About 1/2 of our team is graduating this year and we are sure to get a some newcomers but there are usually very few. We reach out to potential members by hosting an FLL regional qualifier and mentoring kids from the neighboring middle school but once they reach high school very few join. We currently have about 20 people, so we’re fine for this year but we are worried about our lack of replacements for our soon-to-be alumni.
Are there any suggestions as to how or where we could find more recruits?
put out fliers about what you guys do to the public, if you guys have some kind of a fair for different classes you could take at your high school, go to that and promote your team (it doesnt matter if its a class or not, it will still work), tell every single friend about it. that is what i say.
We find it almost impossible to interest the students enough to join after they are in high school - they all are already “owned” by some other program/sport. We do a day-long presentation at the Jr. High each year and get a few kids that way. Would it be possible for your Jr. High or middle school to have an FTC or VEX team? Using FLL and FTC to recruit students at a younger age is the best way we have found to grow our HS team.
I can quite sympathize with you, as it has happened to my team once before! Lets put it this way, I was one of the people in the new wave after the drought! And seeing as how I’m a senior, some people are worried what happens in my and my classmates’ absence. But I’m not worried too much.
What we do every year is we actually bring our robot to the school and show off in our annual Club Fair at the beginning of each school year. We aim for all age levels. Freshman normally get us the largest time return and are normally easier to catch, but they normally have little previous knowledge of robots, so it takes a while to get them up to speed. Older kids normally are a little more competent, but they are harder to come by since they are normally involved with enough other stuff.
Good luck to your recruiting process and happy huntings!
we ran around our robot in school (not the one for this year, the ones for our in team compitition). its really fun to see peoples reaction when a 50 lb robot rolls by you while you are standing at your locker ^^
I’ll try to implement your suggestions. For the presentations to middle school students, would it be better to present in a smaller, more intimate classroom setting or an all-inclusive, larger setting in the gym which seats the entire school?
As far as driving the robot around the school, I like the idea. But I’m afraid our high school’s administration might not They’re usually pretty strict.
We can present at pep assemblies though. Our problem is that we haven’t been able to spark much enthusiasm for our robotics team (our state-finalist varsity football team usually gets all the attention :P)
We have done both types, but I much prefer a classroom setting. I personally go to the Jr. High and spend the entire day doing demonstrations to classrooms. It is exhausting! But it gives the students an opportunity to ask questions as well as examine and drive the robot and it is much easier to get their attention.
Is your team just Monarch? What about inviting high schoolers from other schools who don’t have a robotics team, like Team Blitz, they have home schooled kids, or the Blasterbots, they have kids from all over mid-jefferson county.
One idea is when the incoming freshman come to your high school for a demonstration or orientation, show off your robot and have a sign up sheet on a table so they can write down their name and email address. Also, pictures of past years/build season work too. On Thursday my high school had an open house type thing for this program I’m in and our team brought our demo bot with us and 3 of us showed it off and talked about our team. We also had my laptop there with a slide show of pictures from last year and this year, both competition season and build season. There weren’t many people at the open house, but we did manage to get 2 8th graders to sign up and our team leader is going to email them in a few days.
We also brought our 2008 robot with us to my high school’s Back to School night and got at least 2 new members from that.
Using two robots at Club Fair and making a safe game. One robot will have a trailer attached to it while the other robot will have 7 preloaded orbit balls and will attempt to score on the trailer. Also, we will have a human player involved that will also try to score on the trailer. We are hoping that this will be a huge spectacle and will attract many new recruits.
If we fundraise well enough, we want to have free pizza at our first meeting. Even though a lot of people will show up for the free pizza, you just never know who might become interested in the program.
We hope to be able to visit science and technology classes in our school and give a brief presentation. Hopefully we can also garner the interest of other teacher’s in our school.
Hopefully you will find these soon-to-be-implemented ideas helpful. Remember, also recruit more people than you need.
I agree, its actually pretty sad, high school students just don’t seem to get what we do. The few times that we have given presentations at the high school level, we were made fun of, and our presentation was taken as a joke.
810 has had great success giving presentations at our local middle schools, as well as boy scouts and even elementary schools. We usually do our presentations in groups on one to two classes so approx. 20-40 kids at a time