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Beth Sweet
07-16-2005, 12:52 PM
I guess that I'd like to post this question mainly to college teams. How do you deal with summer break and a year round program?

I know that on our team, (and the second I post this I'm going to get an email saying I'm wrong) none of our mentors live within an hour of the college and all have either summer jobs or internships. I would love to continue to do things over the course of the summer (fundraisers, etc) but the entire mentor base is so scattered this just doesn't seem possible.

Are other college teams experiencing this problem? How do you all cope?

Anthony
07-16-2005, 03:54 PM
Hopefully some good stuff will come from this thread as we have the same problem only flipped. All of our students are from all over the state and are not at school during the summers, but all of the mentors live within half an hour. Hopefully we can get some ideas as to how to coordinate stuff over the summer.

Timothy D. Ginn
07-16-2005, 07:54 PM
I guess that I'd like to post this question mainly to college teams. How do you deal with summer break and a year round program?

I know that on our team, (and the second I post this I'm going to get an email saying I'm wrong) none of our mentors live within an hour of the college and all have either summer jobs or internships. I would love to continue to do things over the course of the summer (fundraisers, etc) but the entire mentor base is so scattered this just doesn't seem possible.

Are other college teams experiencing this problem? How do you all cope?

First of all; let me say I'm not on a college team per say, but do have experience with a few (http://www.myams.org/) student (http://asus.queensu.ca) governments (http://compsa.queensu.ca/) that are dealing with the same problem.

What I've observed is that the governments who have at least one person coordinating things at the University tend to be a lot better organised and efficient. Location really can matter for some things, and the benefit of that is great (even if the people are working full time at something else).

That said; there's only so much that can be done over the summer when geography is a problem. I'd say that there are certain types of work which are better suited to being completed over the summer when people are more isolated and these things mainly are:

Planning (thinking up new programs to do, where to start a Lego League team, where to fundraise, who to approach, etc.)
Technical things (e.g. web stuff, practicing programming neat things, etc.)
Chairman's/Broader Team Activities (e.g. RCU (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=78), openFIRST (http://www.openfirst.org) , FIRST Wiki (http://www.firstwiki.org) and other FIRST Related Organisations (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=61) )
Graphic Design / Team visual identity things
Cleaning/organising the working space (not necessarily the most fun thing to do; but valuable none the less)

Doing all of those is helped immensely if you keep in contact with the people on your team you should be working with (be that through e-mail, AIM, MSN Messenger, Phone, Skype, or whatever other medium works best).

That said; if you're planning, don't plan out every little nuance without consulting the students you're supposed to be guiding, etc. that just leads to a feeling of being left out and does more harm than good. Broad, general things and laying the groundwork for some ideas should be good, though.

Anyway, best of luck with your summer plans.

Jizvonius
07-16-2005, 09:08 PM
What can I say, every college team is going to have some problems depending on the membership. A few questions though. Are the mentors that you are referring to the college students? and are they closer to the high school than the college?

If it is more convenient in terms of distance to meet at the high school, maybe there could be some weekend meetings there. I wouldn't suggest working on anything that would require a lot of fabrication time, but design concepts and documentation could be done on the robot side. Also, some organizational brainstorming can be done (in terms of space, fall and spring schedules, communication, etc.) in smaller groups that are closer to each other. How much you can actually accomplish over the summer depends on just how separated everyone is and how motivated they are to still get something done. Either way, if nothing can be physically built or done, the communication should still be maintained between members if only to be able to hit the ground running in the fall.

On our team, we luckily have a few college students taking summer classes, and we coordinate with our high school students to work on some projects. We have run into some issues with most of our members being gone, but we just work with who we have, and keep everyone else posted. It's not my ideal situation, but we do what we can. Good luck with your team and what is left of this summer.

Jevawn

Beth Sweet
07-16-2005, 09:12 PM
What can I say, every college team is going to have some problems depending on the membership. A few questions though. Are the mentors that you are referring to the college students? and are they closer to the high school than the college?


Sorry for my lack of clarification, somehow in my mind, everyone knows everything about my team, lol... Yes, the mentors that I'm referring to are the college students, they are the team's only mentors other than 1 teacher from 1 of the high schools, and 1 dad. The high schools are in the same basic vicinity as the college and the mentors (college students) are all about 1 hour away.