Senior Project Please help

Hello Chiefdelphi community, I am currently working on my senior project for school and I am focusing on FIRST Robotics and the impact it is having on education, government, and communities. I would like to add the views of different people, in different areas of the world, who have been involved with FIRST in some way shape or form. I feel that this will help to show the global impact that FIRST is having.

Please answer the following question to the best of your ability. They all pertain to FIRST Robotics and the impact it has had on education, government, and communities.

Also if you could please provide the information:
Years involved with FIRST:

1)How has FIRST affected you personal?
2)How has FIRST affected your community?
3)How has FIRST affected your school?
4a)What steps has your team taken to promote FIRST to government officials?
4b)How have those government officials responded?
5)Any information that you feel would help.

I would like to thank everyone in advance. I will post my paper and presentation up when I am all done.

Name: Alicia Albrecht
Team: The Robettes 2177
Role: Electrical Subteam, Captain
Years involved with FIRST: 2

  1. Personally, FIRST has helped me in my math and science classes. I grasp concepts quicker and having problem solving skills which have increased. I have also met a lot of people associated with the FIRST program that have impacted my life in a positive way and have inspired me to go onto college (i was always going to) for the role of engineering. Being a girl, and on an all girls team, it has provided me with new courage to not back down to what I believe.
  2. Our community, FIRST has been spread by The Robettes to other girls in our all girls high school, to those whom observed us in the mini - regional at the MN State Fair last summer, and all middle schoolers around Mendota Heights that we have visited. The Robettes have held a summer school to recruit new members for our team for this year but we opened it up to all members of Visitation High School. We also use our knowledge from FIRST to mentor our own schools Lego League Team, the Kobotz.
  3. Our school has been positivly affected by the FIRSt program. In our school, schoolwork and technology has always been a big deal but the Robotics program has made it ok for girls to go into the fields of STEM. We feel strongly that because of our team, we have inspired our school to offer many classes that have Robotics oriented themes. Computer Science, started last year by the members of the Robotics Team, and coming next year, an intro to engineering class.
    4a) The Robettes have contacted Govenor Tim Pawlenty. We carefully crafted a letter to ask for the continued funding for Minnesota Public Schools in the areas of science and technology. We did recieve conformation that he will take this seriously and bring it up in his next meeting with other officials. We recieved a certificate back. This was very important to our school and team because without all schools participating in the FIRST Robotics Family, it would become nonexsistent.
    4b) In addition to accepting our request to promote funding, he did have to decline coming down to our workspace to see our robot and to meet our team due to schedule problems. However, he was deemed a honorary Robette.
  4. FIRST is a family, it grows people stronger in the areas of math and science. It helps everyone confide in one another and build a sense of confidence that can only come from the adreniline rush on the field of competition. It is a great academic sport and it is made better by all participants and support.

Good luck with your project and I hope this helps. Feel free to email me if you need anything else: [email protected]

Thank you so much for the informaiton, you have provided. I appreciate the help and will be using a good portion of it it in my paper with due citing.

It is really nice to see things from different prespectives too becasue, most teams that I know and think aobut are co-ed and having an all girls team provides for different challenges, at least that would be my guess.

Thank you again.

P.S. sorry it took me a while to respond I was in Florida with my team and with out internet for a good part of the trip.

Name:Al Skierkiewicz
Role:Electrical Mentor
Years involved with FIRST:14

1)How has FIRST affected you personal? The training everyone receives in First especially during the build season, forces us to think differently when presented with a problem. Time and time again, my co-workers are shocked at the speed in which problems are analyzed and conclusions are drawn.
In addition, both of my children have gone through the program, one is now a Mechanical Engineer for Underwriter’s Lab and another has learned to cultivate your creative eye in crafts, photography and picture framing.
2)How has FIRST affected your community? Many former students of our team and others, now work for Motorola in our local area and some are mentors on our team. Our presence has encouraged students to pursue engineering careers and has led to the formation of several new FRC, FTC and FLL teams in our area.
3)How has FIRST affected your school? Directly, our success is in the number of our team members who choose to pursue education beyond high school. The average number of students going on is much higher than the school and district average. Graduates of Wildstang have gone on to MIT, John’s Hopkins, Washington, MSOE, U of I and many other schools. Our students have also placed very high on the ACT test and several instances, they achieved perfect scores.
4a)What steps has your team taken to promote FIRST to government officials? We have participated in presentations to local government, school board, state government and to Congress. Our most recent was a long time goal of having Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago attend the Midwest Regional. Although there has been an explosion within the Chicago City School system, there are more schools that need to join First. Currently, there are more than 30 teams within the viewing area of Chicago TV stations. Local TV coverage is essential.
4b)How have those government officials responded? It is hard to judge directly at this point. All government officials have been positive in thier response. The ability to translate that to funding, encouragement and directives remains to be seen.
5)Any information that you feel would help. There is no doubt that extracurricular activities fill out the educational needs of students who are challenged for more opportunity. Activities like music, sports and First challenge these students to become better citizens, open to new educational challenges, and all the concepts that Gracious Professionalism encompasses. Although this program is designed to encourage engineering and scientific study, it is just as important for those who find that science and technology is not their career choice. By narrowing their search, these students can find a career and a direction in another field.

First I would like to say thank you for your input to help me with my project.

I could not agree more with what you have said here extracurricular activities help the student to become devoted to something of their picking, it also allows them to see that winning is not everything and sometimes the best way to win is to lose if it helps someone else. Also with the skills learned and the networks created students can succeed in any study that they choose.

Of course and if you need any additional information or if you would like to ask any other questions…I wil check back here or you can email me personally [email protected]
Good Luck with your paper:
Alicia Albrecht
Team 2177 The Robettes

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me thus far with my project. those of you who posted here on chiefdelphi, PM me, and those that filled out my questionaire at the philadelphi regional this past weekend.

i would like to add one more question to the mix.

  1. What does grasious professionalism mean to you?

If the best way you can explain it is like woodie flowers does, “act as if your grandmother is always watching you.”

then respond with that everything will help me

I take it one step further to: acting as if my grandmother were watching you. She passed away a few years ago at 98.5 years. She was married after seventh grade (Italian arranged marriage) and never finished grade school. Although her formal education was limited she certainly knew right from wrong. GP drives us to interact with every team as if we were all on the same team. If you ask for help, we are obligated to help, if you want to know how we built the robot, we show you and guide you. If you need something and we haven’t sensed your need, just ask. If we notice a problem and you haven’t, we will make you aware and even be prepared to fix it for you. When you win an award we will gladly stand and cheer for you as if you were our team. If you are a rookie, we will guide you and help you as if you are a younger brother or sister. If your drive team got lost on the way to the competition, we will send our backup drivers to drive for you even if you are against us. (Yes, this has happened on more than one occasion.) We want you to compete no matter what, and expect you to try your best even when you face us. We want the best for you and your team.

Gracious Professionalism is one of those phrases that only FIRST participants understand. It is not a phrase that can be defined persay; however, it is something that can be seen everyday at competition, through helping others on this website and throughout the season and being far and welcoming competitors at competition. To me the phrase means being the best you can be to EVERYONE, no matter under what circumstance. It is something that is embeded into our bones, being apart of the FIRST family.
As a team, gracious professionalism means helping the veteran teams show the spirit of FIRST everywhere they go. Cheering for all teams and wishing everyone the best every minute of competition. For those rookie teams, it means treating them as if they are a sibling to your own team. Helping them with whatever they need, whenever they need, wherever they need the help.
Being a family FIRST is a place where gracious professionalism is demonstrated and it is something that I wish everyone understood. It is a privlege and something that no one can take away from any FIRST participant!

Yet again thank you for all of your help. you both have showed gracious professionalism by helping me with this project.

I can agree that Gracious Professionalism is something that people out side of FIRST do not understand. Personally I view it as a life style more then a way to act towards everyone. From my schooling have ben raise/taught with restorative practices and my time with FIRST has taught me GP these two things have helped to shape who I am and how I act towards everyone it has gained me a lot of respect too from teachers, Administrators and my fellow peers.

GP is more easily understood outside of First as being similar to Boy and Girl Scout Laws, church Codes of Conduct, and school extracurricular codes. The precepts are the same even if the wording is different. Members in each organization know what they mean and how they mold the interaction of the participants. GP is just a little bit more far reaching in that this is a competitive arena that uses the the same doctrine as scouts, church or school in non-competitive contexts. You won’t find anything in school that says you have to share ideas or strategy with your football rivals.