Are any other teams staying completely virtual this fall and most likely for the rest of the 2020-2021 season?
I hope this starts a healthy discussion and helps other teams in our situation. I do not wish for comments on our safety precautions, COVID-19, team structure or mentor involvement. I will not comment on your team’s either, please just ideas.
Community robotics program not affiliated with a school. ~20 students. ~1-3 consistently active mentors with a host of new mentors just joining the team as a result of a new sponsorship. I am the Student President who has been responsible (along with some peers) for developing a virtual learning environment and creating a curriculum and training plan which has been running since May. It has been an incredible experience learning to teach and switching roles from student to teacher.
We have a virtual training program with multiple meetings a week and constant communication via Discord. We know the value of hands-on learning for students and would really like to excite and involve mechanical kids not interested in CAD so:
We are struggling to develop ideas for our students to explore hands-on engineering from the safety of their homes.
Improving/driving our robot seems highly unlikely for us. We have very limited access to our robot, limited access to our tools, limited access to our manufacturing facilities and we are unwilling to cause any exposure whatsoever.
The good thing about this season is we can make each student’s education very personalized, they get to explore and learn what they want to. We also have a significant amount of money due to reduced costs this season. Here are our ideas:
- FIRST at Home (competing with what we have without driving it so?)
- FIRST Game Design Challenge
- FIRST Innovation Challenge
- CADathons (ex. Cheezy CAD)
- Software Competitions (ex. WPI Game-Jam)
Hands On Ideas:
- Individual Ardunio Kits: kits sent home to explore and develop a basic understanding of EE. We have never explored EE on our team and it would be interesting for both our Mechanical and Software students to explore the discipline that combines both. These kits would also be used to make projects exposing students to the engineering design process, prototyping, iteration, and most importantly FAILURE!
- Cardboard/Common Household Materials Competitions (ex. Cardboard+ductape boats, who can build the one that holds the most weight…)
- Give students funding for their own engineering project at home
- Rube Goldbergs
- If we sufficiently design and review a mechanism we may have the possibility of manufacturing parts and sending those home to the student along with tools to construct it. They would be able to look at the mechanism and start to figure out things that need to be iterated but the cool factor is the only really value of this.
Any other ideas? Thank you so much for all the help!