. Show them otherwise. Shutting down a FIRST Team for small, fixable reasons makes them look bad, very, very bad. But no one knows that yet, show them!!! Even by simply going door-to-door teaching about FIRST and getting recognition–it helps. Talk to your local government officials, ask how to get a petition going. Don’t forget, the school runs you, but the town runs the school. You gain respect from the town–you’ve won.

As for the money and supplies–that is a very fine line, but unfortunately, there is little that can be done once the line has been drawn (outside of playing your cards right). My team learned a while ago, that, because we are a school team (yeah, we straightened that one out last year, we’re no longer a “club” on paper) whatever is bought with the team’s money, or donated to the team, becomes property of the school. So you have to be careful as to what is property of the team/school, and what are “loaned items from students and parents” ie) Our team laptop is “on paper” as being my personal laptop that I approve of the team for using.

I hope other teams can help them with this, it truly stinks…

Some famous alumni from Franklin HS in Portland OR…


Douglas Engelbart- Inventor of the computer mouse
Howard Hobson- NCAA basketball coach
Steve “Snapper” Jones- NBA
Legedu Naanee- NFL Wide Receiver, San Diego Chargers
Johnnie Ray- Singer
Richard Unis- Oregon Supreme Court Justice

We had a similar issue two years ago with our OCCRA team. The previous OCCRA faculty mentor moved, so we had to find another, and nobody would do it.

Since the position was equal to that of a coach, the school allowed us to find someone who wasn’t a teacher to lead our OCCRA team. The school pays them a very small amount, same as they do to coaches.

As for the money thing, ours school takes all of our remaining money at the end of the year (June ish). We send it all to FIRST to pay what we can of our registration fees in advance to avoid this problem.

Hope this helps.

Heard about this a few weeks ago through the Oregon FIRST grapevine. Very upsetting. We came very close to not being able to afford to participate, so it is gut-wrenching to see other teams in the same boat.

For any 1432 members reading this: are there any local FRC teams who would agree to let you share their shop? This may be something you’ve discussed already, or might not be practical, but those Beaverton teams make it work :slight_smile: [2898 and 1510]

I can’t remember whether our Regional Director was how we heard about this, or just the local teams here in Corvallis. If you haven’t done so, I would recommend sending info to our RD and asking her to forward it to the Oregon teams. I know there are so many people here who’d love to help you.

Best wishes to you guys.

Another thing to remember: Your team does NOT have to be sponsored by a school. Talk to your donors, see if they would be willing to let you use their shop. If there’s a parent or another adult who is avaliable, you’ll be free and clear.

We had another team lose their sponsorship and workplace, so we opened our shop and lab to them. It was a great experience for both teams, and the other team ended up being regional champs! For all the local teams, help 'em out! Having another team in the workspace leads to many unforseen benefits.

Just remember that even if you’re not an official school club/team, you can still be that school’s team. You can negotiate with the school to use on-campus facilities for maybe a small fee, but if you’re self-sustaining with fundraising and the school has no legal control over you, you are in a position of power to deal with the school. They will always want to brag about “their” robotics team, and will be more willing to make concessions if they think you can walk away with your high tech team whenever you want. Remember that if you put your school’s name on a registration form or the robot, you are giving your school publicity and respect in probably the only international competition your school participates in, so make sure you get paid back for this service.

Closure on this issue, glad to hear it was resolved:
today Oregon FRC teams got an email from our Regional Director, in reply to folks who’d been asking how to help team 1432:

'Wanted to let you know Franklin HS team 1432 is alive and well. They have moved to a new location for the 2011 season where they can build, were able to gather their tools and robot and we were able to have their FIRST grants and Intel donation funds sent back to FIRST and Intel respectively.

Appreciate everyone’s concern as it shows what a supportive community FIRST is, but we can let this one rest and prepare for a very exciting 20th anniversary season!’

I’ll post this on the other thread too.

Thank goodness they were able to get everything back! I’m glad to hear that this was resolved as well. sigh of relief

I’m glad to see this resolved, too. 1432 was my first FRC team, back before my school had a team. I spent two years with them and my sister, and my dad is still a mentor for the team. It was frustrating to see this go down.

They just got their stuff back today (YAY). Plus, there are a few misconceptions people have gotten from the article published, which they’ve made the effort to clear up on their website here: CLICK ME

It’s still unfortunate they weren’t able to keep their grants, but at least they haven’t been left completely in the dust.

I imagine it wouldn’t be too much of a problem to write letters to the groups and companies who sent the grants and explain what happened. I’m fairly confident they wouldn’t object to sending them to the new/old group.

And to the principal at Franklin H.S…

Form letter sent out by the school.

The issue I had with this at all was one little contradiction, that may just be a misunderstanding, or may not.
From the letter: “administrators were unable to find a staff advisor.”
From the team’s website: “We had at least 5 teachers willing to be our advisor but when the went to the office to sign the paper they were talked out of it.”

I’d personally call it “spin”. In one of the other threads relating to this topic, someone commented that they wouldn’t be surprised to see a 180 with appropriate spin.

Second only to policy is making yourself look good, in a bureaucrat’s/administrator’s eyes. It’s easy enough to “forget” that you talked teachers out of something, if that is indeed what they did.

“Talking them out of it” and “explaining the commitment required” are two versions of essentially the same explanation. Perhaps there were teachers interested in helping, but when the administration explained the commitment the teachers were no longer that interested.

I’d like to point out Team 1432 has more than a dozen mentors, many of them engineering or programming mentors. The official “teacher” mentor would have been more of a formality. If they weren’t interested in actually mentoring it probably wouldn’t have been a problem.

Does the teacher have to be physically present at the school (for legal/liability/insurance/policy reasons) when the robotics “club” is meeting?

If so, then during build season that is a rather large commitment of time.


They must have a staff member present while meeting at the school, which does make sense of course. Though I don’t know if that’s required to be the official staff advisor, or if they could just sit in their room grading papers.

Besides, I’m sure after a couple build meetings, the staff advisor would be interested to keep coming.

Though considering the team has already moved out, it doesn’t matter any more. I was just pointing out an inconsistency.

I think that’s a pretty fantastic leap of faith. I don’t know how often that particular team meets, but I’d hazard the average FRC team meets at least 8 hours a week? That’s another 20% commitment that the teacher isn’t getting paid for (or even with a stipend, isn’t getting adequately compensated for). On top of that, I’m sure being the school liaison comes with its own host of headaches of when you can be there, when you can’t, when you must clean out by, extra meetings, etc. You’ve gotta love it to do it, and I think the size of FRC indicates that there are a lot of people that do love it (at least for the first few weeks! :ahh:) . But not everyone does, or even has the time to try. If the full time college student workload is close to the full time teacher workload, I totally understand why they would not want the commitment.