Large group presentations

Okay, here’s the scenario:

We have a good group willing to mentor a team that consists of engineers, good management people, and a gal with one heck of a gift for fundraising and spirit. We have already started successfully brainstorming for fundraising and obtaining sponsors that have promise, and it looks as if the high school will be open to the idea. We feel that the presentations we are preparing for the smaller groups of leadership (school district officers, etc.) will be solid and convincing.
We know that there are students who would be interested in being on a team, but what would be the best way of reaching the mass student body in order to flush out all of those unsuspecting valuable team members?
Are there videos available from teams from years previous (before Chairman’s Award entries had to be confined to four sheets of paper) that show what FIRST meant to them, how it tied into the community and what it’s really all about that could get the point across in a short period of time in an assembly?
A demo from an experienced team would be great, but we are in the middle nowhere here in Price Utah and the nearest teams are hundreds of miles away.
Are there any suggestions?

P.S. We will also have a couple of members of the CEU evaluation team specifically assigned to gather information on this at the AZ regional from anyone who is willing to share. Their names are Evan Peyton, and Lisa Hanson. Look for them. They will be wearing name-badges from CEU (College of Eastern Utah).

tHE Best video I have seen was the Discovery- Science 1 hour show last year on FIRST.
I believe they sell copies thru their web site. Many FIRST teams have copied it from the cable TV.
Also many of the Regional Directors have promotional video they send to protential teams.


There’s some videos on our press site.

I don’t have advice about an assembly, but keep in mind - woo the educational advisors. Altho this is our 8th year, our advisors didn’t know about robotics, and thus didn’t suggest it to students til recently. A vice principal at MCHS didn’t learn about robotics til recently. Science and math teachers should know about it and recommend it.

What’s helping us this year - We always make sure we’re in school bulletins regularly, and a new PTA president has a weekly email she started - she’s awesome at including our team’s stuff.

We won’t be at AZ (I wish!) but here are some ideas. I agree that the FIRST Discovery channel documentary is good, but it lasts one hour. FIRST also has some ?2 or ?5 minute spots that are loud and flashy, that could be show over and over in a booth. Get something in the PTA newsletter and the school newspaper asap (do they have a journalism class? ask them to research this) Is there any all school open house type things coming up where you could set up a booth? Better if there is a robot there to demonstrate, but if not, run a video. Our school just had a Mardi Gras party and the robot attended. Find out when the next teacher training meetings are, like all math teachers in your area. Ask to speak to the teachers there and then they will refer students. Prepare a good handout. Lots of our team first heard about FIRST from an open house. One girl was in 8th grade and saw the robot demonstrated and actually came to the high school to check things out. She is now a second year member of the team. But mainly we get team members by word of mouth, student to student, and usually you can tell within the first few minutes who is totally smitten.

Contact Team 103-Cybersonics, Chairman’s winner last year and Rural Support gurus. They have tons of teams and people networked who are willing to help for teams with no other teams right nearby.
Good luck!

Consider us contacted!

The Rural Support Network of contacts can be found here:

Also, feel free to dig around the rest of the rural support site as well as our main site at for ideas, downloads, etc.

As far as video goes:
The one-hour Discovery Science piece is awesome, but if you need something short and captivating, download the 2004 kickoff video here:
It’s short, high energy, and gets to the heart of things.

Let us know how we might assist in other ways. Good luck!

Back in the day (!) in 98, our faculy advisor (a TechEd teacher) recruited by having an assembly and then going to random classrooms to talk to the students for 5 minutes. I’ll say it again, I was pulled out of a history class…so just get out there and keep recruiting!

I would say instead of a assembly set up a booth during lunch in which you run one or two of the exciting videos. Make up application sheets and gives them to people who are interested. Give some general requirements like 2 to 3 teacher’s recommendations and a couple short answers. Nothings that will scare them away to much but you will want to have members of your teams dedicated. You might mention the dedication it’s going to take (6 weeks). But also throw in the trip to regionals for good measure.

And definitely get the school’s teachers and administrator’s on boards. Not just math and science too. One of the english teacher’s helps us revise our chairman’s award entry. And shop teachers are good too. You always could use a good student welder.

I don’t have any short videos. Our i-movie we showed in our pit last year was nearly 30 minutes long.

Oh yeah, for our first year we had two students that kind of started it (me and another) we ended up going off teacher reccomendations and then asking the students reccomended. We gave them like a day to make up their mind. We had to have names to put on the NASA grant application the next day so the process was kind of hurried. And not completely sure. “Do you want to be on a robotics team if NASA gives us 10,000?” I don’t know what we would have done without that grant, It worked out though.

Good luck.

I have tried repeatedly over the last month to download the 2004 kickoff video with no sucess. I keep getting a message that the file is unavailble.
Any suggestions?

Amber, I just downloaded it again without problems in about two minutes over my cable modem.

right click (or control-click if you have a Mac) and save target as

you can find the 2003 Science Channel FIRST documentary here
it is a 500 mb download

I recomend setting up shop in lunches and at freshman course fairs. Use your teams propaganda there. Show people the bot. Tell them they will be able to drive the bot if they come to a meeting on such and such a day. Try to get kids to show its not just for nerds, and there are many things to do with FIRST. Then, on that meeting day, show them that video or show them anything else. You could show videos from matches from last year. If you dont have any you can go to and go to the video gallery, some of my teams vids are there…

But what i would say is the best thing to do is try to emphasise that FIRST is for everyone, and it just as fun as a sport. Tell them that builiding the robot only takes up 6 weeks a year. Lots of kids in high school think that FIRST is only for geeks and nerds, and have no reason to join. Give them a reason.

Yee Haw! It worked!

So simple and obvious…Sometimes I wonder if that old addage in the music world of, Soprano = Airhead is true…Hmmmm…

Thanks Rich!