(1) As I look back on those early years it amazes me to remember just how humble the beginnings of FIRST were. Here we were in our third year as a team which would have been the 7th year of FIRST and there were “only” 5 regional events in the entire country (Houston, Chicago, New Brunswick, NJ, Detroit and Manchester, NH) … these were followed up by the national championship at Epcot Center, Disney World. In 2017, we have more competitions available in New England than existed in the entire country in 1998.
So here we are basically stuck with the knowledge that we love this program called FIRST (or, at minimum, can appreciate its value!) and we have just lost our sponsor. [and for those who don’t know, the program is expensive! – worthwhile, but expensive!]
Our QPS leader at the time was Dr. Angela Avery who coordinated all the chapter 74 programs for the Quincy Public Schools [automotive, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, culinary, etc.] and, as a result, she had contacts through the advisory committees of those programs. One of these contacts was with The Gillette Company, so she approached them and somehow convinced them that this FIRST program was a worthy investment of their resources. As a result, we managed to stay in the game for year three.
One of my favorite robots for sure…and the year FIRST probably started creating new rules based on teams like ours…
One of the things you should notice here in my second musings is how, in the early years, our team gear changed from year to year and involved student created artwork. Recent alums are used to our professional looking Team HYPER shirts [more on this in future musings…] but the early years involved more student driven inspiration and changed from year to year. It helped that we also had lots of wall space in the CTE to draw on and create art…those days seem long gone.
Many years ago, I wrote a “Mr. Long’s Musings” for our website as the build season moved along and certain things caught my attention. Over the holidays prior to this FIRST season, I came across my stash of team gear that I have collected over the years and immediately wanted to use that gear to reinstate my musings… it may be simply that I am aging ungracefully and wish to live in the past, but it is equally likely that I wish to remember some age-old truths and remember/thank a few people along the way.