FRC 4607 has always adapted our team structure to the students (and mentors) we have on the team. What I mean by this is we adjust for the strengths of the team members we have have in any given year.
That being stated, we have seen a more stable team in the last three seasons. This could be because of the normal maturation of the team in our school and community, the significance of that mentors play on the team in recent years, and the strong student body we have on our team. The ‘strong student body’ I speak of comes partly from our feeder programs (FLL and FTC now five years long) and the constant and incessant recruitment that we have on our team. I have to be honest - the kids that come up from FTC/FLL are great, but many stagnant on a team such as ours. We are not linear, but more random/abstract when it comes to growth.
The ‘Hallway recruitment ideal’ that we have is partnered with the constant encouraging of new students to rise quickly from a rookie to lead positions via coordinators, project leads, and even into leadership council. I believe that new blood on the team needs to change our team for the better. As I tell the team constantly, I want others to ‘chase a ghost’ when they are striving to replicate our processes/outreach events/new engineering components/etc on 4607. Along with this, I urge my students to find best practices on other teams and then adopt/adapt these to make our team better. It is very common for a new student to robotics (especially 10 & 11 grade) to find themselves as a lead on a project or as a coordinator for an event. Why? Because they give me an honest approach with no concerns of ‘how things are done’ on 4607. All the while they are mentored by some of the best adults we could muster in Central Minnesota.
As for types of kids - we want ALL types of kids; this has been a staple of FRC 4607 since our beginning. I want the theater kids, the athletes, media/video aficionados, the fantasy sports experts, the programming nerds, the ‘artistic type that can’t find a spot in fine arts’, the drama kids, students interested in business, the debate and knowledge bowl kids, the wall-walkers, those interested in marketing, the gearheads, vidiots, and everyone else in between. More over than anything else, I want the kids that are motivated - intrinsically or extrinsically. Great point in all of this - most of our mentors are intrinsically motivated, but not myself; I am very much extrinsically motivated - those that know me know this.
So for ‘types of students’ - it is ever changing on our team as they blend together by the end of each season. Partner this with the mentors we have on the team and the opportunities that the student gain from our outreach events - it is no guess why our students have been so successful in their post-FRC lives (yes, we track them).
So as I kick aside the soap box, let’s not concentrate on the ‘types of kids on a robotics team’ and just get out there and bring them all on board!