Championship conference presentations we'd like to hear

The FIRST Championship events each feature a free conference series with dozens of sessions on many topics of interest to the Championship attendees.  Here are some of the conference presentations we'd like to attend in 2019.

Karthik & 1114: Effective FIRST Strategies 2016 - Championship Conference

#1

Extracting the most resale value from your KOP

This talk will describe the presenters' experience with liquidating the portions of the physical FRC Kit of Parts that are not useful for fielding a competitive FIRST robotics team.  Attendees will learn how to use various marketplaces to recoup a small portion of the $5,000 FRC initial registration fee by selling unused throttle and window motors, plastic bearings, plastic linear guides, and assorted crimp terminals.


#2

Failing forward: creating safe spaces for iteration

Many newer FRC mentors may question how to design activities that perfectly challenge their students while ensuring those students emerge successful at the end of the task.  Our presentation shows that a more effective method is to craft an environment where mentors team up with students to be challenged together, and where failure is virtuous and celebrated.  The presenters examine various successful examples of this technique from their own experience.


#3

How to submit for the Chairman's Award when your team's mission doesn't align with FIRST's mission

We will explain why teams should still put in the effort towards the major FRC culture awards, especially Chairman's, even when they don't subscribe to the main focus of the award (growth) as it appears in FIRST's published criteria.  This talk will explain why your team's effectiveness in improving outcomes for individual students is worthy of recognition regardless of the tool used to make those outcomes possible.


#4

Advice to graduates: alternatives to traditional 4-year college

There's no one-size-fits-all plan for FRC graduates after high school.  With the cost of traditional undergraduate education continuing to rise and rise, value-conscious young FIRST alumni should consider the many alternative career paths that are available to them.  Conference attendees will explore various early career options including trade schools, apprenticeship programs, work colleges, volunteer programs, and military service.


#5

How I learned to stop worrying and love the BOM

The presenters describe how they made the activity of developing their annual Cost Accounting Worksheet (CAW) into a value-adding effort-- no longer an annoyance that distracted from the life-changing work of the team.  Attendees will learn how the team's business & logistics group engaged other student organizations at the school, including DECA and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), in a coordinated effort to gain a holistic understanding of the costs of developing a world-class robot.


#6

The safety glasses table and you: a guide for new alumni volunteers

In this session, attendees will learn how to embark on a rewarding journey towards their desired key volunteer position in FIRST.  Presenters will identify regions that have a sustainable long-term vision for their volunteers, a healthy personnel development pipeline, and volunteer coordinators who are willing to position new people in growth roles.  Attendees will receive resources that will help them become an essential part of FIRST volunteerism in their region.


#7

How to effectively navigate and overcome FIRST's student registration process

Participants will learn and practice strategies for defeating one of FIRST's greatest barriers to entry for students and parents: the registration system formerly known as STIMS.  In this workshop, presenters will share best practices for getting a large group of people through this onerous and artificial hurdle without detracting from the team's mission.


#8

Eat, Pray, Love: a framework for ensuring your students are nutritionally balanced and mentally stable

We discuss FRC's role in the high ambient level of stress experienced by current high schoolers, and we suggest how team leaders can better look after the whole health of their students.  We explore best practices for watching out for the mental and physical health of team members through an exhausting FIRST season.  Attendees receive one free travel-size stick of deodorant and a banana.


#9

Founding your own non-profit organization: how to incorporate to separate your robotics team from a school budgeting process that doesn't allow you to buy game pieces before they go out of stock for the season

In this workshop, participants will receive resources to help them create a nonprofit organization to gain control over their own funds.  We discuss the steps and tradeoffs involved in this process, as well as opportunities that are available to organizations that complete it.

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