What do you consider "success" in FIRST?

Hello everyone, it’s been a long while since I last posted in this forum… I hope everyone enjoyed their first week without any stress and/or lack of sleep after the 2002 competition.

This summer, one of my goals is to do a little study about FIRST Robotics Competition… Although I haven’t made up my mind what exactly I want to focus on, I decided it will be along the line of “How does FRC affect people’s life” or “why should people participate in FRC?”… I still need more time to think this through, but I am looking forward to talk to every one of you about this (I am hopping I can e-mail lots and lots of people and have some really good conversation with them about these topics).

Mean while, I thought I would start by asking a series of questions to help me figure out my direction in this “study”… So, here is the first one:

What do you consider “success” in FIRST?

Keep in mind that there is NO particular answer I am looking for. All I am hopping to get is everyone’s opinion of this topic, and not endless arguments of who’s right or wrong… So please share whatever thoughts you have and don’t be shy (must be related to this topic of course)… Remember, it is ok to disagree with other’s opinion, so tell us why you disagree, and let that be as far as it gets.

Thanks for reading this post! I look forward to read your respond!

By the way… It will be really nice if a lot of you post reply to this thread, so it will stay on top of the busy “General” forum… :wink:

I think i’ve succeed when i think that I’ve grown as a person. I learned a lot about the robot and robotics in general so theres a plus. I learned more about “gracious professionalism” and how to be a competitive individual. I also made many new friendships and hopefully, I’ll keep em. All of those things make me think i’ve succeeded. Though, the awards we won, and making it to finals in 2 regionals and Nationals feels like a triumph too. :smiley:

I’d say learning something, meeting new people, or generally improving your outlook on life to be success in FIRST. A winning robot does not alwyas make a winning TEAM. I’d rather have a great team, and learn a bit about engineering, than have a team that just builds a robot.

FIRST is definitely not about all about robots. Its more about people, and the relationships you gain in the FIRST community.

Hope that helps, Ken!

I consider when you see students doing their best to learn and achieve, when you see that they have learned or gained something good out of what they are doing. When they learn to work as a team, or learn something about engineering, about public relations, about programming or about teamwork integration. Most of all, if they learn that they can do whatever they put their heart and mind to…I consider myself to have succeeded. If they gained just one thing, that makes their life for the better…they have gained a lot.

Growth. I think “succesful” in FIRST means to grow. Whether it be you, your team, the skills in both, or the organization itself. I believe it is more about improving yourself and your team then building a robot. The improvement may comeout through the success of the robot, but it doesn’t necessarily. When you can see a change for the better in people on the team, and in yourself, then you have succeeded.:smiley:

If you look at the way FIRST games are structured, you will notice that they tend to emphasize the values of FIRST even over the fairness of the competition.

For example, 3x the losers score not only makes the game unique and harder to play, but it also reinforces some of the ideals of FIRST, namely, don’t obliterate your opponents.

The same idea goes with tethers this year. I am tempted to think that the reasoning for the refs to allow tethers at the first regionals, and the subsquent regionals, was that they did not want to take away any of the work that some students put their heart into.

Success, I think is measured by what you get out of the program. What you do after the program. While we get wrapped up and hyped up about the game every year, ultimately, in the big picture, who won an event doesn’t matter (although it may sure make you and your team feel good). It’s what you do after, things that will make an impact on the world to come. Because when it comes down to it, we are all winners when people come out of this program and strive to make the world a better place.

I think sucess in FIRST is when you relize that your not competing with a team…but a family…you relize that in the 6 weeks of building and then many weeks before that of planing and getting redy for hte season then the weeks of competitions you hav grwn together as a amily and love one another.
I also think sucess in FIRST is meeting new people at comps and relizeing the diffent people and cultures/ countries involved in FIRST. Its a great oppourtuinty to get to know otehr peopel from around the world…you ,make lasting friendship
Another thing that makes sucess in FIRST is by learing stuff about science and technology even though you may not understand it you can still sort of grasp it
and last thing is EVERYONE IS A WINNER
sorry i had to=)


As a student, learning was the biggest indicator of success for me. I learned how to budget my time better, how to deal with people, and miscellaneous mechanical things i would have never known. Even though I did Chairmans’, I found that I just picked up things I would have never done otherwise. From just being around the engineers and other students, I learned what those gizmos on the robot are actually called and what they do. Success is learning in FIRST. It’s what the program was made to do.

i think that success doesnt mean that you were top in you regional or got the awards, although thats nice, but what you learn along the way. if a team just stands around and doesnt find anything out about other teams or their own robot then you havent accomplished anything. Since FIRST stands for inspiration, i think that success also means that the students were inspired by the year. i definately have been inspired since i joined Cyber Blue and now i want to study engineering so thats is a success for me and for FIRST. the more we want to learn about the inside of FIRST the more success we have.

Several factors make up sucess to me,

  1. Teamwork----- I dont know how many times ive seen teams arguing and fighting bewtween themselves, and it is a difficult thing to deal with, but once the team is on the same page thats success in itself

  2. Hard Work-----  If a team spends their 6 weeks working as hard as they can, and they are proud of their work, thats also considered success to me.  I dont care if we win, or finish last just knowing we put out our best.

Factors that are nice but not necessary:

  1. Top finishing----  Its always great to finish at the top and win awards, its not necessary, but it boosts the spirit of the people who don't think like me. 

ehh im tired…ill add on to this as i get more ideas.

I’m one of the team’s mentor/engineer/technological heros (as our company newsletter calls us)

I think success is when we get a student interested/excited in some form of science or engineering. And it is extra cool when we can pass on some skills that will help that student.

Example: I know several students on our team are working on thier own small robots at home. Just for fun. (Of course, so am I) That didn’t start until FIRST kicked us into gear. That’s a form of success.

Hmmmmm, I don’t know where to start…

There are many things that can define success in FIRST. No one person can be successful, because no person could do it all themselves. A team could be successful, by winning awards and competitions, but that’s not the point. I think we need to look at the matter from a different perspective. Was FIRST itself successful?
I feel that I am a success story of FIRST. I came into it my junior year (I’m a senior now) having no idea what it was all about. I was initially drawn to it because of the trip to florida, a poor excuse I know, but that’s the truth. I had always been a good student, math and science came easy to me, but it was the beginning of my junior year and people were forcing me to think about my future. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I could honestly admit that if it weren’t for Robotics, I would be enrolled undecided at Uconn right now.
FIRST changed me in every way possible. I am now enrolled at NEU for mechanical engineering, more so because I want to know what the hell my engineer mentors have been talking about for the past two years. Actually, I want to work on hybid and alternate - fuel car engines after I graduate. My senior year with robotics has been the best. I just loved being at every event we had, I expected nothing in return. I love telling people about FIRST because I feel there are more kids like myself that it could reach out to, and I will continue doing that (look for me next year on 125).
FIRST doesn’t have this effect on a lot of kids. Some kids do it just as a school activity and think nothing of it. Some do it for the trips. Some do it because they like machining and other things and want to be able to display their ability. Not many go into it as a nothing and come out with a great outlook on life because of what they learned and the relationships they developed.
So there, I consider myself a success story of FIRST. Hopefully I won’t be the last.



S tanding up to clap for the winners & knowing we won too,
U nderstanding the amazing individuals in our organization,
C ommunicating the message of FIRST to the school & community,
C ouseling friends & mentoring teamates to aid progress for all,
Establishing life long relationships and learning from others,
S torming a playing field with teary eyes and open arms,
S ticking together, and never giving up, regardless of heartbreak.