I have read that many teams have trouble getting kids to join their teams so I have thought of a way.
Carry random parts of a robot arround with you in school, ie a small gear box, wheel, etc…Soon, you wil have students all around you aking questions as to what you have and then you have them hooked.
Be careful, this might draw a lot of attention
At my school we have a thing called “Clubfest” where people wander through the commons signing up for the various clubs and teams. Setting an area aside for driving a robot right in the middle of all this tends to draw a lot of attention. As if that wasn’t enough of a head turner, we all wear our bright Hawaiian shirts! One of the most important things is for team members to talk to the people about how fun and exciting FIRST is.
Well the way we get so many to help on our team is. We are from MA and we do the Florida Regional. We went for 11 days this year. Big selling point… DISNEY for 5 days and the regional for 3. We stay at the allstar resorts and then just bus over to the compition in the morining. I could see this working for any team that does not live near florida. And it only cost 500 dollars. Then our mentor uses curfew to get them loud in the stand. If they are not loud its 8pm curfew. If there average its 11:30 and if there very loud its 2am. The team after Friday got to stay out till 2:30 becuase we got an award. Then when we won saturday we got to stay out till i belive 3am.
Ill be honest. I first went to florida to go to florida did not give a a crap about the robot. Then when i saw the comp i was hooked. This is how we get most of the people who do a majority on the robot. Now i am hooked and sad that i am out of high school. But team 61 wont be around next year so it kinda works out. Stinks for the sophmores and juniors that are hooked
Another aspect of this “promotion” dealie is helping teachers recognize FIRST. Our chief mentor made a point of inviting our highschool principal to the competition where she hadn’t been terribly supportive of students skipping school for it before. After the competition, she was a lot friendlier about the issue. I think the most important thing about attracting new people is to show them every aspect of the club, not just what you might be doing at the moment. Invite them to a meeting, or an event or something and really mean it. I have gotten a lot of people committing to join next year just by encouraging to meet team members and be involved.
Go to the schools who’s students will be comming up to the high school next year. This week, we went to one of the junior highs in our area, gave a presentation for their science club, then roamed the hallways finding random people and telling them “join robotics”…when any of them didn’t give us the "eww…freak " look…we would actually go into more detail, and we got some people interested that probably wouldn’t have heard about it.
I enjoyed your runon sentence amazingly ^^. That’s a very cool idea. I go to a 7-12 school so most of the junior high students are inducted into SECOND and or Lego League. Since our team is affiliated with a few highschools, it may not be a bad idea to go to the corresponding jr highs and talk. Thank you.
last year before the day of robot rodeo (florida offseason competition)… we were working on out autonomous mode out in the parking lot during class… once the bell rang, myself, jim, michele, and mike were still stuck in the parking lot with the robot since we were not done… it looked like most of the kids who were passing by forget where there class was… they were standing right infront of the robot (making a big crowd) and was asking us all these different kind of questions… robots does get quiet attention
We drove around 4 robots after an in-school choir concert. That was cool, we shot soccer balls with Buzz 7, and flipped Buzz 6 with Buzz 8…and of course we made Buzz 9 hang from my DJ truss. We also had Jim Zondag come out and talk to the kids, to show that the engineers aren’t as intimidating as they may seem.
After that, we made a display in the cafeteria with all 4 robots (Buzz 9 hanging once again) And we set up our pit display boards. It was the best in-school recruiting effort that our team has ever done.
Yeah, I’m starting a team at my school. Was part of team 114 as a freshman but want to get people interested at my school. I drove this years bot during lunch one day but I don’t think the word got out enough. Got about 4 guys into it. I was thinking about putting a competition video on the morning TV announcements to spark some interest. Great ideas to attract new people. Wish me luck.
After finishing up all of my exams and such, I was given permission to do a robot demo, with a spiel about FIRST Robotics to the faculty during one of their morning meetings. Many of the faculty members announced that it was the most enjoyable faculty meetings of the entire year.
After that I was allowed to terrorize students in the commons area the entire school day. I also encouraged some teachers within the science department to come out during part of their period to demo the robot for the students and answer questions. A surprising amount of students showed interest.
It may be a little late, but demo this year’s robot towards the end of the school year, get students on an email list for the robotics team. Send out information about the team, and certain events (fundraisers) the team may be doing. And do a few more right after school has started (the following year) so students who saw the demo last school year, would remember how cool the robot is, and may make an effort to actually join. Mainly because the last few days before school gets out, students are more interested in a “no work, party all summer” routine.
I wish you the best of luck. One suggestion I have is to reach out to local FIRST teams to help mentor and attract students. An example of this: our team recently did a presentation for a nearby school that has interest in starting a team. I think it had a very very positive effect and hopefully we’ll have a strong relationship with them next year. Use the resources other teams have to mentor your rookie team: if you reach out and ask, I’m sure there are at least a few teams in the area who would be willing to host a demo or team party for wouldbes of your new team. Once again, good luck.
Before anything else, do you have a teacher willling to be with you all year? I would say develop a strong relationship with an able teacher who would support the team all year. The kids will follow, I dont think people have a very hard time getting kids in. The word “ROBOTICS” is attrative enough. Just wearing a shirt saying something like “JAGUAR ROBOTICS” or whatever works;
We get students from the teacher mentors we have on the team. Mr. B has an 3 engineering classes, that pull the majority of out team. In Mr. B’s first class is called ATEX, where 10th graders try several courses at our tech center. The next step is a two year program, this is where the 10th graders choose there favorite class from there ATEX courses and have a further look into that class for two years. Many of them just happen to choose Mr. B’s class Engineering Technology,but there is limited room. Many who do choose Mr. B’s class or likes Mr. B’s class but didn’t get excepted usually join our robotics team. Those who do make usually join as well. Our second source and Intro to Engineering class taught by Mr. Evans. This is where we get our freshmen. and many of the freshmen take ATEX in there 10th grade year. And finally we get students from the R/C Car club, which is lead by Mr. Evans.
All of these things allow us to get new people and keep people interested, this also allows us to get students from 3 high schools with the tech center.
It has been succesful for three years and we hope to continue for many more years to come.
I have two teachers who are going to be the teams main faculty support. One is an ME by practice but the other really doesn’t know to much about robotics, she just enjoys watching kids learn. I wear my 114 t-shirt a lot.
Very very cool. Have you started any kind of name list yet? That would probably help
Also remember that you’ll get new students at the school next year and they’ll be looking for activities to get involved in, and Robotics is a very “make friends fast” activity. So keep them in mind too ^^
Oh, let 'em drive the robot. That’s by far the best way to get kids interested. Set up a table during lunch or clubfest or whatever you find most suitible with a display including pictures, video, handouts, a person to answer questions, and a signup sheet. Not too far away, set up a station to allow the kids to drive the robot (monitored by an experienced member with a kill switch). Pick your most crowd-pleasing robot, and have a playing object or two to mess around with. Soon enough, you’ll have a crowd of people around you, tons of kids screaming in your ear to drive the robot, several new members, and a headache.
My school is actualy 6-12 grades wich makes it perfect for starting an FLL team once we get a bit of experience. The reason not to many people got involved after I brought in the robot that it wasn’t very organized. Really, I just brought in the robot and that was it. No announcements or anything. The first meeting was after school so that didn’t help either. Because of this bad planning I will definintly have another robot demo at the beginning of the next school year. At least I have 4 core guys with which I can start a team. Keep the help coming.
This works amazingly, from our experience. We start the interest in robotics early by having team members mentor lego league. Later on we have the annual “kids night” and open house right before ship date, where our families, sponsors, and a ton of kids can come in and view the robot and ask any questions they might have about the program. We also take the robot to parades and back to school nights at our four high schools in order to promote the program at the high school level. However, the majority of our students came to the program by hearing about it from students already on the team, so talk talk talk about robotics all the time, and how awesome it is (the preseason, build season, and esp. competition!), and you’re bound to get a couple people interested enough to join the team.