POLL: Ranked aspects of FRC on a personal level

For the sake of consistency; I’m going with the following definitions:

Inspiration: Getting students excited about STEM and/or participation in the program. Generally anything to do in answering the “what do I want to major in college/do with my life after high school” question.

Education: The teaching of both hard and soft skills to students. I generally imagine this to be things that are applicable in areas outside of FIRST, but I guess they don’t strictly need to meet that definition.

Social Scene: Making friends both on your own team and on others; exploring what other teams have created; participation in non-team organizations such as CD, FRC Discord, RSN, FUN, group chats, etc.

Which of the following aspects is most important to you?
  • Inspiration
  • Education
  • Social Scene

0 voters

Which of the following aspects is the 2nd most important to you?
  • Inspiration
  • Education
  • Social Scene

0 voters

Which of the following aspects is the least important to you?
  • Inspiration
  • Education
  • Social Scene

0 voters

This is meant to supplement the discussion in this thread: The centrality of competition in FRC, I just find that polls buried in a thread tend to get far lower response rates.

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There’s a reason this program isn’t “For Education and Social Scene of Science and Technology”. FESSST doesn’t have the same ring to it.

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But the mascot could be Uncle FESSSTer

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I wouldn’t mind FEAST either, I’m starving.

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Rahul forgot to include mentor bacon as a poll option, smh.

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I thought the new hotness was corndogs?

I’d be interested to see this data for students vs mentors. is that possible after the fact?

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As a student I probably would have said education is the most important aspect. It’s hard to see the inspiration when you’re the one being inspired. But now looking back at my high-school FRC experience and seeing the students I mentor, I definitely think inspiration is the most important. The education is great, but you can learn about torque and path planning and everything else from college courses. You won’t take those courses if you aren’t inspired though.

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I usually find that the students that get the most out of FRC as far as education goes are the ones that are most excited about STEM and robotics. So I think the first and most important step is to get students inspired and excited to go off and learn more, and the rest usually takes care of itself.

I feel that the social scene is what keeps us here, both as students and as mentors; the inspiration is the objective, the education is pretty loose. ‘Inch deep, mile wide’ so to speak.

It’s great for dipping a toe into engineering, but really learning those principles, and especially the “why” behind design decisions is often beyond the level we can reasonably teach at an extracurricular, high-school level. (e.g. the more advanced math, materials science beyond basic ‘steel heavy, aluminum light’, etc.)

What we really exist to do is to show students the breadth of STE(A)M: show the kid who thinks they’re ‘too dumb’ for it that, no, there is a place and a need for all skill levels, and that genuinely good career opportunities exist outside of “Engineering”.

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Inspiration draws us in, Social Scene keeps us in, Education is what we get?

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Thinking about it, I wish I worded it as “networking” instead of purely “social scene”. The latter makes it sound more trivial or purely for enjoyment/entertainment, but the professional network I’ve gotten out of participating in FRC has probably been just as valuable as any education benefits.

Years ago, I think after my first year at my current school, the students met up with another team in the area (multiple C.A. winners now) to discuss team goals and purpose. The students’ #1 listed reason for being on robotics was “Social outlet”. These weren’t goofball kids either. Some of what they thought of as “social outlet” was actually networking as viewed through an adults’ eyes. But to teenagers, they were hanging out with like minded people and having a good time.

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I think another interesting breakdown would be gender.

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