I think a test about different robot components, tools, gear ratios, etc. could be useful for determining who should be on the pit crew.
If you or another member of your team is willing to make a test then I say go for it. My team tends to have the leads of each main section as pit crew which unfortunately also tends to be half the drive team. Having a dedicated pit team that knows everything about your robot could be a huge reason that your team succeeds at your events.
I usually let the kids who have attended the most meetings run the pit with the newest students at their side. This allows the students not yet in leadership positions but fully committed to lead under time constraints. The newer students get more comfortable with completing tasks on their own. Even tool choice questions go away when you are in the pit the newbies seem to figure it out better in a pit as apposed to in our shop.
This is thrown out the window if a catastrophic event is going down with the robot, at that time it is all hands on deck.
This is just how my team does it. Rotate the young ones in and let the leaders watch from a distance.
That’s an interesting way of doing it. On my team, pit crew is just as prestigious as drive team, and put crew selections are taken quite seriously. People who are chosen are people who have put a lot of work into the robot during the build season, and people who are really good at talking to judges.
Not sure if it is necessary to test people on gear ratios…
Ah we do have tryouts and people trained for judge interviews.
We make simple robots and it is good to see the less experienced students basically sink or swim. Show us mentors and team leads who can tackle leadership roles in the year to come.
On my teams it’s always been obvious which students knows the robot well - the mentors have a good idea by the end of the season, and consult with the student captains as needed. I guess in some sense every meeting is a test
Our Pit Crew is comprised of those students who know the robot’s systems - regardless of their their class standing/year on the team. We aren’t so big that the mentors don’t know who is adept or excels in their robot knowledge - so, we haven’t thought of making a pit crew test.
We will coach them on talking with the judges (something we haven’t been very good at doing in past years).
We have two trained kids to talk to judges. They are on our outreach and chairman’s teams. We give them robot data and fun facts and they do pit write ups on the robot (neither student interacts with the robot, solely outreach) but they do make those one page summaries of the robot code and mechanisms. So they can really speak to the judges well. Also the pit crew can help do the deeper robot dives if need be.
Your team should definitely find a similar model that works for them. Having a small crew dedicated to judge interviews will always help the team win more and teach the students soft skills.
You could always just make a handout with the information so that anyone can present the facts/ have a cheatsheet in case they forget.
Awards are another story though, those people need to know what they are talking about.
The pit write ups are handed out to all the team members so they can see on any one of the three sheets what is happening. One sheet is mechanical/electrical, one is software and sensor usage, and the last outreach. We just have two students that understand all the awards and practice selling the team that are at the pit entrance at all times.
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