personal quotes

So our team has, unfortunately hit a bump in the road. Without warning us, our school board has suddenly decided we should demote to an FTC team, effective this month. Well after a couple other students and I worked our tails off last year to account for loosing seniors, we aren’t exactly taking this lying down. We plan to go to the board and repealing everything.
Now as for why I’ve come to the lovely CD community, I need a bit of help in the form of answering 5 simple questions. Long or short answers, I don’t care. Please answer as many as you can, one or all, and thank you in advance.

  1. What has FRC taught you and how has this benefited you?
  2. What does FRC mean to you?
  3. What is your favorite competition experience?
  4. If you know, what would put FRC in front of FTC in terms of experience and learning skills?
  5. This is just your chance to hype up FRC. Why robotics?

Honestly my opinion is that FTC is a better suited program to learning, due to the longer season and focus on the engineering notebook. I’d also say that changing to FTC is not a “demotion.” There are a lot of good reasons to be doing FTC instead of FRC, especially when it comes to the need for mentors and funding required.

That being said, I’m an FRC guy at heart, and if you actually do have the resources (time, mentors) to sustain an FRC team it’s a shame to see one die.

1: The biggest thing has been working with people. I’m not going to say I’m great at it, but I’m sure as heck better than I was when I started.

2: Problem solving fun and the chance to make the world a better place :slight_smile:

3: 100% watching my FTC team win the Connect Award at the Championship in 2016.

4: Basically nothing, other than maybe working under a time crunch. FTC or VEX are superior learning experiences in my opinion.

5: Why robots? It’s a fantastic, project-based learning experience that builds marketable and extremely valuable skills.

Just to clarify, I’m not trying to say that FTC is in any way not equal to FRC in its unique challenges. The problem is we have been working on FRC specific skill sets and they have given us no warning.

  1. What has FRC taught you and how has this benefited you?
    It taught me how to build basic parts for a robot such as bumpers, frames, lifting mechanisms, delivery and shooting ball mechanisms, as well as sewing and protection for the robot as well as repairing and various drivetrains. It also taught me a bit about wiring and electronics. It also taught me about electricity and laser diodes. This has helped me design things in my own time such as lasers, rockets, jetpropelled vehicles and attempt at aerial vehicles.
  2. What does FRC mean to you?
    A program that teaches young people needed skills for engineering and repairing things. It is a program that has helped me fix my self confidence as well as help me learn to not be afraid and talk to people. It has changed me and my life itself. Without the FRC I would never have met my mayor, governor as well as Dean Kamen and Woodie flowers.
  3. What is your favorite competition experience?
    Winning first place at two competitions with my team and being on the field for the first time at one of those competitions.
  4. If you know, what would put FRC in front of FTC in terms of experience and learning skills?
    It teaches more complex skills and in greater detail.
  5. This is just your chance to hype up FRC. Why robotics?
    Robotics can change your life and teach us neccesary skills and change our very lives.
  1. What has FRC taught you and how has this benefited you?

FRC has taught me the importance of collaboration. It’s no longer just ‘me’ doing things, it’s being with an entire team that really strengthens and enriches the experience. FRC has also taught me time management. With full IB on my back as well as responsibilities in my team, FRC has taught me how to balance these, especially in the heat of build season.

  1. What does FRC mean to you?

FRC, to me, is seeing how other teams can always do something better than you can. No matter how experienced a team you may be, there’s always something to iterate and improve upon.

  1. What is your favorite competition experience?

Orange County Regional 2017. My team managed to program an autonomous during lunch break, which broke our loss streak during that tournament. Seeing that gear make its way up the peg was the most comforting experience we could have had during that time.

  1. If you know, what would put FRC in front of FTC in terms of experience and learning skills?

I can’t speak for FTC but I do have experience regarding VRC, if that means anything. With VRC, I feel as if there’s a bit of a ceiling (in comparison to FRC), and at the highest levels many robots inevitably turn out to look pretty similar due to their ecosystem. Both have their merits though. VRC definitely helps foster a basic understanding of robotics, while FRC expands upon those concepts.

  1. This is just your chance to hype up FRC. Why robotics?

There’s so much you can do in robotics! 3D printed swerve drive? No problem! If you can prototype it, then you can build it. No feeling is better than turning something from a CAD to an actual physical representation. Also, simply just meeting the people in FRC hypes you up. Meeting another team you know? It’s always fun to compare mechanisms and how different (or similar) your thoughts were when designing this robot. Sometimes, I’ve even made friends just by mentioning that I did FRC. It’s exactly this robotics connection that I love about FRC.

  1. What has FRC taught you and how has this benefited you?
    FRC is the highest of the FIRST ladder, which allows students a 6 week intense building period to build a robot from nothiing. (or, technically a frame if you choose so) It has taught me so much more than just technical skills, but also how to work with people despite any and all differences, and it taught me how to look past distractions and be productive.

  2. What does FRC mean to you?
    It means everything. I am in the leadership for my team and I highly prioritize my team over every other extra curricular. FRC allows me to compete in exciting games, build complex robots from scratch, and to learn and grow as a person, and to learn many many many useful skills for life; such as people skills and technical skills alike.

  3. What is your favorite competition experience?
    Certainly my favorite personal competition memory wasn’t even technically in the venue. it was in the parking lot. On our way in, we met another team there, a reasonably good team. We said hi and such, and after a while I told them I really admired their robot for its unique design. (they did indeed had an interesting design that year, and won a few awards for it.) Once I did, The guy I was talking to immediately turned around and said “hey guys did you hear that?? East Cobb (my team) likes us!!!” I didn’t really think about it, but after looking at the rankings, we were at the top of the list, and they were more near the middle. Just gave me some perspective, making me appreciate what I am doing.

  4. If you know, what would put FRC in front of FTC in terms of experience and learning skills?
    I was never in an FTC team, so I can’t say for sure. But we do have an FTC team as well, and from what I know about it, it isn’t nearly as vigorous. Which has its ups and downs. Obviously, Less time required, less resources, etc. But also, a huge loss in what the students could get. Students get more from more in depth lessons… Teachers should understand this more than anyone.

  5. This is just your chance to hype up FRC. Why robotics?
    Because while there are some other robotics competitions around like VEX, or even FTC, FRC gives the best balance of learning and doing. Of course, it is up to the mentors, but there is the greatest potential for the ratio to be ideal. FRC allows so much up to the teams… that’s why some are successful, and some aren’t. Some dive in, taking full advantage of as many resources as they can, while others obviously don’t, taking what’s within reach for a short amount of time. You can decide which categories match.

  1. What has FRC taught you and how has this benefited you?
    -Essential problem solving skills that classes can’t teach
    -Working in such a large group to a common goal that classes can’t teach
    -How to perform under pressure in a way that classes can’t teach
  2. What does FRC mean to you?
    -A community of like-minded (to and extent) individuals
    -A way to inspire students to do more than a traditional classroom setting could
  3. What is your favorite competition experience?
    -As a student: being on the drive team and interacting with other teams, robots
    -As a CSA: Seeing the teams that I helped fix their robot go on the field and have a good time. Whether its because the issue was preventing them from winning matches or if they’re just excited to see their robot move on the field.
  4. If you know, what would put FRC in front of FTC in terms of experience and learning skills?
    -More things to work on means more people can get involved. There are only so many hands that fit in an 18" cube.
  5. This is just your chance to hype up FRC. Why robotics?
    -It’s fun and it’s learning. How can you beat that?

You should probably also look into why your program is being changed, and address those concerns more specifically. If the problem is money, no amount of appeals will make much of a difference unless you include how you plan to help fund the program.

I agree with Liam. If you can quantify the impact your FRC team has had on the community/students part of it, it could be much more powerful.

Finding, getting quotes from alumni. What do your mentors think, how has it helped them? How does your team engage sponsors (this is a way of engaging the community)? How many students pursue STEM careers because of your FRC team? What kind of outreach do you do that is only possible because of an FRC robot?

This is REALLY important, and I truly believe that every FRC team is impactful to its members in some shape or form. You may just have to work on capturing that.

If you really are in need of more support, PM me. I’ll answer your questions and I can help you put some things together.

I’d like to thank everyone for their posts so far. We’ve done a lot of thinking of why this is happening and have talked to a lot of people, and have pretty much turned to proposing the FRC team as varsity and FTC as JV as a stepping stone educational system. Since the main issue isn’t money and we have so many untapped resources for us to go after, this is a viable answer with a lot of work. We’d need to get more mentors (something we really struggle with) and are getting alumni video statements, along with bringing the entire team to the meeting in our mechanics shirts. Any ideas help, so thank you again.