Kettering University Rookie Robotics Team

8/18 -

Yet it seems you have already decided a lot of the team structure.


But now you have all these parents and engineers and corporate connections - you are forming the type of team you said you wanted to avoid!

The majority of the comments in this forum are exceptional and show true maturity from some of the current FIRST college all-stars. Their wisdom should be taken to heart.

I am really bothered about the implication that mentors and engineers ruin a team and spoil everything for the students. The engineers and mentors provide the “I” in FIRST and FIRST would be nowhere near where it is today without this exceptional leadership shown by so many of these volunteers. Anyone can get together and build a robot - that is entirely not the point - the learning and inspiration into science and technology needs the mentors to happen. I will stop here, there are plenty of other posts on the “I” and what it means.

As I said above - listen to your college student peers - they have been where you are today.

Brandon has a team (1010) and Marist is the middle school attached to Notre Dame Prep, where Team 33 hails from.

Unless there is another Marist or Brandon?

Okay, here goes… I have been where these guys are.

I was one of the first recipients of Kettering University’s (it was still called “GMI” when I applied, and used to be called “General Motors Institute” before that) scholarship in 1998. I was a B-section student.

If you’ve read this thread, being a B-section student all but excluded me from being involved with Kettering’s original FIRST team (Team 70). This is because Kettering is a co-op school where B-section goes to work in the Winter and Summer months, which entirely encompasses build period. I happend to be working in North Carolina, and just couldn’t bring myself to make the commute back to Michigan :stuck_out_tongue: .

Nothing makes me happier to hear Kettering/GMI has another robotics team.

Needless to say, while I absolutely sympathize with the state of affairs of Team 70, I also understand why starting a team with schools OUTSIDE of Flint has garnered SO MUCH more support than for their current team based within Flint.

The explanation for this conundrum cannot be expressed in a few sentences or even paragraphs on CD, but I suspect there is method to the madness behind starting a second team with support outside of Flint. Live in Flint for 4-5 years like these Kettering freshmen will, and you will understand. If you are unable/unwilling to do so, please save your criticism.

Don’t get me wrong. In general, I’m not one for throwing in the towel, or abandoning those in need. Ironically however, it is the engineer in me that says: there is an opportunity to spread FIRST to more students in a much more viable manner. Given the option between A) and B), where B) is far more likely to succeed, I’d ABET us engineers would focus our efforts on B).

Lastly, the perception of engineers and mentors being detrimental to the team is false. However, if these young Kettering students are doing what Kettering students do: they’re already making a LOT of real engineers at their co-op companies nervous. I don’t mean to sound conceited, but when you have a kid able who’s proficient in IDEAS/SolidEdge/ProE/CATIA/whatever Kettering hammers into you 1st term, and is doing a finite element analysis on your newest decklid and blueprinting your tooling for less than half the price of the real engineer, and can socialize and be respected by the workers because the student is just a kid and isn’t “above them”, and who is also loved by management because they are GREAT for the bottom line…

these aren’t your typical students Mr. Fultz.

At this stage in the game, I would take a handful of Kettering students over a handful of mediocre engineers. Without hesitation.

If their experience is panning out to be anything like mine was, they’re already highly-mature people who are interested in getting things done, doing it well, and not being afraid to make a tough decision like starting a second, more viable team outside of Flint, despite what the CD mentor community will think of them “turning their backs” on the original team.

My $.03


Thank you for your kind words. It really means a lot to have someone describe what I can’t. Kettering definitely isn’t your average university.

Though i understand the benefits of having engineers help with a team, I am straying away from it. Why? Because I want the kids in charge of their robot. I have seen too many teams where engineers are working in the pits and the students stand by and watch. It doesn’t matter to me if we win, I want them to walk away with something more valuable than that.

We have, however, been blessed with some excellent professors at Kettering who are going to assist us in the machine shop, and even train our high schoolers on the functions of the machines. Kettering has been more than generous to us.

I understand and appreciate the concern of the more “experienced” members of chiefdelphi, but we’ve got a handle on things. We have raised the money, have the kids, have the tools, have the support, and have the drive to do it. We’re just a bunch of college kids who love FIRST.

For the record, we had tried to contact Team 70, and “join forces”, but they were unwilling to accept our already highly motivated students. Their team filled up too quickly.

Check us, and our students, out

Thanks again,