Snow days

Our team in Northern Michigan, much like many other teams this year, has had an unusual number of school closings due to weather. I was just curious how this effected your teams’ build season. Our team meets each evening from 630-830 and on Saturdays. For us, if school is canceled, Robotics is canceled and we don’t meet. In total, we lost an entire week of building because of snow days including the final evening for bag and tag. Ouch! How do other teams handle things like this?

We’re just out side of Detroit, and if school is closed we still have robotics at 3 until around 9 every night during the robotics season. A few important mentors had a funeral in another state they had too attend sunday and monday before the bag and tag day, that seemed to set us back more than the weather this year!

For the first time of my years in FIRST we lost a week of build as well due to snow days. It was a huge blow to lose the last day as well but we will manage. We have to really utilize our 6 hours before Week 2 well.

We tried to make up time by making more and longer meetings. We did not end up making up for all the lost time but that is even more motivation to work harder in competition season.

Now I feel really bad about all the times I complained about not having a snow day. :o

There’s been quite a few times in the past few years that literally every district and private school surrounding Bloomington, MN has had a snow day or late start and we haven’t. In January we might have had a snow day - if the blizzard hadn’t happened during the 4-day weekend. :stuck_out_tongue:

This is a big point though. Losing time like that can really hurt. Most of where we lose time is from people being out sick - various illnesses can catch like wildfire, and if you miss school, you can’t be in an activity, even if you feel better. Plus a lot of our kids take classes at local colleges, so even with our team of about 20, many nights and weekends we had numbers under 10.

Better luck next year, I guess! Minnesota weather is bipolar, so this is one of the snowiest winters we’ve had in recent years. Last year, it looked like soggy November most of the time. Really sucks when the weather affects robotics. :frowning:

Maybe someday, one of the geniuses in FIRST will invent a weather machine so that it’s always 65 degrees and mostly sunny with a cool breeze whenever anything having to do with robotics is going on. :smiley:

We’re in Houghton, MI, and if school is canceled but it is safe to drive, the meeting is optional but will still be held.

Though, I guess if a school disallowed meetings, that would be a different story.

We just assume we are going to lose 3-5 days each build season due to snow and ice. Because of the number of elementary, middle, and high schools in the district, each with different start times, it’s very difficult for the district to have a delayed start or early dismissal, as each school bus runs two or three different routes. So while all the surrounding districts may have a two hour delay, we just end up cancelled. Which means even if the roads are fine after lunch, all after school activities are also cancelled.

So we just plan for having less than the full time to build, and deal with it. Plus we lose almost a full week every year due to finals, as we do not work the weekend before finals or the Monday-Wednesday of that week. Finals end on Thursday and we resume working that night. So we effectively plan for a 5 week build season. The team tries to have parts that require outside fabrication designed before finals, so that we can get that done and have them back when we resume work.

What is this “snow” you refer to?

We only ended up with 1 snow day. We don’t meet every day and I can honestly say that after doing build season differently, less is more. Having a couple of days off a week didn’t change the amount of work that was done in total. It did change the amount of youtube watching and just sitting around chatting by the team. People came in and worked. I was very pleased. It also allowed for orders for parts to be placed and time for those parts to arrive. We spent almost every day working the last week, but doesn’t everyone? A snow day then would have hurt.

Something like very cold, wet volcanic ash.

Out here in Flagstaff, Arizona we ended up with only two snow days this year. We usually work, as long as conditions are not totally horrible. A few years ago we lost a whole week to snow because the weather was so bad.

Our title sponsor who supplies us with our build area, equipment and much of our materials is a Snowmobile and Powersports Repair shop Getting around in the snow is never an issue. A snow day for us means the team can build all day at the shop! Many of the kids have their own sleds (kids as young as 12 yrs old can get an operator’s permit) that they ride to school every day which makes finding rides that much easier.

Go ahead nature - do your worst!

Until several years ago, a snow day at the high school meant bonus work time at the TechnoKats shop. Now, the rule about not having extracurricular activities if school is cancelled due to weather is strictly enforced.

Fortunately, that didn’t cut into the team’s work time this year.

We were fortunate to only have 2 snow days and enough parents and more experienced student drivers with big cars(benifits of Michigan is snow really doesn’t bother a lot of people. I actually enjoy driving on and in it) but we made those optional meetings. Seemed to work well enough no accidents this year to my knowledge in transit to and from build space!

We lost some days due to weather as well. Add to that not being able to work late most of the time (working past 8PM is an almost impossibility in our school - security has to be around if the building is occupied, and we share space with 3 other schools, so the principal of our school really has no control over what happens in the building), and you have a really compressed build season.

Fortunately our team captain graduated early, so during most of build season he was able to come all day and work on stuff. Sort of a double-edged sword though - he’s the only one that knows a lot of stuff (including the mentors - look at my rookie year :D), so I’m really scared for what happens to the program next year. He’s said he’ll come back when he can, but it’s the “when he can” part that scares me :slight_smile:

Alright everyone, welcome to Canda! This thread is officially closed. Done. I don’t think anyone can top “our team is sponsored by a snowmobile company and most of our team rides them to school”

In the past we had entire week lost to snow. This year we had an almost perfect snowday - It occurred today! A day to recoup, had it been on Wed. instead of Thursday it would have been perfect.

Y’all are lucky. I think I can count on one hand how many times its been below 40 this year in Louisiana. Only snow day I’ve ever had was in 8th grade, for half an inch of snow! Needless to say, a snowball fight was had.

EDIT: At the same time though, we had an entire week off last week for Mardi Gras, and that did mess with out schedule some.

Make that “the geniuses **from **FIRST”. It could be coming. Next year’s FLL challenge is titled “Nature’s Fury.” We may change global warming to global control any decade now.

LOL, you win.

We lost 2 days this year due to a blizzard we got a couple of weeks ago - lost all day Friday and all day Saturday - if school is closed then we can’t have robotics at night (Even if the roads are ok) and if it’s bad weather on the weekend, its our call if we want to have it. However, with Nemo (Also known as the Blizzard of 2013) the whole state was shut down with a driving ban so getting to the school was not an option, LOL.

Never been to the big island, Cynthia? Mauna Kea is up there in the snow-zone on top of the world’s tallest mountain. :wink: