How can my kid join a team?
That depends on the level of robotics your kid is interested in. For Jr. FLL and FLL generally the kids who know each other and one or more of the parents serves as team leader(s). Training is provided for interested parents is toward the end of summer after our Summer Sessions are held. Once you have kids and adult leaders assembled you can register for the season via the Freedom Area Recreation team signup site. PIE3 provides basic kits, which must be returned at the end of the season, as well as answering any questions that may arise. Dues ($50 a kid) are recommended to cover any additional Lego parts needed, registration for events, and team uniforms.
For FTC you need to contact one of the team leaders to see about joining. Students at South Carroll HS should see Mr. Lee. Those interested in the Gear Freaks should contact Mr. Walton (firstname.lastname@example.org). We can also assist with forming new FTC teams if one of these teams is not an option.
For FRC please contact Mrs. Young (email@example.com) to join the Robo-Lions. We do not recommend starting your own FRC team due to the immense costs involved to start and maintain a team.
Will this interfere with my kid's sport teams?
Robotics is a competitive albeit not athletic sport ("It takes a team to build a robot"), so it is possible. Advice varies depending on which program your kid is involved with as follows.
- Jr. FLL - This shouldn't be a problem. Teams are usually really small and meetings can be arranged around athletic commitments.
- FLL - This shouldn't be a problem with careful planning. Teams are usually small enough so that meetings can be arranged around athletic commitments.
- FTC - The Build season is fairly long, so it may be possible, with planning, as long as your kid does not play sports in both the fall and winter.
- FRC - The Build season is short, January/February followed by a short competitive season March/April. A winter sport is impossible.
Will this interfere with my kid's other activities?
Robotics is compatible with Boy and Girl Scouts and like activities. Problems would only arise if the activity is at a very high or competitive level.
What type of kids enjoy participating in FIRST Robotics Teams
At the Jr. FLL and FLL level most kids do, provided they enjoy playing with LEGO products.
At the FTC and FRC level there is also a wide variety of skills needed; therefore, a wide variety of kids can enjoy being part of the team. Mechanically inclined kids and those interested in programming are natural fits but kids with creative skills are also needed. The team works like a small engineering firm with business, language, visual arts, and public relations skills a must. Basically any kid interested in working on something bigger than themselves, with a good work ethic, and an ability to focus and learn will do well on FTC and FRC teams and learn valuable skills for the adult world.