[FRC Blog] Quiet Rooms at FIRST Robotics Competition Events

#1

Blog post can be found here:

In recent years, several FIRST Robotics Competition events have been experimenting with ‘Quiet Rooms.’ These are rooms in less-trafficked areas of venues set aside as quiet spaces for participants to de-stress and take a break from the general business of the event. They typically have chairs, tables, and resources for quiet activities such as coloring and crossword puzzles. Our friends at The Compass Alliance, as part of their Hear for You campaign, have developed resources for events to use in putting quiet rooms in place. These are being shared with FRC event leadership. If you would like to, you can take a look here.
FIRST is not requiring Quiet Rooms at events. While the feedback we’ve received on Quiet Rooms where implemented has been very positive, we recognize that not all events may have the space or other resources required. However, we are asking all events to consider the option of implementing Quiet Rooms.
It’s also important to recognize that Quiet Rooms are not intended to take the place of professional counseling or emergency services. Any event attendee experiencing a crisis or emergency should contact emergency services on-site or phone the appropriate service.
We believe this is a step forward in our ability to provide positive experiences for event attendees, and want to give a big thanks to The Compass Alliance for all their work in making this happen!
Frank

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#2

Absolutely love this idea, as a past teammember mom of someone with Autism and current coach with two members on our team with sensory issues this should be amazing ! Everyone deserves a chance to be a part of FRC, however competition is a sensory overload for all let alone sensory sensitive tram mates.

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#3

How about they lower the volume of the main event? My ears are always ringing after two days in the arena, and some of that time is with earplugs.

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#6

Personally I’d love to just sit in a quiet room during lunch and listen to some music with my headphones to take a break from all the business. I think it’s a great idea.

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#9

I’m aware of at least two teams that, if there was a quiet room at their events, would likely be taking full advantage of it. As in, the entire team, multiple times per day, over the course of the event.

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#13

I don’t personally have an understanding of what the impacts of having such a room, as I’ve never felt the need to use it. I’ve worked with multiple autistic students on our team though, and I could see how they may find respite there. If a venue can provide such a room without significant burden, and some folks find it useful, I don’t see how it could hurt.

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#14

I think that this is a great idea, however I will not be able to use it :smile::smile::smile:

#15

This is really great. Especially at worlds, this is really needed. I remember at one event, DTE, Consumers, and Andymark had “lounges” last year, and boy did those help me through my first year on the team in these crazy competitions.

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#16

Um where is our technician?

They went to the quiet room.

Where’s the quiet room?

I don’t know?

Hey someone go to pit admin and make an announcement to find our technician.

Its a quiet room they wont hear it…

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#17

According to our RD, the introduction of quiet rooms is partially in response to a post-competition suicide that happened last year. As described in the blog post, clearly this isn’t comparable to medical help, but if it helps save a single life I’ll be glad.

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#18

Oh my gosh, that actually happened? That’s really sad. How could that possibly happen? Robotics is a happy thing, it brings joy.

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#19

I suffered a TBI in my freshman year and still suffer from Post Concussion Syndrome. Competitions are EXTREMELY taxing for me, I usually spend the sunday after in bed getting over headaches. Rooms like this would have been a great help these last 3 years, and I’m really glad this is something FIRST is starting to implement.

P.S. I’m medically cleared to put my brain through the stress of competition, it just takes a toll!

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#20

Robotics competitions are absolutely a great thing and one of the best environments to be in that I can think of, the day after competitions are different though, you’re physically exhausted, probably going through some level of sleep deprivation. Competitions are emotionally taxing as well, you’re dealing with multiple days of extreme highs and lows, your dopamine/serotonin levels are probably drained and if the event didn’t go so well for you and your team it only adds to that fact. Not to mention the potential stresses of having to go back to the ‘real world’ (which depending on your situation in life can be way worse than others; work, school, home issues, bullying, etc. things that aren’t fun to talk about but are absolutely real). Combining some of those factors in can paint a different picture, that’s partially why I like competitions ending on Saturday, a day of rest to decompress can be beneficial to a lot of people.

I think others have talked about this topic in better detail, it’s not true for everyone obviously but it’s still something that people should be aware of. Hopefully these rooms can help reduce this kind of fatigue.

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#22

100% this. Even machines need downtime for preventative maintenance. Yeah, missing work/school on Friday can be inconvenient, but mental/physical health is more important. I very much disagree with Sunday-ending events for this very reason.

I know that while I won’t ever need to use this service, others may, and I’ll definitely need the day off afterwards to recharge before returning to my day job on Monday.

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#23

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#25

I can’t tell if this is joking/sarcastic, but to address this point:

If your technician is stressed enough to need to be in a quiet room, you shouldn’t be going to find them, because they’ll come back when their mental state is good enough to do so. Trying to get them to work when they’re in need of a quiet room would defeat the purpose of the room.

If you’re worried that they’ll go hide in the quiet room despite not needing it, you should find another technician.

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#26

These rooms do seem like a good idea, but I think part of the point of FIRST is to be stressful, especially high levels, just like a real job. Dealing with stress is a real life skill, and that should be kept in mind. (Although I do know how loud it can get from music etc)

#27

No, the point of FIRST is to inspire. It’s in the name, people. Any correlation to the real world is secondary. If someone needs 5 minutes, half an hour, or more of break in order to improve their experience during the rest of the competition, so be it. I don’t know why it needs to be controversial.

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#28

If being on the driveteam is stressing a student to the point that they need the room for an overly extended period of time (assumption being that you get around an hour between matches), it might be wise to look into changing the driveteam.

Stress is understandable, its hard behind the glass. If youre missing matches though, something needs to be addressed to fix the situation for both the student and the drive team.

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#29

To be clear, I totally support this idea. It’s a great idea for those who need it, and just as a place to rest during breaks etc. To clarify what I said earlier, I just think that FIRST is partially about giving an engineering experience, and part of that is stress, and people should be used to dealing with stress.