Lesson Learned from Rookie Year
FRC Team 7877
- Time management
- Secure time for each part of the robot
- Try to not focus on one part of the robot
- Be prepared for everything and anything,
- Prepare to have conversations with judges
- Bring chairs and food
- Be well rested
- Learn about each person on the team
- Help each other and solve problems
- Problem Solving
- Take a break, but do not give up
- Scouting & Learning
- Learn from other teams
- Ask about robot designs
- Help other teams that are aligned with you
- Focus on helping each other
- Ask for help
- Contact mentor, they want to help
- Funding & Sponsor
- Marketing correctly
- Doing the hard work to help the team
- Thanking your sponsors
Student Quotes: Lessons learned
“Team building is key. You cannot build a robot on your own. Learn from your teammates, teach your teammates, and have fun”
- Keith Hurst
“Robotics has [so many] learning opportunities. There is always something new, like working with certain power tools or how to use different applications and code to get the robot working. Although in our finally competitions we had many setbacks overall I had a great time and I was glad to be a part of it”
“Making sure that you communicate [clearly] with your team, to make sure that they had heard you on what you need or what needs to happen.”
Lesson 1: Time Management
Where we went wrong? Focusing for the chassis for a month was not helpful. We had challenges in putting the chassis together, which set us back from the rest of the teams. No one from our team knew how to use the tools properly which also wasted a ton of time. Many people did not show up on time and we neglected to double-checked the parts.
What we could have done better? In the future, we will make a schedule that details which parts we are building when. The goal will be to focus on that and get everything done within a certain time span. Also, make sure everyone has a role in building the robot and that everyone shows up on time. We also want to be sure to schedule time to test out every part of the robot to see if it is sturdy enough to carry some type of weight and bump into objects.
Lesson 2: Preparation
Where we went wrong? Did not think to bring chairs to the first event or any type of snacks. We felt unprepared for how strenuous the day would be. We also were not prepared to discuss our robot and our designs so intensely with the judges and other teams.
What we should’ve done? We should have brought some chairs unless you want to stand for about 12 hours. Bring extra food just in case you get hungry mid-way through the event and maybe some cash if you want some of the food that they serve there. We should have a clear understanding of who has what role on the team. Also, get enough sleep the night before so, you don’t fall asleep during the matches. Do some practice interviews with some staff members at your school to prepare you for the talk with judges and other teams.
Lesson 3: Cooperation & Team Building
What could’ve been better? Communication, cooperation, and composure would have been very helpful during the competition because we had team members all over the place that we had to look for. If team members had at least told our mentor where they were going, we wouldn’t have to run around the facility looking for them to help prepare for the next match. Cooperating with one another would’ve been very useful so team members wouldn’t argue with one another about who’s doing what. Composure also plays a crucial part because you’re showing other teams you know how to behave in any type of environment, whether it was new or familiar.
Lesson 4: Problem Solving
What we can do to prepare? Participating in activities to prepare you for upcoming problems. Such as practicing different ways to problem solve like researching, written practice, and using index cards for prep.
It’s better to have everything on hand and make sure you read through all instructions and guidelines very clearly!
If needed, you may require help from people in your team even if you think you don’t it is always good to make sure you either have the measurement correctly so make sure you verify with someone who might know it that it is entirely correct!
Lesson 5: Scouting & Learning
Where we went wrong? Not rotating to every team was detrimental because when it came to start a match we had no idea what the opposing robots’ abilities were. Also, we asked too many questions, so we spent too much time on one team than the others because our questions were time consuming.
What we can do to improve? Focusing on what other teams’ robots do is a significant part in team scouting because it helps us prepare what were up against. Rotating to every team will be more resourceful and asking more basic questions about other teams’ robots will be sufficient. For Example: “Does your robot play offense, defense, or both?”
Lesson 6: Recruiting Mentors
Where we went wrong? We only asked mentors we knew to assist us with our robot. We also could have paid better attention to what they were saying and been mindful of what they asked us to do, because it most likely will help the team out. We also would like to have more mentors during the season leading up to competition so we can have a strong team of professionals with knowledge and advice they can share with us.
What we can do to improve? Ask around and see what help you can get when it comes to remodeling or repairing the robot both before and at competition. Be open-minded about what the mentors tell you. Listen carefully and ask questions or ask the mentor to repeat themselves when they say something you don’t quite catch. To recruit mentors, reach out to any contacts that you have, even if you don’t know them very well they could lead to a connection with someone who is willing to mentor your team.
Lesson 7: Funding & Sponsors
Where we went wrong? Not being proactive enough when it came time to receive a grant from a business or organization. We also should reach out into the community and find businesses that will sponsor our team for the year.
What could’ve been better? Reaching out to people we know to help us when applying for a grant could make our applications stronger. Fundraising and advertising more to receive more money for the team to spend on tools, uniforms, and travel options. Also, plan out ideas on how to start fundraising right away and what we could do to raise money.