Thank you for reaching out to us regarding the attainment of varsity status for your team.
In the Steps To Varsity tab in this site you will find several things that might help you in your quest. One of the most important is a letter detailing our process which includes tips when beginning your own path to varsity. You will also find photographs of the robotic emblem created by our team which is available for your use through our manufacturer at no charge. The image cannot be copied and given to another manufacturer, as that does belong to us. Similarly you will notice a virtual letter with the FIRST emblem in the center. Thanks to the Bedford Express Team 1023 it may be used without incurring a set up fee should you choose to use the same manufacturer. If you choose a different manufacturer for your letter, this virtual image will give you an idea of how your letter might look once it is created.
We have also included a section from our team handbook which discusses the requirements for student team members applying for varsity status. Though our team is a varsity team, not every member receives varsity status. It must be earned by demonstrating a commitment and excellence in work generated for the team and is truly an honor. This means that a student may earn it one year and not the next. Letting parents know what our expectations and varsity requirements are, further aids in establishing a quality program that can only elevate those that choose to participate.
Providing your administration with a team handbook is something that we found they valued. Should you wish a copy of our own for your review, please let us know. We are currently updating our handbook and will be adding it to our site as soon as it is competed.
There are several photos attached which might aid you as well. Mr. Zachary Lemnios the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is wearing our varsity jacket. He thought that robotics as a varsity team was “Amazing.” He expressed his regret that varsity was not available when he was in school and his hope is that it becomes as accepted as lettering in football. An additional photo of Dr. Pamela Conrad an Astrobiologist working for NASA on the Curiosity Rover project is included as well. We met her at her lecture regarding women making strides in STEM and the need for efforts at the community level to raise the bar and draw our young women into the sciences. She, too, was impressed and pleased to see students taking an active role in making STEM appealing to our youth.
Included in our photo file are images of a framed version of our chenille emblem that we present to our STEM Partners, our letter jacket, Libby Kamen wearing our jacket and a virtual image of the letter with the FIRST logo noted above. The Swiss Insert that we use for successive years on the team may also be purchase through our manufacturer in your team colors. Aperture has also created a gold robot pin that we use as gifts for our sponsors and STEM partners as well as recognizing our team leaders. We do offer this pin for sale should you desire a special recognition that speaks specifically to robotics.We hope that these images and documents will give your administration the visual and informational confirmation they may desire and make it a bit easier to justify your request for varsity status. Though in some areas of our country varsity status for an academic team is a radical concept, in others it is very common. Reminding your administration that educating our youth in STEM ensures jobs and a career path that other disciplines do not, will indicate your underlying motivation for this honor. Receiving varsity recognition will show the entire student body, in a fashion that they understand, that the administration values STEM and chooses to recognize students for their talents in this area.Let us know how we can be of further assistance to your team or club. Our contact information can be found in the Contact Us tab on this site.
We hope that you will “Make It Happen” in your school.
Yours in robotics,