1. Briefly describe the impact of the FIRST program on team participants with special emphasis on the 2013/2014 year and the preceding two to five years
FIRST has been crucial to students on FRC 3313. It has impacted students by encouraging them to form strong bonds through Rock Band--a multiplayer video game--and also gain presentation and public speaking skills. A main impact that FIRST has had with our team is the amount of recent alumni that have gone to pursue higher education in STEM. In the past four years, 18 out of 19 students are in college for STEM majors. Three members have gotten the opportunity to work paid jobs with our sponsors.
2. Describe the impact of the FIRST program on your community with special emphasis on the 2013/2014 year and the preceding two to five years
FRC 3313 consistently works in the community. We have been on the local news twice, explaining to our community about FIRST robotics. Not only have we been on the news channel, but also in the local newspaper after every major event. Twice a year, the team hosts a Community Night during the off-season, and an Open House during the build season. We have also presented to many clubs, such as the Rotary Club, the Sertoma Club, and the Lion's Club describing FIRST robotics.
3. Team's innovative or creative method to spread the FIRST message
Captivation of all ages, six or sixty, is one of our primary goals to spread the FIRST message into the community. Fundraising is made exciting to all contributors, like the innovative Bydlon Beard-Off or Sadie Hawkins Dance. Our team was interviewed on a local radio channel, describing our team. During the build season, the team took time off to visit an Assisted Living Home, ensuring FIRST is known to a diverse set of ages.
4. Describe examples of how your team members act as role models and inspire other FIRST team members to emulate
At FIRST competitions, Team 3313 shows role model traits to fellow teams. FRC 3313 has won the Team Spirit Award at 3 different events in the past year, including a regional. Other FRC teams join our cheers and dances throughout competitions. At events like the Minne-Regional and SPLASH Training, we share advice and experience from our team. One of the main presentations is on Public Relations, it shows teams how to spread their experiences through social media, such as YouTube or Twitter.
5. Describe the team's initiatives to help start or form other FRC teams
Similar to how our team worked to create FTC classes at our new high school, we will continue to work with our school board to create an FRC class. This class would potentially be offered at the Alexandria's new high school, depending on the success of our FTC class. Students would work as a team to build an FRC robot and even compete with them at competitions. This would allow a variety of students who do not have time outside of school to participate in FIRST.
6. Describe the team's initiatives to help start or form other FIRST teams (including Jr.FLL, FLL, & FTC)
Expanding FIRST robotics in our community, especially FTC, has been a large focus of FRC 3313. Not only have we begun an FTC team at our middle school, we also pushed our school board to create a FTC class. Next year, this class will be offered at Alexandria's new high school. Students will work in teams and build FTC robots. These teams of students will even attend competitions. This will allow students with after school activities to partake in the wonders of FIRST.
7. Describe the team's initiatives on assisting other FIRST teams (including Jr.FLL, FLL, FTC, & FRC) with progressing through the FIRST program
FRC 3313 has been working to build relations with FRC teams and aid them. Last year during build season, we drove through a blizzard to help FRC 3244 with build functions. FRC 2538 visited our team and we worked to help them fix parts on their robot. During build season, we had an email chain with other teams and offered them help. We also held a small off-season event to hangout and form bonds with other teams. While at competitions, we also sit near our local teams and cheer with them.
8. Describe how your team works with other FIRST teams to serve as mentors to younger or less experienced FIRST teams (includes Jr.FLL, FLL, FTC, & FRC teams)
This year, Team 3313 took a big step with the FIRST program and formed Alexandria's first FTC team. 7799 Autobotics, has 9 middle school members with 4 high school and adult mentors. They did not win the tournament, but placed third in the Inspire Award. They will be attending state competition. FRC 3313 is also notorious for sharing everything we do through YouTube, and even mentoring other teams by responding to comments and emails we receive from other teams.
9. Describe your Corporate/University Sponsors
Packaging Machine Manufacturers Consortium (PMMC) which consists of:
Massman Automation Designs
Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC)
Alexandria Technical and Community College
Tri-State Manufacturers’ Association
Youth As Resources
Jefferson High School
Alexandria Area Businesses
Randy Fischer Real Estate
Elden’s Fresh Food
Pete’s County Market
10. Describe the strength of your partnership with your sponsors with special emphasis on the 2013/2014 year and the preceding two to five years
FRC 3313 keeps relations within sponsorships strong between the corporations and the team. In bi-monthly meetings, FRC 3313 updates the PMMC, one of our largest sponsors, about current and future events. A presentation and a tour were also scheduled at WASP. These type of events have made visiting our sponsors a tradition. We stay connected with our sponsors by participating in the Open Line Radio show by request of the AAEDC. Our three engineering mentors came from sponsor companies as well.
11. Describe how your team would explain what FIRST is to someone who has never heard of it
FIRST or, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, has teams of students who work with mentors and businesses from their community to build a robot for a game that FIRST announces and changes each year. Students have a time limit, a rulebook, and a budget to build the robot. FIRST guides students towards fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. There are over 8,000 registered teams in levels of elementary, middle, and high school in FIRST across the globe.
12. Briefly describe other matters of interest to the FIRST judges, if any