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the impact of the FIRST program on team participants with special emphasis on the 2006/2007 year and the preceding two years. 1743 NASA / Bally Design / Singularity Clark LP & City Charter High School Exposure to trade-skills; Team Coordination; Discover personal leadership ability; Perfecting leadership methods in any situation; Coordinate team dynamics to ensure efficient time-management; Plan complex tasks in strict timeframes; Compensate for unexpected challenges mid-project; Handle high pressure situations; Respect other's work ethics and ideas; Broaden personal skill repertoire; Learn to use innovation in the face of restrictions; Bridge classroom education with hands-on application Student run, planned, and organized team from marketing to design; Alternative forms of fundraising besides corporate sponsors; Building proficient robots despite monetary constrictions; Assign apprentices to prepare for future teams; Establishing long lasting relationships with other FIRST teams; Using integrated diversity to force intra-team relations; Working within the school environment to spread the FIRST message; Setting up special presentations to inspire team before season; Demonstrated the importance of a marketing planning period for sponsors before start of build season; Importance of concept design feasibility prior to fabrication; Setting up long partnerships with industry leaders and tradesmen; Black and Pink day at City Charter High School; Presentations with celebrities open to student body; Volunteering opportunities in FIRST now open to student body Team 1743 uses FIRST advertisements during lunch period bake sales as well as the Valentine’s Day rose sale. The team uses the school as a venue for recruitment presentations to the students. We network through school administration events, and team members use connections at student internships to network with business owners. 1743 inspires innovation in science and technology with a team that embraces environmental and monetary constrictions as a engineering challenge rather than a setback Bally design staff offers a great deal to the team by providing words of wisdom during the building process in general rather than through helping design robots. They have train the students from using a drill press to using high end prototyping techniques and equipment. Singularity Clark provides both space and money to aide the team. Their goal is to transform Pittsburgh into AI hub for the country and by sponsoring a robotics team they hope to open their doors to the technology community Images:
Examples of role model characteristics for other teams to emulate.
Describe the impact of the FIRST program on your team and community with special emphasis on the 2006/2007 year and the preceding two years. Teams innovative methods to spread the FIRST message.
Describe the strength of your partnership with special emphasis on the 2006/2007 year and the preceding two years.
Teams communication methods The most obvious method of communication is the team website. It uses forums and messages to communicate to the opposite and results. sides of the team. An e-mail system is also used for messages to the whole team. Both of these methods are passive compared to the effective integrated diversity system that organizes the team so that no one sub-team can survive on its own. This makes it so that the teams have to communicate to be able to get anything accomplished and are reliant on each other to succeed. Other matters of interest to the Appeared on channel 4 KDKA to demonstrate robot Mentoring FIRST judges, if any. LEGO league showing the fundamentals of engineering Team entirely student run, maintained, and believes that engineering innovation comes from working around constrictions rather than having limitless resources Presentation with Franco Harris to raise robotics awareness Student body appears at competition to show support Preparing for future with apprenticeship programs to train younger team members for leadership positions
Team 1743, The Short Circuits, is based out of City Charter High School as a two hour afternoon elective open to the upperclassmen in downtown Pittsburgh. The student body is 58% minorities and 60% of the students receive free or reduced
lunches. Having a FIRST robotics team not only inspires engineering innovation amongst the team members but exposes the whole student body to the culture of science and engineering. The Short Circuits’ core belief is, “Run by Students, For Students”. While some teams have a team of engineers and adults to aide the team, the Short Circuits has one CMU mentor and one teacher. This core value of the Short Circuits is shown in its history and how it operates today. Logan Lockhart and Bence Feher, two students from ninth grade had worked to make it so that this robotics team could be founded. This mission included presenting multiple times to the administration, finding interested sponsors, and doing recruiting presentations to the student body. Currently the Short Circuits have organized a team structure, which includes sub-teams of: Building, Marketing, Finance, and Design and a Lead Project Coordinator who facilitates communication and direction between each of the sub-teams. All of these teams are entirely run and maintained by the students with a teacher whose job is to act as adult supervision. The Short Circuits believe that to have true innovations and appreciation for technology and engineering one must understand and appreciate all that goes into team. This ranges from the marketing to corporate sponsors to the accounting and allocating of resources to designing and fabricating a robot working within the means of the team. What this comes down to is how the team communicates. Like most teams 1743 uses the team website to act as a form for public relations as well as intra-team relations. The Short Circuits website has an Internet Journal that informs the public about all of the different projects that the team is taking part in with personalized editorials from the team members involved describing their experiences. Included is also a “how to” section that details all the specifics to building a robot like: “chain braking and using master links”, setting up an electrical board, and more involved with building a robot. The site also includes information about each of the events the team will be competing in with directions and all the details required. As an addition to that the team sends out packets to all of the team sponsors containing invitations and information in regards to the events we are competing in and for regional competitions which are remote possible hotel and lodging information as well. Because of the lack of resources the team has to be split up between Bally Design an off site fabrication shop, and the school. It is a quarter of mile walk between the school and Bally Design causing an intra-team communication dilemma. A partial remedy for this there is a forum on the team website that facilitates contact between the sub-teams. This solution is one that is followed by many teams to ensure that every part of the team understands that the other half is doing, but the Short Circuits felt between the first and second year of existence that a more aggressive form of team organization that would force communication known as integrated diversity. Integrated diversity is an organization style originated by GE when they realized that they required more communication amongst the fourteen (14) sub-divisions. It works by designing all of a business’s divisions to be dependant on each other so that to survive it is required that they work as a group. The Short Circuits is broken up into Marketing, Design, Finance, and Building. An example of how integrated diversity works is that building needs to understand how marketing is working because the building cannot build without the funds that the marketing team raises. Marketing team needs to collaborate with design team to make the promotions for the fundraisers. What makes this system even more effective is that all of the coordinators are student team members who are learning on high level about leadership as well as communication and teamwork. After the rookie year of competition the Short Circuits lost their primary sponsor, Nova Chemical due to bankruptcy. The team began their 2007 year with no money, no potential sponsors and an accrued debt from last season’s team. This forced the Marketing team to work day an night finding sponsors and following various opportunities while the team sank into more debt due to building expenses. Because most potential sponsors require much more time to review the team for sponsorship the team focus of fund raising ventures other than corporate sponsors. This presented the team with an opportunity to extend the robotics team and the culture of FIRST to the rest of the City Charter High School student body. The team made recruitment presentations that were held during each of the classes to spread the message as well as get more team members. The Marketing team had to view the environment they were in and find business opportunities. It started with a simple emergency bake sale held during the three lunch periods for the freshmen, sophomores, and upperclassmen. All of the team members brought in bake good and they were sold during the lunches. This money was allocated by the finance team to the building expenses as well as to the marketing team for fundraising project overhead. The next week the bake sale was held again except instead of donating food the robotics team was able to buy supplies and sell for a profit. At this point the team realized that the team could be run as a sustainable business. Besides the weekly bake sales which were brandished with robotic propaganda the marketing team also managed a successful valentine’s day rose sale all entirely conceived and managed by the marketing team members as well as selling robotics team merchandise to the students to raise awareness. Using this success as business inspiration the marketing team realized that the school culture as a venue to expose the FIRST message. During City Charter High School’s mentor appreciation ceremony which involves many powerful industry leaders around the Pittsburgh area. The Short Circuits set up an information desk where there were promotional pamphlets and a presentation to promote the FIRST experience. As well as that the team posts links on the highly trafficked City Charter High School web site to attracted more viewers of the team website. Besides the PR through the school culture during their rookie year the Short Circuits were featured during a special on KDKA explain how our robot functioned and was operated. The building team sponsors a LEGO league team after the robot is shipped where they explain how they went about designing and building the season’s robot and have a small build project for the LEGO students. These events hold very little validation if there was no proof that the student body was absorbing the message of FIRST and the importance of their school robotics team. This was originally shown during the rookie year when during the competition the team sold team shirts to the students and the school issued a pink and black day. During the rookie year the school had sent classes out during the competition to see the team play. This was enjoyed by the students and the administration that another is planned for 2007 Pittsburgh regional competition. Even more importantly, the sophomore student government held a bake sale themselves during the parent teacher conference night and donated all of the proceeds to the robotics team. To be able to win with a team, you must also be able to struggle and lose with the team. The short Circuits have a team whose monetary constrains rather than hold them back forces them to see the true lessons to be learned in the situation. Having the testing area
in a room 1 foot too short for the field element and so much dust that the electrical equipment needs to be blown with pressurized air shows each member of the team what it means to have it. Being faced with the task to design a ramp deployment system without a welder on staff as well as five dollars to spend on it inspires an entirely different and unique form of engineering inspiration that can never be learned except through the experience. The team not only does a lot for the community through spreading the message of FIRST but the FIRST robotics competition has also invaluably helped the past and present members of the Short Circuit’s team. The team organization style teaches the student not only how to work proficiently in their field but how to work as a diverse team spanning multiple disciplines. Branden Plesh the 2007 lead project coordinator was planning on a career in business administration and was on the finance team during the 2006 season. After being heavily included in the build process during that season he was inspired to apply for the Lehigh University integrated business and engineering program (IBE). Eric Williams, a senior during the 2006 season went on to a major in electrical engineering at Penn State Erie. Many of the team recruits join, not because they have talent in the fields of marketing or engineering, but because they have the passion to learn of it. To inspire the team about the competition they have begun at the beginning of the 2007 season the team organized a presentation from Steelers legend Franco Harris. Many of these students, like TR McAlexander say that they have learned a plethora of trade skills like working a drill press and setting up a pneumatics system owing it all to the FIRST robotics competition. The Short Circuits believe that the FIRST competition can be used to teach teamwork, marketing, and business for much more than the inspiration of science and technology; but for inspiration of success. Team Captain / Student Representative : Team Mentor : Branden Plesh Michael Klanica
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