A thought for those teams who share a mentor/mentee relationship and will be attending the same regional event - wouldn’t it be great if the teams could be placed side-by-side in the pits? Rookie/young teams can always use a hand and it seems to me it would take the mentor/mentee relationship to another level in the pits. The proximity can only enhance the experience for new/young teams.
On a related note, it would be interesting to know how many teams get involved for one year and then drop out. Would this sort of arrangement reduce the tendency for teams to jump in for a year and then leave?
Food for thought - hopefully for the regional planning committees! What are your thoughts?
At the UTC regional last year, the pit alternated between rookie and veteran teams. This way each rookie was flanked on both sides by a veteran team they could ask for help. It seemed to work pretty well!
Ditto for the UCF Regional. They stuck all of us “middle-aged teams” (read: The Pink Team through 2nd year teams) outside in the tent, and filled the indoor pits with rookies and “extreme veterans”.
Same for L.A. and Arizona last year, L.A. and Davis in 2005, and L.A. and Arizona in 2003 and 2004. Not to mention that it went by the following: The more rookie/veteran teams were together (e.g. if team 2 were out here, team 3000 would be right next to them.) (note: all team numbers referenced are not assigned as far as I know right now[size=2]) I think they’re trying to have the average experience be the same all over the pit area.[/size]
It’s sort of the same, except too often hurdles of teams have been called down to help others (from other places). It’s not that the rookies aren’t placed near veteran teams, it’s just that many of these rookies (and even many of the veterans having robot issues) last year only had partially built robots. By the time the robots were fully functionable, they had to compete for the real deal. Luckily most of the rookie teams are near the machine shop and there are enough veterans near them to help.
And this year, there aren’t as many rookies as there were last year–so those rookies will be more likely to get veteran help. (And we only have 4 jet-lagging teams; 3 from the UK and 1 from Alabama–at least so far)
New Jersey did the same thing also, alternated between rookies and veterans. It turned out VERY successful. Though, I have to say, while it’s nice to be by your mentors/mentees, it’s fun to meet new people. After all, if you spend all your time next to the same people, you’re bound to get boring. Besides, FIRST is about helping EVERYONE whenever you can (at least, that’s what I make of it), and you’re likely to help someone next to you regardless if you know them.