Multiple teams from one high school?

There are several threads on CD concerning teams who are comprised of students from multiple high schools. I’m curious, with the increase of FLL teams whose members are reaching high school age, and the gaining popularity of the FIRST Robotics program at the high school level, are there any schools who have created multiple teams within their one school?

I anticipate this “problem” to crop up more and more in the future: if you’ve successfully established several FLL teams within your town, how do you deal with an influx of interested students as they become high school freshmen? After “grooming” them at the middle school level, it would seem a shame to turn them away. Yet how could a team support a lot of additional team members without having to split into mutliple teams?

I don’t think this is much of a problem yet, but it certainly is a potential one. I think the current problem is teams from multiple schools getting too large. For example, the average FIRST team is 24 members. My team is composed of two high schools and is 48 members. Since we are still growing, the logical thing to do would be to split the team according to school. But who’s to say which school gets the old number and which is the “rookie” team? If one team qualifies for nationals and the other doesn’t, should they both go? Should both teams work in the same place? What about all of the freinds who will no longer be able to work together on the same team? The problem with adding teams to a school or district is that you’re not just making a new team, you’re splitting up an old one. If it’s in one school, you could let all new members be on the rookie team and all returning be on their old team, but that would’nt be fair. So, natuarally, people are going to be opposed to adding more teams where before there were only one. Hopefully teams that have to go through something like this will handle it with gracious proffesionalism.

I know this has been discussed before, but this is the only thing I can find:

Didn’t one Canadian team split their team? I think that it was a one school team, maybe I’m wrong. I think it might have been 188.

Myself and a few of the older students from 226 have talked about this a little bit. We were trying to figure out how to solve the issue of too many students on the team (there were 61 students on 226 this year), and there not being enough work for everyone to do. No, let me rephrase that, there was plenty of work to do, but not the fun kind. So many people signed up that some that wanted to be on the build team had to be shifted to Spirit, Management, Digital, Etc. It seemed like a lot of them quit because they weren’t having any fun. We figured that 226 probably has a large enough budget to support two teams, but it would be pretty tight. Between all of the stuff mentioned earlier, and the fact that upper leadership would never go for the idea, and the money issue, we decided that it wouldn’t work, and we’ll have to figure out some other way to allow more kids to participate. We considered maybe still being one team but building two robots, and having two build teams. Not two identical robots, two different ones. One build team would be made up of the veteran members, and they would build the competition bot, and the second team would be the new members and they could build a practice bot to learn how to do things. Then the first team could “mentor” the second, and the engineers could help everybody. Then there would still only be one registration fee, and if the team won, everybody (well not everybody, but as many as possible taking into account funding and hours worked, etc.) could travel to nationals. We have yet to bring this up with higher leadership.


188 didn’t split, although many of our alumni have gone on to mentor other teams, helping Canada become FIRST’s fastest growing segment. I can confirm there is only one FIRST team at Woburn Collegiate, Team 188.

On the OTHER hand, Emery Collegiate in Toronto, Ontario has TWO FIRST robotics teams from the same school. 1219 is the BOYS team and 1309 is the GIRLS team. Interesting dynamic is it not?

I could see this happening at schools near a regional with lots of resources and team members. I could see how this could be a problem having 60+ team members.

My two best ideas were select members for the build team based on research and development they do. If someone researches and development a new drive system they are in charge of that, and so on. Give them incentive to research and improve the quality of the robot. Let the old members know in the spring so they can work on their ideas over the summer and the newbies in the fall so they have a chance to put together ideas of how things works. Have them present all the ideas in front of everyone a couple weeks before kickoff and it will give the mentors a good idea who can be in charge of what. Working prototypes would be reccomended.

The second idea is regardless of team size give each team member at least one robot related task. It the mentor has to help that person through with that task it is ok. But at least give them the opportunity so they don’t completely feel left out. Also to be fair give everyone one non-robot related task. Everyone has the ability to write thank-you notes.

I kind of want to try out the first one. I hope to get some of the high-schoolers more interested in designing a multi-speed, multi-motor gearboxes, and I would love to get more in depth into programming this year.

I kinda fear this happening on our team if it grabs hold. We’re three schools…although one has a rather small presence due to distance and the size of the school.

If a split happens, I guess the wise thing to do would be to do one of two things with the number…

  1. Let the school with the larger presence on the team (whether it be with students, mentors, or facilities) keep the number, then grandfather over any students who wish to stay with the current team until graduation, or…

  2. Drop the number, create two teams from scratch, and split accordingly.

Neither is really smooth…I guess this is one of the problems FIRST has. But it’s doable, and it’s a good problem to have, IMHO. After all, the more the merrier (and the more fun the friendly rivalry gets, especially if you’ve got Irmo and Dutch Fork (two of the schools on our team) proverbially slugging it out.)

Yes, someone had suggested that you have a Varsity team and a Junior Varsity team similar to what you propose above. It’s an interesting dilemma to think about…

I know for a fact that 1359, the scalawags, and some other team (funky monkeys) are from the same west albany high school in oregon. or i may have this totally wrong. but the situation as i understand it is that one team also includes home-schooled students in that area…

i’m honestly quite surprised MOE doesn’t split. they’re comprised of 16 DIFFERENT SHCOOLS!!! :ahh: now true, people wouldn’t know what to think of MOE if they didn’t take up a whole section of the stands @ Philly, plus the enourmous parade of blinding shirts if/when they win awards, but i seriously think that it’d be a wise choice of they split into even two or three teams. then, they’d not only be expanding the FLL community, but the FRC cummunity as well

*Please don’t take this message as my being offensive towards MOE. All preceeding thoughts were simply an observation and possible suggestion as sparked by this post… :cool: *

That team would be us 957… They are not from West Albany High School. Soem students from West decided they didn’t like our team and helped start the Scalawags or Venture Crew 308 Team 1359. I don’t know if they have home school kids but they have kids from 5 area high schools and are not under any school name. They don’t want to be associated with our team but its very tough as we see students from both teams at our school daily. Our school is starting to recognize this. We are actually supposed to be in a school assembly together but i’m not sure that is going to work out. We include West Albany High School and this year we included Lebanon High School. East Linn Christian School is the school that they put down as their school on the Nasa grant according to … As with any situation like this it is very confusing. We have been told that they can’t be associated with us on a school level or we both could lose grants among other things, Again this is stuff i have heard, so if there are any corrections please correct me.


No offense taken. MOE may be from 16 schools, but we are not associated with or sponsored by any of those schools - all of our money comes from various businesses, so fund-raising is a constant effort. And we only have 35 students on our team - the blinding green color makes us look larger!

This year we did help out a rookie team at one of the schools in which we have students - Avon Grove HS, Team 1495. A couple of our members from that school did move to that team. And we are trying to jump-start other teams in a similar fashion, if we can get a single school to commit to fund a team.

Not being associated with a school does have it’s pros and cons - but that is a subject for another thread.

Sorry, that was the team I was thinking about.

i know, off topic, i’ll make it short…

Yeah, i guess i never really thought of that, MOE isn’t really affilated with any particular school. you never hear MOE being announced as “Team 365 from (insert 15 HSs) and (insert last HS).” like you do with most other teams - i.e. “Team 222 from Tunkhannock Area High School…” and i guess the team looks so big cuz well, of course the shirts, but also you do travel with quite a few adults, that makes any team look big, (hehe, 222 again…)

ok, so it’s not really short, and it is off topic, but oh well…

Our school, International Academy, draws kids from different districts. There are people in my school who are part of 302, 201, and 245. Of course, most of the robotics people are on 469, but some choose to go to their home high school. Team 469 consists of 3 schools in the Bloomfield area of Michigan, but there is not much interest in robotics outside of International Academy, as only 3 of our members are from other schools. We currently do not have the problem of too many members.

We have students from three high schools and we all meet in the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology center. In which some students from all three high schools attend many of us take Engineering Technology that is what our lead mentor teachs there and we all meet in his shop and classroom.

Sorry if this is a somewhat re-post of what Carol said, but here it is.

Over the past few years, we have tried very hard to start to spin off some schools into their own teams. This past year we were finally successful in getting a few started, and started one at Avon Grove highschool (#1495), which had previously been the highschool with the most students on MOE. We were also able to start a team at Middletown Highscool, which had previously had students on MOE. These two were the first spinoffs, but we are always pressing for more. One problem we have run into is the funding facilities, and equipment issue found everywhere. However, it is my interpretation of the Miracle Workerz mission that we would like to continue to spin off teams untill there one school left, and that school will become MOE.

I am one of the founding members of team 1359 and wouldn’t have continued with robotics if it wasn’t for this team. We focus on getting as many people from as many “school” backgrounds as possible. There are a lot of really small areas in the vicinity of our town, that wouldn’t be able to support a team by themselves, so we offer them membership. As a Boy Scout Venture Crew, members can be from just about anywhere! We also do Boy Scout Activities… we just did one rafting trip and are planning another!! Our team has statistics about membership, as far as how many kids from the different schools, but other than that, we do not really claim a school as “ours”. East Linn Christian Academy has been very nice in letting us use some of their services, that is why they are listed. West Albany HS knows about our team, in fact, I have had countless discussions with the principal and he just thinks that the more involved, the merrier! He’s been very supportive. Member relations between the various teams depends on the members themselves, there were a few on the West team I talked to regularly, but it really depends on the specific people.

I guess I just want to reiterate that even though we have students from various schools involved, we have a great time! We’re all about learning and having fun, just like everyone else.

Referrring again to team 469…

There used to be another team at the International Academy, team 349. However, the demand for spots on the team was higher than the number of kids they could keep. So, some of the students who weren’t on 349 formed our team, team 469. Unfortunately, team 349 ended up not continuing. For a short while, there were two teams at the highschool.

(I wasn’t there at the time, so I don’t really know how that worked out.)