View Full Version : Question re: Sub-Teams
10-04-2001, 11:51 AM
After a shaky rookie year, our team is working hard to have a more successful run this year. I was reading one of the guides to starting a team on the FIRST website and it mentioned breaking teams down into five sub-teams with a student leader on each team. The document, however doesn't name the five sub-teams.
Does anyone out there have sub-teams? If so, what are they, what is the function of each, and how are your student leaders chosen?
Any help would be appreciated!
10-04-2001, 12:18 PM
This is our organizational chart last year (available as a link off of www.massacademy.org/first).
This year we split in a similar manner, and reassigned some jobs.. but the general idea is the same. The main positions are held by WPI mentors and this year, they will also have non-rookie students of the team as co-leaders these divisions.
On my old team we had similar setups. It works out really well in terms of making sure things get done, because the responsibility is always someone.. and with a heirarchy there is a system of checks and balances to ensure things are working orderly
hope that helps a little :)
10-04-2001, 12:20 PM
trying to get the picture to show (did it wrong last time apparently!!) sorry for posting twice!
hopefully this works.. if not, just go to http://www.massacademy.org/first/orgchart2001.jpg
10-04-2001, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the help!
Just for clarification because I am not familiar with WPI/Mass Academy...you said that the main positions are held by WPI mentors. Are these adult or student mentors?
10-04-2001, 02:21 PM
We tend to break things down by function:
Vehicle - the part that gets us around the field
Manipulator - the part that does stuff when we get where we're going
Compliance - Keeps track of weight and other rule compliance
During fab any student who is standing around may be drafted by any team to help with what they're doing.
We also have administrative/fundraising teams. These are broken down differently and the organization there changes from year to year depending on our fundraising activities. Each student is a member of at least one technical team and at least one administrative team. Students that have been around two or three years can be student lead for a team. Each team also has an adult mentor.
It may sound silly but the Compliance team is probably our most important technical team. We weigh every part before it's installed, including fasteners. Since we started doing this our estimated weights have never been more than 1 lb. off our official weight. Also before a part is built or installed we have to show how it complies with the rules. So we've never had to change a critical component because it was made out of something not legal either.
It may not be the best way, but it works for us
10-04-2001, 03:15 PM
How the WPI/MassAcademy team works is a common question.. so here's a little background and info for everyone.
WPI is WPI. 4-year techie school w/ everything from mech and elect engineers, management info systems, system dynamics(!), comp sci, anything and everything slightly technical (and even not)
The Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science is a 2-year public high school for students in the state of Massachusetts. Students apply and take tests to get in and attend for the their junior and senior years of high school. I think there are somewhere between 50-100 students per class (jr/sr. not sure though.. know it's more than 50 and less than 100.. so that's why the range is there). What's special about our kiddies is that they spend their junior taking classes at the Academy and then their senior year as 'freshman' at WPI. The take classes like and with us WPI students and then do a senior project for the Mass Academy.
Our only 'non-student' team member is Ken. He's our faculty advisor and pretty much runs the team on the whole. A couple MassAcad teachers give a hand here and there as well...
The mentors = WPI students
the 'students' = Mass Academy juniors/seniors (and some Doherty HS folks)
So the main positions like Ops, Controls, Mech, Support are held by the 'mentors' and there will be a 'student' assigned as their co-leader. Some of the positions on the support side of the heirarchy are held by 'students' though.
That's it- maybe a bit more than anyone wanted, but oh well! :)
We find it helps the team run smoothly and give the WPI students especially some exposure of running projects and structures etc that you will find in the work place, among other things
10-04-2001, 05:47 PM
Actually, our team just decided our sub-team compositions today. For the past four years (and more probably) we have gone with two to three sub-teams for actually building the robot and then sub-teams for other stuff.
For example, this year, our sub-teams are:
in the past, we've had other sub-teams such as strategy. We've found our format to be quite effective in dividing up duties.
10-04-2001, 07:28 PM
If you are interested take a look at our site (www.raiderrobotix.com) and follow the links to "Workings of Raider Robotix" to see how we divided up the jobs in 2001. It will be similar in 2002
10-04-2001, 10:26 PM
We actually have 15 (yes, 15) subteams. However, we have 52 team members (up from 20 last year) and each member is on 2 or 3 teams, giving them the oppurtunity to participate in many different aspects of the team. Each team also has 1 or 2 student subteam leaders. Since this is the second year the team is at Bellarmine, most subteam leaders are team members from last year.
Anyway, the list of all the subteams is at http://demon.shangrila.org/~krazikamikaze/newrobot/team.php?order=subteam . You can click on a subteam to find out more information about it, same thing with team members. Also if a team member or a subteam is in bold that means they are a team leader.
10-05-2001, 07:22 AM
Team 535's subteams:
OPS - Operations
CAD - Resposible for all the AutoCAD drawings.
Base - The driving part of the robot.
Payload - Anything attached to the base.
Animation - Work on the website and animation video.
Finance - Keep track of all the money coming in and going out.
Playing Field - Build the playing field
This is how our team started out but I can tell you from experience that allot of people crossed over into other subteams. We had guys (and gals) in the CAD dept. doing milling and building. So the subteams, for us, was only on paper. We only had 18 students and 5 engineers.
Hope this helps.
10-05-2001, 11:47 AM
Well, for my team, the subteams change in preseason and when the actual compitiion/building season starts. In preseason, we have subteams dedicated to the Chairman's award, PR, Fundraising, FLL Mentoring, Pit Design, and then we also break off in groups and go learn the basics of Machine Shop, Pneumatics, etc, etc.
Once the competition season starts howver, we seperate into a defined organization. First off, we have 4 main sections:
in these rather broad subteams, we seperate further. I for one can only speak about mechanical, because it is what i did. Last year we had a chassis, drive, arm, wing, pneumatics/grippers, and an integration team responsible for making everything fit togehter. This organiziation was taken in part because we wanted the robot to be as modular as possible. All the different subteams made a part, with pointers from the integration team, and then all the parts were assembled. This allowed people to focus very tightly on certain aspects of the robot, and allowed our robot to be very organized and very easily repaired/modified.
This is just our method of organization. Most of the subteam leaders are mentors, although some are students. We try to have at least one mentor per subteam.
I Hope this was a help, and just some advice: The more organized you get, the better you will do. It sounds really annoying and crazy, but trust me, its not, and it works...very well.
The Miracle WorkerZ
"uhoho! GO MOE!"
10-05-2001, 02:37 PM
Yeah, I'm going to have to agree with Nick on this one. I was on the animation team, but got to watch all the mechanical guys work out their stuff and then assemble it all.
The ONLY problem that you have to watch for with sub-teams can be rivalry. It's mostly in fun, but some people feel their work is more important than other's, but when it comes down to it, everything plays a role, and without one part, the rest wouldn't be the same.
As long as you watch for the rivalry thing, subteams are a great way to get a team focused. And as far as animation, we broke it down even further. We had character subteams, environment subteams, storyboard teams (although some teams consisted of a single person :) ). Anyhow, hope this helps too.
10-08-2001, 12:04 PM
Thank, everyone, for your input and suggestions!
As a side note: I've read several postings in other threads that say teams may not be as willing to help each other because of this year's National qualification rules. I even saw a post that said some teams may be so desperate to get to Nationals that they would sabotage other robots.
Unfortunately, a few pathetic teams may make those predictions come true when the time comes to compete, but I think the helpful responses posted in this thread (and others) are proof positive that the spirit of cooperation is alive and well among the teams involved in FIRST.
Now, don't we all feel warm and fuzzy?
Thanks again! I hope we can return the favor sometime!
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