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View Poll Results: What is the makeup of your drive team?
Atleast 1 African American student 53 13.09%
Atleast 1 student of a minority other than African American 134 33.09%
All white, male drive team 60 14.81%
Atleast 1 female 251 61.98%
All female drive team 11 2.72%
full minority drive team 32 7.90%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 405. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 03-20-2017, 01:50 PM
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African Americans on drive teams

I come from a predominantly African American school and robotics team. Our drive teams have almost always been made up of 50% or more African American students. I've come to the conclusion that a large amount of team's drive teams are made up of white males which isn't a surprise to me. That leads me to believe that my team is a bit unique. I'm curious as to the makeup of your drive team, what does your team do to ensure that minorities (African Americans, Latinos, Women etc.) have an equal opportunity to represent your team on the field, and how you feel your team does at promoting first to minorities.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 02:06 PM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

In our team's first year our student and mentor mix was predominantly Caucasian. I, as the only Asian, joked that I was the token minority on the team. We did, however, have a good mix of female mentors and students. I'd guess about 20%. Our drive team that year had a female drive coach and a 50/50 mix of male and female students.

As our team has been growing we have taken on a better representation of the minority cultures living in our community. We have about 25% female students and 40% female mentors. Once again our drive team is composed of a female coach and a mix of male and female students. They are not all Caucasian.

Our team takes pride in treating everyone with equal respect and dignity. To become a member of the drive team there is an application process - you have to show the right mix of skills and teachability - but your gender and race have nothing to do with it. This works both ways - we don't show a bias against any particular people, but neither do we try to ensure "appropriate representation". Whatever happens, just happens.

I am fairly certain the answers you may get from other teams are going to be highly region specific. For example, Toronto has a very large Asian community, and we have met and competed against many teams who are predominantly Asian. Again, we don't feel that this is exclusionary - it is simply representative of the areas they draw from.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 02:14 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

Should have also checked that we have at least 1 female on our drive team, but I can't modify my poll selection. So add a +1 to those results, please!
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Unread 03-20-2017, 02:18 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

I voted for the wrong option, oops.

Take 1 off the all white/all male drive team, add 1 to the at least 1 student of minority other than african american.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 02:28 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

Our city's demographics are 76% white, 17% black/African, 6% Latino, other categories 3% or less.

As a team, we don't track minorities specifically, so all of this is from memory. We do a bit extra effort to recruit from minorities. Our team's 20 2017 students are at least (includes overlap):
  • 10% Asian descent
  • 25% black/African descent
  • 5% Latino
  • 25% female
  • 10% first generation Americans

In the seventeen drive team positions of the past four years (2014-2017), we've filled at least five positions with African Americans and four with females (includes overlap).

As to "what we do," we recruit minorities heavily then let them compete for positions the same as everybody.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 02:41 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

Perhaps a better question would be how do your drive team demographics match your team demographics? How do your team demographics mach your school demographics? How do your school demographics match your community demographics?

I could check the "all female" button. Our drive team has always been all female. As have all of our students. The team comes from an all-girls school, so our demographics make sense. We have the option of inviting boys onto the team (There's an all boys school across the street), but the team has always decided not to, in order to better represent women in STEM and inspire younger girls.

When it comes to racial demographics, our team roughly matches the school demographics. Drive team is picked entirely on merit, after those interested (Which is a filter on the team that we have no control over) take a suitable test (both written rules and driving the robot). The results of the testing are anonymized and presented to the team leadership for selection, ensuring personal feeling does not come into the selection. So in any given year, the racial demographics of the drive team are likely to be different, and may or may not accurately represent the rest of the team.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 03:08 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

As an all girl team, we're 100% girls driving. Except for me, as the coach, not sure I count though.

Interestingly, we had a judge ask us why we excluded boy's from our team. Was a female judge too, she seemed rather upset over the fact that we would consider running an all girl's team... to each their own, I guess.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 03:29 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

I agree that this question has more to do with your team demographic. My highschool team had no African Americans on it, so it had none on driveteam. That being said in driveteam selection gender/race played zero role in selection. It was purely based off of skill and ability. I believe most teams make their selections based off skill regardless of race/gender, so being in a minority makes no difference for a chance to make driveteam. I am all for anybody being on driveteam/representing their team regardless of being a minority group.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 05:22 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

I feel that while racial diversity and equality is a great thing to have, when it comes to positions like drive team and chairman's I personally believe that sections should be based on skill. And whover happens to be the most skillful, be they white, black, purple, blue, male, female should fill those positions.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 06:07 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

To echo others I believe race and gender shouldn't be considered as long as the team can honestly say they have the most deserving students on the drive team. As a coach I may not put the best team on the floor. My decision is based on ability and dedication and attitude. The kids know who they want too and almost all the time I agree with their decision.
That being said.
We have a boys and a girls team at our school. We took 7 boys and 8 girls to our regional.
Of the boys
4 white
3 native American
1 jr.
6 freshman
Drive team 3 white 1 native all freshman
The girls
5 native American
1 African American
2 white
Drive team 3 native 1 African 1 white
Our school is on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, a HS population of 200 students 9-12 and about 85% Native American
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Unread 03-20-2017, 08:42 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

Being an African-American myself and an important role as drive team (co-driver/operator), I would still have to echo what others say on this thread. Race/gender shouldn't be taken into consideration when deciding drive team. If all white people are the most dedicated and the most hard working and want to be on drive team, then so be it. Now, this does not say that there should not be encouragement for minorities to participate, but it really is based on their own will and dedication.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 09:02 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

These are skill positions, they are earned by the most skilled applicants.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 09:13 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

I voted in multiple categories. This year, the robot drivers are white males, but the human players (which are part of the drive team) include 3 students that rotate through the two HP roles. of those 3, there is one white male, one white female, and one minority female. Last year we had a minority male backup driver, who did drive some matches for 1 event.

Our team is in a fairly white suburb, but I didn't realize how white until I just looked it up. 92.4% white, and only 0.7% black! I think we do pretty well at including and encouraging young women, but it's pretty clear the town itself could use more racial diversity.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 09:24 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

To go in a completely different direction from the rest of the commentary in this thread:

What do you actually hope to learn from this poll? I'm always confused when people create polls asking things like this on Chief Delphi. Voluntary response polling in an online forum like this is likely not going to give you a representative sample of...well, much of anything.

Polls on CD are useful if you want to explicitly gauge the opinions of people on CD, or gather information about solutions used by teams whose members post on CD - this can often be a useful thing to do, because people who post here generally have informed opinions about certain things, or are on relatively successful teams. But they're probably totally useless as a method of gathering sociological data, or as a litmus for the opinions of people in FRC in general.

Before constructing poll questions on CD, I would suggest asking yourself the following: Am I really interested in Chief Delphi, or in FRC at large? If the latter, is the data I get from Chief Delphi really going to reflect all of FRC?
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Unread 03-20-2017, 09:48 PM
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Re: African Americans on drive teams

We only had 7 on our team (all caucasian), and the 2 females wanted to be a part of either scouting or pit crew, instead of driving.
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