Foundations of a FIRST Team Seminar


Foundations of a FIRST Team was a one-day seminar focusing on the non-technical aspects of a FIRST Robotics team. After talking to multiple teams and being involved in FIRST for the past nine years, I have noticed that many teams focus solely on building a robot and miss out on opportunities to grow and develop as a team. With the amount of resources available and experienced teams in this area, my goals were to help newer FIRST teams by connecting them to these resources as well as to assist experienced teams in becoming even stronger competitors. The FIRST Robotics Competition is not just about winning, it is about how students can learn and grow as individuals and as a team. By bringing local teams together for this workshop, I believed we could cover many fronts, such as:

  • Giving teams an opportunity to share their individual expertise so they can grow within the FIRST program
  • Educate each team on the different awards, what they mean, and their benefits
  • Show how FIRST connects to the real world
  • Create sustainable teams and exhibit growth

Seminar Recap

All teams that attended the FIRST Bayou Regional were surveyed on what topics for which they would like more information and guidance. The survey responses were the main influence for the subject matter of the seminar. A date was chosen based on the teachers’ reported availability and other scheduling factors, such as the start of the FIRST Robotics build and competition season (January – May). The workshop was held on Saturday, October 29, 2016, from 9am-12pm (see details below).

  • Topics covered (presentation): engineering design process, team building, incorporating different personality types into your team (DiSC leadership styles), goal setting, SWOT analysis, and conflict resolution
  • Information provided (portfolio): awards descriptions and tips, fundraising ideas, guide to building a business plan, how to create sponsorship packets, copies of all worksheets used in the seminar, and a copy of the presentations given
  • 9 schools from Louisiana attended (23 teachers and students)
  • 6 Society of Peer Mentors volunteered along with 2 faculty sponsors

Check out The Engineered Tiger’s story on the seminar!

Resources from Seminar


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