School-Based FRC Teams


Following up on @PaigeSmellsOwls question on community teams, I’m interested in knowing more about the school based teams.

  1. Are you part of a school based team?
  2. Are you a strictly high school team?
  3. How do you recruit for members? Do you limit membership? If so, how?
  4. Do you have a facility on a high school campus?
  5. Do you have 1 or more faculty advisors/coaches/mentors?
  6. Are your funds controlled/accounted by the school/district financial office?
  7. Are your fundraisers limited by district office policy (car washes, donut sales, etc.)? Is your solicitation for sponsors limited/monitored?
  8. Do you have a Booster Club? Is it a 501( c)3? Do you have access to a 501( c)3 organization to help you with donations?
  9. Is your administrative team supportive, disapproving/combative, or apathetic?
  10. What is your biggest challenge being in the school setting?

I actually started with three questions, but felt that I needed to limit my questions to ten (yes, I cheated by making a few of them multiple questions…sorry).
Anyway, thank you for reading and responding!

  1. I was part of team 3238 for 3 years, but I am no longer on the team because I’m graduating
  2. We are primarily a high school team, but we did have a few middle schoolers this past season
  3. We recruit by having community events and showing off our robots at festivals to increase awareness of our program
  4. We do have a facility on our campus, but our new labs are in the process of being built along with our new HS
  5. We have 3 coaches total, and multiple mentors
  6. Our funds to my knowledge are managed through our teams booster club.
  7. I don’t believe they are limited, but I’m not certain
  8. We do have a booster club, but I don’t know too much about it
  9. Our coaches were super supportive a few years ago, recently its been kinda bad and people have quit
  10. The biggest challenge is having access to the building when we need it. Its not really a huge issue, but can be inconvenient at times with other clubs and stuff using facilities
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We’re a semi-school team by PaigeSmellsOwls’s definition, but I’ll throw my answers out there for whatever they’re worth :slight_smile:

  1. Kinda. We were originally a school-based team, and officially split off from the school a handful of years ago. Officially we’re a school-connected organization; we’re run by our own 501©(3) and accept members from any high school, but we still have a lot of ties to our original school.
  2. We allow middle schoolers, but don’t actively recruit them.
  3. We recruit mostly through events at our high school and our feeder middle schools. Eighth grade night, freshman orientation, club rush, etc. We don’t limit membership, our team tends to be a little smaller than we’d like and we’re happy to have anyone who wants to be there. Next year we’ll be starting a minimum hours requirement in hopes of increasing participation.
  4. Yes, one of our mentors is the computer science teacher at the school and has a very large classroom. The loft and the alcove under it are set aside for our team, and during meetings we use the whole room. We also have access to the school’s wood shop and dance room (aka driver practice room) on the condition that we always clean them up before we leave. During spring break we set up a full practice field in the auditorium.
  5. Yes, one. Two of our other mentors used to be teachers at the school as well (one is retired, one took a job in industry).
  6. No. We have complete autonomy regarding our funds. Our 501©(3) is independent of the school, and its board of directors make the high level budget decisions. We have a team bank account and credit card.
  7. I’ve heard from students that we’re not allowed to do the same fundraisers that the athletic teams do. Our solicitation for sponsors is not limited or monitored.
  8. We have a 501©(3), but it’s not affiliated with the school.
  9. I would say mildly supportive? They seem happy to work with us as long as we don’t ask for much. They’ve been good about a lot of things (issuing keys to mentors, making robotics an elective class, counting robotics trips as field trips, etc), but I get the feeling that they’ve given us all they’re willing to and any further requests for more space, more privileges, etc are met with apathy. I also get the impression that our relationship with the administration is much more harmonious now that we manage our own funds.
  10. The only thing that comes to mind is space, but I don’t really think we’d do better on our own. Our #1 wish is to expand our machine shop, but they’re not biting.
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Oh wowie thanks, good luck on your search! Most of the teams here in Connecticut are school from my knowledge. I hope to see some New England replies!

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Team 5190 is a school-based FRC team.

  1. Yes

  2. Yes, we only accept students from our high school.

  3. We participate in the annual “club fair” for incoming freshmen students – this is where we get the most signups. We also spread the word around and many CTE teachers will recommend joining the team.

  4. No, we do not. We rent a space at a local mall.

  5. We have 1 faculty advisor.

  6. No, the school does not control the funds and money that we raise as a team.

  7. No

  8. Yes, we have a 501©(3) booster club.

  9. Our administrative team is generally supportive of our efforts to teach STEM-skills to students and spread STEM throughout the community.

  10. Inability to accept students who want to join our team, but go to different schools.

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  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. We set up a booth at our school’s activity fair, have posters, and have messages/videos in the morning announcements. But word of mouth is the most effective
  4. We work out of classrooms
  5. We have professional engineers who are considered coaches by the school
  6. Partially, but we also have a 501c3
  7. Partially, but we use our 501c3 and our FIRSTInspires account to help mitigate both of these
  8. Yes, our booster club is our 501c3.
  9. Mostly supportive, but it varies by subject
  10. Ensuring we have a school district employee present during all of our desired meeting times
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Team 4829 is a school-based team.

  1. Yes, we are counted as a club team at our school.

  2. Yes, since we don’t have an attached middle school.

  3. We use the school’s Club Day every year (September) to attract freshmen, but also go on recruiting trips to our feeder middle schools in April and May. We’re also in the process of starting an FTC team at one of our feeder schools. We do not limit membership, since we don’t have enough people to make that necessary.

  4. We do, but currently it’s not much more than a large supply closet (about 11’ x 14’), since the school is under construction. We should have a larger space (classroom sized) in our new building for the 2021 season. We have explored off-campus space, but nothing suitable is located anywhere close to the school that we could possibly afford.

  5. We have one active faculty mentor (me) and currently two other non-faculty mentors.

  6. Some of our funds are run through the school’s accounting system for clubs, but the bulk of it is handled by our cooperative agreement with the school’s PTSA.

  7. We have very little restriction on our fundraising, except that we cannot use games of chance (lotteries, etc.) for fundraising. There is no monitoring of our sponsors.

  8. No organized booster club, per say, but we do have an active group of parents who are indispensable to the team. We do have the cooperative agreement with the school’s PTSA, who are a 501©3 and help us with the logistics of donations and grants.

  9. Our administration (and especially the principal) are very supportive of the team.

  10. Currently the restriction on working space. There are also hoops that we must jump through in regards to travel and competitions (they count as field trips in our district) that add some paperwork on my part and for the parents.

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  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Recruit by advertising to freshmen and 8th graders. No limit.
  4. Yes
  5. Yes
  6. Yes
  7. No Limits
  8. No
  9. Some care, some don’t. No animosity
  10. Snow days and knowing our cash
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  1. Yes
  2. Not strictly. We recruit from the upper school, but will accept interested students from 7/8 grades.
  3. Demo’s, announcements, activity fair, and our summer camp are our primary recruitment tools. We don’t limit membership - with class sizes under 100, if we ever get big enough where limiting membership is warranted, we’ll easily be the largest activity in the school!
  4. We have in the past, but currently our paid faculty adviser does not work at the school - but her job gives her the ability to be at the school when we need someone there.
  5. Yes - depending on how you count, we’re somewhere between 9 and 12 mentors.
  6. Yes, all funds go through the school, but we keep our own books that we balance with the school’s records monthly.
  7. Fundraisers are limited. The school only allows a certain number of fundraisers per activity each year. Sponsors are not limited, although we do work with the schools development office to avoid stepping on any toes (as a private school, they do a fair amount of fundraising themselves, and we don’t want multiple groups asking the same person for money! They’ve been a huge help to the team over the years).
  8. No. The school is tax exempt, and we can utilize their paperwork in order to get tax off purchases or apply for grants, and sponsors get appropriate documentation for their tax purposes.
  9. Very supportive. It took time to build up the support, but we’ve been in a good place with the school for a long time now.
  10. As a private school, we draw students from all over the metro area. Having such a wide range of enrollment can make meeting attendance/travel organization difficult at times. Additionally, being a relatively small school means most of the students are involved in multiple activities, which can lead to schedule conflicts (for example, and annual choir trip on week-0 every year, or Theater’s tech week in the middle of build). I imagine both of those items are less of an issue for larger public schools!
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Are you part of a school based team? Yes
Are you a strictly high school team? for now yes, we have some Junior high FTC teams
How do you recruit for members? Do you limit membership? If so, how? large push at the start of the year; posters, Demos, announcements, presentations to physics and tech classes, then we continue word of mouth and demos through out the year. no limit so far
Do you have a facility on a high school campus? yes we have a shop room and a engineering area to work in
Do you have 1 or more faculty advisors/coaches/mentors? we have 5
Are your funds controlled/accounted by the school/district financial office? no
Are your fundraisers limited by district office policy (car washes, donut sales, etc.)? Is your solicitation for sponsors limited/monitored? we’re a 501c3 if they want to impose limits on our fundraising booster club officer elections are in May
Do you have a Booster Club? Is it a 501( c)3? Do you have access to a 501( c)3 organization to help you with donations? Yes and Yes
Is your administrative team supportive, disapproving/combative, or apathetic? enthusiastic but not supportive
What is your biggest challenge being in the school setting? access and getting our message to the correct person.

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Yes, team 7486 is based at Hudson High School.

Currently, yes.

We recruit by telling others and wearing our team shirts around. As of now, we don’t limit members.

Our high school Makerspace graciously lets us use their resources. :hammer_and_wrench:

This year, yes. However, our current mentor is not mentoring next year, and our 2 other mentors are becoming part-time employees at the school.

No, our funds are accounted for by our mentors/coaches. :money_mouth_face:

Not sure about #7, our team members don’t handle finances. We don’t have a booster club.

Supportive! They paid for our transportation to the Miami Valley Regional! :grin:

Getting new and interested members, as well as dealing with other after school activities limiting when members show up.

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I’m only an “assistant advisor” but to the best of my knowledge:

  1. Yes
  2. Yes. Students must attend Shelton High School and have a detectable pulse. That’s it for requirements.
  3. Our students come from Shelton’s FLL teams and from word of mouth. We do not limit membership.
  4. We use 2 classrooms in the high school but have access to the media center and other spaces as required.
  5. We have one head advisor who is faculty, one assistant advisor who is also faculty and several assistant advisors from outside of the school system.
  6. We have our own accounts.
  7. We do our own fundraising but I believe we must ask permission to do so once per year.
  8. We are a 501(c )3 organization. Don’t know about the rest of the question.
  9. Supportive on the surface. If we don’t ask for anything we are seldom disappointed.
  10. Our biggest challenges are transportation restrictions and strongly rumored reduction of access to school properties next year.
  1. Are you part of a school-based team? Yes
  2. Are you a strictly high school team? Yes as far as I’m aware.
  3. How do you recruit for members? Do you limit membership? If so, how? We have an Ice Cream Social in an attempt to stir interest. We currently don’t limit membership, but like most teams, we cut people who don’t show up or just don’t do anything.
  4. Do you have a facility on a high school campus? No, we do have a “robot room” which is essentially storage for our older bots, but we work off campus
  5. Do you have 1 or more faculty advisors/coaches/mentors? Yes, we have 7 mentors, one of which is directly connected to the school.
  6. Are your funds controlled/accounted for by the school/district financial office? Yes
  7. Are your fundraisers limited by district office policy (car washes, donut sales, etc.)? Is your solicitation for sponsors limited/monitored? Our Fundraisers are limited by that we can only do it through gofundme, which is not the best since we’ve used previous sites in the past that had a smaller chunk taken from us. Our Sponsorship are not limited at all as long as there school appropriate (like we are not allowed to be sponsored by a company that sell cigarettes)
  8. Do you have a Booster Club? Is it a 501( c)3? Do you have access to a 501( c)3 organization to help you with donations? While there is a Booster Club at our school we don’t get any funds from it, we do have access to an organization that helps us through with donations that is a 501©3
  9. Is your administrative team supportive, disapproving/combative, or apathetic? Honestly, Apathetic, they really make our lives difficult trying to get approval for the trips, we are thankful for that they allow us to make announcements & of course allow us have a team. It just sometimes I wish they could understand the amount of time and effort we spend should be somewhat rewarded by making our lives easier a bit.
  10. What is your biggest challenge being in the school setting?
    Getting new and interested members and keeping them engaged. Also trying to raise money is a pain.
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  1. Yes
  2. We are made of 2 high schools, one all girls, the other all guys
  3. We cap our membership at 75 students, though some years we dont hit that mark. Last year we did hit it, but the out going senior class was around 30 members and we could not make that up, so we hit about 68. We have rather flashy stands at all of the incoming freshmen activity fairs, butour recruitment efforts begin in mid September with a few posters and announcements during the loudspeaker announcement period, followed by a few emails. These are for the initial two meetings in the same week that we present a brief synopsis of our team, what we do and why they should join, and students can go to either one. The all girls school usually has a lower showing, though we had more freshman girls stay the whole season than guys.
  4. Our facility is in the all guys school and it includes 3 rooms around the size of small classrooms, all connected. We have 1 dedicated to mechanical and electrical, one ahs the practice field and programming subteam, and the other is our general chill/meeting room that has our CAD and business subteam. The space is a bit limited and our practice field cant have a level 3 rocket and also 2 pillars in the middle of it.
  5. We have one member at each school I believe, one at the all girls school is a teacher, and one at the all guys school works in the business office.
  6. We see to our own funds, though the school keeps track of what we spend and we have dates that we have to have our past years budget in by.
  7. We operate through donations and sponsorships which we ask each student to submit 2 prospects and fill in some information on a letter. We always try to get as many sponsors as we can as it lowers our joining costs/ traveling fees. The students themselves pay for traveling usually, which is around 200-300 for our non-home regionals and 400 for worlds. The joining cost is always under 300, but varies.
  8. I dont think so.
  9. The all boys school is fairly accommodating, allowing us to make announcements about progress and events, and we have multiple pictures of our team in the schools website. I dont believe the all girls school does nearly as much and we havnt been able to hold any outreach event there, unlike the 2 days of FLL tournaments we hold at the all guys school. The only events we can really hold at the all girls school is our kickoff and end-of-the-season banquette.
  10. Our biggest challenges are meeting times as we need at least 2 mentors in the build rooms to start working, which usually starts at around 6;30 after a few of them get off work. We also are not allowed to stay past 10:20 usually.
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  1. Yes, 2534 is a school based team.
  2. We are an almost exclusively high school team.
  3. We do not particularly recruit for members, other than putting posters around the school. We have some soft rules on membership, based around time spent working in the lab.
  4. We have a facility on the school campus in the form of the old school cafeteria, which we have taken over.
  5. We have two current mentors who are faculty members at the school.
  6. The funds for the team are almost solely controlled by the school, with some control given to the head mentor.
  7. We have very limited access to sponsors, as the school, our main sponsor, does not really let the team have outside monetary sponsors.
  8. We do not.
  9. I think that, as a student, the administration team is mostly supportive, but I think that they fully understand the position that the team is in, as it seems that we are still mostly viewed as a club, and not a full on sport, which i think we should be.
  10. I think that all in all the hardest park for us, as a purely school team, is that we have limited access to new students. Being a smaller(ish) private school, with a focus on sports rather than technology, it’s hard to find students that want to be part of the team, and even if they do join, to have the passion to put in the time that they need to. It’s also sometimes a struggle with the school administration about getting the budget to buy new machines, but that’s not really the point. I think that all in all, the biggest issue is definitely finding team members.
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  1. Yes i am apart team 4717
  2. We only accept students who attend Lubbock High School
  3. To recruit people we mainly spread word via mouth, announcements and posters, we do not have any limit to the amount of members we have the more the merrier.
  4. Yes, we work out of an old kitchen area including a walk in freezer! but this is only recently in times before we have worked out of a classroom.
    5.Yes We have two dedicated teachers who help to manage our team and we also have two mentors from our local university.
  5. Yes all our funds are controlled by a school account however we do have an eternal account managed by a parent for special purchases
  6. Our fundraisers are not limited by our district and i’m so happy they also do not monitor our sponsorship inquiries.
  7. No we are all on our own in terms of donations etc.
  8. Our school administration team occasionally helps out and is only really supportive if we do to attract their attention ex. we made state last year and they helped to cover our travel costs
  9. In my opinion the biggest challenge is money usage and management, at our school when we have money in our school funding account we can only buy from certain vendors which is hard to work around during FRC season and it is also very difficult to add companies to our vendor list, additionally in my district we have an external campus that specializes in other more in depth subjects like machining, welding etc. but we do not have access to the faciities and tools and additionally the other classes that use the machines like the Machining class has their own competitions to prepare for so they are unable to cut out our parts that we needed.
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1.Yes, if you consider all of the students from the school and our shop in the school.
2.No, we got some homeschoolers, we’re open to anyone
3.We generally send out a mass report all over the school asking for people to join
4.Yes, we have a small area designed for build and programmers/marketers go wherever
5.We have one mentor and 3 other teachers/contractors that help out
6.No, we store our funds in the school’s safe but since we are not school supported we do all of that ourselves
7.If they don’t support us, they don’t bother us
8.We don’t have organizations to help us we simply have a run-around-businesses-funding
9.the whole city supports us without funding sooo I guess we’re supported
10.the biggest challenge is trying not to interfere with muse machine/maintenance crew or the school’s doc program

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1.) Yes, we are a school team

2.) At the moment we are but we’re considering promoting some 8th graders from the local FLL team

3.) Several ways. Part of it is talking directly to people (inviting friends for instance). We also do demonstrations at rallies and whatnot. Additionally, we also do promotional stuff at feeder schools.

4.) Yes. We actually got super lucky with our timing - a bio teacher had just quit due to health reasons and the room was empty.

5.) We have a primary faculty adviser but other teachers help out. We have several FRC mentors who are not directly affiliated with the school.

6.) We are incorporated as a school club so kinda but we have control more or less of our finances. However, the way it works is that we can only release funds as a reimbursement - we can’t give people money beforehand. This leads to situations where we have mentors pay for stuff with their credit cards and are not repaid for a little bit. Kinda sucks but that’s how it is.

7.) We have to get any fundraisers and sponsors approved by the office but they’re pretty lax on this policy.

8.) See question six. We are considering forming one but this would not be in the near future. Maybe next season.

9.) Definitely supportive. They even helped get the school district to give us funds to pay for people’s hotel rooms at worlds (they rarely fund extracurriculars)

10.) Part of it is the aforementioned fact that funds can only be reimbursed but that’s whatever. The biggest potential challenge is the continuing support of the administration. Our current principal (whose been quite supportive of the team) is quitting this year and our head faculty adviser is retiring next year. My biggest concern is that the administration is going to tell us that we can no longer use our robotics room. That would throw a huge monkey’s wrench into the situation - not one that we couldn’t recover from, but it would be a major setback.

FRC 7528

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  1. Yes 2 actually mentor for 3134 and 3275
  2. Mostly, if a 8th grader did well on our FLL team they can be accepted
  3. We are a small High School. We try to find students who we think would “fit” and can commit the time. We do not limit membership.
  4. Most of our mentors work at the HS
  5. Yes 1 head coach, 1 assistant coach (FRC full timers) 2 part time mentors are faculty, 2 part time non faculty.
    6.kinda Most of our teams funding in controlled by the district. For our 2 teams we have about 7k in travel and registration and about 2k for supplies + a stipend for head and assistant. sponsors and fundraising with our non school booster club make up the rest.
  6. Kinda, any fundraising done at the school can be limited. Off site fundraising is handled by the booster club.
  7. Yes, We fall under (or will soon) the NMRC (Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference) that is a 501c3 along with our 26 member teams in Northern MN.
  8. For the most part they are supportive
  9. Accessing school funds in a timely manner :frowning_face:
    I am the coach for our teams, I teach Tech Ed (and therefore students have access to all school equipment) and during build season we sort of take over. There are definite advantages to being a school team. I am also the president of the NMRC.
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  • Are you part of a school based team?
    – We are not 100% a school team, but get resources from and work in a school building.

  • Are you a strictly high school team?

  • How do you recruit for members? Do you limit membership? If so, how?
    –Not too much limitations, but simple application with references. We don’t have a strict application date.

  • Do you have a facility on a high school campus?
    – We have a space about the size of 1 1/2 fields (with a half field in that, and the shop and meeting area). And a small classroom sized office. It is off-campus connected to the animal science and bus barn.

  • Do you have 1 or more faculty advisors/coaches/mentors?
    – No. And no paid positions.

  • Are your funds controlled/accounted by the school/district financial office?
    –Accounted by school – bank accounts. Controlled by the team. We have a Business Card and some local credit accounts. And we can be reimbursed for team purchases on personal cards/cash/etc.

  • Are your fundraisers limited by district office policy (car washes, donut sales, etc.)? Is your solicitation for sponsors limited/monitored?
    – Not currently.

  • Do you have a Booster Club? Is it a 501( c)3? Do you have access to a 501( c)3 organization to help you with donations?
    – We aren’t involved with Booster Club. We do have Tax ID and non-profit through the school.

  • Is your administrative team supportive, disapproving/combative, or apathetic?
    – Supportive. Our superintendent visited us at local competition. We have more work to do to show our team’s potential, which I think we’ve done okay but not as good as we could.

  • What is your biggest challenge being in the school setting?
    –Being good stewards. Realizing the admins perspective on things like handling shop activities. We were asked to not weld in the building we are in, but I think that is only until we give reasonable options to address the admins questions of safety and fire protection. There is more investment so we need to meet their needs too, which isn’t always within the nature of everyone to make happen. Basically, I want to work to the point that the admins will be very satisfied to see our workspace and make sure we are a strong asset for the school, because we are in the condition where we can do much better with their support.

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