Over the years, FIRST has greatly influenced us and we wanted to pass on the FIRST spirit to our environment. During all this time, our main goal was to show people the beautiful side of science and technology, which was revealed to us by FIRST. The project inspired us to make a difference in our team, our school, FIRST community, and our nearby community.
A big part of the Spikes spirit is being a family. Even after the season, and even when you’re no longer a team member. Almost all of our alumni have been here during the building season; they’ve all been here for us, and not just for the robot. Our alumni aren’t just with us; they all stay in the FIRST community. For example, Niv Aharonovich and Guy Muchnik, two of our alumni, established an organization named MOST (Mentors of Science & Technology). One of the main projects of the organization is an annual robotics competition called “Project Falafel”, which has been held for the past two years and gained more and more popularity in the FIRST community ever since. It is the first branch of FIRST that is exclusively based in Israel. Most alumni continued in the most elite units of IDF and university programs, studying engineering, exact sciences, and technology. For instance, about 40% of our alumni are engineering students.
“When I came back to Israel, I felt like an outsider, until I found myself within this great family that gave me a home. I can say that without FIRST I wouldn’t be in the places I am today”. Niv – CEO of MOST.
Another big aspect of our work is our strong and ongoing relationship with our sponsors. For the team they are more than just sponsors, they’re our mentors, and are a crucial part of the team. All of our sponsors send representatives whom took a big part in the design, and building process.
Another aspect we take pride of our independence. Even though our school doesn’t allow its students to major in robotics, as a group of motivated students we have managed to do the impossible: getting an entire school involved in FIRST. The team members were so fascinated by the project and science in general, that they have continued on with recruiting more and more members, as well as mentors and sponsors, merely because of our love to science and technology, even though we never got school credits for our work. The team members show every day and every season their devotion to FIRST, with a spark of true interest in their eyes.
“I’m so grateful for the outstanding influence FIRST and the team had on me. Before joining the team, I never believed I would be capable of handling such advanced technology, building a robot myself. FIRST proved me wrong.” Hila Hefer – Team alumnus and Software Engineering student.
“Before getting involved with FIRST, I never imagined that I’d be interested in engineering. FIRST inspired me to want to become an engineer”- Nadav Kampf, alumnus.
A long lasting great tradition of ours is our Summer Program, which is held each year for the past four years in a row, and is targeted at educating teenagers from all over the area- Lod, Ramla, Shoham, Rehovot, Gedera, etc.
At the workshop, we focus on robotics, and of course, science and technology. It is a seven day long workshop, in which young students are invited to our school, and get to experience a little taste of a true FRC season. At the beginning of the workshop, our team members present the students with a real challenge that was given to us in the past, and then we start simulating a real building and planning progress. First, we brainstorm general ideas and thoughts regarding the challenge, and then we get to jump right into the deep water! With our help and guidance, the participants get to build and program a real, driving, functioning robot, while learning about the real exciting aspects of engineering as well as team work.
We take great pride of the program, and it has enabled us and many other teenagers to evolve and grow in many ways.
“During the summer workshop I found new friends, and a new family. I learned that I’m capable of such great achievements in such short time. Who’d have known that a bunch of teenagers could actually build an awesome robot?”- Golan Hertz, participant.
“It was a learning experience. It gave me a whole other perspective on FRC and FIRST. It made me understand the importance of inspiring teenagers to pursue careers as engineers and scientists.” – Bar Danino, counselor and team member. We believe that the summer program is an effective and fun way of exposing teenagers to the wonders of science and technology, thus it one of our most loved traditions.
Due to the great success of our cooperation with Lod’s municipality on the summer workshop, we’re currently in the progress of expanding our activity by starting a new program (similar to the summer program) called Triple L (Lod Lego League) which will be held in Lod, of course, and will simulate an FLL competition. The goal is to allow teenagers under the age of 15 to be introduced to FIRST. The Triple L course will be a seven day long workshop for two elementary schools in Lod, which will later compete with each other in hopes of winning the title of Triple Master. Lod is an underprivileged city, and schools cannot afford to participate in FLL, which means that this is the only way for them to get a taste of science and technology.
Also about traditions, this year has been the fifth year that we represent the FIRST program in our school at the open days. In those days people from all over the area and especially Lod come to the school to admire the school and our project- each year more than 600 people come and get exposed to it. Each year we are amazed by the ever growing amount of people who want to get in and learn about science and technology.
One of our major projects is our involvement with our little siblings- the FLL teams. Our strong connection is expressed through us opening teams and mentoring them- as we were brothers. This year, we opened a rookie team in Shoham, in addition to the other four teams we and our alumni have already opened, and mentored three main teams that reached great achievements in the FLL competitions.
“I will never forget the moment the team called me in 11 PM and told me that the robot works when I was sick. It was absolutely worth more than 300 hours of working with them”- Omer Sharon, mentor.
“We have a name- we are part of team no.2212” –Tal Cnowler, FLL member.
Being with those kids was an amazing influence on us, working with children who became a big part of your life.
During this year, we decided to take a big part in the FLL competitions – we were the only team who build more that 12 of the FLL kits, and translate big parts of the FLL coach’s guide. Many of the FRC team members went to almost every FLL competition as referees. Alan Green, Israel’s head referee, held a lecture in our school, concerning judging rules and how to judge in general. The participants of the lecture were FRC members from our team and from various teams from different cities. Even before the FLL kickoff, we started to translate parts from the coach’s guide, which were published to all of the FLL coaches in Israel. We built more than 12 kits in order to help FIRST with the procedures of arranging the competitions. During the FRC season various team members from our team built almost every kit that has been used in the regional FLL competitions in the country (there are ten regional competitions in our country). Also, the team took a large part in the FRC competitions, the team volunteered on every FRC game – off seasons and in the Falafel.
“The kids were amazing! I cannot wait to judge and be a mentor next year!”- Menahem Cohen, team member and volunteer.
One of our crown jewels is our very unique team spirit, which is famous all over FIRST. Thanks to our true FIRST spirit and enthusiasm, we believe we’ve managed to make a true difference in the FIRST community, “People who haven’t heard the Spikes scream out their lungs at the competition, have yet to understand the true meaning of FIRST spirit”- Yotam Kenneth, alumnus and FRC referee.
“Ask any FIRSTer what 2212 means to them. For some it will be the crazy designs that we come up with, for most it will be the cheering at events, but everyone of them will have an answer for you”. – Shir Ben-Mamas, team member.
“Honestly, 2212 you’re the best! You keep a great atmosphere during the competition and the project as a whole; keep on cheering and supporting your teammates like nut-jobs. That’s the way to go! Keep up the good work”- Eilon Cohen, a friend from team no. 2230.
Some of the support we give other teams all over the world, is by writing and publishing articles about various subjects such as building and programming in FIRST forums.
Also, a long lasting tradition of ours is the translation of the rules in favor of teams who don’t have the ability to fully understand the rules in English.
Our profound influence upon the FIRST community was also noticeable thanks to our tight connection to other FRC teams.
Over the years, it has been one of our main goals to help rookie teams, as well as maintaining a relationship with experienced teams. We strongly believe that FIRST is also a social project, and view the special connection with other teams as a bonus. We’ve won the Gracious Professionalism award three times in the past five years, and we feel that the prize truly represents our work and ethics.
As you can see, our team is major at many parts. We are inspiring kids in the FLL. We spread FIRST values all over the world and especially in our community and country. We are bonded to our school, mentors and sponsors. We are highly connected to our alumni and they continue with FIRST and in domains of science and technology. We are supporting others teams in many ways and having good relationship with all of FIRST community all over the world. We are volunteering and helping FIRST. We are part of FIRST. We are the spikes no. 2212.