[URGENT] NJ does Dean’s Homework - Assembly and Senate to vote on Resolution!

Greetings FIRST teams,

Team 75, the RoboRaiders, is proud to announce their progress, in partnership with NJ FIRST, to promote recognition of FIRST by the New Jersey State Government. Our goal is to have a joint resolution passed by the State Assembly and Senate supporting FIRST (including Vex and FLL teams), and all participating students, teachers, communities, mentors and sponsors. Currently the resolutions, AJR134 and SJR66 (known as “Technology Innovation Week”), are on both floors awaiting a vote. You can show your support by contacting your legislator using the sample letter below. This resolution will raise awareness of FIRST throughout the state and help get more people and organizations involved in FIRST.

Dean’s Homework quickly evolved from a letter writing campaign by team members to a recognition that FIRST asks us to make a profound statement about how we, as students now but citizens of the future, will obtain the self-confidence, knowledge and skills we need to succeed in today’s technologically-driven global economy. FIRST provides a unique forum to turn that statement into action. FIRST brings together students, teachers, local engineers, business people and community organizations together as partners, and inspires us to stretch ourselves, or skills and resources to achieve the impossible. ** When we succeed we have set a new standard for what is possible!**

As tomorrow’s engineers, leaders and concerned citizens we face many difficult challenges. We face competition for jobs from millions of students in other countries. We face the challenges of global warming and ensuring adequate food and energy supplies for a rapidly growing global community. Decent medical care and clean water is not available in many countries. Cheap, sustainable and non-polluting energy is on the horizon but not widely available. Science and technology hold the answers to these challenges. ** Students like ourselves, inspired by FIRST and by our engineering mentors to pursue our interests in science and technology, will find those answers. As Dean Kamen said during the 2007 KickOff, "… And you need it, the country needs it, and the world needs it.”**

To complete Dean’s Homework, our team took their idea to NJ FIRST, our sponsor Johnson&Johnson, the NJ Technology Council, and Technical Educators of NJ. This group partnered together to conceive this resolution and insure it encompassed all parts of science and technology. **This resolution is sponsored by Assemblyman Stanley and Senator Smith with many additional co-sponsers and is to be voted on February 22. **In the early summer of 2006, Team 75 had presented to several key groups and leaders to create the framework for a Joint Legislative Resolution. In early January of 2007, Team 75 and NJ FIRST has began actively meeting with state legislators to acquire sponsorship for the Joint legislation to recognize FIRST, corporate sponsors, mentors, advisors, parents and students.

**The most important time for this resolution will be in the coming weeks when the resolution is presented on the floor. You can support the bill by contacting your district representatives using a letter similar to the attached. **Your endorsement will be crucial the success of this project. The actual bill can be viewed on the following link: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/AJR/134_I1.PDF

We hope that you will take to heart Dean’s homework by supporting our efforts. The impact this project will have on NJ FIRST is significant. We truly believe nothing is impossible if everyone puts their greatest efforts!

Sincerely,

Eric Chang and Andrew Douglas
Captain and Co-Capatain
Team 75 - RoboRaiders
Hillsborough High School

***Sample Letter to Your Local Government ***

Dear New Jersey State Senator, Assemblyman or Assemblywoman:

I am a member of the [name] robotics team at [school]. We would like you to support the proposal, AJR134/SDJR66- “Technology Innovation Week”, now on the floor. The purpose of these resolutions is to recognize the importance of educational programs in science and technology (particularly engineering and robotics) to ensure the success of our students, our economy, and our country in the technology-driven global economy of tomorrow.

A career in in science and engineering today means facing competition with your fellow students in the United States but also millions of other students in foreign countries. Expanding science and technology programs in the United States today means preventing job loss here and prevents outsourcing. Inspiring students in science and engineering today is a direct way to fix the greatest problems we face such as pollution, global warming, cancer, bird flu, and depletion of global resources. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a proven and effective nationwide program motivating students to pursue science and technology - the crucial start to solving these problems.

The [name of your robotics team] has been participating in FIRST for _____ years. With a ______ graduate rate from high school, and _____ college acceptance, our (team name) has been successful on and off the playing field. We have been given the valuable opportunity to work with mentors from _____ and receive corporate sponsorship from _____. In the end, the competition is more a celebration of innovation and student learning than a competition.

My team and I would like to invite you to attend the 2007 New Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition being held March 2 & 3, at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton where 60 high school robotics teams will be competing cheered on by 3,000 friends, family and fans. RSVP by going to http://nycnjfirst.njit.edu/feedback.php so that we can be sure to meet you when you arrive.

To learn more about FIRST in New Jersey, please visit www.nycnjfirst.org , For information about FIRST and its programs around the nation, you can also visit www.usfirst.org .

Please consider this resolution, a dramatic step to furthering the future of all students and the United States. The legislation truly means a lot to everyone involved. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Name
Team

1923 will be sending these out ASAP.

Excellent job 75!

Yay! Good job guys, it’s great to see teams doing Dean’s Homework! I definitely hope this resolution passes, as it’ll be great for NJ & FIRST.

Team 25 has also been doing its homework. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had our writing crew on full alert, having sent out 156 letters to every NJ Politician and prominent business leader inviting them to the NJ regional. We also sent out 98 letters to every Connecticut Politician doing the same for UTC–for a total of 254 letters total. We decided to go against just using a standard form letter because we figured something more personal might get a better response rate.

Maybe a coalition of teams can work on contacting anyone of importance to ensure that no one gets left behind!

Regardless, we’ll have more exciting news to come later! Good job everyone!

Thanks for all the support team 25.

A letter is a good start. We agree with 25. Try to personalize your letters. I’m sure every letter 25 and our team sent out was not entirely new letter. Just make sure that you devote a section of the letter specific to the recipient. Each team has their own experiences and personal relationships with the recipient to talk about.

We find the best way to get support from politicians and other leaders is however not sending a letter but physically meeting with them.
The steps?

  1. Set up a meeting with your local assemblyman to introduce your team
  2. Remember to leave something concise and to-the-point for him or her to read.
  3. Invite them to your workplace (where it all happens)
  4. Good luck!!!

This is just we have learned from experience. For example, to gain Assemblyman Biondi’s support of the resolution. We had an initial meeting which lead to him graciously visiting our team warehouse. At the warehouse, we showed them each of our subteams. After the entire tour, he was thoroughly impressed.

Remember! People love seeing what you do. Who would have thought that high schoolers could design in AutoCad and Inventor, being simulating the arm using physics, and animating in professional 3dsMax. Show them what you have learned!

If you ever have any questions, just ask us. We would be more than willing to help you out.
Just post a question or PM me

**
The following is a timeline of major events that lead to the joint resolution to be voted on:**

  1. June-August 2006
    : Team 75 sought advice from Johnson & Johnson Government Affairs where we discussed goals about our pursuit for joint resolution.
  2. Sept. 19
    : Team 75 held a meeting with Government Affairs and Randy Schaffer, head of NJ FIRST, where we introduced ideas about the joint resolution.
  3. November 8
    : We drafted the joint resolution with NJ FIRST.
  4. December 13
    : Team 75 earned the support of TCNJ (Technology Council of New Jersey) and Assemblywoman, Marcia Karrow. We also sought support from the Technical Educators of New Jersey.
  5. January 8
    : Joint resolution initiative was presented to Assemblyman Craig Stanley.
  6. January 15
    : Assemblyman Stanley committed to sponsorship of the joint resolution.
  7. January 25
    : Assembly man Peter Biondi visits Team 75’s warehouse and offers co-sponsorship of the joint resolution.
  8. Febuary 5
    : Senator Smith committed to sponsorship of the joint resolution.
  • Rohith