•  Robotics Competition Team

     Howard Middle School




    Section 1. The name of this chapter shall be the Robotics Competition team of Howard Middle School.

    Section 2. The purpose of this chapter shall be to create interest in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), to develop research, design and programming skills, and to promote worthy leadership and citizenship through F.I.R.S.T LEGO robotics in students of Howard Middle School. 

    Section 3.  The mission of this chapter is: “To inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.” Our Vision is: “To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and were young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”



    Section 1. Eligibility:

    1. The membership of this organization shall be composed of students who are have completed the selection process. Applications must be turned in on time per the advertised schedule.
    2. Membership is open to any student of Howard Middle School.
    3. Candidates eligible for election to the chapter shall have a minimum cumulative, unweighted grade point average of 2.5 out of 4.0. This scholastic level of achievement shall be required minimum scholastic level of achievement for admission to candidacy.
    4. The selection of new, active members shall be held once a year during the first semester of the school year.


    Section 2. Membership in this chapter is an honor bestowed upon deserving students, and shall be based on the criteria of Leadership Abilities, Team Work, Positive Attitude, and Creativity.

    Section 3. Dues:

    1. Annual dues for this chapter shall be $50.
    2. Dues will be payable to the chapter adviser prior to the first week in October.
    3. Students will not be denied team participation due to an inability to meet this requirement; students in need of financial support need to communicate this with the Team Advisor(s) in order to facilitate the free and reduced process.



    Section 4.  Expectations:

    1. Students:
      1. Will attend scheduled meetings, workshops, seminars, and outreach events. While your academic and family obligations come first, meeting your obligations to the team may mean re-arranging your schedule to be able to participate in community service, training, and other activities. To get the most out of what FIRST Robotics has to offer, and to be a team member that others can count on to contribute to the team’s success, every team member needs to commit to making full participation in team activities a priority.
      2. Follow the MCPS Code of Conduct.
      3. Respectfully follow the direction of Advisors/Mentors at all team meetings and activities.
      4. Represent the Team and the School at all times. Students will make every effort to be positive role models.
      5. EVENTS: All eyes are on you every minute you are in public. Your behavior is a direct reflection on your character and on our team. A judge or member of another team may over hear what you say to one another and how you say it. Even the expressions on your face and body language may bring unwanted negative attention and bad impressions. Students are not allowed to have physical conflicts with each other. If a problem such as this arises, both students may be disciplined and may be removed from the team.
      6. COOPERATION: Students are requested to cooperate at all times. This means that if someone requests you to do something you will comply with the best of your ability. Ignoring the directions or requests of any one on the team is not in the team's best interest. If you feel a request is out of order, you are encouraged to complete the task then speak to the sponsors at a later more appropriate time.
      7. CHEERING: Cheering is more than yelling at the top of your lungs. Cheering is enjoying the event and celebrating the excitement of the moment. You are not expected to be cheering 100% of the time, however, when we are cheering all team members are expected to stand and cheer to the best of their ability. Sitting in the stands looking bored, carrying on personal conversations while others are cheering is not good for the team image.
      8. AWARD CEREMONY: During the ceremony we will applaud the teams that are winning awards. When we applaud we may stand to show our respect for what they have accomplished.
      9. LITTER: If you see a mess (paper or trash) you should make an effort to pick it up. That goes for the area you are sitting as well as any other location in the arena.
      10. COMPETITION: Our competitions take place in a number of facilities and under different conditions. Some competitions are out of state and therefore involve overnight accommodations.
      11. Violations of the Student Code of conduct may lead to discipline up to and including removal from the team. Discipline issues will be handled according to the school policy and overseen by the Faculty Advisor(s).
    2. Faculty Advisor(s):
      1. A teacher and/or School-appointed adult who acts as the liaison between the team and the school.
      2. Monitors the standing of each member (grades, behavior, and attendance).
      3. Communicates to the schools and schedules school facilities.
      4. Assists with grant proposals.
      5. Coordinates yearbook page with school yearbook staff.
      6. Determines appropriate school and team recognition awards.
      7. Supervises team activities.
      8. Serves as “contact” with FIRST organization.
      9. Serves as “shipping contact” with FIRST organization.
      10. Maintains open communication with parents, mentors and students.
      11. Coordinates parent and adult volunteers for team activities.
      12. Coordinates mentors for team meetings.
      13. Supervises travel plans for team.
      14. Supervises handbook updates.
      15. Maintains registration, attendance, safety contracts, and other private student records.
    3. All Parents:
      1. Provide additional support of the team, including chaperoning, making travel arrangements, providing meals, transportation (people and robot), general supervision (non-mentorship), donation of general supplies/snacks/water, craft-type expertise (including sewing) and assisting team mentors as requested.
      2. Must have a current background check on file with the MCPS.
      3. Supporting your son or daughter in all aspects of their team involvement is key to them getting the most out of the program.
      4. Provide timely transportation for the student. Making sure that they are at the required events on time and ready to participate. We will not delay transportation.
      5. Upon return from an event parents are expected to provide transportation at the designated time. Late transportation causes an inconvenience to all involved.
      6. Attend the mandatory parent meetings.
      7. Help your child fundraise. Team members are expected to participate during our fundraisers.
      8. Provide spending money as is appropriate when we are at events or competitions.
      9. Encouraged to participate in team activities whenever possible.
      10. Make all trip payments on time (if applicable).
      11. Turn in all forms by due date.
      12. Communicate any concerns directly to any of the Faculty Advisor(s) as soon as they arise.
      13. Support the team by attending competitions and events.
      14. Help setup/breakdown lunch at competitions.
      15. Be an advocate for the team in the community.



    Section 1. Meetings shall be hosted on a regular basis.

    Section 2. Meetings will be conducted beginning at 3:35 p.m. after school.

    Section 3. Meetings outside of the aforementioned meetings selected by the general members may be called when necessary. Example scenarios include, but are not limited to, a holiday occurring on the regularly scheduled meeting date or the need for additional work to be done on the robot to prepare for competition.

    Section 4. Occasional field trips for learning purposes may be taken in lieu of, or in addition to, regular meetings. All members who wish to attend must have a completed code of conduct and permission form turned in to the Faculty Advisor(s) prior to the trip.

    Section 5. All chapter members are expected to attend all regularly-scheduled chapter meetings.

    Section 6. Members can only have 2 excused absences in a competition season.


    Section 1. Any member who falls below the standards of scholarship, leadership, character, citizenship, or service may be dismissed from the Howard Middle School Robotics team.

    Section 2. If a member’s cumulative grade point average falls below the standard in effect when he/she was selected (2.5), he/she will be placed on probation and given nine weeks to improve.  If the cumulative grade point average remains below standard at the end of the warning period, the student will be subject to further disciplinary action that may include dismissal from the chapter.

    Section 3. Violation of the law or school regulations can result in dismissal of a member.  These violations include, but are not limited to stealing, destruction of property, cheating, plagiarism, bullying, truancy, or possession, selling, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at school or school-related activities.  Members that receive Out of School Suspension may be dismissed.

    Section 4. Robotics team members are expected to maintain the highest standard of behavior.  Offenders of the school conduct code who receive a disciplinary offense will receive written warning notification and be placed on probation.  Members must report all offenses to the Faculty adviser(s) as soon as they occur.  If a second offense is received or a member fails to report an offense, the member may be dismissed.

    Section 5.  If a member misses two general meetings without notice of excusal, he/she will be given a written warning and placed on probation.   If the member misses another general meeting following a written warning, the member may be dismissed. 

    Section 6.  Excessive tardiness, whether at the start of or being picked up from meetings/events, are also grounds for dismissal.

    Section 6.  Any member that misses a competition without notifying a Faculty Advisor is subject to dismissal.

    Section 7.  A member can only be put on probation once.  If a member falls under the probation period a second time they may be dismissed.



    Section1. The responsibility of safety lies with each member of the team. Each club member is required to abide by the safety practices of all club and event facilities.

    Section 2.  Club members will be required to maintain a clean and organized work area. In addition, club members will be required to clean up work areas at the conclusion of a workday. This process may include sweeping the floors, sweeping the work surfaces, putting away tools, putting away materials, and/or disposing of trash.

    Section 3.  Team members will be required to wear proper clothing at competitions and in work areas such as closed toed shoes and correctly fitting clothing.

    Section 4.  Horseplay will not be tolerated at any time on school property or at any event.



    Section 1.   Example FLL Budget

    FLL is the second least expensive program in FIRST. The figure below shows a breakdown of a standard FLL season budget (travel and personal costs are not included):




    Item (per FLL team)

    Costs ($)

    Team Registration & Field Kit


    Tournament fees (qualifying to state champs)


    Project Supplies/Overhead






    Next Season registration seed money




    World Champs (ONLY ONE TEAM FROM STATE)                 $1000

    Money is estimated - The above total does not cover WORLD CHAMPS OR TRAVEL


    Section 2.  Organizational and corporate grants are our primary source of funding. Grants vary in size and come from different private and public companies and organizations. This money is often earmarked in the grant requirements for registration and/or a specific FIRST program. Money awarded from grants cannot be expected to subsidize travel expenses.

    Section 3: General fundraising is our secondary source of funding, which includes, but is not limited to, the follow methods:

    1. Fundraisers (i.e. bake sales, car washes, golf tournaments, baby-sitting night, and more).
    2. Personal donations.
    3. Local and corporate business donations.


    Section 1. These by-laws may be amended by a ⅔ vote of the chapter, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been given to members at least one month prior to the vote.  The exceptions are Articles III and IV (selection and discipline), which are developed by the Faculty Advisor(s) with the approval of the principal.

    Last Amended: September 26, 2018