I have a passion for Robotics, I want kids of all ages to be involved. If you’re a kids of younger age, typically K-12 (Kindergarten through 12th grade) you can participate on a team as a member. If you’re an older kid, Collage age and above (i.e. adults), you can participate as a mentor and/or a volunteer at an event.
For students, getting involved is fairly easy. You can either find a team that’s already started and join it. Some teams have student size limits, such as JrFLL (Junior FIRST Lego League) and FLL (FIRST Lego League). Or you can talk to a teacher or parent and start a team.
For adults, again, you can find a team and offer to help out. Most teams need adults to help out with building and programming robots, but adults are also needed to help with PR, fund raising, and dealing with kids. Adults can also either start a team or talk with a local school to about starting a team. However, be prepared for a background check.
Bottom line is Get Involved! If you need help or encouragement to get involved leave a comment or e-mail me, Joe Varnell, at FRC704mentor@qweztech.com
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
is my favorite because their programs span a wide age range of kids involvement, adults can get involved helping with the ages of kids they feel most comfortable with, and it’s world wide.Event volunteers
are needed to help make sure teams and robots are safe, robots are built properly, the event moves as it should. Volunteers don’t need to be technical to help. If you’re just wanting to help, there’s queuing, pit administration, crowd control, and safety. If you’re technically oriented there are jobs like robot inspector. If you’re an adult and want to work an event you can register with VIMS (Volunteer Information and Matching System)
with a step by step guide at VIMS Step by Step
If you’re looking to start a team it all depends on the age of the team. Below are links on how to started on a team of the desired age.
FIRST Starting teams
JrFLL – grages: K-3; Season Aug – Jan: <Start a team page> <Find a team to help>
FLL – grades: 4-8; Season registration May; Kickoff Sept; Events Nov-Feb; <Start a team page> <Find a team to help>
FTC (smaller robots, less expensive) – grades: 9-12; Season registration May; Kickoff Sept; Events Nov-Feb; <Start a team page>
FRC (large robots) – grades: 9-12; Season registration – Oct; Kickoff Jan; Events Mar-Apr <start a team page>
You can sometimes find FIRST events and teams using the FTC and FRC Find teams and event.
Vex RoboticsVex robotics
is a really great robotics program based on the Vex Robotics kit
. They are also world wide with lots of events. A robot challenge for the next year is given at the Vex Robotics Championships. You then use the Vex Robotics kit and Vex parts to build a robot to compete in the competition. You can find out how to start a Vex team here
. Vex Events can be found at RobotEvents.com
Best RoboticsBest robotics
is smaller and less expensive competition. You’re given a a set of supplies and a challenge. From there you build a robot from the supplies to complete the challenge. Some of the supplies are consumable (i.e. wood, PVC, etc) and some you have to return to BEST (i.e. Robot controllers, motors, etc)
A few other links events
NASA robotics competition