Yesterday, I replied to a thread from a university student wanting to start a Robot in 3 Days team at their school. There was a lot of discussion going on, and after replying I couldn’t stop thinking about some of the things that were said, and wanted to create a thread to discuss one the main points brought up and hear chief’s opinions. This topic is very important to me, my team, and my school, and I sincerely want to improve FIRST and need to hear some external opinions.
Reading the earlier thread would be a good primer on what chief seems to think about the current state of Ri3D, but essentially, the consensus was to not start an Ri3D team from the perspective that Ri3D is meant to provide resources that help raise the competitive floor in FIRST, and doing so is a truly difficult task unless you have experienced people, lots of resources, and tons of time.
However, I want to bring up another often unconsidered benefit of Ri3D - especially in the context of the thread being written by a university student. At the risk of just rewriting what I said earlier…
Don’t get me wrong, I believe Ri3D should remain a tool that at its core provides resources to help raise the competitive floor in FIRST. But at the same time, I believe a lot of good can be done by expanding the Ri3D initiative into more universities and colleges across North America, keeping alumni involved and bringing FIRST more volunteers so we can all keep doing what we love - playing with big metal buckets on a velcro field. Ri3D is perfect for FIRST alum in University, I speak for 40 kids here at the University of Waterloo. It’s extremely challenging, fun, and only takes 3 days of the majority of the teams time away from school, so we can focus on our studies while maintaining excitement about FIRST. It just works.
Having said all this, I need to know what can be done to reconcile these two benefits of Ri3D. Should university Ri3D teams stay away from the official Ri3D channel and focus on maintaining alumni interest, unless they can provide some serious quality content? Should all Ri3D content simply be vetted before being posted? Should university Ri3D teams have their own system, more focused on maintaining alumni interest than anything else? What do you think?