Drop by one of our teacher/sponsor rooms. Mr. Doughtie is in the robotics lab at GBCCA and Mr. Watson is at RHS in room 1404. The teachers can explain any fees, travel and academic requirements. The team meets (almost) weekly in the fall and (nearly) every day in the early spring – listen for announcements in the mornings and check our calendar.
After joining the team you register with FIRST, go through an online OSHA safety test, receive some training and get to work! Finally contact one of the student officers to get plugged into a design group. There are many to choose from!
A fresh group of students with no previous FIRST experience have difficulties designing and building a competitive FRC robot in six weeks. They require mentoring to learn and to succeed. Conversely, a strong group of students with several years of experience might design and build a competitive robot with little mentoring. Thus the role of a mentor is dynamic. There are FIRST teams whose students spend little time designing and/or building the robot. And there are FIRST teams who prohibit an adult from picking up a tool. The mentoring philosophy on FIRST Team 1296 is a dynamic hybrid.
Our mentors teach, help and support individual students to any extent required. Students make the key design decisions but mentors steer students away from unnecessary technical risk or folly. Students produce the design documentation but mentors filter everything that goes out for manufacture. Students select OEM parts and materials but mentors filter the purchasing process. Students build the robot after learning basic skills from mentors.
Every year we have amazing and responsible students but some things are handled by mentors. FIRST Team 1296 mentors enforce safety practices at all times. Safety is NEVER compromised. Mentors (or teachers or members of the booster club) actually spend monies. RISD has specific rules about the handling of club monies and the Robotics Club follows these rules. Lastly, if a student decision or action compromises the relationship with a sponsor or another FIRST team, mentors step in to protect important year-over-year relationships.
FIRST Team 1296 has a single “Head Mentor”. This person is also the “Alternate Team Contact” on the TIMS web site. The head mentor coordinates activities of mentors with the “Primary Team Contact”, the teachers, the sponsors and the students. The head mentor is selected by active teacher-sponsors.
This film and document is required viewing/reading for new mentors:
FIRST Youth Protection Program
We need engineers (all types), software professionals, business persons, mechanics, machine operators, teachers, active parents – all kinds of people. If you are interested, please send me a note here.
Donate via Paypal …
… or mail a check to Rockwall Robotics Booster Club 2010 Industrial Blvd Suite 602 Rockwall, TX 75087! Thanks!
The purpose of the club is to offer opportunities for high school students to serve in a philanthropic club and participate in world class STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competitions. Students learn and practice a range of skills including applied mathematics, applied physics, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), CNC machinery, basic operation of metal mills and lathes, electronics, applied computer science using C++, Java, and LabView programming languages, elementary networking, mechanical design and assembly, electrical design and assembly, pneumatic design and assembly, quality assurance, and safety.
In addition to the robot build and community service, the robotics team members also have opportunities to express and develop a wide variety of skills: website design, audio-visual presentations, essays, product design, graphic arts and design, animation, finance, team leadership, project management, logistics, strategic game play, advertising, marketing, public relations, and fundraising.
The end goal is to promote the students (and parents) selection of rewarding STEM-related education and career choices by experiencing them in a real-world application.
Why we need sponsors…
The competitions are expensive and most are out of town. There are significant entry fees, travel and per diem costs for the students, teachers, and mentors. We want to make sure that every student who wishes to can participate, so we prioritize the funds for scholarships as needed. The remainder of the monies pays for building robots, tools and supplies, outreach to other schools, and the regional competition expenses.
Sponsorship takes the form of supplies, discounts, metal fabrication facilities and/or assistance and/or cash. For example we have sponsors who cut, punch and bend sheet metal for the team, sponsors that provide materials for the frame, sponsors who provide meals or meal discounts, sponsors who provide time and expertise and sponsors who contribute cash. All the generous contributions are primarily philanthropic but we offer opportunities for advertisement.
“Skynet” Level Sponsorship – $10,000 each
This “platinum” level sponsorship is a true partnership with the team. The name of the sponsor is incorporated into the team name. Why does this matter? Because the team’s official name is announced before every match (as many as 25 times) at each regional event. A platinum level sponsor’s logo is centered on the web site, the team’s trailer, all banners, all tee shirts and on the robot. The students wear the tee shirts at competitions and at school, kinda like football jerseys. The banners are displayed at school, at public events in the Rockwall area, at the pit area of the regionals competitions and in the stands during our matches. The students typically give presentations on-site for platinum sponsors.
“HAL” Level Sponsorship – $5,000 each
This “gold” level sponsorship includes a large logo on the web site, small logo on the team’s trailer, all banners, all tee shirts and on the robot. The students wear the tee shirts at the competitions and at school, kinda like football jerseys. The banners are displayed at school, at public events in the Rockwall area, at the pit area of the regionals competitions and in the stands during our matches.
“Jarvis” Level Sponsorship – $2,000 each
This “palladium” level sponsorship includes a medium-sized logo on the web site, all banners, all tee shirts and on the robot. The students wear these tee shirts at the competitions and at school, kinda like football jerseys. The banners are displayed at school, at public events in the Rockwall area, at the pit area of the regionals competitions and in the stands during our matches.
“R2-D2” Level Sponsorship – $1,000 each
This “iridium” level sponsorship includes a small logo/link on the web site and on all tee shirts. The students wear these tee shirts at the competitions and at school, kinda like football jerseys.
“Wall-E” Level Sponsorship – $500 each
This “silver” level sponsorship includes a mention on the web site and on all tee shirts. The students wear these tee shirts at the competitions and at school, kinda like football jersey