REQUEST - Are you a Multi-School Team?

MOE 365 and RAGE 173 are co-presenting an FRC Conference Session at the Championship Event (8:30-9:30AM Friday morning) on “Managing Multi-school Teams.”

If your team consists of students from multiple schools, we would like to hear from you. Specifically, we would like to know the following:

  • Team Name / Number
  • Team Location
  • How many student team members
  • How many schools
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally)
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar

Feel free to either reply to this thread or send me an e-mail at
John.A.Larock@usa.dupont.com

Thanks so much for your help!

NOTE: If your group is considering a multiple school team or you are looking for tips on how to sustain one, we would welcome you to the FRC Conference Session. We are hoping to have a participative discussion on all aspects of this option for team organization.

Thanks!!!

  • Team Name / Number - Team 836 Robobees

  • Team Location- Leonardtown, Maryland

  • How many student team members- 40

  • How many schools- 3

  • Breakdown - LHS 30 GMS 5 CHS 5

  • Organize- We meet at the Technical Center, which the students from that school come from the 3 high schools in the county.

  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement
    Pro’s- It is a central location easy to get to, our lead mentor is a teacher at the tech center, full machine shop, use of facilities and other classrooms, has a auditorium and cafeteria we use for testing and awards.
    Con’s- small shop 40 + people, other than that it works great

  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar
    Advice- Instead of checking one schedule for one high school’s events you must check all of the schools involved. The majority of our team goes to LHS and sometimes things are planned around that schools schedule and we sometimes fail to check the other 2 schools. And make sure your meeting place isn’t in the middle of no where it is nice to have food and Lowe’s near by.

  • Westside Boiler Invasion / 461
  • (West) Lafayette, Indiana
  • Aprox 40
  • 2
  • Usualy about 80-90% from West Lafayette High school and 10-20% from Harrison High School
  • Our organization is pretty complicated. Its ALL student run, either by high school or purdue students. Shannon Schnepp wrote up a white paper about our team organization, its available here: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/papers.php?s=&action=single&paperid=210
  • Sometimes there are issues with schedules between the 2 schools. Also getting equal support from both school is a challenge. Its definately an advantage in the fact it gets as many kids in the area involved as possible, while not stretching sponsorship in the area to thinly.
  • Go for it!
  • Team Name / Number: BIG Spartan Robotics–Team 1504
  • Team Location: East Lansing, Okemos and Grand Ledge, MI
  • How many student team members: 19
  • How many schools: 2
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally): 8 and 11
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools: We do our designing over at Okemos, and build at Grand Ledge where there is a machine shop
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement: The two schools are over a half hour (driving the speed limit) away and the students have a hard time getting between (GAS PRICES!). We have to pick one school to do our financial stuff through and when Okemos kids are getting sponsorship, people look at them funny when they ask the potential sponsor to write “Grand Ledge High School” as the recipient. You have to have teachers from both schools/districts. We are able to use the best of both facilities. There’s no other team in this area, so two schools worth of kids get a chance to be in FIRST.
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar: If at all possible, get your schools in the same district, it’s really tough doing it in different. Make sure the schools are close and not arch rivals. Have it preset what level of involvement each school will have (aka, School A allows machining, School B handles money etc). Make sure that both schools know that the other is participating
  • Team Name / Number D5 Robotics, Team 1293
  • Team Location Columbia, South Carolina
  • How many student team members 20
  • How many schools Three: Irmo (where we build), Dutch Fork (not too far), and Chapin (waaaaaaaaaaay away from Irmo).
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally) 10 Irmo, 7 Dutch Fork, 3 Chapin
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools Everybody meets at Irmo, and we just work. Some Irmo or DF students will work with a teacher at their schools during the day for smaller things, but that’s the exception, not the rule.
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement The up side to the arrangement is that we can get all the students in one room without too much fuss–however, the distance may be a deal-breaker for Chapin students. (It’s hard to tell, since Chapin is a smaller school as well.) I can’t say much more for pros or cons, since 1293 hasn’t used any other arrangement. It does get the job done, though.
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar Make sure your students check their school spirit at the door. There’s little to no “Irmo rules” or “Dutch Fork is dumb” attitude on our team, and I consider it a tremendous benefit. (The only time that any real rivalry happens is when Irmo’s and Dutch Fork’s science teams face off, and even then it’s all in good fun. Heck, the two coaches are husband and wife!)

*** Team Name / Number:** 1305
*** Team Location:** North Bay
***** How many student team members:** 25

  • How many schools:** Chippewa 16, West ferris 6 widdifeild 1 Almaguin 2
    *** How do you organize your team with multiple schools:** Everything IT is done at Chippewa, the machining is done at West and the building is not done at any school
    *** What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement:** having meetings at lunch or after school.
    *** Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar:** Make sure that people know when meetings are and they can’t think one school is better then the other

Folks:

Thanks so much for the response. Time alotting, I might be in contact with you to talk more about your programs and what you may want to share with others on making a multi-school team successful.

If there are other multi-school teams out there, please let me know! It might be nice if, down the road, we can provide start up multi-school teams (MST) with local mentors to assist them.

Keep the info coming!

  • Team Name / Number Space Coast FIRST Team #233
  • Team Location Florida
  • How many student team members approximately 70
  • How many schools 2 although many kids each year overlap with the schools they attend and the team they participate on
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally) this year, about 40 and 30
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools fundraising events take place in between the otherwise rival schools, meetings are in a general area and robotic build is done at kennedy space center
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement the hardest thing is not having another teacher at the other school although my own children attend that school. the best thing is seeing all the kids come together into “our” team instead of “my” school
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar try to get at least one teacher or administrator from each school. don’t use YOUR school’s colors, develop team colors, etc
  • Team Name / Number - Beach Cities Robotics, 294

  • Team Location - Redondo and Manhattan Beach, CA

  • How many student team members - 20, ~10 dedicated

  • How many schools - 2: Redondo Union High School and Mira Costa High School (Rival schools!)

  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally) - This year, 3 from RUHS and the rest are from MCHS

  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools - We meet at RUHS (we have an old auto shop), we meet there every day during the season. We do have different commuting strategies for going to local events such as the Southern California Regional, but other than that we pretty much do everything together.

  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement - Pros: We have space, and we have a good team “chemistry.” Cons - Transportation to local events can be difficult due to how spread out everybody is. Also, the schools have different policies on absenses for events, so it sometimes makes things hard to organize.

  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar - Get teachers from both schools! Right now we have none, and it makes our life extremely difficult when we go to events. I would say go for an even balance if possible. Other than that, go for it! Break rivalries and begin new bonds!

-Daniel

  • Team Name / Number. S.P.A.M. 180
  • Team Location Stuart, florida
  • How many student team members about 50
  • How many schools 4-- Clark Advance Learning Center, South Fork HS, Martin County HS, Jensen Beach HS
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally) Jensen–4 Advance learning–4 martin county – 10+ south-- 30+
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools…rookie class aka fall is at martin county…build season is at south fork @ the pit
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement… driving and cost of gas is the worst part… pros unity in the community, more teachers invovled
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar: it’s gret to come together as a team/community w/ all the schools together…it is a bit of work w/ the various different school polices but it can be done

These are good responses and have made me remember some things about our team that I wanted to talk about (like don’t use one school’s colors - develop your own)… Please keep sharing!

*** Team Name / Number** - SparX 1126

*** Team Location** - Webster, New York

*** How many student team members** - 32

*** How many schools** - 2, Webster Thomas & Webster Schroeder

*** Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally)** - it’s close to half and half

*** How do you organize your team with multiple schools** - we have meetings at one school, they are just down the road less then 5 minutes so it’s easy

*** What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement** - con - we have to wait for the kids from the other school to come over, pro - we unite both of the town’s high schools without a rivalry

*** Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar** - have the multiple school near each other for easy access

  • Team Name / Number Lightning Robotics Team 862
  • Team Location Canton, MI
  • How many student team members 65
  • How many schools 4
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally) All but two are from the park
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools We have 4 schools that are a part of our team but here’s where it gets a little different from most other multi schools teams: Our school district Plymouth- Canton Community Schools has 3 high schools Canton, Salem, and Plymouth. All three are are on one big campus which is called the Plymouth- Canton Educational Park. All but 2 of our students attend school at the Park. Basically our one teacher adviser handles all the business with the three schools which is made easier because every thing can be done at once for all three. The fourth school (a private school) only has two students on the team and thats about it.
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar
  • Team Name / Number: Built on Brains 85
  • Team Location: Zeeland and Fruitport, Michigan
  • How many student team members: Around 30-35
  • How many schools: 3 Zeeland East and West (Next door to each other) and Fruitport + some home schoolers + a mentor’s daughter from a neighboring school district.
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally) We’ve had from 3 to 6 for the last three years
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools:
    Zeeland is definitely the lead school, with the facilities and the majority of students and sponsors. Fruitport students and teacher help as much and as often as possible.
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement:
    Pros are the great ideas that come from both teams and getting more students involved. Cons definitely include the distance (around an hour one way in the winter) and coordination.
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar:
    The key thing is communication. Make sure that everyone is kept in the loop on team happenings. We think it is a good model of how to involve very small rural schools.
    We approached the partnership with Fruitport with the idea that we would be getting them ready to have their own team. We now realize just how small their community is and how difficult getting support will be for this. We are looking into splitting tasks up so that Fruitport can do more design and build at their place, possibly doing some teleconferencing and such.

Other teams in our area with multiple Schools are 288 who has some Byron Center kids with the Grandville team, 858 with Wyoming Park and Rogers, 1227 from Forest Hills and Northville Schools (5 Schools), and 1500 which accepts kids from many schools and home schoolers in the Hudsonville area. (one of their members was a member of our team last year.)

  • Team Name / Number: 710 PAW
  • Team Location: Coral Springs/Ft.Lauderdale area
  • How many student team members: well,at regionals about 30 or so…i think
  • How many schools:4
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally): Well from North Broward (my school) we have about 3 or 4, From Coral springs Christian we have 4, and i’m not sure between WA and Pinecrest, but im gonna say about 10 from each.
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools: This year my old team, 267 (NBPS&CSCA), was unable to find the money and resources to stand on its own so we joined up with 710(WA&PC). While the actual build season organization is excellent, the team’s communication is not so good, so I will take examples of 267 as it was run in previous years. We created a mailing list so that we could email one address and get it to the entire team. With this mailing list, every piece of information was given through email, and we knew exactly what to do if we had questions. As far as meetings, we lived relatively close to each other and could therefore find a good meeting place somewhere between the two schools. This year the kids from my team live a good 45 minutes away from the other schools, but have to meet there because that’s where the machine shop is. It takes a lot of gas money, but we deal with it.
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement: Pros- two teams/four schools with dwindling resources are able to still participate. There are many people with many different ideas. Cons- Location. Make sure your schools are close together!
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar: For years my old team 267 has had no problem with joining the two schools into one team, as far as school spirit and animosity goes… we always considered ourselves ‘267’ rather than NBPS or CSCA. This year, when we joined teams with 710, it was hard at first to assimilate for several reasons (we were all really good friends in our little group, and 267 mainly made up the software team, and had basically noone not on 267 on software, so there wasnt even any building time to bond with other members) but eventually it all worked out well. Make sure you get everyone involved, assimilate everybody, create some form of quick and easy communication, and be sure you tell everyone when the meetings are!! (slight problem this year, but we get around it)

**DISCLAIMER: I am alumni and not currently involved with the team, but I was a member for 3+ years. Current stats may be slightly different. **

*Team Name / Number: 71 Team Hammond

  • Team Location: Hammond, Indiana
  • How many student team members: varies year to year. usually 20-25
  • How many schools:4
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally): When I was on the team, 2 of the schools had about 7-10 students each and the other 2 made up the remainder
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools: Meetings are held at the Area Career Center, which is a Vocational Tech program that students from schools all over the county attend for part of the day (This is not one of the 4 schools, although i’m not sure if an ACC student that wasn’t from one of the four Hammond high schools could join). It’s in a central location of town, and the Teacher Advisors (or whatever you’d like to call them) are School City employees who aren’t affiliated with any of the 4 schools.
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement: Pros- high schools in our town are fairly small and without the 4-school arrangement, chances are good that we wouldn’t have had a team. Plus, as a citywide team, the whole city really rallied around us and we get more recognition than we would if we were just a Gavit/Hammond High/Morton/Clark individual team. Cons- At least at the school I went to, getting support from your school can be difficult because it’s not a “school” thing, as in, that specific school. Some teachers were difficult about makeup work and missed days due to competition for that reason.
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar: Make it a school-district sponsored thing if possible, for the simple reason that if issues like the ones I described above arise, you have the school board/superintendent/other VIP to back you up. (Yes, I had a “VIP” once intervene on my behalf with one particularly difficult teacher.)
  • Team Name / Number ~ Rocky Mountain Robotics / 662

  • Team Location ~ Colorado Springs, CO

  • How many student team members ~ Approx 50

  • How many schools ~ Students from 4 High Schools are eligible, this year however, we only have students from 3 schools

  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally)
    ~ One of the great things about how our team works is that the students work so well together as a team, I forget that they are in different schools (long story short, I dont know)

  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools ~ None of our schools have a good shop so we build in a borrowed location. Web and animation are done in one schools computer lab.

  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement
    ~ Biggest Pro is that we are sponsored by the school district and get funding from them. We are able to recruit from a larger pool of students.
    ~ Biggest Con is that since we are not attached to any one school, a build location has been a challenge. This is more result of the fact that none of our schools has a suitable shop. I do think that if we were a single school team, we would have a better chance of finding a permanent place to build at that school. Additionally, since we are not attached to a school, the administration in each High School does not see our team as part that school and does not provide much recognition of our accomplishments. Working around the schedules of 3 or 4 different schools can be a challenge.

  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar
    ~ Multiple schools have allowed our team to grow much faster than we could have if we were limited to students from one school. Seek out the principals from each school and try to convince them of the value of FIRST. Try to get them to a regional competition to see the students all full of spirit.

  • Team Name / Number- Team 108 SigmaC@Ts
  • Team Location- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • How many student team members- About 40
  • How many schools- 2 Taravella (my school) and Dillard
  • Breakdown - how many students from each of the schools (generally)- Taravella 7 and Dillard 30+
  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools- We have all meetings at Motorola and have a Yahoo Group set up for announcements, etc.
  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement- **The only bad thing right now is the decline in the club at Taravella. 4 years ago (my freshmen year) our teacher retired and until this year haven’t had another. But our new leader has done an amazing job thus far. With only 3 returning students (all 4 year team members) we had to try and recruit younger members. We have 3 of the seven members on our mechanical team and the other 4 on software. Whats great about our arrangement is that we have bridged the gap between rival schools and have dis-proven many stereotypes about each other school and its student. **
  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar- One the most important things is that the schools are close enough that is isn’t too far for all members to attend meetings, and that all schools are in good communication with another.

Continued thanks for all who are posting with their FIRST Multi-school team information! Keep the multi-team information coming!

If any of you or your teammates are interested in open discussions regarding multi-school teams, please plan to attend the upcoming FRC Conference Session on the topic, hosted by me (John Larock of MOE 365) and Kathie Kentfield of RAGE 173.

Unfortunately, our FRC Conference session has the misfortune of overlapping with Opening Ceremonies. However, for those who do attend, we will have a nifty little limited edition giveaway and some handouts.

More info coming soon… :smiley:

Team 980, the ThunderBots
S. California
25 members
4 schools plus students from other schools

  • How do you organize your team with multiple schools
    We go around to the four schools that sponsor our team and do presentations to recruit new members. Teachers from 3 of the schools support the team, and those are schools with the most members on the team.

Our team leader this year is a parent whose son goes to one of the schools. We recruit mentors from the community and each student works to sell raffle tickets or find sponsors.

  • What are pros / cons you have seen given your arrangement

Pros:
The founding school was too small to sustain a team, so having multiple schools has allowed our team to continue and grow.

Cons:
Currently, none of the schools are able to provide a work space, so we use a facility in a sponsors warehouse many miles away. That reduces the exposure of other students to the team and cuts down on new recruits.

  • Do you have any advice to other teams who may want to do something similar
    We have opened our team up to other students whose schools don’t have teams. Sometimes people hear about us from our web site. This is a great way to help spread the word about FIRST as these students can then pass the word on to other students at their own schools.

I would recommend having regular meetings starting right after the current season to recruit new members, locate additional mentors, line up sponsors, find machine shop help, etc.