Training Plan

Getting read for next year. So for new members to the team, we want to start getting a training plan in order. Any ideas on what we need to include?

It’s a work in progress (as is just about everything I do), but see attached image for our general outline. My goal for next fall is to get everybody through at least lesson 33.

  1. Create a team handbook if you don’t have one
  2. Teach everyone hand tools basics, use the right tool for the job.
  3. Robot 101 how dc motors work, what they get connected to, what type of programming the team uses and method of construction for the robot.
  4. Teach entry level CAD to as many students as possible, guide students with more advanced questions and encourage them to get better by drawing everyday objects.
  5. Plan on attending an offseason event and come up with a plan to modify current year robot.
  6. Have the new members work on putting together a kit chassis, wiring it and then program it.
  7. Identify a type of drive train you would like to develop and work on this side by side with the new members, explaining the system/decisions you are making as you go along and why.
  8. Provide the new members with a list of resources such as Chiefdelphi, and other useful websites.
  9. Explain the process during build season week by week.
  10. Have them mentor or teach younger students who might be in lego league or vex in a summer camp. This will put the new students in your shoes.
  11. Remember its the offseason ,whatever you do have fun with it and make sure your goals are realistic.
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Allison, that is a really great diagram and pretty much exactly what I wanted to convey.

My team had a few training sessions this year. Most of these training sessions were either 1 or 4 sessions that went over the basics of that skill and taught how it is used in FRC.

The technical training sessions were CAD, Electrical, Programming, and Shop Safety.

We had other training sessions which included Purchase Orders, Talking to Judges/Telling a Story, Awards, and Event Training.

Each piece of training taught students how to do specific skills. For more advanced members, they either helped teach courses or helped with an off season project to help improve the skills they already have.

Thanks for the great feedback. Very useful.

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1923 The MidKnight Inventors has an excellent set of training resources on their webpage ( Select the “resources” heading from the main page for further links to their “MidKnightU” presentations.

That looks like a solid plan. In what way do you plan to convey the information? Would that be mostly lecture style? Do you have small projects that the students would be doing to go along with the lessons, or are projects included in the lessons? Do you anticipate each lesson taking the same amount of time or is that more of a general overview?

That plan is amazing. I’ve been wanting to develop a curriculum for our team for the past few years to do over the summer and fall. If you don’t mind I started using your initial plan as a way to develop ours, adding more general team training and adding a business section. You can check it out in list form HERE.
What software did you use to lay out that image you posted? It makes looking at both big picture and details very easy.

Hey, thanks for the nod! :slight_smile: We’ve got MidKnightU updates coming soon as well, recording all our Fall 2015 presentations to have up as videos.

Our handbook can also be found here.

MOE 365 has some of their MOEU courses available at

Some are a little dated but the basic information is valid.

I’ve been adding to this outline for the better part of six(ish, I lose track of time) years now, but my team is fairly young (third season this year) so our method for application is still evolving. Our first season (2014) I didn’t get involved until kickoff, so that whole season was trial by fire. For the 2015 pre-season everybody was more or less on same page, so we did structured four hour meetings weekly with the first two hours being lesson time and the second two hours being project time. Each two hour lesson block was split about 50/50 between lecture and laboratory work. For pre-season this year we actually ended up taking a bit of a step backwards as it was the first year we had to cater to both experienced students and rookies and that didn’t go over as well as it could have (we were also busy moving into a new shop, so we weren’t focused on training as much). I haven’t super thought out methodology going forward, but it’ll be a mix of lecture (presentation and/or video lessons), discussion based, laboratory work and activities, and workbooks and written assessments. I do know what I don’t want, for students to be disengaged or turned off by the curriculum implementation, or for the academic element to overshadow the project/maker space vibe.

As far as timing of the lessons it’s pretty all over the place right now. Some lessons just have a lot more content than others, and in some cases the group would get really into a lesson so we’d work on it for two or three days. Other topics we’d fly through multiple lessons in one day. We went in order-ish one year, and then not at all another and both worked out pretty well. There’s activities, lab work, written workbook style pages, and assessments associated with most lessons, but it’s all over the place in about 15 different documents and mindmaps and bits of pieces of notebooks/email drafts/etc. at the moment.

I attached a slightly more updated version and a partially exploded version of the main outline. Is anybody sees anything plagiarized please call me out on it! I’ve been trying to search back through my decades worth of notes and bookmarks to figure out where I got everything from. It’s a tedious process.

Thanks! I don’t mind, take it and make it yours and make better :slight_smile: I’ve considered monetizing this whole system somehow (binding and selling workbooks and/or instructor activity guides or something of the sort) but realistically I’m many years out from being able to do that, and I figure no need to hoard in the meantime.

Software - I use XMind extensively. I have the pro version on a couple of my computers, but the free one is great too. Really I just use pro so I can extract my themes and use gantt charting, but for getting ideas down the free one is adequate.

Does anyone else have FIRST Curriculum resources the would recommend?

An important thing to teach is operating/fixing driver station issues. Not only would this prevent the drive team from panicking in the middle of a competition, but it’ll help with community outreach events in case the programmers can’t be there.

One way that we’ve found successful is having our student leaders teach small courses on their areas of expertise. It lets them pass on what they’re passionate about and lets the rookies get to know the upperclassmen.

I’ve attached an updated version of the outline I posted last spring, and a shared folder with a few different file formats is accessible here. Not sure it’s worthy of its own thread, so I’m reviving this one for context.

Most of the changes are minor. The review of academic concepts got moved into the first unit, a section on engineering fundamentals was added to the start of the engineering unit, and a few lessons were slightly shuffled or renamed.

53 days of training left in preseason :slight_smile:

Allison, is this a class given in school or after school? How often do you meet? I love how extensive this is. My team has a hard time covering even a tenth of this material.

Thanks so much for the resources!

It’s not a class at the moment, but that’s a work in progress. The building admins, district admins, and board of education are helping us navigate the financial, legal, and administrative aspects, and in the meantime the important part (student learning) is still happening. I see some of kids during the day as they are allowed to be in the shop during their study hour, but it’s informal.

Team meetings are twice weekly for four hours each night for preseason. At the moment schedule is a little erratic as we have full team on Wednesday, 10th-12th graders only on Friday, and the 9th graders split between Monday and Tuesday for their second day each week. We started the preseason by having the students work in three groups of five to prepare a robot for the Bot Bash offseason, so we didn’t start doing lesson work until mid-October. At the moment Monday and Tuesday (9th grade nights) are pretty heavy on lessons, Wednesday is about 25% lessons/75% projects, and Friday is 100% projects. I’m currently torn between keeping the 9th graders split through December so that they and the vets can each get more individual attention, or merging the entire group into the same two days to refine team cohesion. That decision is what will affect how much lesson progress we make before build season. At the very least I’m hoping to get everybody to the level of conscious incompetence, where they know what they don’t know, know their limits, and know when and how to ask for guidance in season.