Skills USA

Just wondering if anyone here has heard of/participates in the Skills competition.
It is an all-inclusive competition with roughly 100 different competitions from custodial work to integrated circuit design. My school is not as deeply involved with it as others in the area [one school had almost every student go] but I went to the Ohio skills competition this past weekend and talked to quite a few robotic-arm competitors about FIRST robotics and only one person heard about it. Being a competition including robotics, electronics, machining, and design, i would have thought more would be at the very least knowledgeable. Being that those i talked to weren’t, i thought i’d ask if anybody here has heard of Skills/participated. have ye? :confused:
If not, i for one think these competitions <–by the way, they are competitions, competitor interaction was grounds for being kicked out when i went :frowning: --> would be an excellent way to sell FIRST, and its coopertition =)

[edit] i believe this is part of what the builder of the scorebot+conveyor is doing so for, if not this edit is pointless =)
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We spent some time showing off FIRST at the Skills USA local competition last year, I don’t know if it was as intense as the one you mention, but we along with other Oregon teams tried to get the message across to these kids about FIRST and they seemed generally interested and excited. I don’t know if any new teams were created because of the event but interest was sparked and this may be a good event for robots to be shown at in your area in future years. I don’t know where the competition was held this year or we would have attended with our robot to try to spread the message further.

I competed in the Wisconsin SkillsUSA competition this year and last year, in 3D Visualization and Animation, only because they didn’t offer Computer Science. :frown: Both years, our team failed to render the video clip because (what else?) we had no time to train because of FIRST Robotics. Now, I’m not blaming FIRST for my own lack of success, because I could have definitely trained at Nationals (and besides, I ended up having a pretty good time anyway), but the fact that the Nationals ended on Saturday and SkillsUSA started on Tuesday of the following week didn’t help much.

They did offer a Sumo Bot contest at the Wisconsin competition, and despite us not being in it, it was nice to see that robotics is starting to creep into the automotive-, construction-, and healthcare-dominated Wisconsin SkillsUSA program.

Now, are there any others who are rocking FIRST and Skills too? :wink:

Robotics and Automation Technology [scorebot robot arms] for me =)

I really would love to get my team more involved with spreading FIRST and thus i was wondering if there are any tips for going about getting a booth at a skills competition?

Edit: We’re in Ohio by the way.

Our school hosts the Indiana State Championship every year and unfortunately it’s usually the same weekend as the FIRST Championship.

A student on our team won in the Florida competition and is moving on to Kansas for the Championships.

Ditto for ours. Technical Math @ Ohio.

The student from our school who won (because as a FIRST team we have to have one of 'em) was unfortunately not on the FIRST team this year, of his own decision, and is going on to Kansas for the CAD - Architectural Drafting in Wisconsin.

I competed my senior year and actually made it to the top ten in state for drafting. If I recall correctly, there were several Kil-A-Byte bots on display while we walked to the computer lab. It was fun, but there were technical problems. Overall, not as fun as FIRST, but I still enjoyed the experience.

One of my really good friends made it to the national level repeatedly for electronics… he was supposed to join our team, but again the scheduling conflict a few others have mentioned came up (he didn’t really want to bother being on the team if he wasn’t going to see the bot perform at the world championship). From what I’ve heard, the Skills national event is very similar to our Championship Event, in terms of intensity, cooperation/competition, and social value (meeting people from all over the place with similar interests).

My high school participated in the VA Skills USA competitions.

I won the competition Residential Wiring competition at the VA State Fair in 2004, and we had students go to the championship for brick-laying.

My senior year ('06) I placed 3rd in PA states in one of the electronics competitions. Not bad for a mechanical guy :stuck_out_tongue:

I use to work as a judge at the VICA Skills Competition Championship at Kansas City, Missouri through work. It is exciting to see all the different avenues of skills. We had some of our engineers work with the robotics area as judges. It would be good have some presence of FIRST on the floor. I haven’t been for a few years, but I do know they have one day open to the public to come see the competitions and there are tons of booths in the hallways. I am impressed by the work of the students, but not as impressed when I am working with our robotics community. It is amazing to be around high school students that are helpful and not competitive like you get in the sports arena.

I did CA Skills USA for computer matinence and repair. I got 3rd place at state. I would have competed again this year, but the school decided to cut the funding to us. It’s an… interesting experience, but I don’t think many of the kids in Skills would like FIRST.

I definitely agree with that. At the Ohio competition people were wayyy to serious about not talking lol. I suppose the competition is about personal skills for some and team* for others, and not about working together for learning. Its basically [and crudely put] showing off in my opinion.

*the teams don’t accurately represent workplace teams because you generally don’t start off knowing eachother and eachother’s skills before you get the problem.

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Caution, accuracy not included =)

[edit]
the state officers thing they do at the state level was kinda way over my head. my school is like yeah we’re there and we compete but we have no idea what anybody else does there with the officers/representatives stuffs >.<

I do SkillsUSA. It’s pretty cool, I got a silver metal in Robotics and Automation technology last year without ever using the program before. It’s definitely a good program but it’s more of a solo competition where you don’t make very many bonds outside of your team or school. I’ve noticed that it’s more of and intra-school/county rivalry competition than anything.

Oh well, I go to States on the 9th. It’d be cool to get gold.

Woot! Scorebot robot arms for the win! be sure you know how to do the flowcharts :wink:

oh, another note, you’ve finally got me thinking: its just like another sport where schools/counties/regions/states compete against each other.

Although we don’t do it at our school in Canada we something that sounds pretty similar (OK it sounds identical :P) called Skills Canada. (anyone see the resemblance?) It also has 100 or so different competitions, including a robotics competiton :ahh: a little similar to FIRST but with a bit smaller bots and field, 1 vs. 1, no KOP at all, etc. that a nearby school entered. This years game was to collect tennis balls and play connect 4 with them. (there is also CAD and animation and electronics and etc.)