Which aspect of FIRST gives you the most inspiration?

As inspiring as the people of FIRST are, at the end of the day they do not motivate or inspire me to full effect. Dean Kamen for example, has many great inventions and started of course, FIRST. The fact that he has done this is cool, more power to him, and thanks really; but because I see him and his success, I do not get fully inspired to engineer. The application of my hard work is what inspires me to the utmost, thusly: the competitions. The thoughts that I think around that inspiration point are “Yeah, wow… look at what I just did. That is awesome, I can definitely see myself doing this [for life].”
I vote competition and not robot because of the application portion… it does it for me. Also, I’m not saying the robots aren’t inspiring… the comp. just takes the cake.

*I am just using Dean as an example, Dean is one of the greatest innovators of our time and would never look down upon his accomplishments.



Everything else is a tool to help the people happen. Seeing the growth in kids over the years (and yes, in the adults, too), is absolutely astounding! I see it best in my team members and the alums who return, but I also see it in the other young men and women I’ve grown to know over the years that I’ve been involved with this program. It puts stars in kids’ eyes and gives so many the tools and confidence to reach for those stars. When I look at the teams that are mentored, and were even begun, by former team members, I am amazed and humbled. (Yes, Mike and Greg, I’m talking about you!)

If I’m ever asked about the part of my educational career of which I’m most proud, like Dean, I must say my association with FIRST. The people make it so…

It’s the people. One scenario I’ve seen a number of times is let’s say team 1 and 2 are duking it out and team 1 tips team 2’s bot during the match. I often see at the end of the match team 1 run over to help team 2 and see if they need any help fixing the bot even though they had just tipped them. It was an accident so both teams are working together to set things right. If that isn’t inspirational I don’t know what is.

The pie is FIRST.
Each piece: competition, travel, people, robot
helps make up the whole of the pie.

Add to that -
Outreach - those we work with and expose to FIRST.
Developing partnerships on an on-going basis.
Fundraising, marketing, promotion - developing aspects of the team that will help students understand the process more clearly - that things don’t just happen to make a team - a team.

I could never choose just one. For me, it is the pie, the whole.

Also, I have a great deal of respect for the struggle. Whether we are veterans or rookies, have competed on Einstein, or dream the dream of competing on Einstein - we have all struggled to achieve, to learn, to succeed as FIRST teams/members of FIRST.


I think the most inspirational part of FIRST is the competitions, because it takes all of the other things to make it a competition. At a competition, you have all of the passionate individuals that sacrifice incomprehensible amounts of time into making everything work, whether that be directly correlated to the robot, or outreach and sponsorships to keep the team running.
Then you get the opportunity to see what all of our hard work has done, and compare it to what other teams came up with. Competitions were a big eye-opener to me, especially being a freshman, because I could see all of the different approaches to the same problem, to reach similar goals, but each in its own unique and innovative way. It’s remarkable, the ideas that make their way into your mind at a competition, especially while scouting. There is so much to learn, so many people to meet, and a ton of robots to examine and admire.
(And of course, you still have your own team to bond with. :wink: )

The most important part of FIRST for me is the relationships that you form with your team and other FIRSTers. I don’t know if you guys understand what I’m talking about , but I always felt a connection with previous team members, such as brothers and friends, and to the great mentors themselves. I truly love the people around me and would give up anything to continue working with them.

Personally there have always been 2 things that have inspired me.

  1. looking at robots that look professionally crafted. The time it takes to think over every little detail, from the breaking mechanism, to the easy to use pin release of ramps. From the use of any type of material to the drive train. A well engineered robot will inspire me any day.

  2. how our robot does. As much as people don’t want to admit it, you are happier and enjoy the competition more when you win. If our robot goes 0-10 and doesn’t get picked for eliminations i know part of that was the lack of me trying and people don’t enjoy it as much. But if you were to reverse that and we go 10-0 and win the regional, then everyone is excited.

just my 2 cents

No doubt in my mind its the people.

My mentors, from the day we met, have always been very enthusiastic and have always been “pumped” and they are the ones got me excited about robots. On top of that I can’t describe the people on CD. Even though I have only met a handful of people from CD, many of their words inspire me every time I read some of their posts and I am sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.


Though I voted people, I’d like to elaborate.

I’m very happy with the friends I have made, they’re awesome.
I’m excited to meet new people, and people that I 've communicated with, at competitions.
I love traveling and rooming with FIRST friends.

Inspiration, however, comes from different aspects of the people I see. I am inspired by people who just can’t stay away from FIRST, by people who go above and beyond to teach, by people who make it possible for their siblings and friends and peers to join FIRST, the people who reach out to the world and genuinely carry what they learn here wherever they go. That’s what inspires me personally.

Great Question! I just want to throw an idea out there- I’m inspired by the PROCESS. The people plus the challenge plus the sweat and creativity plus the competitions-- all practicing Gracious Professionalism throughout. I guess the promise for the future is some part of that process too… you know, solving big problems creatively and graciously…

The people. FIRST has a unique way of making you talk to the randomest people about the randomest topics without making anyone feel awkward. The competition and the robots enable people to come together, but they’re not what hold the magic of FIRST for me. After seeing them constantly for six weeks, and quite often during the rest of the year, I’ve formed pretty close relationships with my team members and mentors. What really amazes me though are the relationships I’ve formed with people who I’ve seen for maybe 5 minutes while discussing Chairman’s at competition, or who I’ve never met and have just talked to online. I’ve found that FIRSTers are always willing to make their groups larger and accommodate everyone else. It’s that openness that inspires me most.

I have to put in an argument for the robot. Partially because while I was talking with Chief Delphi today about our robot, Paul, I actually heard myself utter the phrase, “Paul’s a powerhouse, if he’s driven right.” And, honestly, it probably wasn’t true. We all knew our bot was kind of a dud. Ever since we fried the grabber motor at 3:30 in the morning, the day before we shipped. But we didn’t care. We slaved over that thing like we were going to fix it and make it perfect if it kills us.

For me, it’s amazing to go into the season saying, “Okay, we’re going to try and use this kind of drive train, so let’s start making it.” We make a rough - very rough - first shot at a drive train, and then we go to kick off. After finding out about the game, we all look at each other and know we have to start all over again. And instantly, as soon as everything’s done at kick off, we’re all pulling our chairs together and sitting on the floor, discussing weekly/daily meetings and subteams and locations and how we’re going to have to completely rebuild everything we did.

It’s about thinking that you’re never going to get everything done in six weeks. That initial staring at the screen (or the people, if you’re live) and saying, “Uh-uh… ain’t no way… we’re going to get one week in and they’ll have to change the game, because no one can do it.” And then realizing, the day you ship, “Hey, we did all right. No one died and only a few fingers were cut off.” (Kidding… but you know what I mean.)

It’s about watching the parts that you fundraised for and begged for sponsorships for come together, almost kinda sorta magically in front of you and form this robot that didn’t exist six weeks before. And, at least for 393, it’s about naming the robot and realizing that machines, most of the time, need more Tender Loving Care than people do. When the robot becomes a part of your team family, your own family, and ultimately a part of yourself. That inspires you to do better.

Or, at least, when the robot (or as I referred to it yesterday when it didn’t like me, “The God-forsaken, piece of junk robot.”) that you didn’t think was possible is suddenly sitting in front of you, in all of it’s FIRST robotics glory, and you know that you made it with your own two hands, and it has become a part of you… that’s where the “I” in FIRST comes from.

((Again, at least that’s where it comes from for me.))

The people. Not just the ones you meet new, but everybody! I always enjoy meeting new people, and this is one of the best places to do it at. But I also highly enjoy helping our team members, teaching, and learning new things almost every dat. I also enjoy seeing how people handle team work in the compeitions, along with the spirit, creativity, kindness, competivness, you get the point, in everyone.

But my favorite part is interacting with such a diverse group that has come up with different ideas for one common goal.

I had to think long and hard about this one, even though I already knew the answer. To me, the people are what makes FIRST such a great organization.

First, it starts with the coaches and mentors. They get us pumped up for the upcoming season and give that inital spark of inspiration that gets us psyched. The coaches help keep the team centered, focused, and organized.

Second, it’s all of my teammates. If you’ve ever seen TJ^2, you know we’re a crazy crew. Everyone on the team is enthusiastic, spirited, and fun to be around. Team meetings are often humorous and well put together by our student leaders. It’s been a pleasure to work with other dedicated people on our team.

And last, but surely not least, it’s all the other people in FIRST. The overwhelmingly large majority of people in FIRST are caring and inspiring people (both students and mentors). I’ve had some great conversations and met some awesome people at regionals, the Championship, and off-season events. I find it so easy to strike up a conversation with another FIRSTer, something you probably couldn’t do when you walk in to your neighborhood Starbucks. We all come together at these competitions with a common goal in mind (usually winning, though not always in the ‘first place’ sort of way), but leave with so much more. I’ve made some amazing friends that I hope to be in contact with for years to come.

The organization is truly about the people, fostering the love of science and technology in students from all over the world. If you look at any of the crowd shots from this year (like this lovely one), you see it packed with students, mentors, engineers…people! It’s the aspect of FIRST I love best, and it has certainly had the most impact on my life.

I think the most inspirational part of FIRST is definitely the people, but obviously the competitions and the robot are not far behind. Inspiration comes from all angles in FIRST.

In my experience, the mentors help us realize our dreams, our peers help us with those dreams, and the other people involved with FIRST give us the ability/opportunity to achieve our dreams. Without the people of FIRST, I don’t know who I would look up to as role models.

Simply attending a FIRST competition can inspire someone to invest their time, money, and/or effort to the FIRST community. Without the energetic atmosphere that can be found at any competition, it would be hard to inspire newcomers to get involved with FIRST.

Personally, spending the time and putting the effort towards building a robot was the most gratifying part of FIRST. Seeing all your time and effort from the 6 weeks pay-off at competitions, win or lose, can be very inspiring.

The most inspirational thing is the people, because no where else can you go and actually see how profoundly successful FIRST has been in inspiring us, the younger people. You go to a competition and see thousands of people just like you that are having the time of the life. At the same time are learning that creativity is not something that can be forced (which is unfortunately an unrealistic expectation that we sometimes come to expect from other people), but is instead something that come naturally when you rely on your own skills and logic.

**This is my six-hundred and fourth post! (604) :smiley: **

I want to add on to my response since after today. I also think that the people are the most inspirational because of this.

Today, we were displaying at our local 4-H fair. When ever we were playing with the robots, so many people were there, impressed, stunned, and in complete awe, let alone having a lot of fun. But my favorite was whenever a little child would come up to our robots, they would just stare at them with HUGE eyes. And whenever some of them were taking rides up and down on this years robot, they would just smile like they were having the best time of their life. This inspires me because I like to be a part of making somone have fun, and the incouragement of people thinking that waht we are doing is incredible, is just as powerful. But the top of it all, is to see all of those young childeren, looking at awe at what we do, to know that we are impressing them, and that we are going to be a part of making their future brighter, that is what really inspires me to continue working with FIRST, because we are here to make their future brighter.

This is a hard question for me, and involves a lot of thinking. lol Well FIRST overall is a great inspiration to me. When i first joined my team i felt like i had no place on the team, an just felt weird. I didnt know what to expect, or what to do, little did i even know what a FIRST team was. But as my first year went along by build season i was confident enough in what i was doing that i began to step up. I showed up to build meetings, put in ideas, worked on our essays for chairmans an woodie flowers, and just helped where ever it was i could. By the end of that year i was a leader on the team, (little did i know my head mentor thought i was a good V.P. for the team) Getting to know the science and engineering field a little better has inspired me a great deal, that i took the time this past season to learn the electronics on our robot. Though its not something im planning on doing in college, i still have more knowledge of the stuff now, an therefore i have to say it was the general idea of FIRST that inspired me to do so. The people you meet are fantastic, an you can just be yourself; crazy, fun, serious, shy, outgoing. An i learned to connect more with people, an even get over my fear of public speaking. Now that was a great challenge to overcome! I can honestly say there is no little aspect of FIRST that inspired me, but it was learning, and being involoved with FIRST as a whole that has inspired me to do many things.

FIRST is an inspirational program in general.

But I strongly believe that the people make this both inspirational and amazing.

This was my first year being on a team and I do have to say, it just wouldn’t be fun without all the amazing friends I met.
The competition is a big part of this also, inspiration hits when you see an amazing robot, or even to see your own robot (that you put blood sweat and tears into ;)) go out on the field.

but win lose or tie, the people I met this year being in FIRST are inspiring and the most inspiring aspect of FIRST