You, FIRST, and you after


I have seen other posts about how FIRST changed your life, but it was more towards high school students.
This one will be more focused on a broader view.

P.S. I need some motivation. Currently holding a [Chief Delphi] in P-Calc. Future ain’t too bright.

Please include details:
What you did/how well you were doing in school 1-2 years before you joined FIRST (if you were a rookie in 9th grade, it would be your 7th and 8th grade years);
How your GPA changed qualitatively during High School (if you remember, Optional);
Post-High School Education;
Current Career;

My rookie year of FIRST was a freshman, 2017, FRC

  • 7th and 8th grade was boring- didn’t do any extracurriculars. I would say i was in the top 25% of my class.
  • My GPA throughout high school has been in fluctuations around 2.6-3.3; with some advanced courses.

I’m not sure I understand the purpose of this. Is there a goal here in terms of research and evaluation?

yes, for personal researching

Your post isn’t very clear about what info you’re asking for. Particularly these two lines.

What exactly do you want from “1-2yrs before” our GPAs, something else? Do you also want our GPAs from after we joined FIRST?

The rest are more obvious as they are clearly meant for after we finished the FIRST programs, but still not very clear what info you’re interested in.

I’m basically looking for a timeline, junior high to senior year, how things changed, if FIRST afffected you in anyway, positive/negative, etc.

If you want this information, it seems that it would be better to ask for this information in an anonymous survey instead of a public one so people would feel more comfortable answering. Or, if you’re just looking at “how FIRST affected you,” you could simply ask how a person’s GPA changed qualitatively without asking for specific details.


I’ve made the form, let me know if there are problems

Do you want before, or after…? I only have one choice

In addition to the obvious change, can you also define before and after on the survey? So for me, I joined FRC in 9th grade (after having done other FIRST programs since 5th grade). I stayed in it through 12th grade. Are you looking to find out my 9th vs 12th grades? 8th vs first year of college?

Let’s go with
Before: Junior High (8th grade; or 7th if you remember that better)
After: Senior High (average throughout the 4 years)

I’m not sure I recall those grades and I know I was not given a GPA. I am also certain that the data is unhelpful. Comparing middle school to high school grades is like comparing apples and rat poison. They’re two completely different things.

If I tell you that I had more A grades in middle school than high school, that wouldn’t prove a whole lot other than maybe the fact the middle school is easier and high school grades are taken more seriously.

Setting aside the fact that GPA is a largely unhelpful metric for measuring almost anything, you’re still not getting good data. Let’s pretend it was a good measure. If you are trying to study what being in FIRST vs. not being in FIRST does to GPA, the only scientific way that you could really achieve this is by comparing a large set of people who did FIRST against those who did not. Of course, your results will only be as accurate as GPA and it would really only make sense to compare people within a school since grade inflation is so prevalent and some schools are simply more rigorous than others.

I guess my question to you is: what is your research question? I know you want to look at the results beyond high school but what is the actual question you are trying to answer? It is hard to set out and conduct research if you do not the question you want to answer.


I’ll follow up on the GPA comments – GPA is a nice measure on someone’s ability to follow instructions prep for tests, and compete against their peers to do better at these things. It’s a relevant skill, but by no means a required skill to achieve “success” (understanding that everyone is going to define “success” differently). I say this as someone who worried too much about GPA for 3 degrees.

I went to a type of grad school where we quite literally were barred from disclosing our grades to anybody we recruited with and had dozens of students consistently skip classes for things they felt were more important, like recruiting for high-paying jobs and starting their own companies. At some point everything you do, every job you have and what schools you go to just build into your personal story, and something else may be more important than grades.

(This all being said–having a poor GPA early in your career is poor salesmanship for colleges and your first job because it shows you’re not great at following instructions, so it’s probably best for most students to not let it drop too low at least through undergrad).