What is your school's attitude toward your team?

Title says it all.

Most of the school administration is pretty indifferent. We are not well liked among alot of the teachers becuase they want our space. Except the athletic complex, We have the largest space in the building which consists of a lab full of computers, and a shop with plenty of large closets off both. The art department has really been fighting for joint custody of this space and i am worried that they have more weight than we do. The attitude at the county level seems to be that we have too much space and that “industrial arts” or “technology education” is out of fashion these days. If anything, the county seems to think “industrial arts” and “technology education” are out of fashion. We used to have a full metal shop, but they sold all of that equipment about 10 years ago. When they have visited our school these days they just comment “this is alot of space that could be used for other things”.

Sounds like you need a positive marketing campaign! To many people, FIRST (if they know about it at all) is “just a bunch of kids building a robot.” Unless they have been educated about the program, why else would they have any other opinion? You need to let your school system (students, staff, faculty, board of education) know what you are doing. They need to understand why you spend so many hours in that space. They need to be told what you are getting from the program - besides the valuable technical skills, you are learning leadership skills, time management, teambuilding… all the things that colleges and employers look for today. And it will make more of an impact if the story comes from the people who are gaining the most from the program - you, the students. Write letters to the school, meet with the principal and board of ed, invite everyone with personal invitations to come see what you are doing before ship date and THEN invite them to visit you at competition. Be sure to invite the media to see the positive things happening in your school. Be sure everyone attends the Championships - and assign someone who is articulate on your team to take them on a tour through the pits; note all the colleges and univ. that are there due to the scholarships offered; note all the businesses who are there because they provide services and equipment to the program; point out the thousands of adults who volunteer their time and expertise because they recognize the value of the program; take them by the conference area to show them that there is professional development offered at the championships; and finally, take them into the competition itself. FIRST speaks for itself if you can just get people to come to watch.

Thank you these are all good suggestions.

our current prinicipal is extremely supportive of the robotics club, he actually got some money for us to be able to travel from the big island of hawaii to atlanta for championships… our last principal (just retired jan1, 2007) tried to shut the program down entirely… the school doesnt seem to understand the importance of FIRST, or robotics in general… since we’re a small school/community, no one really cares about our successes until we won rookie all stars @ SVR…now, i think (after 4 years of work) our admin actually sees that we are making a strong statement in our state that we are a hardworking team

After 6 years of existing, our school just recognized us.

If it wasn’t for all our trophies and banners, we’d be unknown, except for the fact that I run around our commons in the Mascot Suit 1x a month.

We’ve gotten more recognition, we do Open House and Back to school night and the like. However it’s gotten harder sience our only facalty member left us.

our school doesnt do much for us financial wise which sucks because we are the most expensive team on campus.

but they do highlight us at pep rallies, wite articles about us in our parent newslatter and school newspaper, and in the annual report. we also have our own pages in the yearbook (finally! we dont have to share wiht science bowl anymore!)

Our school views us as a “signature program” so they provide all of our funding. However, they do not give us much space or tools. They only seem to recognize us very much when we win things.They also do not seem to understand how much time and work goes into the program. All in all they’re pretty supportive.

Our school used to have a shop class and now we dont so we use that area for our shop. Our old principal who retired last year was a great supporter of FIRST. I think just getting your administration to see what you really do will help.

my school dose not regonize frirst robotics. They do how ever have thier own robotics team for T.S.A members. once in awhile i will get alot of people asking about my team. They were going to let us bring our 07 robot in but they never got back to me.

i was just wondering what your schools/ team policy on geting new members do you allow anyone to join your team or just students form your school.

As an adult mentor I helped at school. I was asked to start a robotics program at the school. We eventually started doing FIRST robotics.

Problem FIRST is so intense that it is hard for the school to support it. For instance working to 10pm+ or the all night build close to the end. Hard for a teacher to be there all the time.

Finally the team collapsed under the weight of FIRST and the school not understanding FIRST closed it.

A team mom not wanting her son and others to loose out formed 1902 at the last second. We are now formed under 4H club. We literally build the robot at four locations. Robot is built in the college mentor’s garage. Team meetings are at Wendy’s the team leader’s house. Programming is done at adult mentor’s house. The practice field was set up at the 4H facility.

It was both hard and good being out of garages, but it worked and was one of the reasons I believe we made it to Einstein.

We now have members on our team from many schools. If a school can not afford their own team they can be part of ours.

The Palisades Community is very supportive of Cybersonics. The school district has recognized our need for space and graciously built a building for us to use for the field and many other storage reasons. Additionally, we use the school’s shop, CAD lab and the art computer lab. Teachers also think what we do is great. They might not understand what we are doing, but express an interest.

In general, our team operates seperate from our school. We appear on the morning announcements about four times per year: twice to announce interviews for membership and twice to inform the school about our competitions. This year, however, the school knows more about us due to our successful season. We are receiving far more articles in our school’s newspaper, and more people seem to know about the team. As team members, we try to let other students what happens on our team. There’s a lot that they don’t know about. :wink:

our school, while being supportive in nature, has given us no funding. We make do. They do give us a room to work in, it is a very thin, long room, not allot but it’s really nice of them to give us anything at all when they don’t have to :slight_smile:

Our team isn’t ran by a school (boyscouts) so our school kinda looks at us kind of like it would look at the bowling team except for we do cooler stuff so we’re mentioned every now and then over announcements.

For the first couple months, the teachers thought we were a gang because all we have on our shirts are the skull and crossbones and “1359”. They all understand now.:smiley:

Many of our teachers come to our competitions - even those that require significant driving.

Our principal always attends our events. But she only comes for the qualifying matches on Friday :smiley: I guess I’m not the only one trying to skip school :rolleyes: :smiley:

Be persistent, don’t let it die!

Invite them down for a day during week 1 of build season, when all the creative stuff is happening, and week 3 when it’s all happening at once. Make sure a single student is their guide, someone who is articulate and well-informed. You want to explain to them very clearly how much time and work is involved. They’re not dumb, they’ll get it.

Yes, exactly.

Do not wait for them to get back to you, YOU get back to THEM when they do not respond - once each week if necessary - always polite, just asking “Hey we want to show you what we came up with, when can we come down and show you?”

In business (and life in general) nothing happens unless you make it happen. Follow up, persistence, and positive attitude is what differentiates between effective employees and drones.


I think we are prtty well liked at our school. We are featured like twice a year on our weekly TV show for school

We are honored at pep rally’s

Everyone knows that we have had a somewhat succesful past an a lot of people come to our scool through the magnet program because of our robotics program so that is kinda cool

We have be asked to have a robot initiate the freshmen initiation the past 3 years by attaching a water cannon to our bots and spraying down the freshmen

Our principle, othr administrators, county science program directors, and magnet program directors have come to every competition we have had in Georgia (ptree and champs)

And, the best thing is, we get a good luck shout out from the big board outside of the school before competition lol