rookie question about planning your schedule

ALSO, on onther topic, how has other teams worked around mid-terms? We have mid-terms starting January 22, right in the middle of our build season. Obviously we need time to study for these. Our school’s mid-terms span nearly 2 weeks as well! What have you done to get around this? It must be hard.

Personally, I figured that I studied all semester long in class and either I know it or I don’t. Even if I managed to learn it in a day, I wouldn’t retain it so the grade would be a false representation of what I have learned. I actually did pretty well on the midterms/finals. I think the people that need to “cram” are the ones who don’t go to class, don’t study regularly during the semester, or who don’t pay attention in class.

Now, if students on your team still must study, I’d do one of two things:

  1. Let them manage their own time between school and robotics. It is really individual to each student which of his/her priorities matter more.
  2. Have one time block on a day or days when everyone on the team in required to attend, but onyl to study for finals.

I would prefer the first option because different people learn different ways. Some like me don’t need to study at all. Should you chose this route, you may get some students who need to study but don’t but thats okay because they will make their own mistakes and learn from them.

The best part about midterms is that it generally means while some students have tests on one day, the rest are free all day. So that means you’ll get about as much work done, if the students are all about equal.

As for the tests themselves, let the students decide how much time they need to study. If they plan it out, it’s not a problem, don’t get involved with their personal study habits unless you know they would otherwise fail a test. The reason I say that is I never studied in high school, and as of yet, I still don’t need to study much in college. I just get things in class or by doing homework, and when it comes time for a test, I already know it. If your team is made up of all students like this, they don’t need to study.

If you do make mandatory meetings, make sure to not have any during midterms, or make exceptions for students in tests. Otherwise, tell them to come when they feel they’ll have time, because they should know best about how much they need to study.

There are a lot of good students on our team. More times than not there is someone around who can help you on the subject you need. Time can be taken out of the robot work to review with some of your team mates. Last year some teammates really helped me a lot and I ended up probably getting a lot more studying done than if I had taken off a few days and not shown up.

We have a rule on our team: Family and schoolwork ALWAYS come first.

Yes, exams are often a problem, here in Torono we have our final exams for semester 1 in last week of january. Although what we do is that we let people who can spare 2-3 hours come in every day and work on the robot or other parts of the competition. Also its a good thing to plan out the robot to every single details, figure out what additional materials you need and order them, this is a time saver. Make sure you have a timeline, that lists your goals (e.t.c when the chasis is gonna be made, when the arm will be made, minor details also, like when the gears will be fabricated…)

Other than that just work hard, have fun, and ask help if you need it, thats what FIRST is all about.

Absolutely not. Here on Team 237, grades come first. If you are even starting to fail a class, then you are red flagged on the team and privately taken aside by one or more advisers and talked to…
If grades continue to fall, you are off the team until you can raise them back up.
We want the kids to participate on the team, but if grades are suffering it’s a case of tough love to kick them off.
It’s unfortunate if you are **that **student, but we find it works well.

We also have a higher expectation than any other club and sport at the HS from our students. I’m not sure of the exact grade that we require, but I believe it is a grade or half a grade above most other clubs. We are very proud of that too by the way. I’ll try to find out the exact grades later this week if anyone is interested…

Family too… like KathieK said… yeah… Family…

<me>Smiles, nods and walks away…</me> :rolleyes:

I have been guilty more than once for participating in a team activity over a family one, but that was my choice. And I got yelled at by my family… kiddingly of course, but oh well… :stuck_out_tongue:

so our school’s weird… it’s awesome!! no finals to study for over xmas break and no finals to worry bout during build period!!
nya nya nya nye!
…but as all teams prolly realize, all our grades still fall…cuz we’re starting new topics semester 2… hehehe its funny to the teachers reactions too…]

<edit> o, and i definately agree about the other teammates helping u w/ ur hw. half of em hafta do the same stuff anyway, so ya might as well do it together. lil robotics study session. </edit>


Grades do come first. Think about it … FIRST doesn’t graduate you from HS … your performance in class (your grades) do.

Its all about the individuals striking a balance between their school work (finals, hw, cw, etc) and robotics. For example, in my team we have finals coming up next week so we don’t have to worry about studying over the holiday brake, however we do start build season the same time that we start a new semester (brand new classes). Its hard to balance the two. And some people can manage it … others can not. Personally, the way I see it is: if you can manage being in robotics as much as you can and still get A’s or B’s (or whatever is your norm) – that’s GREAT!! However, if you are there all the time during build season but your grades are D’s and F’s … you don’t need to be in the team at all.

Make sure that you stress to your team the importance of keeping up with their grades and concentrate on them first. :slight_smile:

here in the uk, we dont have exams until june (plus if you are resitting you do them in january… but that is so few of us…).
Schoolwork first, family seconds. Friends third, Robotics Fourth.
However, during the last week, robotics tends to come on top for the dedicated ones (no offense intended / dont email me complaining) it seeems to be the more clever people who do the building and that sort of stuff anyway and thus do not need as much revision. The only work i have got during that time is a coursework project for my electronics, and the electroncis teacher is one of our mentors:)