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Unread 03-21-2012, 06:55 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

I'll post my take.

** this is only my opinion**

To the OP:

It is poor taste and not GP to make comments as you described. Shame on those who said those things.

On the topic of student involvement:

While I agree that there is no "e" in FIRST and mentor-driven programs do inspire students, I disagree that mentor driven programs are equally good for students. As a veteran of 2 student-driven teams (1747 9-11th grade, 2783 12th grade), I preferred doing things to watching things. Most students who I knew agreed. If I had been on a mentor driven team, I probably would have been bored during build season.

In addition, I belive it is critical to team spirit and morale for students to feel a sense of "ownership; students need to be able to have something on the robot or team that that they can say "that's MY work" or "I built/designed that". I know first hand that that feeling is among the best I ever felt, perhaps on par with when my team won a regional (Buckeye 2009) or when I was nominated for dean's list.

Student's are not stupid by default either. Given the correct initial training and a little Inspiration, students are very capable of building robots and running a team.

Last, I believe that mentors do have a role. I often refer back to my experiences on 1747 as a model of good balance; both mentors and students are involved, but students make all final decisions and do the majority of the actual work and mentors would help out as needed, supervise, and train students when needed.

On a side note, I will comment that good looking bots can be student-built to any degree; likewise, "less pretty" robots can also be mentor built to any degree (I have seen both). Please do not judge a robot's build history solely on its looks.
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  #152   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 03-21-2012, 08:23 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

I am troubled that you students were subjected to verbal abuse at Peachtree. Peachtree has always had the reputation of being one of the friendly regionals and I hope it always stays that way. I understand the frustration of ďthe have verse the have notísĒ and struggling teams competing against obviously adult build robot but thatís another topic.

Your robot this year and last year were not beautiful but they border on engineering elegance, which is a lot better. I know, I inspected both of them. But that not the important part. When I ask your students how it worked they knew, and could describe it in great detail and answered all questions. Believe me, that was not always the case.

The other aspect is beautiful robot donít win matches, good strategy and good driving does. We competed against you in finals last year and the semifinals this year and you beat us both years. No complaint, you had better machines, better driving and a more effective strategy. You deserve to win. They were great matches, great learning experience and lots of fun.
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Unread 03-21-2012, 08:30 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

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Originally Posted by sdcantrell56 View Post
"Viable" yes but seldom the best choice. For your particular strategy this year it seems to fit but you would have a hard time convincing me that mechanum is ever the optimum drivetrain. This is clearly not the point of this thread though so I'll leave it at that.
... and yet you felt the need to comment - hehehe. Well, I bow to your vast experience (oh wait, that is actually me). The students like to drive it, nothing else is more important to me.
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Unread 03-21-2012, 10:48 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

When the Championship was in Atlanta I was always there from 2005 to 2010.

In 2008 when 1114 was winning and eventually won on Einstein I strolled by their pit a few times and checked things out.

Two things struck me every time I walked by. 1) the students were doing all the work, and 2) that is a robot that was within reach of a lot if not all teams.

A team with a proper design process and a good disciplined work ethic can get this done. It isn't magic, nor a genie in a bottle......

In 2010 we were working on a video project and I was walking around looking for people to interview. Several times I walked by 234's pit and I saw a flurry of activity. The students were working very busily on their robot and I didn't want to interrupt. We were getting some interview footage with girls on teams and there was they girl intently working on the robot, she had robot up to her elbows and armpits.

I never did interrupt them. The students were too busy working. We never did get to interview that girl.

bottom line: those students owned those programs..
.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 11:19 AM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

Quote:
Originally Posted by wireties View Post
... and yet you felt the need to comment - hehehe. Well, I bow to your vast experience (oh wait, that is actually me). The students like to drive it, nothing else is more important to me.
Vast experience with what? I've been involved in 5 regional victories, chairmans, and EI in addition to a World championship design award in the past 4 years and yet I can't find a single regional victory to your credit. I guess I must just be applying my lesser experience in a more productive manner. My students like to win, so I'll stick to enabling that.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 11:38 AM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

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Originally Posted by sdcantrell56 View Post
Vast experience with what? I've been involved in 5 regional victories, chairmans, and EI in addition to a World championship design award in the past 4 years and yet I can't find a single regional victory to your credit. I guess I must just be applying my lesser experience in a more productive manner. My students like to win, so I'll stick to enabling that.
Dont forget the kids - its all about the kiddies. "Trick loves the kids"
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Unread 03-22-2012, 12:17 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

I was a hater once... A long time ago.

When I was first introduced to FRC, it was at Duel on the Delaware 2005 with 816. We didn't have the best robot that year (or one that could turn) so many of the older members of the team spent their time belittling better teams when they bested us. I remember walking through the pits with a junior and being shown the 'Engineer Built Robots' and being told that 'If we were handed a robot we'd win too'. I believed them for a bit.

Fast Forward to the 2006 build season - we built an crap on top of crap robot that year. No plan, no CAD, just design as you go. At that years CMP we were ranked 86th in our division out of 86 teams. I heard the same sob stories from the upperclassmen as I did at DOTD. As I watched the Newton Eliminations and Einstein* with some of my teammates who were also freshmen, we came to a conclusion - 'We need to learn how to build robots on the same level as those teams if we want to win'.

From then on, our class (Class of 2009) worked harder and harder each year to build better robots. When we took over the team in 2008 our robots improved substantially thanks in part to what we learned from the few elite teams we spoke with. We were the undefeated #2 seed going into alliance selections in NJ that year when we finally realized that it was/is possible for students to build a 'good' robot with minimal mentor intervention.

The reason I shared that story was to illustrate two points:

1) More often than not, students who are haters are taught to be haters by others - I've even seen entire teams where there was an underlying 'hate those who win' culture.

2) It is possible for Students to build a robot with minimal mentor involvement, have it look 'professional' and compete with and/or be an Elite-Tier team. (Not saying that Elite Tier teams are mentor built)

IMO, if we're ever going to 'fix' the problem of haters it's going to be through educating them. A simple 5 minute talk with a student might be all it takes to change their opinion.

* Newton and Einstein 2006 were host to some of the most spectator friendly matches in the History of FRC.

Last edited by thefro526 : 03-22-2012 at 12:46 PM.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 12:32 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdcantrell56 View Post
Vast experience with what? I've been involved in 5 regional victories, chairmans, and EI in addition to a World championship design award in the past 4 years and yet I can't find a single regional victory to your credit. I guess I must just be applying my lesser experience in a more productive manner. My students like to win, so I'll stick to enabling that.
FIRST is a great experience for the students. For mentors it is philanthropy, not a professional accomplishment. I was speaking of the real world. And you need to be more careful with your language and tone.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 12:33 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefro526 View Post
2) It is possible for a Student Built robot to compete with the big boys.
I liked your story and found it interesting, but this just struck me because it seems like you're implying that "big boy" teams' robots are built by mentors.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 12:42 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

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Originally Posted by huberje View Post
I liked your story and found it interesting, but this just struck me because it seems like you're implying that "big boy" teams' robots are built by mentors.
My apologies, I should go back and clarify that point.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 12:48 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

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Originally Posted by wireties View Post
FIRST is a great experience for the students. For mentors it is philanthropy, not a professional accomplishment. I was speaking of the real world. And you need to be more careful with your language and tone.
In the future I'll try to add a couple "hehehe" instances into my posts. Thanks for all the advice.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 01:07 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

Quote:
Originally Posted by wireties View Post
FIRST is a great experience for the students. For mentors it is philanthropy, not a professional accomplishment. I was speaking of the real world. And you need to be more careful with your language and tone.
The kids on 2415 win because they want to and they work hard at it. And I find that to be a personal accomplishment. Why? because the kids are learning a ton and doing a ton. It is a professional accomplishment for me as it is for Sean. It is a credit to how we (mostly him and the others) are great mentors and can accomplish things when we as a team set our minds to it (and have a little luck).

And I see nothing wrong with his tone or choice of language.

Also, I am not sure why winning isn't important. "You play to win the game." With the caveat that once your students aren't learning and you aren't accomplishing the goals of FIRST, you have issues IMO.

Regardless Martin, I am really sorry that people were making those comments. But I know if they got to know either of our teams, they would quickly change their state of mind. Hell, I even thought that about yall but didn't make a statement till I got to know your team and understand it and see the error in my ideas - because that is childish and immature (both which i am but in a professional sense).
Like Dustin, my kids got demolished their first year but they learned enough and worked hard enough to get to yalls level and finally beat 1771 in 08 (and then win with yall the same year at palmetto!).
Regardless, I looked up to yall and still do.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 01:09 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

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Originally Posted by sdcantrell56 View Post
In the future I'll try to add a couple "hehehe" instances into my posts. Thanks for all the advice.
Good luck to 2145 in St Louis! If I make it there perhaps we should meet and talk. I'm buying!
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Unread 03-22-2012, 01:17 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

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Originally Posted by santosh View Post
The kids on 2415 win because they want to and they work hard at it. And I find that to be a personal accomplishment. Why? because the kids are learning a ton and doing a ton. It is a professional accomplishment for me as it is for Sean. It is a credit to how we (mostly him and the others) are great mentors and can accomplish things when we as a team set our minds to it (and have a little luck).
I never said anything about 2415 - I am sure you guys are awesome. If you look back, my first post in this thread is very positive and about a great team local to us (148-RoboWranglers).

Quote:
Originally Posted by santosh View Post
And I see nothing wrong with his tone or choice of language.
Clearly I got under his skin somehow and I regret doing so. Best of luck in St Louis!
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Unread 03-22-2012, 01:32 PM
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Re: Sippin' on the haterade

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Originally Posted by wireties View Post
FIRST is a great experience for the students. For mentors it is philanthropy, not a professional accomplishment. I was speaking of the real world. And you need to be more careful with your language and tone.
I know at least one of the Dow 30 treats it as much more of a professional accomplishment than philanthropy. As always I'm sure your mileage may vary though.
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