Recruiting Freshmen

Our team is getting a great opportunity to recruit new freshmen before they even get to our school. Our Frosh Orientation is taking place this Thursday evening, and we’ve gotten the go-ahead from the administration to demo the robot to the students and parents and let interested students drive the robot after the orientation.

This is a great chance for us to hook interested students before those other clubs like TSA and yearbook have a chance at them. evil grin

So if anyone has any ideas of anything we could do to involve and interest the students (hey, the parents too, while they’re there), they would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Put up lots of colorful posters advertising the team, all over school. If your school has daily announcements, get something on there about how cool FIRST is!

Here are a few ideas for getting (and keeping!) new members:

  • At the demo, have a shooting or driving contest. Anything hands-on will get people more involved and more interested! Which would you prefer - listening to people talk about how cool FIRST is, or actually being able to try some stuff out.
  • Have a sign-up for those interested, and hold a less formal meeting a week following. That will give you a good idea of how many people are really interested.
  • If you have the resources, show a video of this past season’s competition. Get a match off of soap108’s website, show parts of the video from kick-off … Anything to get people excited about FIRST!!
  • Make sure to keep contact with those interested over the summer … if the team is doing a car-wash fundraiser, let them know about it! If they want to help, great. If not, at least they can get a car-wash to support the team :wink:
  • If the team holds meetings over the summer, make sure people know about it!
  • At the beginning of the next term, hold an orientation, get-to-know-you meeting. Do team-building activities to help rookies and vets mingle a bit!

One thing we learned this year was to make any showing of the robot exciting (best I can describe it)…we did a freshman presentation during an activity day, and in the first half, got almost no attendance, but when a new group came later, we did more things with the robot…(chase them around…carefully of course :wink: ) When we did this, we got a fair sized croud…and people looked interested in what we were doing.

always bring out the bot and drive it around-- everyone thinks it’s really cool and especially that the team made it in 6 weeks-- some thing goes with visiting ppl to get sponsorship-- and make sure u keep in touch with the kids who sign up–a lot of time they don’t know when the first meeting is-- our team does the announcements for the team on our website and email system so add them to the email list-- and make sure there are lots of kids there ready to talk both girls and guys so u can get both girls and guys on the team. And if you guys earned any award or have banners–put them out-- trophies always gets ppl attention-- and videos always are good–and show spirit for the team and FIRST
and have fun too-- robotics is all about fun and learning!!

I hope u get more rookies through u’r open house.


Make your first meeting with the freshmen interesting. No offense to my mentors but I was the only freshman this year because the rest of them got far too bored with talks about robot parts, and budget the first day the we came. As someone stated above, let them do a few simple things with the bot. I even got to operate at the Fall Fury scrimmage in NH. Since then I have not driven but am still very involved. Just intrigue them with the most exciting parts of FIRST and don’t drag them down with too much technical stuff until they’re already hooked onto FIRST.


If your team is attending a nearby off-season event, make sure you have flyers to pass out so that students and parents can attend and get a feel for what the program is all about.

At some point you DO have to let students and parents know the realities of the financial and time commitments your team requires - I’d rather “scare off” a student who knows that they can’t commit to 4 meetings a week during the build season, than to have him or her take a slot on the team and then never show up.

Yes that’s a good idea because generally the robotics team does take up alot of time and we need really commited people. I was wondering what to do on that issue.

Any kids from Lego League teams coming? Give them a special welcome.
We’ve used our 2002 robot to “deliver” cases of soda for events.
We have a one-page colorful “brochure” with pics of the team and robot and important stats and contact numbers that we hand out. You can easily make this one a home computer.
Definitely let them try out driving the bot.
Invite them to come to upcoming off season competitions or any demos you are doing.

Fre food is always good for getting peoples intrest. After you have them hands on, video of competition and close ups of the robot work great. Make sure that the students do a lot of talking with mentors in the background to back them up if necessary.