2013 Chairman’s Award

 

1. Briefly describe the impact of the FIRST program on team participants with special emphasis on the team year and the preceding two years (500 characters)

Every member of The Jungle has gained skills in robotics or management. No student has been left behind because we assigned everyone specific roles.  Students learned the importance of sharing the gifts they have received through numerous community outreach functions.  All dedicated students have displayed growth in the areas of responsibility, commitment, and initiative. We love the opportunity to learn hands-on from our mentors. Together, we have learned the value of teamwork and respect.

2. Examples of Role Model characteristics for the other teams to emulate (500 characters) done

Team 3627 promotes responsibility, organization, and dedication. Students grow into mentors by teaching younger students in our branch FLL teams. We give back to our community by volunteering at many schools, local events, and charities. At least once a month we host a fun bonding event to raise team spirit. Veteran members support new participants’ initiatives to learn. A weekly honor award is given to the member who has displayed outstanding effort. We keep a safe, clean workshop at all times.

3. Describe the impact of the FIRST program on your team and community with special emphasis on the current year and the preceding two years. (500 characters) done

FIRST is a treasured opportunity to develop critical skills. We work together to fix the communication gap between students at schools across the county, strengthening its STEM effort. We are honored to share our story with the community and inspire others by being “big brothers” to local elementary students. Through FIRST, we uncover and spread the marvels of technology, and the rewards of being part of such a huge and innovative program.

4. Teams innovative methods to spread the FIRST message (500 characters) done

In the last year, Team 3627 has vastly spread FIRST’s awareness through Sarasota. We contacted all elementary and middle schools in the county to share our program with them. We presented at all that responded, and inspired 3 FLL teams to begin this fall. We demoed at a conference at GWIZ science museum, a Rev3 Triathlon, as well as the mall and local farmers market several times. Captains presented to the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce to inform them of the incredible results of FIRST’s program.

5. Describe the strength of your partnership with special emphasis on the current year and the preceding two years (500 characters)

Our partnership between students and our mentors is very powerful. We support them by presenting at conferences, board meetings, and the companies’ workshops to boost morale. We work side-by-side to learn from each other. We also partner with the community on an intimate level to benefit others in any way that we can. It has been our goal to involve ourselves in the county’s STEM initiative, and unite industrial professionals with aspiring and curious students. Team 3627 has become a significant force within Sarasota.

6. Teams communication methods and results (500 characters)

Our team’s structure is very efficient for keeping everyone on task and in the loop. A team captain organizes the group and 6 co-captains focus on leading team members in skill areas (ex. mechanical), enabling each individual’s abilities to be utilized. Every meeting is started by each captain discussing the objectives, so members know how to help. Our online group is updated daily to ensure everyone is constantly informed. We send a weekly newsletter to sponsors to update them with our progress.

7. Other matters of interest to the FIRST judges (500 characters)

Our team has gone above and beyond the workshop. We worked with the director of all CTE classes to create the first ever Robotics CTE course in the county at Pine View School.  It will be a 3 year program and they will receive accreditation upon completion. This will be an exciting new step to garner more interest in robotics in our community!

Executive Summary 

How strongly does the submission document the learning experience of the students’, school curriculum, engineers, and the community during the team year, as well as in prior years?

Has the team explained/ demonstrated why/how it should be a role model for other FIRST teams to emulate?

How well has the team communicated its excitement and impact within the entire school, community, beyond through participation in FIRST during the team year as well as in prior years?

Has the team documented an innovative way to spread the FIRST message?

How strong of a year-round team partnership effort is reflected in the team year as well as in other years?

(You can define partnership in many ways: the partnership among the teams’ students, corporate sponsors, and engineers; students and adults; community and team)

Our Accomplishments:

  • Farmer’s Market
  • Bar Camp
  • Wilkinson  presentations
  • Triathlon
  • Introduced the program to every middle and elementary school in the county
  • Multiple team bonding experiences: team get together to discuss the objective and share ideas on how to build a proper working robot.
  • Atwater
  • Brentwood elementary mentoring
  • Various fundraising activities
  • Recruited an abundance of new members
  • FLL team started at Pine View middle, Wilkinson Elementary, and
  • We have an organized group that can facilitate on task working in order to meet the objective which is to build a robot that can shoot Frisbees to the acquired target.
  • Worked through a team crisis of mentor and sponsor shortages, developed new contacts with professionals and established renown in the community, came to support a new membership of 30 students after most of our team graduated last year leaving us with only 6 veteran members
  • Promoted and successfully started a 3-year intensive robotics course in the only public gifted school in Florida.

 

Team 3627- The Jungle Robotics is a unique FRC team based in Sarasota County. Unlike most FRC teams, ours was founded two years ago to incorporate students from all over the county, rather than just one high school. This fosters a level of teamwork and consideration for others that can only be created through a situation that forces students to connect all of the major schools in the county for a common purpose.  Since last year’s competition, we have redoubled our efforts to become an outstanding asset for our district. In addition, the Jungle Robotics has concentrated on building strong relationships both within the team, and between our team and the community that supports us.

In our last two years, which were our first two, we were a small, unknown team struggling to become part of our community, with few resources and little expectations to excel at competition. In those two years, we used all our ingenuity possible to create excellent robots. We also involved ourselves in school activities, such as a school fair or demonstrations at schools with few representatives on the team. While we desired to do more for our schools and surrounding area, we had no idea where to begin or how we could help. That all changed when we placed 1st at South Florida’s Regional last year. We won because a top-pier team noticed us for our team spirit in the stands, and chose us for their alliance. We managed to raise $24,000 in 2 weeks to send every one of our teammates to the World Championships. This challenge strengthened our bonds and transformed a group of students into a driven and united band of brethren. We took our reinvigorated team spirit with us to the Championships, and were extremely motivated by all the amazing teams we saw at St. Louis. We decided we wanted to become one of them. As soon as we returned from competition, this year’s team began to work on a successful plan to bring The Jungle to all of Sarasota. This year, we have learned how to take responsibility, motivate our community, organize ideas to fruition, problem solve, and collaborate with others.

Team 3627’s approach to bringing the message of FIRST Robotics was to inspire and connect with the community at four different levels.  The echelons we focused on were CEO’s of major technological companies in the area, employees and individual engineering professionals, average citizens, and school-aged youth.

At the end of last April, we faced a sponsor and mentor shortage. Two of our three head mentors retired from the team, and we had no corporate foundations.  To solve this problem, we have recruited eight new professionals for our mentors, and advocated our team to many professional businesses around Sarasota. We became partners with Sarasota Area Manufacturers Association, Sarasota County Technical Institute, Pine View Association, and Sun Hydraulics. Captains of the team regularly attend SAMA dinner meetings, where they give speeches on the team’s accomplishments and initiatives. Our team members sent out letters, emails, and phone calls to almost every technology related corporation in Sarasota and formed new alliances with the members of BarCamp (a bi-annual technology entrepreneurs conference), Loggerhead Instruments, Star2Star Communications, Robrady, Hees & Associates, Inc., and many more. Our students also notably obtained an audience with the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Our purpose in all of this was not just to acquire more resources, but to also circulate our presence among the heads of industry, who could later on support our initiative to take FIRST robotics’ message to the public. All of the professionals we interact with are inspired by our team’s story, and as a result want to spread news of our initiatives throughout the industrial workforce.  Through this branching out, we have met and welcomed to our team eight new engineering or management specialists, who now work with our students one-on-one to nurture a profound understanding of the creative process. Team 3627 is dedicated to continue this pursuit of the respect of professionals within our district and hopes to become an even more prominent force among them.

(Next comes FLL and volunteering)

 

Our workshop is like a second home to most of us. Our members are encouraged to take initiative within the group and are supported when they do. Students in the Jungle Robotics love the opportunities offered them by such an all-encompassing program. They are able to pursue any professional skill they would like including business management, programming, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Our students have taken these skills with them to college and the workforce, which makes them competitive applicants for internships, research positions, and jobs. We made presentations Our initiative to found and mentor new FLL teams has turned students into teachers. Our team truly turns students into more resourceful leaders who know the value of imparting their knowledge with others.

The FIRST program has taught us that innovation can come from anyone at any age.