Conference Presentations At The 2010 Championship

I’m curious to hear how the conference presentations went and if everyone had a chance to attend that wanted to and, you know, all the good stuff!

There was an extraordinary line-up, that’s for sure.

Thank you to the presenters, the panels, the participants and attendees.


I attended both of JVN’s presentations on Wednesday. The design process presentation was great as always. John’s a pretty funny guy when he wants to be, and the humor made the presentation entertaining, as well as informative.

The panel discussion on consensus in design was really cool to see. All of the panelists represented teams with historically successful robots. There were plenty of different ways that each team was run, but something they all shared is a strong process oriented approach to problem solving and engineering their robots. It definitely drives the message home that the successful teams are good year-after-year because of the process in place, as well as the leadership that keeps it all on track. While people may say that it’s a lot easier when you have a lot of resources like these teams do, I say that maybe they have the resources for the same reasons that their robots are good: they have a plan in place to get what they need and they won’t stop until they achieve the plan. When a team becomes successful, more good people want to join the team and it just builds on itself.

I would highly recommend attending these next year if JVN decides to do them again.

I presented “Build Your Team While building Your Robot” - and we crammed some teambuilding exercises into the 45 minutes session that I hope everyone enjoyed. If you attended and want more ideas that I mentioned but didn’t have time to do, just e-mail me!

This was my first time attending the Championship, and my friends and I went to the Panel Discussion. We were all looking forward to learning better ways of managing our team. I was relieved knowing that other teams share the same problems we do, and how they solved those problems was great to hear. We will be considering the ideas spoken at the Discussion, and hopefully will implement them this coming year.

The excellent panel shared how they create a strong strategy, prototype ideas, and how the students have the majority of say when it comes to robot design.

I think the Discussion could have went on for a few more hours after it ended due to the amount of questions that were posted. Still, it was a very helpful discussion.

Thank you to the panel and presenters for sharing their inspiring ideas.

One of my favorite conferences at the Championship event was Karthik’s “Effective FIRST Strategies”. From the beginning, his energy and enthusiasm was enough to carry the presentation, but it didn’t need to. It was in depth, interesting, informational, and I enjoyed that he listened to his audience and took questions as it went. If I only got to attend one conference over the weekend, I would have defiantly picked his. I noticed where some things we do in our scouting come from, and after seeing the presentation I’m inspired to improve upon our own scouting and develop some new technology/methods for scouting and data!

Unfortunately, he was only able to get though about half (if not under half) of his presentation. It was very informational, and I would have LOVED to hear him talk more, but they had to get ready for the next conference after his. He was nice enough though to field some questions and talk to people outside during the next conference. I’ve downloaded the 2009 presentation online, and if anyone has the 2010 or knows where the 2010 with him talking is, please PM me! I hope it won’t end up like 2009’s, when I didn’t get to go to ATL and he didn’t want it streamed. I was disappointed.

Thanks to everyone attening the “Chairman’s Chat” panel presentation on Thursday afternoon. FIRST asked if we would expand to a double session due to interest/questions last year. I wasn’t sure if a double session would sustain the interest level, but thanks to the panel and many of the attendees, who stayed the whole time, a double session was definitely a good idea.

On behalf of the panel, I hope all who spent the time got some good tips from our Hall of Fame representatives.

See you next year in St Louis!

Cyber Blue students and mentors presented two topics, one on the work we did to get to a swerve drive robot, and another on how to obtain and maintain sponsors.

Both were well attended.

From the attendance and questions, it is obvious that many teams are struggling with funding and sponsors.

Both presentations will be posted (powerpoints) in the next few days here on CD and on our team website.

JVN’s discussion panel was amazing and very well attended. To my surprise, the lead mentor of my team attended, as well as 3 sophomores, a freshman, and a few juniors, ON THEIR OWN! I was so excited to see these young kids take the initiative to learn from such great mentors.

I watched Karthik’s presentation and both of JVN’s. Karthik’s was a riot… a very informative riot. I wish I could have taken my 2791 teammates to all of these. Hopefully one or two of them will make it on the web.

I attempted to takes notes as the panel gave us such us great advice. I tried to give names or numbers when I could but I had some problems due to some attendees talking behind me. It made it hard to hear but they were discussing in regards to their team.

I have attached the notes. As I said, some names and number are missing. Please forgive my grammar, punctuation and spelling as I was trying to get as much info down as I could at the time.


Decision making and compromise during a design process .doc (51.5 KB)

Decision making and compromise during a design process .doc (51.5 KB)

The panel discussion that we organized:
“Today’s Girls in Tomorrow’s Workplace – A Panel Discussion on Careers in Science, Engineering, & Technology”

I thought was a huge success. (I couldn’t make it, but did get reports back). There was standing room only with lots and lots of questions, and it could have lasted twice as long. Thanks to our panelists listed below.

We have already had many requests to repeat this next year. If anyone has a suggestion of panelists feel free to contact me.

I believe that the discussion was recorded and hope to make it available.

Giannella Alvarez, VP Global Glaceau & Fuze Business, Coca Cola
Rashmi Kumar, editor of Perspectives on Urban Education Journal
Karen Albrecht, engineering site director, Lockheed-Martin
Natalia Correa, Scientist, R&D, Kimberly Clark
Debora Massouda, Chem. Eng. Research Fellow, DuPont
Moderator - Priscilla Zawislak, Reg. Affairs Manager, Ashland Inc

(Giannella actually didn’t make it as her plane was late, but she has already committed to doing it next year, so I’m including her name)