pic: 100% Student Built


Team 662 students take pride in having an all student built robot


That’s what it’s supposed to look like! Wonderful look at inspiration and appreciation in action. Congrats to the students who are putting theory into practice!

Last year our entire robot was about 98% student built. We bragged about this for the longest time but at the competition the judges weren’t very impressed. In fact they seemed kind of disappointed. The reason behind this is that any bunch of kids can get together and make something but what is special about FIRST is the interaction with professionals in the industry.

I believe the judges look for the relatinship between student and mentor to be somewhere around a 1/3 mentor 2/3 student work load.

The “student” who’s hand is on the bottom right corner needs to wear some anti aging cream… those hands look a bit wrinkly for a high schooler … :yikes: :rolleyes:

991 had a similar experience where we were bragging to a judge that we did all of the work ourselves and she chastised us for not having an engineer on board. I know all of the ideals of FIRST but it was almost like they would rather have the robots be 100% engineer built (you know who you are) than for the students to do everything.

This year, we put the word out everywhere we could and one of the parents found a neighbor that was a retired ME. We couldn’t be happier. We still get to be student-built, but now we’re in compliance.

Sorry to do this … but I really can’t believe no-one else beat me to it …


Good job, I know how hard it is not the get mentors to just build it all, but remember, it’s a collaboration between students and mentors that is what FIRST is about. For every Sparky since the beginning, students have done most of the work, while the mentors have guided us and acted like bumpers in a game of bumper bowling. You can go everywhere within them, but they keep you from failing. Our ONLY time we ever have only mentors working on something is when we weld (no student welding masters here) or we send something to the shop for building. All of our CAD that tells shops what to do is 100% student made.

To sum it up, it’s the working between students and mentors that is key to FIRST, and if you go too much on either side, you loose the focus of what FIRST is about, INSPIRATION and RECOGNITION of what scientists and engineers do at work, not inspiration and recognition of how to build a robot.

Yeah, we don’t take pictures w/o our safety glasses…We have to do retakes.

It doesnt matter if you are taking pictures or not, you should be wearing safety glasses at ALL times when around or near the robot!!! We have rules that say you are not allowed to enter the shop without safety glasses. Not everybody follows it at all times, but our mentors and engineers are really trying to enforce it this year and it’s great that they are there to help us because some of them have seen what can happen first hand if you dont wear them. Safety should never be taken lightly!!!

No safety glasses needed!
There are no mentors there to NAG the students about safety and such… this one is 100% student built, and they’re proud of it. :rolleyes:

Who needs safety glasses?
Every HS kid in America is invincible (until proved otherwise).

My team has shifted dramaticly over the pas three years. My first year, I didn’t see the completed robot until our first competition. Last year, however, the robot was over 90% student built, but our robot struggled to move. Having seen both sides, I would say that either a 100% student run team or a 100% mentor run team can be very successful in achieve FIRST’s goals. Students on a mentor run team get see exactly what it’s like to be an engineer and can still get exited about it. Students on a student run team get more first hand experience on what its like to be an engineer(that is, if they have at least one mentor guiding but not at all building), although it’s a little less accurate, and can also get excited. The purpose is to inspire. Whether the robot is student built or mentor built doesn’t matter, as long as their still getting kids exited.

Long story short, it’s not about who, it’s about how.

That said, our team decided this year the “how” is easiest if both students and mentors work on the robot.

As for saftey glasses, their much more fun to wear if you custumize them. :cool:

I’m sorry but real engineers that work at big manufacturing corporations harldy if ever get to touch a machine. All most of them do is draw and plan out everything for a part and/ or a system. They leave the actual machining to the union and blue collar workers.

I don’t know that I totally agree with either of you. While a student run and student build robot provides engineering experience, like David said, a lot of real-world engineers do a lot of designing and behind-the-scenes work.

But CERTAINLY, it does not mean that these students aren’t getting invaluable experience. Keep up the good work (and put on those glasses!) :slight_smile:

A few days ago, I missed when I was putting on my safety glasses and I jammed the earpiece in my eye. :ahh:

MORAL: Always wear safety glasses when you’re putting on your safety glasses. :wink:

Done that one before. Luckily I do wear saftey glasses (my own glasses) before putting on saftey glasses.

We have a rule that we made up that works really well for saftey glasses. If you are within ten feet of a running motor, bolt being cut, or tensioned spring, you are wearing safety glasses. It is the simplest general rule that works the best.

Also, in our shop we see normal (polycarb lense) glasses as acceptable as safety glasses. Unless the student feels unsafe (like standing in a rainshower of chips while cutting aluminum with a blade intended for wood or while cutting wood and making a ton of sawdust) then normal glasses are alright.

Here is our reasoning, In most cases, something will not come from the top, bottom, or sides of your glasses and into your eye. In all of dangerous chip flying and dust cloud experiences I’ve never gotten anything in my eye wearing normal glasses. Also, it is very difficult to see through both glasses and safety glasses and can cause a headache after a while. Clear vision is more important when using tools because there is greater risk of cutting your finger off than risk of something flying in your eye.

Anyway, whatever you are doing be sure to have some sort of eye protection on. My normal glasses have saved my eyes more than a few times.

It is unfortunate to see that people are saying that FIRST does not appreciate the 100% student built robot and believes that there must be engineers/mentors in there building it “for you” and with you. Personally I think this is a great idea (the with part), but FIRST means different things in different parts of the country and different socio-economic areas. Finding willing engineers in some urban areas is nearly impossible, as i suspect it is in some rural areas. Of course a mixture is best in theory - but in real life - in REAL LIFE ENGINEERING (which this is for those of you who say “well REAL engineers…” you make due with what you have - you solve the problem with the boundry conditions that are imposed.

Personally I find it distasteful to see teams with factory built robots that the kids barely see before the competition - this is clearly not the spirit of FIRST - I am not sure who those teams inspire except the corporate folks. On the other hand, I do not believe a robot can be built 100% by high school students - it just can’t be. And I can get no argument over that because if you are reading this, then you are part of a group that is not 100% students composed and you are probably getting advice and giving it, so you robot is NOT 100% student “built”. I mean, does an engineer have to be right next to you turning the wrench to qualify as participating? I don’t think so. Certainly there is a nice midway point that is marvelous, but that point changes depending on the people involved and the situation. Seems to me that if FIRST is really acting the way some of you have outlined, they need to open their eyes to the bigger picture and remember what F.I.R.S.T. stands for.

Oh, and kudos to any team that has a large portion of their robot built by students! I think part of why they are so proud is that they are saying HEY - we built this - not a bunch of professionals that handed it to us already done. And heck, we have been inspired!!!

A lot of people have VERY big misconseptions about the teams who have very beautifuly engineered and built machines that are sponsored by big manufacturing companies. Name me one team that is basically a "factory built robot" as what you described. I guarentee you cannot do that.

I can name a few that seem very very well done that, to me, still has that factory fresh new car smell to them. But will I? No. Why? This topic has been beaten to death before, and we should stop it from happening again. The only thing this does is hurt people’s feelings and cause problems between teams that shouldn’t be there.

Because it smells like a new car does not mean it was totally factory built. Many teams are lucky enough to build in their sponsor’s factories and have access to great machinery. Dont accuse any team unless you know ALL FACTS. There are lots of rumors that go around about teams and how they build their robots that are totally untrue and have no basis to them.

Please dont accuse or say how a robot is built unless you know what really happens and you have facts.

Woah … calm down Dave. I didn’t see any specific accusations. And I would be willing to bet that, out of almost 1000 active teams, there are at least a small number who do fit this description. In fact I personally know one alumnus of a team who told me that the students don’t touch the robot until it is time to drive. My personal preference is that a large percentage of students have significant hands-on robot design/build time, but I’m sure the kids on that team (especially judging from my contact) are also very inspired about futures in engineering and technology … which is what FIRST is all about.