Why do you do it?

Posted by Mike Sperber.

Engineer on team #175, Buzz, from Enrico Fermi High School and UTC/Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems.

Posted on 3/22/2000 6:38 AM MST

With all this talk about the purpose of FIRST, and how different teams are organized, it leads me to ask this question:
Why did you get involved in FIRST?
What did you expect to get out of it?
What do you get out of it?
Students? Teachers? Parents? Engineers? Anyone!

Every team may have the same goal, but different ways of getting there.
What is that Goal?
How does your team get there?

Lets try and find out about each other, and our teams so that we can learn.

Just a thought.

Good Luck.
See you in Hartford and Florida.

Posted by michael ciavaglia.

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Interior Systems.

Posted on 3/22/2000 6:56 AM MST

In Reply to: Why do you do it? posted by Mike Sperber on 3/22/2000 6:38 AM MST:

The FIRST community should be the first to recognize that there are many ways to view a problem.

There are more than 350 teams in the competition this year with the SAME kit of materials. Look at how many different designs there are. Each team decides how to use the kit.

Many teams may be similar but they are undoubtedly different. Every team is organized the way they think they are making the biggest impact on the students. I know there is no right or wrong answer here.

Let us take the good things from every team and use these ideas to strengthen our team. TOGETHER WE WILL ALL WIN!!

Good Luck the rest of the season!!

Mike C.

Posted by Shannon.

Other on team #191, Alumni - XCATS, from Wilson HS and Xreox.

Posted on 3/22/2000 9:05 AM MST

In Reply to: Why do you do it? posted by Mike Sperber on 3/22/2000 6:38 AM MST:

Im an alumni from the XCATS, which I was a part of all
4 years I was in high school. I’ll try to take your
questions one at a time.

  1. Why did I get involved in FIRST and What did I
    expect to get out of it?

    We had awesome recruiting from Xerox. I can still
    remember exactly who got me interested - Monica and
    Jan. They made building a robot actually seem
    exciting. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you I am NOT
    the most technically advanced person out there, so
    builing a robot before that would have been enough to
    send me running for the hills! And it was my freshman
    year and I was looking for something to get involved in
    and FIRST seemed like a good place to start. I wasnt
    sure what to expect - I definently didnt know what I
    was getting myself into. I wasnt expecting the long
    hours, the stress, the amount of work that was going to
    go into this. And I wasnt sure what to expect from the
    competitions. I had no idea I was going to come home
    without the ability to speak for a week!

  2. What did I get out of FIRST?

    I honestly could not even begin to tell you the
    impact FIRST has had on me. Im sure not even my teamma
    tes were aware of what they did for me. If you had
    told me freshman year that my senior year I would be up
    on the stage in Florida, coaching in front of 10000
    people, I would have laughed at you. I was terrified
    of everything - that I wasnt smart enough, that I could
    never contribute as much as other people. Think its
    corny if you want, but the XCATS really are like a
    family. The site was my home away from home. There
    was nothing I looked forward to more than FIRST sta
    rting again. The adults on our team werent there just
    to help us with building the robot, but they were there
    ALL of the time. To help with school, with family,
    anything, you name it and they were who I knew I could
    run to. How many people in high school can say they
    had that kind of support system? They all helped my
    confidence in myself and the people around me
    immensely. The adults and students on our team never
    stop believing in each other and after a while, you
    figure there must be a reason for that and believe in
    yourself more. They helped bring me out of my shell and
    become more of a leader and help other people to expect
    more out of themselves. I’m not majoring in
    engineering - I’m majoring in sports medicine - but the
    lessons I learned from being a part of FIRST and the
    XCATS will stay with me for a lifetime. After we were
    eliminated in the quarterfinals last year, I broke down
    in the tunnel. Not because we lost but because I had
    this overwhelming sadness that this was going to be my
    last time down there with this amazing team who I owe
    so much to.

What is our team’s goal?

The XCATS goal is really just to get everyone
involved in builing a kick butt machine and help the
students learn about engineering and about themselves.
Everyone is involved at whatever level they want to be.
Some people dont want to live their life at the FIRST
site, others live for allnighters. Some people want to
be in the pit all day, others want to be in the stands
passing out clickers to everyone. I think what makes
the XCATS special is its diversity and the adults on
our team being so awesome. I know as a former XCAT how
lucky we are to have such a wonderful sponsor as Xerox,
not just financially, but because the people there tha
t get involved really are there for the students.

Anyway, thats the perspective from an alumni