Its that time of year again. Building our team for next year starts with you. Here’s how we recruit for next year. Though the community like to see
The Career Academy Wolf Pack Robotics Teams’ mission is to inspire young people to pursue fields in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs. The program seeks to build 21st Century skills in related technical areas by fostering innovation and well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, problem solving, teamwork, communication, and leadership.
Each student is required to complete an application. Applications will need to be emailed to Mr. Ebersol as soon as possible. Please read the application carefully and answer all questions. The essay portion should reflect qualifications you can bring to the team and/or what you want to learn by being on a robotics team.
I’m always open to suggestions, I’ve been updating this process for 5 years now. I was actually trying to get a html link to the PDF so I can post it to our school social media pages. Thought I could use CD as a work around, but it didn’t seem to work that way.
Here are the questions I ask each student during the interview process. Everyone must apply and get interviewed even those hoping to return to the team.
Honestly We can only allow 45 students on the team, which isn’t hard as last year we reached capacity. We only have 400 students in our high school with 50 applying to the team. Last year we only had 1 senior graduate and this year we will have 12, so much more room.
I believe they’re are two types of people who belong belong in FIRST, people who are good for the program and people the program is good for.
The application process honestly has very little to do with being accepted onto the team. It is mostly to get our Career Academy students used to filling out applications and being interviewed. My interview lasts about 20 min for each student and I take extensive notes during and let them know what went well and what they need to improve for next time they interview for something. I used to be a hiring manager at a bar and have seen some train wrecks I’m hoping these students will be able to avoid because of this.
I have all access to all their personal contact information like address, but I make them put it on the application anyway. I also do not accept application that are folded or stained, they must redo them. Which is a pain when they have to go back their teacher references and get signatures again because they weren’t responsible enough with their original application.
I have no relation to this team, but I think this is a worthwhile discussion and would like to get more detail on your rationale and potential alternatives. I tend to think more in terms of tryouts than just an application, however–is your concern with the application piece or the downselect piece?
From my perspective, if it’s a space/resource constraints issue, I definitely don’t see an issue with application/tryout process… there has to be some way to narrow down a large number of interested people to what the team can accommodate. Constraints here may be multiple factors–size of physical space, sufficient adult oversight for safety, mentor/student ratio, etc.
I don’t like going solely off of a paper application, but I would argue that tryouts can be a good way to check motivational fit. It’s not unusual to have students show up only because their parents want them there (to put it on their college application or go for scholarships). Doing a tryout over a period of weeks can verify that the student actually wants to be there and wants to contribute to the team. Just an application is insufficient for this (as it can be parent-guided or even parent-written), but a tryout will provide better insight.