Talk to your school principal
Most teams are based at high schools. If you are at a school, you should be sure the principal is aware of what you are doing. Most are quite supportive. You will need their support for after school access to the school building, time off for the students, and other school related administrivia.
Getting students interested in participating requires them knowing about the team, and being inspired about the team well in advance. We suggest recruiting students very early in the school year before they manage to fill their schedules with other things. We have posters and brochures for you that can help. We also have DVD’s showing the events.
Recruiting local mentors
Local mentors come in all forms. Engineers are great resources, retired engineers even better as they have a little more time available. Building a robot is likely to be outside your scope of expertise. Actually, it will likely be outside your mentors area of direct expertise. However, this program is setup in such a way that most engineering or mechanical type people can actually build a robot with a little bit of help from other teams.
Get the parents involved
Your students are about to wade neck deep into a project. It is important that their parents have a basic understanding of what is going to happen. The students are going to spend a lot of time on this project during the robot building season. Parents will like this program. It is time consuming, but the students will learn a huge amount about themselves during the process. Our best advice is to have a meeting with the parents sometime between mid November and mid December. Try to get some parents to help out. There will always be logistics issues, fundraising opportunities, food and transportation needs, and best of all some parents who want to join the team as mentors.
A Proposed Budget
FRC teams cost approximately $12,000 on average to run for a year. Some teams can spend as little as $9,000, others spend nearly $50,000. It all depends on your circumstances.
A typical rookie team will have about a $12,000 budget if they can participate at two events, say in Portland.
|Robot building supplies||$2,000|
|T-Shirts, buttons, food misc||$1,000|
|Shipping and Transportation||$1,000|
Hotel and transportation costs vary based on your location and how your team decides to travel. In general, your team will spend Thursday and Friday nights at a hotel. A small subset of your team will also be there Wednesday night. The event runs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
It is not uncommon for a convoy of mini-vans to handle the transportation. Other schools get busses. Some school districts provide free bus service, some require you to pay for them. In general, plan on $150 a night for every 5 students you can cram into a room. Some teams have the students purchase their own food and pay their own travel expenses. Other teams work it into their overall budget. There isn’t a requirement on how your team chooses to handle this. We would like to insure that all students on your team are able to travel regardless of their family finances.
Many school districts will allow your team to claim a per student / per-diem to help cover the costs. Check with your school administration to see if this would qualify as a field trip or ASB trip.