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  #76   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-09-2013, 11:21 PM
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

I'm going to agree with Karthik and his John Abele quote and take it one step further, the only kids who lose in FIRST are those who don't participate. Regardless of having a record like 254 or being that team that has never brought home a single banner the students the kids are better for having participated in a program like this.

Every program teaches it student's different things 254's kids come out of that program with a truly impressive skill set but look at a group of kids like two time(!) rookie-all-star winning Apollo 4354 maybe they can't CAD to industry standards but any one who thinks FIRST hasn't changed their lives for the better is crazy. I don't think any one can say which program is "better" we(FIRST) just need to as a whole need to get better in seeing the wonderful things about every program.

The powerhouse teams, get held up under a microscope, and not shockingly occasionally kids/mentors/parents fall short. These occasions seem to be all anyone wants to remember not that time that a powerhouse helped them out or hosted a workshop ect.

But at the risk of sounding like a broken record at champs or your next regional off season event or even just send the powerhouse teams an email talk to them. Use common sense (if they are just leaving for a match come back later, if it is clearly broken come back later, ect be polite) you will find all of the powerhouse or HOF teams would love to help if they can.

There is no shame in admitting someone is better than you at something doesn't make them a better person just means they have skill you haven't figured out yet. The only shame is if you are too proud to ask for help and to learn.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 11:11 AM
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

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Originally Posted by Mc Kenna View Post
There is no shame in admitting someone is better than you at something doesn't make them a better person just means they have skill you haven't figured out yet. The only shame is if you are too proud to ask for help and to learn.
Hit the nail on the head! Oh and forgot to add...just like this competition is not really about the robot...it's also not about always winning at competition.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 05:42 PM
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

I think if a FIRST student is commenting on another FIRST teams robot video they need to think who else is going to see it. Yes, you may be upset because their robot is way cooler than yours but that gives you no right to be rude or falsely accuse them of not designing and or building their robot. Of course the purpose of FIRST is to have the student design and build it and that is usually what happens, but we need mentor help. (that is also why the mentors are there) Mentors are key to success because they offer more wisdom and insight for example if your mentor is an engineer, they may have tried to create something like what you want to do and it may not have worked. It is important to have communication between mentors and students. Students should not be so quick to shut mentors down and vise versa. In conclusion, mentors are great, some teams may be better than you but its ok, and watch what you say because you never know who is going to read it!
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Unread 04-11-2013, 10:57 PM
Shane 2429 Shane 2429 is offline
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

okay, so here is my two cents. i have mentored FLL teams for 3 years and i have seen mentors from other teams at that level of FIRST be way too involved with the building of the robot. I have also seen teams at a regional where there are more mentors then students working on the robot or even at the regional. My team personally has had problems in the past with some over bearing mentors. I'm just saying mentor built robots do happen and should not be written off as a complete lie or myth.

Last edited by Shane 2429 : 04-11-2013 at 11:03 PM.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 11:07 PM
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

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Originally Posted by Shane 2429 View Post
okay, so here is my two cents. i have mentored FLL teams for 3 years and i have seen mentors from other teams at that level of FIRST be way too involved with the building of the robot. I have also seen teams at a regional where there are more mentors then students working on the robot or even at the regional. My team personally has had problems in the past with some over bearing mentors. I'm just saying mentor built robots do happen and should not be written off as a complete lie or myth.
Nobody cares if it happens in FRC. If you care so much, you're missing out on improving on your own team.

Plain and simple: you don't know how another team runs. Just end this looping discussion. It always leads to nowhere.
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Unread 04-12-2013, 08:06 AM
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

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Originally Posted by Akash Rastogi View Post
Just end this looping discussion. It always leads to nowhere.
I disagree. These forums give everyone the opportunity to state an opinion and their point of view instead of keeping views isolated. It allows those who have a concern about these types of issues to voice their concerns and then have others respond with differing ideas. One of the fundamentals of FIRST is the exchange of ideas. You never know who might make a valid point here and give a rookie team/team member some unexpected and valuable encouragement or ideas on how to make their team better. Viewed rationally and logically this is really nothing more than an exchange of ideas IMO.
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Unread 04-12-2013, 11:40 AM
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

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Originally Posted by Shane 2429 View Post
okay, so here is my two cents. i have mentored FLL teams for 3 years and i have seen mentors from other teams at that level of FIRST be way too involved with the building of the robot. I have also seen teams at a regional where there are more mentors then students working on the robot or even at the regional. My team personally has had problems in the past with some over bearing mentors. I'm just saying mentor built robots do happen and should not be written off as a complete lie or myth.
I think you need to separate FLL & FRC for the purposes of this discussion. There a very specific rule differences between the two; FLL coaches are NOT supposed to be working on the robots or projects. I've been at events where teams have been disqualified for awards because the adults were seen working on the robot in the pits, with kids nowhere in sight.

This is VERY different from FRC, where mentors & coaches are supposed to take a more active role. And, depending on your interpretation & how your team works, possible hands-on role. It really comes down to individual teams, and many people's tendency to assume things. Unless you're actually working with a team for a while you really shouldn't decide that a mentor holding a pair of pliers at a regional translates to "mentor-built robot". And even if it did, it's probably irrelevant. We need to remember that FRC isn't about the robots.
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Unread 04-12-2013, 03:20 PM
yarb65 yarb65 is offline
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

Year in and year out this comes up. I have my opinion but I will hold it for now.

As a coach the biggest problem I have is explaining a percived inequity by parents. They often do not believe that mentors should be building the robot. They also question me about mentors setting the robot in the arena. I had one parent say to me that if we are using sports as the model what is the coach doing on the arena floor being the quarter back. I believe only students should be allowed on the arena floor.
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Unread 04-12-2013, 09:38 PM
Anupam Goli Anupam Goli is offline
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

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Originally Posted by yarb65 View Post
Year in and year out this comes up. I have my opinion but I will hold it for now.

As a coach the biggest problem I have is explaining a percived inequity by parents. They often do not believe that mentors should be building the robot. They also question me about mentors setting the robot in the arena. I had one parent say to me that if we are using sports as the model what is the coach doing on the arena floor being the quarter back. I believe only students should be allowed on the arena floor.
Using the sports model, I'd say a mentor coach is more like the head coach of a baseball team. He writes the batting order, the fielding lineup, decides when to yank the pitcher, etc. That's what a coach is meant to do. I see no problem with a mentor being the coach of the drive team and helping set up the robot. The coach in this case helps position the robot (akin to writing the batting order and fielding positions), provides match strategy (deciding when to pinch hit, when to bunt, etc.) and keeps the drivers focused (mound visits, pep talks).

The OP had a pretty good point, and I'd hate to see the thread devolve into an argument about mentors vs students.

On topic:
I personally think FIRST should come out again and say that FRC is meant to be about inspiration, no matter who touches the final product. I don't know how effective the last time Woody said it was, but maybe people need a reminder during kickoff and during the pre-regional video that they record for every event. That, or instead of working on getting more FRC teams, we should work on getting much needed mentors and resources to those teams that exist today.
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Unread 04-12-2013, 10:26 PM
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

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That, or instead of working on getting more FRC teams, we should work on getting much needed mentors and resources to those teams that exist today.
The hardest resource to come by in FRC is the one you can't buy: a well-trained, experienced, well-intentioned, dedicated mentor.
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Last edited by PayneTrain : 04-13-2013 at 12:03 AM.
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Unread 04-14-2013, 04:14 PM
Ian Curtis Ian Curtis is offline
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

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The hardest resource to come by in FRC is the one you can't buy: a well-trained, experienced, well-intentioned, dedicated mentor.
Or someone passionate and naive enough to start along that path. These people are what we really need, because well-trained experienced mentors are a zero sum game. You can't get one unless someone else loses one. The real trick is to give passionate naive people the experiences they need to become experienced dedicated mentors.
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Unread 04-14-2013, 05:35 PM
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Re: UNgracious UNprofessionalism

That's why I think new team formation should be more amoeba-like than a collection of pieces being mixed together to make a team. Those teams able to make a "practice" robot should just split that machine off to make another team, taking some of the talent that created it along. Oh yeah, it's not about the robot. aw, snaaaappppp!
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