FIRST FAQ

Questions

How can I get involved in a robotics team or FIRST What is this team all about?  What benefits come from joining a team? Can anyone join? What if my school has no robotics team? How many hours of work go into the building of a robot and a successful season? What are FIRST competitions like? Who can go to a FIRST competition?

Answers:

How can I get involved in a robotics team or FIRST?

There are many ways to become involved with a FIRST team. If you are in high school, your school may already have its own team. Adult involvement comes in many forms, such as teacher advisors, business sponsors from the community or otherwise, volunteer work at a competition, and even direct involvement through the team itself based on the needs of a particular team near you. More detailed information about getting involved can be found through the FIRST website at www.USFIRST.org.

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What is this team all about?

The overall mission of High School robotics and FIRST lies on many different levels. Ultimatley, FIRST and the robotics organization that multiple high schools are a part of provide students with a unique experience. Working together with advisors and engineers, the team gains an appreciation for teamwork, science, technology, as well as their applications in our everyday life. For more information about our team and the mission of FIRST, visit our team website

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What benefits come from joining a team?

For many students, joining a team provides a unique experience that few will have the opportunity to enjoy in their lifetime. Students have the chance to work with their peers and engineers as a team in order to work towards a common goal, learning a variety of new skills along the way. In addition to travel and college scholarship opportunities, students get a chance to compete in various competitions with teams from across the globe. Above all, students will be able to work in their communities in order to educate and serve the public in the name of science and technology.

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Can anyone join?

YES! Anyone whose school has a FIRST robotics team and has a desire to help create a robot can join. Although there are no grade requirements set by FIRST, your particular team may require you to keep your grades up in order to participate. Any class can join, from freshmen to seniors. No team has an unlimited number of slots for entry, so if you want to give it a shot, now is the time!

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What if my school has no robotics team?

Go make one! If you can find a sufficient number of students in your school who would want to join, an advisior, and a sponsor, any school can apply to FIRST for the creation of a new team. For more information, visit the FIRST website

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How many hours of work go into the building of a robot and a successful season?

The ultimate purpose of FIRST goes way beyond the creation of a robot for participation in competitions. Team 75 meets formally as a team for 13 hours each week during the six weeks after the kickoff. However, this is the bare minimum amount of time put into the team itself; time which is essential to the success of the team. The mechanical sub-team who actually constructs the robot, puts in many hours of work repairing the robot at competitions and making last minute modifications. The strategy sub-team carries their work over into the competitions, where their job is critical. The animation, website, electrical, and inventor sub-teams are required to bring their work home at times, and may spend hours outside of meetings working on their assignments. In addition, the job of keeping team spirit up and planning community involvement is work that goes far beyond the amount of time allocated for warehouse work. Even throughout the year, work must be done by parents, students, and engineers alike to keep the spirit of the team alive. In reality, a robotics team never sleeps.

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What are FIRST competitions like?

FIRST robotics competitions are full of action and excitement far beyond the actual game itself. Cheering teams, parading mascots, intense work in the pit, and the actual game keeps everyone in high spirits. The game is followed with an inspirational awards ceremony, honoring those teams who have preformed exceptionally.

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Who can go to a FIRST competition?

The competitions are open to the public, and anyone can view them at their own leisure. If a high school you know of or are a part of has a FIRSTteam, they are a very good source of information if you wish to attend. FIRST encourages teams to invite their parents, friends, teachers, and anyone else to attend the competitions.

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