As with most graduating seniors involved with FIRST, I was excited at the prospect of a FIRST College Scholarship. I was fortunate enough to receive a very generous scholarship to Kettering University. Now, I am halfway through my first term at KU (yes, class started in June) and I absolutely love it.
Kettering is a co-op based school who believes in hands-on experience. Most of you are familiar with the Kettering Kickoff which the school hosts each summer; a truly wonderful and exciting event. Also, many people have heard of team 70, which is a team sponsored by the university.
I would like to introduce you to a new Kettering University Robotics team, one without a name. A few of the scholarship recipients (Kettering gave out 9 last year) felt that we should do something in return to Kettering for the scholarship that we received. We recipients, and some extremely motivated FIRST alumni, are in the process of setting up a second robotics team.
This team is designed on the ideals of what we consider to be, the perfect team structure. One of our biggest complaints with our previous FIRST experiences was the structure of the teams. We felt that the students did not get as much of an experience as they could have, had they been in a system where their input was considered. In simplicity, it is a democracy.
We are straying from the politics of team structure, and letting the students structure themselves. We want fewer parents and engineers working on the robot, and more student involvement.
We plan to have a group of Kettering Students mentor the team. No engineers, no politics, no one in it for the wrong reasons. We want our students to enjoy their experience, learn as much as they possibly can, and have fun!
The students will get to decided almost everything on the team; from the name and colors, to what regionals are attended.
In addition, we plan to work in two very important concepts that we learned from our previous teams. The first is the ability to not have a defined high school, so that any student in the area willing to make the commitment can join our team. The second is a senior scholarship fund based on the number of years involved with FIRST,
Now to the point: what do you think of our ideas? We are seeking sponsorship, and are in the process of collecting funds. We appreciate all input!