How to Make a Robotics Team in 7 Easy Steps!

Tags: motivate and outreach
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How to Make a Robotics Team in 7 Easy Steps! By Janavi

Task:

So you want to make a robotics team? No fear! We'll show you how to in 7 easy steps!

Step 1: Find Support Resources
First(get it), familiarize yourself with the FIRST Robotics Competition. Then locate your region’s Regional Director or FIRST Senior Mentor. These people know the FIRST teams, participating schools, and FIRST-friendly businesses in your area. He or she can help you form a plan for getting your team funded, organized, and in touch with other teams in the area.

Step 2: Enlist Coaches & Mentors
Each team needs at least one adult Mentor with technical expertise that is willing and motivated to “coach” the team through the build and competition season (and beyond). Also highly recommended are two or more other adults to help with administration, fundraising, community outreach, and other tasks.

Step 3: Register and Pay
You can register and create your team on FIRST's website. All coaches and members should create their own FIRST account, register to your team, and sign their consent & release form. They estimate cost per season for rookie teams to be around $2,250, including robot kit, event registraton, travel fees, and more. Registration fees themselves, however, are $275.

Step 4: Build your team
Find and invite at least 10 students who want to be part of a robotics team (the easiest part!). Be sure to emphasize that no technical skills are required, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Recruit all kinds of talents, not just engineering and electronics.

Step 5: Raise funds
Your team will need a steady supply of funds. Recruit local businesses to sponsor you. Many of them may already have a relationship with FIRST. Grants are available for both rookie and underserved teams.

Step 6: Learn about safety
At FIRST, student safety is always paramount. Every adult must become familiar with the Youth Protection Program (YPP). Take the time to watch the videos and read the materials. OSHA also has a 10-hour safety certification that can be completed online.

Step 7: Time to Build Robots!
Part of the fun is designing and building your robot; FIRST provides a wealth of information in their Resource Library to help you. Find everything from technical guides to fundraising ideas to fun activities for your team.

Reflections

Often when we participate in outreach events with the Mobile Tech Lab, we get questions from students and parents alike about how to start their own robotics team in their community, school, etc. It is hard to try and explain the steps as well as direct them to the FTC website in memorable way. So, we created this easy-to-read checklist to hand out while at outreach events. We're so exited to be able to get other kids just like us involved in Robotics. Robotics has changed all of our lives for the better, without robotics many of us wouldn't have gotten to experience working with technology let alone at the level that we are now.

Written on January 11, 2018