Are you interested in starting an FRC team? If not, you should be! Many studies show that STEM programs are positive influences on students, both preparing them for futures in engineering and technology fields, as well as giving them positive learning experiences outside of the classroom. Of course, there are a lot of steps to starting a team. First, look over this flyer to consider some of the biggest responsibilities and considerations that go into an FRC team. Also look over this convenient page on the FIRST website that outlines other considerations that need to be taken. On the website you can also find information about the other parts of FIRST, such as FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Lego League.
After this, it’s a good idea to find other mentors to help the team. This program has many different focuses, and getting other adults from the community and school involved will allow for more specialization and personal attention. Mentors can be found in numerous ways. You can approach this in numerous ways. One way is by approaching local businesses that work with machining or engineering and seeing if any employees would be interested in volunteering with the team. You can also approach teachers within a school district to see if any of them would be interested in helping as well. In the past, our team has ran an ad in our local newspapers in an effort to reach other interested parties. Also, some times students will have parents with experience in the fields, which can bring mentors with insight to the team. Mentors are important to a team, not only because they can help with the administrative side of things, but because they prove as influences on young minds. On 2010, we use this mentor application as a way to find qualified mentors and get to know those who are interested in working with our team.
Another major part of having a FIRST team is finding funding for your team. Here is a basic outline of how much the program costs over the year, so you can get an idea. But don’t let these costs discourage you, for there are many opportunities to raise funds. First, you can look at this list of grants that your team can utilize. There are also opportunities within your community to raise funds. For example, our team sends out donation request letters to businesses within the community to seek funds. You can find more information about this on our ‘Finance’ page under this tab.
Starting a FIRST team is not easy. But the impact you will be making on young minds and the community will be well worth it!