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  #76   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-14-2012, 07:05 PM
Michael Blake's Avatar
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by AdamHeard View Post
I agree with your sentiment and would be upset in a similar situation, but I think you've made your point clear, and Jess has made hers clear, and you made yours clear again, and she made hers clear again... so on.

Look for other events to attend that will allow multiple robots, and/or be content with a single robot for this event (or choose to not attend). We don't go to Calgames for that reasons as there are several other California events more reasonable priced that allow multiple entries.
Got it... I'll retire from this thread... THANKS, Adam!
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Last edited by Michael Blake : 05-14-2012 at 07:08 PM.
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Unread 05-14-2012, 07:31 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by JaneYoung View Post
I'm not referencing any teams. I'm referencing our state, Michael. Teams like 1477, 3847, 118, 1587, 57, and, to an extent, 148.. are making strides in helping to strengthen our region by reaching out and helping other teams.
Is there a reason you felt the need to call attention to 148 and point out they're only helping strengthen your region "to an extent"? If you asked teams in Ontario "which Texas team has most affected the growth and learning experience of your team?", the answer would most likely be a unanimous vote for 148. I'm not trying to "twist your words or turn them into something they are not" [sic], but I did find this call out, quite puzzling.
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Unread 05-14-2012, 07:47 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by JaneYoung View Post
- Teams too often only think about their own advancement and their own rate of success.
This is the definition of a team who will accept help. I wish ALL my teams cared passionately about their own success. My experience with 6 rookies this past season is that there is no lack of help, but lack of teams who take advantage of it or admit they need it.

(Sorry to be off-topic.)
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Unread 05-14-2012, 08:08 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by Karthik View Post
Is there a reason you felt the need to call attention to 148 and point out they're only helping strengthen your region "to an extent"? If you asked teams in Ontario "which Texas team has most affected the growth and learning experience of your team?", the answer would most likely be a unanimous vote for 148. I'm not trying to "twist your words or turn them into something they are not" [sic], but I did find this call out, quite puzzling.
It's funny, I didn't consider 148 a call out. In my opinion, again, 148 has done some work in Texas, directly, to help with the fast growth and sustainability issues that the region has faced in the past few years, since the Dallas Regional came into being. They have done superlative work at regionals, like the Alamo Regional, as far as trouble-shooting, problem solving, helping to get the teams up and working... at the regional. If I were to make a complete list of teams that have contributed to developing programs that help rookies, young teams, and struggling veterans teams, before they get to the regionals, I would have to include other teams that were excluded from that short list, including 2158, the ausTIN CANs, who have donated the space and team energies towards the development of TRR in Texas. It was not meant as a call out or a slight. 148 moves and competes on the global level, regarding competition for the Einstein glory. John's work and contributions with white papers, Championship conferences, and one-on-one behind the scenes mentoring with individuals and teams, impacts the FRC community.

There are some teams that have traveled to 148's facilities in the past few years and have been worked with and mentored by the team. The standard of excellence that 148 maintains impacts teams that pay attention and who learn about 148 via competing with or against them or by word of mouth or through videos, networking through Facebook, Chief Delphi, and other resources that I am unaware of.

What the team actually does to help with developing the program in Texas regarding sustainability and team development for the teams that are new and struggling, is not as evident as their other initiatives.

Michael Blake just said, "There's no "program" or group initiative in Texas for those who truly desire to get to all-around "Black Belt" level...." John talks about the strength ranking and getting past the 5. As an FRC World Champion in Texas, 148 is in a very small minority with those bragging rights. We have one WFA in Texas. Texas is a very big state and has had a boatload of new teams come into the program over the past few years. There are also good teams and there are strong teams. There are no other 148s around that are capable of helping Texas teams understand the value of an all-around "Black Belt" level or... how to get to that level, in my opinion.

I was coming in here to apologize about posting again and to encourage Michael Blake to look into starting such a program, gaining the support that he and the team would need from World Champions, CCAs, and WFAs. By working to do that, it would also bring in some of the Texas teams who are consistently competing well and bringing home the gold and recognition, and the teams who have succeeded in achieving a sustainable program. The 7s, 8s, and 9s.

I have great respect for 148 and for their contributions. I also have great respect for the teams in Texas who are working very hard to strengthen their areas/regions to help the teams reach 3s, 5s, 7s, and oh my gosh, wouldn't it be amazing... 10s.

If I've rambled, sorry, Karthik.

Jane

Edit: Meredith, you posted while I was writing. That post is not off topic. It's actually a good topic. I would say though, that not all teams are receptive to help or assistance.
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Last edited by JaneYoung : 05-14-2012 at 08:13 PM.
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Unread 05-14-2012, 08:40 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by JVN View Post
It seems to me... there is emphasis within the community to advance teams from skill level 1 to 2, 2 to 3... but no one seems to care if they advance beyond about level 5 (especially those who are more interested in starting more and more and more and more level 1 teams).
It seems to me the last sentence holds the flaw in this logic. These outreach programs and pre-rookie experiences are designed so that there will be no level 1 teams. Through the cameraderie and connections made through competitions, teams gain many resources more than the hunger that comes from winning and losing. They gain friends, associates, colleagues, possibly sponsors.

Events that treat teams evenly, regardless of veteran status or accolades, raise everybody up. Pre-rookies start as 3s and 4s, and together we rise. Perhaps some of these teams that start with a borrowed robot may create black-belt programs in the near future.

I am fortunate enough to be on the planning committee of an offseason event in October. We choose to focus on creating a warm, inviting atmosphere to those new to coopetitive robotics. In 2009, we had two pre-rookie teams play with borrowed "practice bots" - one of them now hosts their own annual VEX competition; the other became Rookie All-Stars. That team went on to help another team - whose first FRC experience came at our event - they became RAS as well. Another pre-rookie from 2010 - Rookie Inspiration, RAS, Regional Champs in their first year. This past year, we hosted three pre-rookies; two of them won Rookie Inspiration, one won Rookie All-Star, Regional Finalist, and Regional Winner.
I'm not arrogant enough to say our dog-and-pony show created these soon-to-be-pillar teams, but I think every experience is helpful. The more the merrier.

The TRR planning committee had a decision - should they allow one team the opportunity for more drive practice and experience, or should they allow a new team the opportunity to be inspired by the event. I feel they made the right choice.

Our team isn't as competitive as many of our neighbors on the playing field - we're getting there though. But the kids are still inspired, they still go on to postsecondary ed in STEM fields, they keep in touch and spread the mission of FIRST - that's better than a full trophy case.
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Last edited by Taylor : 05-15-2012 at 06:59 AM. Reason: cleaning up 3494's achievements
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Unread 05-14-2012, 08:44 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
Our team isn't as competitive as many of our neighbors on the playing field - we're getting there though. But the kids are still inspired, they still go on to postsecondary ed in STEM fields, they keep in touch and spread the mission of FIRST - that's better than a full trophy case.
Why assume a full trophy case and spreading the message of FIRST (mentoring rookies) are mutually exclusive? Team 16 supported 6 rookies this season and earned 5 banners - I am equally proud of both.
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Unread 05-14-2012, 08:51 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
It seems to me the last sentence holds the flaw in this logic. These outreach programs and pre-rookie experiences are designed so that there will be no level 1 teams. Through the cameraderie and connections made through competitions, teams gain many resources more than the hunger that comes from winning and losing. They gain friends, associates, colleagues, possibly sponsors.

Events that treat teams evenly, regardless of veteran status or accolades, raise everybody up. Pre-rookies start as 3s and 4s, and together we rise. Perhaps some of these teams that start with a borrowed robot may create black-belt programs in the near future.
You can replace my quote that you mentioned with the number "4" and the point remains the same.
Of course you realize I'm not just talking about loaning robots at off-season events anymore, right? I'm waaaaay off topic at this point.

-John
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Unread 05-14-2012, 09:30 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by Meredith Novak View Post
Why assume a full trophy case and spreading the message of FIRST (mentoring rookies) are mutually exclusive? Team 16 supported 6 rookies this season and earned 5 banners - I am equally proud of both.
Of course they are not exclusive; much like this year's game, balance is essential.
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Unread 05-14-2012, 11:35 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

In talking about FRC teams, I once heard a wise man named Andy say that you can't judge a team unless you understand what it's goals are. In my few years in FRC, I'm glad to see that teams with different goals can still come together in this community and share a greater sense of connectedness. I know my team is humbled by the amount of work chairman's award-winning teams (yes, we do scout teams based solely on awards) put into helping other teams, and while my team helps out other teams when asked, I feel like we as a team are focused on getting our own house in order before we feel confident enough to take other teams under our wing. While that may sound self-serving, it is rooted in the belief that our team still has much to learn and accomplish before we will feel capable of being able to help other teams on a deep and meaningful scale.

Our team has traveled to three out-of-state events over the past few years. We have learned a great deal about the greater FRC community, and made connections with teams that run the gamut of any scale you could put on calibre of program. This coming year we plan on going to all of the Texas regionals so that we can participate more in the local community, and so that we can deepen relationships with friends we've made on other teams from here in Texas. It is my hope that in doing so, 2789 will continue to grow strong enough to someday be able to help other teams, rookies, rebuilding teams, or otherwise. Last year, the TRR was a great growing experience for us, and we are definitely looking forward to this year's roundup!

I would also like to point out that teams like 148, 118, 1477 and 16 mentor and inspire 2789 without even knowing it by not making it easy for us to beat them. :-)
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2014 Texas Robot Roundup Winners (with 624, 118 & Pearland Robotics Pre-Rookie Team)
2014 Texas Robotics Invitational Finalists (with 148, 3735 & 3999)
2014 Dallas Regional Quarterfinalists (with 2587 & 5057)
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Unread 05-15-2012, 08:40 AM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

I like ice cream. If I walk into an ice cream store, I will choose one of my favorites to go into my waffle cone (or a cup, if I feel like it). Then, I may put a topping on it or I may not.

Each time someone else goes into the ice cream store with me, they never order the same thing I did. How can this be? I like ice cream, and so do they, but they don't like the same flavors! Aaaaah!

Also, there are times when the folks who run this ice cream store don't have the flavors I like. Can you believe that?!!! Although this really frustrates me, I get over this treachery and I still order something. After all, it is ice cream. I like ice cream.

Andy
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Unread 05-15-2012, 08:56 AM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker View Post
I like ice cream. If I walk into an ice cream store, I will choose one of my favorites to go into my waffle cone (or a cup, if I feel like it). Then, I may put a topping on it or I may not.

Each time someone else goes into the ice cream store with me, they never order the same thing I did. How can this be? I like ice cream, and so do they, but they don't like the same flavors! Aaaaah!

Also, there are times when the folks who run this ice cream store don't have the flavors I like. Can you believe that?!!! Although this really frustrates me, I get over this treachery and I still order something. After all, it is ice cream. I like ice cream.

Andy
Andy Baker is my hero. I like ice cream too; mint chocolate chip to be exact.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 10:21 AM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker View Post
I like ice cream. If I walk into an ice cream store, I will choose one of my favorites to go into my waffle cone (or a cup, if I feel like it). Then, I may put a topping on it or I may not.

Each time someone else goes into the ice cream store with me, they never order the same thing I did. How can this be? I like ice cream, and so do they, but they don't like the same flavors! Aaaaah!

Also, there are times when the folks who run this ice cream store don't have the flavors I like. Can you believe that?!!! Although this really frustrates me, I get over this treachery and I still order something. After all, it is ice cream. I like ice cream.

Andy
Hi Andy!
I like ice cream too. I also like certain flavors more than others. Sometimes I like one flavor, other times I like other flavors. There are types of ice cream I really don't like (yes, not all ice cream appeals to me).

So the cool thing is, I'm part of this super-special ice cream club. A bunch of me and my ice cream liking friends get together and share our perspectives and opinions on ice cream. The result is, we work together to make BETTER ice cream!

Now, even after our club talks about it, sometimes there are flavors of ice cream I don't like. I don't eat these, and I just let the ice cream maker know I'm disappointed they don't have my flavor of ice cream. Sometimes the ice cream maker takes my feedback, sometimes they don't -- but at least they get to hear how I feel about the ice cream.

It is tough to make good ice cream without feedback from the ice cream community.

Ice cream is an iterative process.

-John
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Unread 05-15-2012, 10:46 AM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

List of Registered Teams can now be found HERE




(I really like ice cream... yum. Darn you guys are making me hungry...)
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Unread 05-15-2012, 11:13 AM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by jessjank. View Post
List of Registered Teams can now be found HERE
Jess, what's the team count cap this year? Last year I believe it was 32?

THANKS!
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Last edited by Michael Blake : 05-15-2012 at 11:20 AM.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 12:04 PM
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Re: 2012 Texas Robot Roundup

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Originally Posted by Michael Blake View Post
Jess, what's the team count cap this year? Last year I believe it was 32?

THANKS!
The cap is set at 40 for veteran team registration; we are reserving an additional 2 slots for pre-rookies that are in the works. 26 teams have completed registration. I have received expressed interest from more teams than spots still left.

We are currently in the Early Registration period until May 25th. Regular Registration closes officially on June 29th, after which the event committee may accept additional teams on a wait list.

Last year the cap was set at 30 teams. 29 teams registered. Two backed out before the event due to circumstances out of their control, two were no-shows.
__________________
~Jess Jankowitsch
Assistant Regional Director & Volunteer Coordinator - Alamo Regional FRC: 2010-Present
Volunteer Coordinator - Championship FRC: 2008-11, 13-Present | Event Director - Texas Robout Roundup: 2011-Present
Mentor - ausTIN CANs FRC/VRC 2158: 2010-Present | Alumna - Cybersonics FRC 103: 2001-05
Volunteer/Judges Coordinator - Pittsburgh Regional FRC: 2007-11 | FIRST Senior Mentor - Western PA: 2008-09
Emcee & Game Announcer - World Championship VRC: 2010-11

The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Student | Carnegie Mellon University, Class of 2005
jessjank@gmail.com

Last edited by jessjank. : 05-15-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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