new team members

What are some things that can be done to intro duce new members to the team what we do and what first is about in a not so boring way

I’d say let them play with the robot. Of course show them how to use it and all, but let them get hands on. Let them see how all the little things work. Tell them about the competitions and all the funny things that happen. Many people if you tell them the game right away will think “This is dumb” not noticing the atmosphere it is. FIRST relies on its atmosphere and members. That’s what makes it even more fun, let them in on the little funny stories that shouldn’t have happened (we all have them lol) and they’ll see how much fun it can be and they’ll be hooked. But don’t just lecture, show them pictures, joke with them, chant your team chants and dance around so they see what it’s like, let them get with the robot, etc. etc. That’s the best way to hook new members and make them want to get involved in my opinion.

Judging from your team number you’re a veteran team. If you’ve managed to keep alive any of the bots your team has built thusfar, showing them off can entrance people at first.

The key to introducing people to FIRST- whether they’re a corporate executive or a freshman student, is catching their eye quickly. Sure, a robot with a transmission that can shift on the fly is interesting to us (heck, I catch myself drooling at the transmissions of other teams at times) but not too interesting to the general public. Also, technospeak kinda scares people away.

Try to make the team seem as it’s not only fun, but not nearly as difficult as most people believe on the general first impression. I know full well that when I started I could not believe I was at all capable of producing such a machine. I’m glad to say I’ve proved myself wrong on several occasions.

A gimmick works well too, an identity. My team has its bright hawiian shirts that cause people in New Jersey to do a double take. MOE has their awesome cheer and bright lime green shirts. The list is endless- you need your identity to catch their attention!

Lastly, for your starting freshman, I suggest you introduce them to the game as if it was kickoff. On our team, all the freshman were presented with the basic rules as we were on kickoff for the 2003 game Stack Attack, and then split into small groups to discuss and design their game playing robot. Quite a few interesting ideas popped up, and it’s encouraged them to stay aboard.

Hope this helps!

*Originally posted by wayne 05 *
**What are some things that can be done to intro duce new members to the team what we do and what first is about in a not so boring way **

Do you want them to just to interact with current team members to build a “team”, or do you want to actually emerge them in the FIRST lifestyle?

What we have done in past years to “introduce and re-introduce the team” is to hold a lock-in at a local place with a pool and a grand hall type room. We spend all night there and swim, play games, talk, have some team-building exercises and do other stuff. I’d say only 5% of the activities going on at this social gathering are actually FIRST related. More FIRST conversations than anything else FIRST related. (We don’t even bring the robot there :ahh: ) But it gives the students a chance to relax, and learn about each other in a non-competitive setting.

As for the introduction to FIRST, most of it is done by the assistance of technology.
Sending the new members to the FIRST website, to these forums etc. to learn what FIRST is about, what the game has been in the past, and what may happen in the coming year(s).
I think the best way to really introduce new members to the FIRST experience is to bring them to a mini comp during the off season. (I think many mini comp holding teams are realizing this more and more, as they are holding the comps later in the year after school starts and we have the “true newbies” or freshmen come join the teams)

Of course, we do the usual things as well, take out the robot, show it off, maybe get them involved in fixing it after the brutal season, have them drive it. The basics.

*Originally posted by wayne 05 *
**What are some things that can be done to intro duce new members to the team what we do and what first is about in a not so boring way **

I am not exactly sure what robots you have built in the past, but since your number is not a rookie number, I assume you have been in FIRST for a few years. I think it might be a good idea to pick your two toughest robots and run an expo at your school to show how “cool” first is. I don’t want to have you make it seem like battle bots, but battling robots does attract talent, and ambition. It would be a good idea to possible run a few matches (set it up with your teams school) and maybe even have a match where 1 person from each class (grade level) gets to be a driver in a “mock” match. A “grade level” match would be a definite way to get the audience into FIRST, and when they are amazed with the “class-match” throw some FIRST facts at them, and how to register for your team…

Lets Say There Is NO way to have this years field set up at the school…

You can most likely get some carpet, and roll out a quick 15 foot by 15 foot square in your gym, set up a guard rail of 2 X 4’s and set up a side-line, and for a drivers station use a few fold out tables, then you can also use your schools score-board to display the approx score during a match, as well as the winner after a match.

I would recommend not using a ramp, set up a few totes and balls, and make a simple to understand game, that is easy to score by the people, If your robots can’t play the game, make them play the game, it would be a great way for a few of your new rookies to do a few minor robot modifications and start to understand how the robot works.

If you need some help with ideas just shoot me an e-mail and I would be more then happy to talk about mock-FIRST games, that don’t take much space and can be played by almost any robot.

Well Thats my piece of the pie…

-Greg The Great

Yes, you can’t go wrong with giving the kids some hands on experience. Try also showing promotional videos. If you find a good enough one, it can do well to show the unparalleled experience one can find in FIRST robotics. In any event, try to keep their attention and be exciting. Make the program appeal to them.

*Originally posted by Elgin Clock *
I think the best way to really introduce new members to the FIRST experience is to bring them to a mini comp during the off season. **

Off Seasons are the PERFECT way to get anyone hooked on FIRST. When FURY competed at Duel on the Delaware, we brought a couple kids from our FLL team along with us. They spent the a lot of time going around the pits talking to other teams and playing with old robots, as well as cheering in the stands. I think they enjoyed it more than the high school kids :yikes:. After going to the competition they were a lot more inspired to work and they understood the values of FIRST.

One thing I am going to comment about new students is that, don’t exclude them. Try and get them in with the team as soon as possible because I think it’s harder for them to adjust if they’re by themselves. What I mean is…I know the new students have to be trained, where the older members don’t, and that sometimes because something down seperate of the team and I think that’s bad. I remember being a rookie all too well and I was absolutely terfied to be around the rest of the team and the old members after being secluded on my own for so long to be taught the basics.

Also, when you do things with the group for the first couple weeks…try and do stuff that will get them talking about themselves. At school we have this thing we play were everyone gets in a circle (ok…with over 60 members or so…this might be hard) and says their name and something they like to do with an -ing. The person next to them has to say the first persons name and what they like to do…and then it goes on. It’s an idea and it gets people learning other peoples names. I am not joking when I say I still had no clue what half the people on my team names were. I knew their face and I knew they were with my team but that was about it. So…try and get people interacting. I really wish my own team had more of this because it always seems like we are either working or at competition with no real “relax and have fun” time to just talk and learn stuff about your team mates. Yes…we have fun while building but it’s just hard, ya know?