Starting New Team!! Need Help

Ok I am a mechanical engineering student helping start a new first team at a high school near my college. I have 9 years of experience but need your help because I am presenting a powerpoint to them in regards to what FIRST is about, the competition, and what it takes to become a team. Please give me some feedback on what to put/add to my presentation to keep their attention as well as inform them on the basics, the hard times, and the collaboration of FIRST teams (aka important information!!)

Thank you

Alumni/Mentor Team #1708 Amp’d Robotics

Congrats! One of the biggest things to drive home to them is “this is for you guys”. As an alumni, you probably remember how hard it was your first year and how rewarding it was when you finally got to competition.

Personally, think about this one; we had a hard time recruiting kids (3rd year team) in our second year because day 2 we zombied our 2011 bot, and only 2 of the kids had been to competition. I would personally talk about the difficulty and the commitment, but make sure they know that hard work is for something.

Hope that helps you out! :slight_smile:

Since this is a powerpoint to draw potential team runners in, make sure that you keep things simple, basic, and entertaining. You can do all three by keeping technical information to a minimum while providing lots of images and media for them to “take in”.

  1. I’d start with a brief coverage of the core values of FIRST. Why do they need this program in their school? What’s the “purpose” of this new team?

  2. I’d follow with a brief coverage of the skills that students will pick up. Don’t skimp out on the non-technical skills that make teams successful.

  3. I’d then cover the basics of a general season. Define the schedules. Define the tasks. You don’t have to go in depth, just make sure to point across the general challenges and fun that come with the season.

  4. The previous point naturally segways into competitions. Show them how much fun competition can be. Show them how teams coopertate (?) to help each other across the finish line.

  5. Finally, wrap this up with the requirements from a logistics/financial standpoint. You want the school administrators to know what it’s going to take to start the team.

  6. Wrap up with a nice summary.

It’d be good idea to keep this presentation chalk full of media (images, videos, gifs). It’s well enough for me to talk about pneumatic subsystems, but I can show a 20-second video to drive the point home.

I’m trying to find a resource about this, but unfortunately I’m coming up short. Once you finish your powerpoint, I’d love it if you could archive it in the White Papers for future presenters.

Good Luck,

  • Sunny G.

Message me I have it done if you would like me to post it

Thanks everyone I will be posting the powerpoint to here very soon let me know what you think. Please ignore the notes at the bottom of the slides haha I just jotted them down.

Here is the powerpoint everyone!!


What ttldomination said…

Also, it depends on the audience. For administration you want to focus on the educational benefits and what the kids will get out of it. Make sure you also emphasize the non-technical. Also one slide on what it takes to have a successful build season, for example tools and dedicated building space, would help them understand what you need. Also, don’t skimp on the need for mentorship.

If you’re presenting to kids, you want to emphasize the fun, hard work, and a little bit about what they learn. Plus the need to be dedicated to the team, just like any sport.

Lots of info here that may be helpful in addition to what you have done.

Hey everyone, Let me know what you think of the powerpoint if you have time to view it!!! If you can not view it please let me know!!:ahh:

Have you been in communication with your Regional Director? If not, she can be a big help. I’m assuming that you are in McKeesport PA** so your Regional Director is Patricia DePra.

Looking at your presentation, I see you are getting assistance from 1708 - great team and group of people, as I’m sure you now. They will be a big help.

I think you need some reasons in your presentation as to WHY your school should start a team. What benefits are there to the school and students? What value are they getting for their money? The video you plan to show will be a big help to show the excitement and benefits of FIRST, but administrators still like to see facts and figures.

FIRST has a good section on Marketing tools on their site:

You can get presentations and pictures there, free for your use to download and modify. They have a lot of good facts and figures on the impact FIRST has on students, and not just on potential scholarships but also on academic success, careers, life skills. It’s not the same as funding a football team.

Are you going to discuss costs? And how you plan to raise the money? They may ask you about that as well.

Good luck! Hopefully I’ll see you at the Pittsburgh Regional this year!

**please everyone, put a state in your location field!

Moe, your team was a great help to us too!! Keep up the awesome work

I am from McKeesports Team #1708 Amp’d Robotics!! haha I actually go to school up in Johnstown and am trying to help a new team come to life and what they are getting into. The team I am mentoring now is Team #4547 Westmont High School.

Thank you


Feedback… :slight_smile:

  • Great catchy starting picture & I like the brain teaser. I wouldn’t have them guess at the end, just give them a minute to think about it and see if anyone can guess.
  • Slide 3 - An important point I always use is that Dean really wanted students to look up to real world engineers the same way they would look up to a basketball player or a singer or an actress
  • Slide 4 - you say “you are sent a standard kit of parts… look into the guidelines”, sorry I don’t know your background, but are you actually uncertain here? It probably suffices to say “like real engineering, we are given rules and restrictions, and the kit of parts as a place to start, but unlike building with legos or erector sets, we can make all sorts of custom components” or something like that.
  • Good use of the videos
  • Not exactly sure what you are trying to show on slide 8. Its quite an eye chart, I think I’d give a handout, and put something on the slide that has more detail (but fewer rows). Also I think the formatting is a bit off… the third bullet point should probably be on one side. I would also put Weaknesses last in the list, and possibly call it “future development”? or something… its not really to get all PC on it, its because you don’t want to scare them away… and I think I’d name it something like “Understanding Each Student”. I don’t know that in a rookie team you’d really have a great basis for evaluating students, so honestly I might even leave the “evaluation” part out for now. Putting a good structure together and Organizing your groups is important, but you may not want to hit them over the head with the “how” just yet. You can certainly hand out an application or evaluation form to ask them to fill out, but I wouldn’t put it in your initial presentation. Slide 9 does a bit of a better job at giving them a high level view of the organization.
  • Slide 10 - if this is an “intro” slide set, I would cut this. If this is for a team that is starting this year, it may be more relevant… but its also a bit overkill in the slide. There should never be text and rows on a slide that isn’t readable on a normal 8.5x11 sheet of paper. While it looks like a great excel sheet, its boring to the “potential new member”. See if you can find a way to talk about it in bullets/notes without the actual sheet on the slide.
  • Next set of slides are great - good topics & good pictures
  • Slide 25 - I’d shy away from pointing anyone brand new to Chief delphi. It can be incredibly overwhelming. Its a wonderful resource for someone who has done it/knows a bit about it, but there are a lot of people that are a bit quick to say RTFM.

Great presentation overall - I think you did a lot to capture the energy and the organization of it all.

You can check out some of the resources I put together starting 1511, as well as some that 1511 has added over the years.

Good luck!

You know this makes me wonder if there should be a Rookie forum where rookies can post questions and not fear the reprisals that come from posting simple (often already answered) questions. Also, it would be easier to make it a safe place for new team members and mentors alike.